Socrates Programme

Socrates once said ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’ and our bespoke programme, coined in the great philosopher’s name, intends to foster that mentality. Indeed, a key aim for the programme is to instil a way of thinking that will stay with our pupils beyond the programme, to challenge the world around them, and to reflect on what really fascinates them.

The Socrates Programme offers an exciting array of lectures and workshops for our scholars and to any other girls who wish to apply for a place on the programme. These lectures and workshops promote a wide variety of topics, including the environment, the arts and technology. The programme runs during the first two academic terms.

The main aim 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 reflecting their chosen area of interest,  which will be submitted in the spring term with a written rationale of under 2000 words. Through the Socrates Programme, pupils gain the confidence, support and recognition to think for themselves and plan their own independent research, while receiving regular guidance from their own individual mentor and inspiration from guest speakers.

Pupils who join the programme have complete freedom to create a final piece in whatever form they choose, whether a short film, play, article, model, display, essay or even a robot. 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.

The Socrates Programme is exciting addition to the Lower and Middle School curriculum which gives every pupil the opportunity for stretch and challenge beyond their timetabled lessons. It is compulsory for all scholars and optional and open to all pupils in years 7-9.

Every school should have a Socrates programme or something similar. The idea of allowing pupils to develop key learning skills through whatever interests them most lies at the heart of a modern, relevant approach to developing a life-long love of learning. Nothing matters more. Bravo to the educators at Sydenham High.

– Christopher Lloyd, author, lecturer and CEO, What on Earth Publishing

Lecture Dates for 2021-22

Lecture 1 – 17 November

Christopher Lloyd, Author and Founder of What on Earth Publishing

Lecture 2 – 6 December

Sigourney Bell, Co-Founder, Black in Cancer

Lecture 3 – 18 January

Naoko Wood, Gemologist and Founder, Rock Me Designs

Lecture 4 – 8 February

Kate Parker, Consultant/Director for Agilis, Knova and Travivas

Lecture 5 – 16 March

Dharshini David, Author, Economist and Broadcaster

Lecture 6 – 20 April

Monisha Shah, Chair of Wikimedia UK


For more information please contact our Socrates Programme Coordinator: Ms Belardo

Past Lecture Reviews

  • Cutting Edge Chemistry by Annabelle (year 12)
  • ‘The world’s most talented and ambitious people should be founders’ by Tiffany (year 7)

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