Philosophy lessons are given to all boys throughout all years.
In Years 7-8 (ages 11-12) emphasis is given to developing each boy’s powers of attention so he achieves some measure of ‘personal mastery’. He is introduced to the idea of unity and cooperation, the value of serving and caring for others and the importance of living attentively in the present moment, for all happiness is to be found there. He also begins to discover how to use his mind to think through questions from all angles.
In Years 9-11 (ages 13-16) the emphasis moves to developing reason and unfolding a vision for living. The ideal presented is to become a “master of the world and a companion of truth, simultaneously”. The boys meet the Platonic virtues of courage, temperance, justice and wisdom and consider the importance of relationships, especially the value of the family. Examples of outstanding leadership are examined and every boy has the opportunity to test his own leadership abilities during a visit in Year 10 to the Lucca Leadership Centre in Tuscany, Italy.
The final Years 12 and 13 (ages 17 and 18) focus on developing skills, particularly communication skills, which will enable the young men to become useful in the world. The art of contemporary Socratic dialogue is taught which provides the forum for discussing political, social, ethical and philosophical issues. They are also introduced to the principles of emotional intelligence.