Canterbury School

Canterbury Christian School is a classical Christian school in California’s Silicon Valley. We are community-oriented and Christ-centered.

Our curriculum is rigorous, and our graduates have gone on to many prestigious colleges and universities, including the University of California, MIT, Stanford, and numerous other colleges and universities.

Our campus finds itself located in a beautiful, safe, and quiet residential neighborhood in Los Altos, California, near Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and Cupertino.

Founded in 1974, Canterbury Christian School is the parish school of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church. Canterbury is also a member of the Anglican School Association.

What is Classical Education?

Classical education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue through the study of the liberal arts and the Great Books. The liberal arts are the universal linguistic and mathematical skills students need to excel in every area of life. 

The Great Books are the means by which we pass on the cultural heritage of the Christian West. A mastery of both is the best way to prepare a child for a life of wisdom and virtue, and Canterbury School provides the tools for mastering these two essential elements of education.

A thorough study of Latin forms the foundation of a classical education, and the study of classical history and literature fosters a deep knowledge of Western civilization.

We offer a solid academic foundation in its program of study. ​

But what does that really mean, and how do we do it?

Our children live in a bewildering world—where technology paradoxically connects users to the other side of the globe, while heightening feelings of isolation, a world where the virtues have less and less meaning; where politics decreasingly serves the public good; where any sense of heritage increasingly crumbles into chaos; and where increasing violence and economic instability renders the future uncertain.

So how can we equip our children to live well in this world? 

At Canterbury Christian School, we believe that to address the problems of the present, we must look backward as well as forward. An education rooted in the accumulated wisdom of thousands of years is still available. It is the education of our forefathers—the education which has shaped leaders for generations, and is still doing just that.

The goal of a classical, Christian education is to cultivate the whole person. This education stands on three legs: outstanding academics in a tutorial-style setting, a rigorous and broad arts program, and (last but most importantly) true spiritual formation.

Our highest goal is that our students know and love the truth. Our small size allows our teachers work individually with students on a daily basis, training them towards mastery. Daily, our students grapple with the best that has been written and thought, finding their own places within that tradition. They learn the difference between “self-expression” and “the self expressing truth, beautifully.”

We believe that the arts are essential to a sacramental attitude and worldview. The musical arts (choir, and orchestra), the fine and manual arts (drawing and hand tools shop), and the dramatic arts shape our students’ loves. As knowledge transforms the mind, so beauty woos the heart, and goodness draws desire.

Included here are articles and essays on classical education as well as issues relating to the Christian Faith and Western culture.

The What and Why of a Classical Education  by Susan Wise Bauer. Just what is a “classical” education, and why should I want it for my child? In answer to that we offer this excerpt from The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer.

The Lost Tools of Learning  by Dorothy Sayers. In this essay, Miss Sayers suggests that we presently teach our children everything but how to learn. She proposes that we adopt a suitably modified version of the medieval scholastic curriculum for methodological reasons.

The Abolition of Man  by C.S. Lewis. A masterful reflection on the state of modern education. This is a free PDF version of the book in its entirety.

A Christian Mind  by Harry Blamires