Crusades at Claremont
A renowned historian visits the school and witnesses some expert teaching
Claremont High School is always seeking enriching experiences for its pupils, and the History Department provided a truly memorable one for students in years 12 and 13 on 16th January when Professor Jonathan Phillips from Royal Holloway University of London, a world expert on the Crusades, delivered a lecture on why people went on these perilous missions.
The author of The Times commended biography of 2019, The Life and Legend of Sultan Saladin, Professor Phillips explains: ‘I teach and research on the history of the crusades, one of the most influential and dynamic movements of the medieval age. I explore the motives of crusaders – what impelled people to travel thousands of miles to fight.’
Over forty sixth-form students were fortunate enough to listen to his talk and have an opportunity to ask him questions afterwards.
‘Professor Phillips delivered a fantastic lecture to all our A Level students,’ says Mr Burns. ‘They read through a primary source written by Caffaro of Genoa, dating from the 12th century, and reflected on different motivations for crusading. They also asked Professor Phillips a range of questions about the crusades. It was great for them to experience a university style lecture from one of the world's leading experts on this subject.’
While visiting the school, Professor Phillips also had an opportunity to watch a Year 7 lesson on medieval history. ‘He was very impressed with the enthusiasm, questioning and interest of pupils from 7.8,’ comments Mr Burns, ‘as well as the expert teaching of Mr Schmidt!’