High School

The following is an actual PNEU syllabus for forms V and VI from 1929. It is an excellent example of what a Charlotte Mason high school curriculum would consist of.
Thanks to R. Proffitt for transcribing it from the original document and adding notes and links.
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Programme 115*

(September to December, 1929. January to March, 1930, overseas.)


Parents' National Educational Union


The Parent's Union School.



(Address: The Director, Parents' Union School, Ambleside.)

Motto: “I am, I can, I ought, I will.”

(He shall) “pray for the children to prosper in good life and good literature.” – (Dean Colet.)



PUPILS' NAMES................................................................................................................



VI. & V. The One Volume Bible Commentary, by J. R. Dummelow (Macmillan), {Alternative Title.}

(a) pp. Lxxxviii, - cxii.;

(b) Psalms 90-150, pp. 365-378;

(c) Romans, pp. 854-888;

(d) The Life of Christ in the Four Gospels, arranged by Rev. A. E. Hillard, D.D. (Rivingtons), pp. 1-70; (e) The Saviour of the World, Vol. I. (P.N.E.U. Office), pp. 1-52, with Bible text (see Index) and notes from “Dummelow.”

For Sunday reading (optional):

VI. & V. Aggrey of Africa, by Edwin E. Smith (S.C.M.).

Tolstoi's Tales and Parables (Dent)

VI. Stanley's The Eastern Church (Dent), pp. 136-197.

A Short History of our Religion, by D. C. Somervell (Bell), pp. 101-211.

Science and the Unseen World, by Prof. Eddington (Allen & Unwin, at end of August, 2/6 edition). Browning's Death in the Desert;

Tennyson's In Memoriam.

V. Stanley's Sinai and Palestine (Murray), pp. 1-62.

Christian Beliefs and Modern Questions, by Canon Quick (S.C.M., 2/6). (Oliver Chase Quick)

Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven (Methuen's Anthology);

Tennyson's Holy Grail;

Browning's Christmas Eve and Easter Day.

Victorian Worthies, by G. H.Blore (oxford Press, 7/6).

Masterman's Sunday Collects (S.P.C.K.) {Name is: Sunday Collects: Studies for the Christian Year.}


VI. & V. ** (see Abbott & Seeley, Part II.) A good précis.

Essays on subjects suggested by the term's work in Literatyre, History, Science, or, on topics of the day. Occasionally, write verses, these must scan (see Abbott & Seeley, Part III.). The daily “reports” also come under this heading. Third Leaders from the Times (Arnold) will be found useful.

English Language.

Both Forms, parse and analyse every week.

VI. & V. ** English Lessons for English People, by E. A. Abbott & J. R. Seeley (Seeley), (VI.), pp. 190-216, (V.), pp. 96-125, with questions set.

VI. The Art of Reading, by Sir A. Quiller-Couch (Cambridge Press), pp. 1-106

V.** The Art of Writing, by R. L Stevenson (Chatto & Windus). (Trench will be continued next term).


VI. & V. (a) Euripedes' Alcestis (Vol. II. Dent).

VI. (b) Samuel Butler's Erewhon (Jonathan Cape).

(c) Thackeray's Pendennis (2 vols., Nelson) Vol 1. Vol 2.

(d) Meredith's Diana of the Crossways (Constable)

(e) Dowden's Life of Browning (dent)

(f) Browning's Poems (dent); Paracelsus, etc.

(g) Classical Studies by J. W. Mackail (Murray), Nos. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. {Some views here.}

(h) Come Hitherby Walter De la Mare (Revised Edition, Constable).

(I) Oxford Book of English Verse (Oxford Press)

V. (b) Shakespeare's Macbeth (Blackie).

(c) Thackeray's The Newcomes (Nelson, 2 vols.)

(d) Meredith's Evan Harrington (Constable)

(e) Carlyle's Essay on Burns (Oxford)

(f) Read from Browning's Poems, Vol. I. (Dent)

(g) Lockhart's Life of Scott(Dent)

(h) Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey (Chatto & Windus)

(i) Anthology of Modern Verse (Methuen)

(j) The Book of English Poetry (Jack) contemporary poets (1880-1920): Tennyson, Browning, etc. {Different title can be read here.} For reference only, English Literature by A. J. Wyatt (University Tutorial press)

Keep a Commonplace Book for passages that strike you particularly; learn a hundred lines of poetry; be able to give some account of what you have read in each book, with sketches of the chief characters.

English History.

VI. British History in the Nineteenth Century, by G. M. Trevelyan (Longmans, Green & Co.), pp. 309-424.

V.* A Short History of Great Britain since 1714, by R. B. Mowat (Oxford Press), pp. 637-753 (1880-1927), or, better, take VI. Work.

General History.

VI. The Legacy of the Ancient World, by W. G. De Burgh (Macdonald & Evans), pp. 220-263.

Warde Fowler's Rome(Butterworth). Read from Modern History, 1750-1925, by H. W. Hodges (Blackie), pp. 230-357 (1800-1925), contemporary history only.

