New Socrates Programme to inspire student inquiry

Sydenham High is offering an exciting new programme of lectures and workshops for students to encourage them to question and examine the world around them in the tradition of the great Greek philosopher Socrates.

Running during the first two academic terms of the year, the Socrates Programme will include lectures and workshops, which promote a wide variety of topics, including the environment, the arts and technology. It is designed for senior school scholars from year 7 to year 13 and other students in these years who would like to take part can also apply for a place.

According to Socrates: ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’ and the programme, coined in his name, intends to foster just that mentality.

Indeed, a key aim for the programme is to instil a way of thinking that will stay with pupils beyond the programme, to challenge the world around them and to reflect on what really fascinates them.

The main thrust of the programme is to give pupils the opportunity to meet and engage with a variety of leading experts and be inspired to create a final piece of work reflecting their chosen area of interest, which will be submitted in the Spring Term with a written rationale of no more than 2000 words.

All students who participate will have complete freedom to create a final piece in whatever form they choose, whether it be a short film, play, robot, article, model, display or essay.

“The most important premise for all submissions is that they reflect the interests of the pupil and demonstrate a development of an initial idea and regular reflection throughout the process,” said Head of Classics Mary Frankland, who is devising and co-ordinating the programme.

Through the Socrates Programme pupils will gain the confidence, support and recognition to think for themselves and plan their own independent research, whilst at the same time receiving regular guidance from their own individual staff mentor and inspiration from guest speakers.