Our 2005 Summer School
Our 2005 Summer School was held at Monkton Combe School, in the village of Monkton Combe, just outside Bath, from Sunday 24th to Sunday 31st July 2005, and attracted forty-one students evenly spread over the ages of 11 to 18.
The school day was framed by the Traditional Mass in the morning, and Rosary and Sung Compline in the evening. The timetable for a typical day is shown below:
|2.00-4.00||Activities: Football, country walks, tennis, altar serving training, sewing, art
|7.35||Film, or talk by visiting speaker
The academic aspects of the week included:
- Catechism: taught in the mornings to each age group in turn by Fr Andrew Southwell. The main topics covered this year were the Mass and prayer.
- Catholic Philosophy: taught in the mornings to each age group in turn by Dr Joseph Shaw. The lessons focused on Free Will and Intention in Ethics.
- Catholic Literature: taught by Mr David Forster, making use of a number of Catholic poems and plays.
- Catholic History: taught by Mr Aidan McKeague, taking Dante's Divine Comedy as a starting point for a treatment of the Middle Ages. Mr Albert Marcello, a seminarian, also gave some classes on the Reformation in England.
- Latin: The students were divided into three groups according to their knowledge of Latin, and Miss Theresa Sheppard gave lessons to each group in turn. Texts from the Mass and the Vulgate were used for translation.
- Gregorian Chant: Dr John Tennant gave practical classes in singing chants from the Mass Cum Jubilo, which were supplemented by lessons on Gregorian Chant notation and training in the sight singing of intervals from chant notation. Some of the students also joined in the singing of the propers of the Masses during the week, from the Liber Usualis.
- Polyphony: Miss Aurelia Ratcliffe coached a considerable number of the students in the singing of Arcadelt's polyphonic Ave Maria, and this was sung very competently during the Offertory of the final Mass of the week.
The academic work was balanced by creative activities, including art and sewing, which proved popular with the students.
The 2005 Summer School included two afternoon outings, one to the city and Abbey Church of Bath, and the other to the Abbey Church of Downside, one of the few Basilicas of England.
In the evenings, after public recitation of the Rosary, there was a variety of activities, including a talk by the artist and author Madeleine Beard, and the showing of the films A Man for All Seasons and The Scarlet and the Black. On the penultimate evening a quiz was held, with questions based on the material taught during the week, plus general Catholic knowledge. The extremely enthusiastic and impressive response to this quiz showed that the students had benefited a great deal from the classes.
On the final evening, about half of the students formed the cast in a dramatic reading of The Empty Tomb by Dorothy L. Sayers, part of her wartime radio play The Man Born to be King. They had been coached for this by Mr David Forster, and wore costumes made for the occasion by Mrs Lucy Shaw, Miss Teresa Sheppard and Miss Aurelia Ratcliffe. This was very well executed and drew enthusiastic applause.
Staff of the 2005 Summer School
- Mr David Forster (Headmaster and boys housemaster) is a Housemaster and Head of Department (Maths) at Abingdon School.
- Fr Andrew Southwell (Chaplain) is based at St Bedes Presbytery, Clapham Park, London. He offers the Traditional Mass exclusively, both at St Bedes and all over the south of England.
- Mrs Lucy Shaw (girls housemistress) is a linguist and a professionally trained cook.
- Dr Joseph Shaw teaches Philosophy as Tutorial Fellow at St Benets Hall, Oxford.
- Dr John Tennant teaches Gregorian Chant for the Traditional Catholic Family Alliance.
- Theresa Sheppard is a Classics student.
- Aidan McKeague teaches English literature and history.
- Aurelia Ratcliffe is a music student.