Education determining their future lives

“As a captain is a director of a whole boat, so reason joined with knowledge, is the guide of life.” Plato

This term saw the first meeting of the Williams Society, Queen Elizabeth’s prestigious new academic society for talented humanities students.

The society, open to members of Year 12, fosters analytical thinking, broad cultural and historical awareness and language and textual analysis skills. Through weekly classes and tutorials, participants will cover such topics as informal logic, literary theory and the analysis of concepts.

Participating students, known as Senior Members, are selected on the basis of their academic performance and teacher recommendations; indeed the entrance standards are so high that only around 15 boys have been nominated to join the society. As well as attending classes, Senior Members will take part in trips, attend in-school lectures from renowned public and academic figures and make their own presentations on topics of particular interest to them. The skills developed on the programme will assist participants with applications to Oxford and Cambridge.

In keeping with the heritage of the school, the society has been named after the pre-eminent Elizabethan scholar John Williams. He entered Oxford as a scholar of Corpus Christi College in 1569, gaining a BA and MA, and was subsequently elected Fellow of All Souls in 1579. He was later appointed Margaret Professor of Divinity, Principal of Jesus College (the only Oxbridge college founded in the time of Queen Elizabeth), and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1604.