Old Hartonian Roger Strachan, now studying Classics at Cambridge University, set up the School of Athens in 2013, a pupil-led sixth form society which meets once a term. Here, academic scholars have a forum to present on a topic of their choosing.

This year, the society has heard from Megan Kenyon (C), on the history of Les Miserables, David Hendrickse (H), on the origins of European languages, and, last night, Hebe Holdsworth (R), on the history of European art surrounding Picasso’s Guernica.

Hebe, 18, from Ilkley, is Head of House and Vice Captain of the 1st Netball team. She studies History, RS and English Literature, and took Art last year. She is hoping to study History of Art at St Andrew’s University next year. She said: “I chose this painting to discuss because I find the Spanish Civil War an interesting topic.  

There were quite a lot of questions at the end but I was well prepared and they were mainly opinion related. As a speaker, I think it’s a good experience, and I invited a lot of my peers and my teachers – it is a great support. I’ve done a lot of public speaking so the challenge here was really creating an in-depth presentation, writing it, and expressing my own knowledge in this context. It’s a lovely social occasion and setting as well, as we meet for drinks and nibbles on the top floor of the School Library beforehand, near the scholars’ booths.”

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