Upper School Clubs

Ad Fontes seeks to offer clubs and activities that engage student interest, enhance student fellowship and further the intellectual and spiritual development of our students. ember, early February, and late April.

Latin Club (Grades 7-12)

The ORIGINAL Ad Fontes Club! Latin Club offers an opportunity to experience the joy of understanding classical languages and civilizations beyond what students study in the classroom. Our meetings often will focus on Certamen, a competitive quiz game centered on the Latin language, ancient history, classical culture, and Greco-Roman mythology – topics that benefit and befit all AFA students. We also will prepare for various Junior Classical League (JCL) contests – from Latin Oratory to Graphic Arts – based on students’ interests. In November, we will attend the annual Virginia JCL Convention in Richmond, where students will be able to participate in Certamen, contests, lectures, and classical camaraderie with other Virginians. Throughout the year, students can compete with other Certamen teams in Virginia, and will celebrate some of the memorable events in the Roman calendar, including Rome’s birthday. Furthermore, Latin Club will prepare interested students to participate in contests during the National JCL Convention.

Play Reading Club (Grades 7-12) – Linda Mathwin

The Play Reading club is for students who cannot get enough plays! Lovers of the theatre or of literature meet together to share lunch in a joyful, relaxed setting and read the selected play. Laughter, joking, and curiosity characterize this club; we enjoy the rich beauty of the written word. Plays read recently include: A Winter’s Tale, Antony and Cleopatra, Electra, King Lear, and The Cherry Orchard. This year’s plans include The Importance of Being Earnest and King John, along with an evening outing in November to see King John performed at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Techne Society (Grades 7-12) – Bill Carey

How does a lawnmower work? When I was young I had no idea, so I asked my grandfather. He said, “Let’s find out!” Two hours and dozens of bolts and screws later, the dismembered guts of a lawnmower lay before us, and I had learned about pistons, spark-plugs, gears, valves, motors, and blades. My grandfather taught me that what one person creates, another can understand, and that some things are best learned by doing. The Greek poet Homer recognized three great virtues: courage, cunning, and techne. Techne, the oft–overlooked third Homeric virtue is the root of our word “technology” and means something like “craftsmanship” or “skill with tools”. As with every virtue, Techne requires cultivation and practice. That practice is best done in community, where the learning and skill of each can aid the learning and skill of all. There are two cultures of technology today. One culture is the culture of distraction and entertainment. The other, less common culture is the culture of creation practiced at Techne.

Theatre (Grades 7-12)

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.” While Atticus Finch used those words in To Kill a Mockingbird to teach young Scout a lesson about getting along with others, it’s a wonderful word picture of acting as well. Acting, in part, is climbing inside the skin of a character and walking around in it. Theatre is an entire group of people thinking, feeling, and looking – being someone else for a time, and convincing the audience to believe they ARE someone else. The last two years in theatre, students showcases their talents with a full-scale production of Thornton Wilder’s beloved classic, Our Town, and then a Zoom production of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. In preparation for the production, we will explore not just the art of acting, but the other elements of stagecraft, including costumes, make-up, stage-management, props, set design, etc. Additionally, the pst two years, AFA Upperclassmen have directed two Shakespeare productions, Comedy of Errors and Taming of the Shrew.

Yearbook, (Grades  7-12) – Mary O’ Donnell

The Yearbook Club will be responsible for putting together the AFA Yearbook. Students will be involved in envisioning the yearbook theme and page layout and be assigned individual responsibilities including photography, page content, page layout and other tasks to complete the yearbook by April.

Wargaming Club (Grades 7-12) – Alex Taylor

Students relive battles from the early Middle Ages—the victories and defeats of great heroes like Charlemagne and Alfred the Great, the epic sweep of battles like Hastings and the Viking raids—using small armies of 30–40 hand-painted miniatures in a strategic tabletop game called SAGA. Tabletop wargaming is a fun and fascinating hobby combining many diverse interests: painting and modelling, strategic and tactical thinking, and historic research. We plan to hold tournaments and campaigns throughout the school year, with prizes going to the top players.

Calligraphy Club (Grades 4-6 and 7-12) – Lisa Hutchinson

Students learn the history of calligraphy, vocabulary specific to the art, the anatomy of a letter, and 5 popular flat nib fonts. Students will learn how to calculate letter height and properly scale any flat nib font, as well as how to correctly angle their pens to confidently and competently form all of the basic strokes needed to build each letter. Once students gain mastery over the basic strokes, they will then learn how to orderly assemble those strokes to artfully construct every letter in the alphabet. Students will learn six popular hands over the course of the year: Foundational, Uncial, Gothic, Italic, Sharpened Italic, and Copperplate. Advanced classes will will focus on pointed pen calligraphy fonts, such as Copperplate and Modern, and will graduate from using calligraphy markers to more traditional dipped pen and ink in both pointed pen along with the flat nib fonts. Students will develop their individual artistic style by incorporating flourishes and personal nuances to various hands that make their lettering unique to them.

French Club (Grades 6-12) – Mary O’Donnell

French club is about having fun and learning a little French language and culture along the way! Students will be exposed to 10-15 words a week and some very basic grammar. We will play team games EACH time we meet, and although there’s no expectation of mastery, students will want to do a small amount of memory work at home to be ready to play the following week’s game (games like: Toss-across, Memory, Jeopardy, Steal the Bacon, Pictionary, the BOMB game and as many games as we can squeeze in per class).

Artists Society (Grades 6-12) – Dee Dee Kintzing

In the 1860s a group of classically trained artists met weekly in Paris near the studio of Édovard Manet, developing a groundbreaking new style later known as “Impressionism.” Comparing ideas and critiquing each other’s work in a social but candidly professional environment, these artists grew immensely in their talent and confidence. The new Ad Fontes Artists Society will follow this model as we meet weekly. Students bring their own supplies and work on current pieces or try something new with materials provided. Each month a new medium will be introduced focusing on a particular technique or art movement. This provides an opportunity for each artist to explore new mediums and add variety to their Art experience. The purpose of this club is to gather together to eat, work, discuss and try new things. The Club is open to all students to fine tune an art portfolio, add variety to a portfolio, or don’t really care to have a portfolio and just want to gather with other creative people and grow.