At the medieval universities, the Trivium of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric was followed by the Quadrivium of Music, Geometry, Arithmetic and Astronomy. Oundelians are intellectually ambitious and Trivium intends to place learning for its own sake at the heart of our Third Form curriculum.

Trivium has no syllabus and no prescribed content. It is a course based on ‘interestingness’. The brief is to educate; to introduce pupils to ideas and culture, to sow seeds and to broaden the educational experience.

Whilst one class is studying blazon and heraldry, another may be immersed in Gothic architecture, the notion of goodness, the freedom to offend, the politics of Elizabethan portraiture or the art of 1930s Berlin.

An opportunity for deeper study

The Quadrivium course involves optional, deeper study of four main topics or disciplines in the Lower Sixth. Each teacher designs a unique course of four linked topics. Pupils choose their course purely out of interest, which may serve either to supplement their other subjects or to provide an academic diversion.

Quadrivium pupils are expected to produce four essay papers during the year. In writing their discursive papers for each topic, pupils are rewarded for evidence of wider reading, individual research and lateral thought. For this reason, Quadrivium is ideal university training, suited to all pupils who wish to engage meaningfully with specific, personal areas of interest that fall outside their examined subjects while still retaining broad and rigorous intellectual exposure.

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