New Academic Society

Tuesday 10th October 2023

A new Academic Society for the Lower School has started this term with the aim of creating some more space and time for real academic enthusiasm outside the classroom.

This is a pupil-led discussion group, supported by Christopher Moule, Head of Academic Scholars, and Andrew Oxburgh, Head of Oxbridge.

One of the key members, Beverly W, told us a little about it:

“This term we’ve been really excited to launch a brand new Academic Society (currently just for the Remove, however we hope it will grow to be available to the entire Lower School) devoted to the Romance of Learning (or ROL). It’s a voluntary club for people who genuinely love and enjoy learning new things, who want to meet each week to share each others’ interests, and to chat about new things we’ve learnt. We have around 15 members, and meet every Wednesday lunchtime; we take it in turns to choose a topic to share with the rest of the group. It’s very casual, however we do have the opportunity to follow up more formally in the evenings if we wish. So far this term we’ve learnt about free speech and its role in a liberal ordered society, how a “perfect society” can allow for individual opinion, the role of imperialism in museums, geology over three billion years and the shaping of pebbles, Moghul miniature painting, the golden toad, and how the solutions to capitalism and climate change are intertwined with previously discussed ideas of freedom. None of those topics was our original point of departure. One thing the group is amazing at doing is opening up an outpouring of different threads related to our original topics (Utopias, Priest Holes, Antiques, The Sixth Extinction, etc); and we can explore the things we as a group are interested in. This is refreshing alongside our more rigidly split up classroom subjects. We all learn so much, especially with the help of different teachers eager to help push us in whatever direction we choose.”

We look forward to hearing more from the Romance of Learning Society as it grows and develops.

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