“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

Clarence Thomas


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Etiquette and Critical Skills for Success in Life Curriculum

The information below outlines the core subject matter that is covered during the five lesson course at the Virginia School of Etiquette.  General issues related to proper social interaction in various settings will also be included in each of the four 90 minute sessions and the five-course dinner.  

Course Information (For Girls and Boys Six to Eleven Years Old)

Introductions – No matter the age, first impressions are formed in the first few minutes of meeting a person – and those impressions can last a lifetime.  It is essential for young people, early in their lives, to gain key skills related to first encounters with other individuals.  We will cover how to make a proper introduction, the correct way to shake hands, the importance of direct eye contact, proper posture, how to exude personal confidence and the best way to make a good first impression.

Conversational Skills – Students will learn important conversational skills during the course including proper topics to fit a variety of social situations.  The focus is on how to engage in suitable conversations and developing important listening skills.



The Knife Lesson – In this lesson, students will learn how to hold and control a knife and what each knife is used for.  Students begin learning how to read a table setting including the placement of the bread plate and glassware.

The Spoon Lesson – Students learn the proper way to eat soup!  Also covered in this lesson is how to use a parfait spoon, and where to place a spoon once used.  We will also discuss general table manners at home and in a restaurant.

The Fork Lesson – The proper fork to use with each course is covered as well as when a fork and spoon should be used together.  The knife, spoon and fork will be used during this session and appropriate table placement of each.

Dining Skills – Putting it all together.  We teach both American and European dining styles (essential in today’s worldly business culture) and students learn how each utensil works together.  We also focus on the correct use of the napkin.



Telephone and Electronic Media Etiquette – Proper etiquette will be taught and practiced when placing or answering a telephone call, taking a message and what to do in an emergency.  In addition, we cover computer courtesy, thinking before posting messages, keeping personal information private and being safe online.

Thank You Notes – Students will learn the proper way to write a thank you note as well as the importance of recognizing different types of kindness shown to them by their peers, family members, parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. 

Elegant Five-Course Dining Experience – At the conclusion of the course, all students take part in an elegant dining experience at one of the area’s finest restaurants.  The event consists of a five-course meal with emphasis on all skills learned, together with short presentations from each student.  A parent is invited to join students so they have an opportunity to show off their newly acquired skills.  The highlight of the dinner is the award ceremony, where all students will be presented with their Certificate of Completion for attending and successfully completing the course. 


Fresh flowers, china and crystal stemware are used in teaching our dining skills program and food is served.

Food is served at each session to allow students to practice their dining skills.

Each class is limited to six students so that each can receive the special attention they need to fully absorb the lessons.

The cost for five classes includes a five-course dinner at a local fine dining restaurant. 

For more information or to register please call 757.419.8815 or fill out the enrollment form here.


Classes for tweens, teens, young adults and adults coming soon.  Please contact us for additional information.

  © 2010 Virginia School of Etiquette. All Rights Reserved. Photos courtesy of The American School Of Protocol.