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In this blog, I hope to give a flavour of the work that I do in my general studies class. I teach a group of 13 pupils in Year 12 ( aged 16/17) for six 40 minute lessons each week.  There is no syllabus and no exam!  The dates alternate over a two year cycle between 1300-1789 and 1789 to present.  This year we are looking at the earlier period. I’ll give some information about what I have taught in the past couple of years, but this year I shall be looking at humanism, medieval architecture and the wars of religion. I am not an artist, art historian or historian: I am a linguist, who likes reading, art and buildings.

I’ll be starting the academic year with Luc Ferry’s book “Learning to Live”, which gives one of the clearest philosophical introdiuctions to humanism and how it developed from stoicism.

Luc Ferry’s Learning to Live

I shall also be introducing pupils to medieval architecture.  We are fortunate in Winchester to have Winchester Cathedral and the Chapel of St. Cross.  The book we shall be using to explore the architecture around us is Nicola Coldstream’s introduction to Medieval Architecture:

Literature and History will also form an important part of our work this term. I have chosen Simon Armitage’s version of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Ben Kaplan’s study of the Wars of Religion.

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