In early February, 197 eager Oundle School Third formers set off at dawn on twenty different Trivium Trips – Trippium – around the country.
Designed to place learning for its own sake at the heart of the curriculum, Trivium is a course, based purely on ‘interestingness’. It complements the School’s extensive Voluntaries programme and Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), encouraging pupils to extend their learning beyond subjects for academic assessment.
Among destinations far afield, pupils explored the portraiture, architectural history and social traditions of London, the libraries, colleges and ancient printing presses of Oxford, the fine art and Georgian glories of Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire and the mediaeval stronghold, war damage and resurrection of Coventry. Other groups munched their way through the food history of Birmingham and the controversies of first-hand conservation near High Wycombe. The history and trivia of Olympic London was dissected by another group, while a similarly sporting venture closer to home looked at the psychology of winning in situ. Leicester was also a focus for several groups this year, with “Triv” sets variously exploring the discovery and burial of King Richard III, the soaring cathedral and the technological delights of the Space Museum. Another scientific excursion saw pupils head to London, where they acted as willing guinea pigs for the Museum of Science’s new extension show. One group even ended up in prison near Oundle, after exciting sessions with police dogs and firearms – all part of a planned stop, of course!
Languages teacher and Head of Trivium and Quadrivium (for older years), William Gunson commented, “Trippium is the annual day trip for all Trivium sets, where each group of ten pupils and their teacher goes somewhere different, with carte blanche to explore something interesting or esoteric in the UK, linked to their current extension topic.
Pupils participated in vigorous discussion, reported having their eyes opened to myriad hidden corners of culture, enjoyed the off-piste day out, and thrived on the open challenge for the event to take the most eccentric picture – a competition to which there were scores of pupil entries from the twenty different locations.
Many thanks to all thirty staff who drove, shepherded and intrigued our Triv pupils out and about for the day.”