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Botanical illustrations: Autumn View details

Working with an enthusiastic tutor, this course is approachable for both beginners and more established painters. Working from life you will examine, draw and paint a selection of Autumn produce in all its rich variety learning about the versatility and beauty of using watercolour paints.

Branch Event: Great Philosophers: Part One Descartes and Locke View details

The modern period of philosophy began in the 17th Century and this day school is an introduction to some of the key elements in the thought of two of its great philosophers. The first is Descartes. The modern period begins with him. The second is the 17th/18th century English philosopher, John Locke.”

Branch Event: History of Philosophy 1: Socrates and Plato View details

In this study day we explore the ideas of Socrates and Plato - two of the seminal figures in the development of western philosophy. We will consider key elements in the ideas of both men, looking in particular at Socrates' pronouncements on ethics, and Plato's dialogues on the soul and the perfectly just city-state, as recorded in The Republic.

Branch Event: John Leland - A Traveller in Tudor England View details

This is a story of people going about their daily lives under the shadow of imminent catastrophe. Towns, villages, industries, churches, monasteries - the whole medieval way of life was about to be dislocated by Henry V111's violent social revolution. We have the testimony of one man- John Leland, who rode around England at the last possible moment. His travel notes are a priceless survival and many of them relate to the Bucks/Oxon area. Much of what he saw can still be seen today and we will follow in this footsteps, with the aid of his own words, and vivid slides to show what remains of his world.

Branch Event:Rome and the Sea View details

Imperial Rome relied on the sea for much of its trade, from Britain in the west to India in the east. The day-school will look at the ships, the goods they carried, their crews and the remains of harbours and lighthouses.

Braveheart - The Scottish War of Independence 1296 - 1314 View details

The course will begin by looking at the efforts under King Edward I and his "Great Cause" to facilitate a pro-English regime in Scotland after 1290, by considering the major candidates to the Scottish throne and under what circumstances this effort then collapsed. We will go on to examine the key figures in the subsequent bid for a separate Scottish monarchy, and the extent to which this led to the native rebellion under William Wallace.We will then consider the extent of the English restoration in the wake of Wallace's defeat, and its impact among the various Scottish factions in power at the time. We will then go on to evaluate the bid for power made by Robert Bruce, and consider his various political challenges. Finally, we will look at the subsequent emergence of Bruce's opposition to English intervention including its shortcomings, before providing and evaluating the key reasons for the Scottish victory at Bannockburn and its legacy.

Britain's National Parks View details

Britain's National Parks are varied and very much defined by their landscape value in many ways. Using the local landscape we will explore the reasoning behind this , in particular what was included within the proposal for the UK's first National Park and what makes the Parks cherished by the many millions of people that use them - but reflect on the impact that this can have. We will aim to give you an understanding of the role that Park Authorities take when managing these areas. On this course we will explore the reasons that Longshaw helped in the debate of how green belts and national parks were required.

British Archaelogy form the Iron Age to 1066 View details

In considering the lasting impact the period between the Roman and Norman Conquests had on the development of modern Britain, the following questions will be addressed: What did the Romans do for Britain? How Dark were the Dark Ages? Did King Arthur ever exist? How civilised were the Vikings? There will be ample opportunity to handle artifacts associated with each of the archaeological periods discussed.

British Cinema of the 60's View details

The course will explore how film developed as an industry and an art form in the United Kingdom in the course of the ‘long 60s’. This will be carried out with a focus upon the work of six directors, native to Britain or resident here during the period. Films will be studied in relation to the general context of the changing culture of Britain in the period.

British Films and Directors View details

The course will concentrate on three key areas of British film: The epic cinema of the 1930s/40s and later, to include the output of producer Alexander Korda (The Private Life of Henry VIII), films by director Michael Powell (Red Shoes), to current works like Dunkirk and The Darkest Hour Documentary and Realism, from early films commissioned by the Post Office, the Coal Board (Nightmail et al), through to the kitchen sink dramas of the early 1960s (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Taste of Honey) and the later works of Ken Loach et al Modern British cinema: Themes and Attitudes - a look at how successfully (or otherwise) it reflects the concerns of different sections of British society and how it sees our future as a nation