Academic Society: Pupil Review

Wednesday 29th May 2024

The Romance of Learning society (ROL) started in October last year and now consists of over 20 Remove pupils who meet every week to discuss different topics. There is also a growing Shell equivalent. The topics range from pupil-given presentations to interesting discussions led by beaks. ROL now has a new meeting place at Cardinal Café in St Peter’s Church, where we meet every Wednesday lunchtime. This welcoming institution allows a special ‘café culture’ for us to learn in, in a perfect setting, and creates a great atmosphere for our free and wide-ranging conversations. Led by Mr Moule (Head of Academic Scholars) and Mr Oxburgh (Head of Oxbridge), and with the help of many other beaks along the way, the ROL club has grown and developed to create a productive space for learning within the group. Off-shoot groups are also sprouting, including a model United Nations, set up by Henry H, and a nascent ‘Science ROL’, led by Tali S.

One of the trips offered by ROL was a concert performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment of Felix Mendelssohn’s compositions, in Basingstoke’s The Anvil. The highlight of the trip was to see the great Andras Schiff on the piano playing the captivating 1st Piano Concerto. Some of the other great music was written when Mendelssohn was our age! It really was an exceptional experience which was appreciated by all who came from ROL. 

Another ROL trip was our visit to London in February, to explore the architecture, science and history hidden within the city. We walked from the East End to the West End, via Southwark and the City, and discussing history, literature, art and music. It was both a way to expand interests and have fun whilst applying our new knowledge to the world around us. We ended with a delicious meal in Chinatown. 

Even close to home, we have explored the very place where we meet. One week, the group went up St Peter’s Church tower to get a new view and perspective over Marlborough town and College. Mr Moule taught us about the formation of the town, and the land around where we spend all our time here at the College. A recent trip to Oxford was another success: we got to visit the famous colleges of the University, and to wander around one of the most beautiful cities in England. 

ROL has also been invited on a trip to Prague in October half-term this year, where we’ll no doubt take a similar approach, embarking whole-heartedly again in the Romance of Learning. ROL has been a huge success this year and has inspired all of its members. 

Pupil review by Chloe A and Zara S-J

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