The Schickler Society is a Middle School discussion group made up of Academic scholars and any other students in Years 9 and 10 who would like to ‘look at the world in an intelligent way’.
The name Schickler comes from a former student, Jonael Schickler, who left Sevenoaks School in 1994 to study Social and Political Science at Cambridge University. He later changed courses to Philosophy. Jonael was an outstanding undergraduate student and went on to teach at Cambridge before being appointed Director of Studies in Philosophy at Hughes Hall, Cambridge in 2001. Tragically, he was killed in the 2002 Potters Bar train crash. Using his name for this academic group of students seemed to be a very small but appropriate contribution to the memory of his time at Sevenoaks.
We now have Year 9 and Year 10 Schickler Society groups which meet to debate, present, listen and even taste and sing their way through topics such as: ‘What’s it like to live in North Korea?’; ‘How significant is the discovery of the Higgs-Boson?’ and ‘How do you turn a thought into a book and then a film?’
Some of the defining features of the Schickler Society are the desire to engage, challenge preconceptions, and think innovatively, at times controversially. The topics covered are designed to cover all aspects of the academic spectrum and have the premise that all issues should be looked at critically and intelligently.
Some highlights of recent years have included using Chemistry and Biology to discover why salt mixed with caramel tastes so good; the tears and shocked reaction of the Schickler students assessing 9/11 through the eyes of OS film director Paul Greengrass in the film Flight 93; trying to come to terms with the unbelievable complexity of the brain with Dr Matt Edwards; singing along to the masterful lyrics of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and trying to decide whether the Tour de France really is the ultimate sporting challenge.