V. Ancient Times, pp. 295-376 (700-445 B.C.) Medieval and Modern Times* (1880-1924), contemporary history only from pp. 697-805 (1927 edition).

VI. & V. Continue a Book of Centuries (P.N.E.U. Office) putting in illustrations from all the history studied during the term (Bible, English, General). Visit museums. Make summaries of dates and events. Use maps. Make charts. Smith's Classical Dictionary (Dent). A Classical Atlas (Dent).

Every-Day Morals and Economics.

VI. Plato's Trial and Death of Socrates: The Apology (Macmillan). The State and the Nation, by Edward Jenks (Dent) pp. 1-118.

V. Ourselves, Book II. (P.N.E.U Office), pp. 1-32. Ruskin's Crown of Wild Olive (Allen & Unwin).


VI. Roman Britain. (Preview) By R. Collingwood (Oxford Press). The Other Side of the Lantern, by Sir F. Treves (Cassell), pp. 215-319. A Shorter Physical Geography, by E. de Martonne (Christophers), pp. 114-225.

V. The English Speaking Nations, by G. W. Morris and L. S. Wood (Oxford Pres), pp. 116-142, with Ambleside Geography Book V. (Kegan Paul), pp. 173-209; America, Canada. Frequented Ways, by M. J. Newbigin (Constable), pp. 163-222, Huxley's Physiography (revised 1924, Macmillan), pp. 286-347. Mort's An Elementary Practical Geography (Blackie), pp. 77-88: Philips' Pocket Surveyor (Philip & Son), will be found useful.

VI. & V. The World Wide Atlas (Johnston, Edinburgh). Know from atlas (gazetteer) something about foreign regions coming most into note in the newspapers, and in connection with history, etc. studied. Summarise readings by memory maps on blackboard. Some account of the Physiography of your neighbourhood, with diagrams.

General Science.

VI. Britain's Heritage of Science, by Prof. A. Schuster and Sir Arthur Shipley (Constable), pp. 229-319. The Nature of the Physical World, by Prof. A. S. Eddington (cambridge Press), pp. 1-110.

V. Scientific Ideas of To-day, by C. R. Gibson (Seeley), pp. 230-257. Geikie's Geology (revised 1915, Macmillan), pp. 276-322. Some account of the geology of your neighbourhood, showing sections. The Ordnance Survey Geological Map of the British Isles (Stanford). Geological Map of Europe (Oxford Press).

[C.S.C. 2nd year's work only. V.* Elements of Natural Science, Part I., by W. B. Smith (Arnold), pp.108-160, instead of Geology.]

Biology, Botany, etc.

VI. The Study of Animal Life, by J. Arthur Thomson (Murray), pp. 1-47. The Romance of the Human Body, by R. C. Macfie (Gardner, Darton), pp. 1-44

V. Botany,* by D. Thoday (Cambridge Press), pp.14-87, and 219-238. [2nd Year C.S.C. Only: *Applied Botany, by J. S. M. Ellis (Hodder & Stoughton), pp. 156-240]. For suggestions for out-door work: Dr. Caver's Botany* (University Press) will be found useful. See questions following chapters x., xi., xxvi., xxvii. (ecology, roots, conifers).

Specimens must be found, if possible, for all botanical work, and experiments must be made, Keep a Nature Note-Book with flower and bird lists (P.N.E.U. Office). For out-door study, Spore Dispersal Among Fungi (S.N.S.U. Leaflet, No. 36).


VI. The Vault of Heaven, by Sir Richard Gregory (Methuen), pp. 135-193, or, work with V.

V. The Story of the Heavens, by Sir R. S. Ball (Cassell), pp. 192-253 (chapters ix., x., xi., and first half of xii.).

Follow newspaper reports on astronomical subjects. Make charts of the changes in position of the constellations visible. Stars at a Glace (Philip).


VI. & V.* L'Enseignement Littéraire du Français, by J. Molmy, Vol. II. (Hachette), lessons 51-60. Take a French paper (list can be obtained from Hachette). Le Gendre de M. Poirier (Hechette).

VI. Ruy Blas. By Victor Hugo (Nelson). The Oxford Book of French Verse (Oxford Press).

V.* A Book of French Verse (Oxford Press), learn two poems. Le Petit Chose, by A. Daudet (Harrap).


VI. Allen's Latin Grammar(Clarendon Press), pp. 3-15; 118-121; 134 and 135. Limen, Part II. (Murray), pp. 268-279; 173-207. A Book of Latin Poetry (Methuen). Horace's Odes, I. (Macmillan), Nos. 25-38.

V.* Limen (Murray), pp. 1-95, or, (second year), pp. 173-207. Virgil, Aenid VII. (Macmillan), lines 1-273. Dies Romani, by W. F. Witton (Arnold), may be used for practice in translation.


VI. & V. A Public School German Primer (Macmillan), VI.: revise pp. 102-130; 255-256. V.: pp. 25-37 inclusive. Learn poems from Deutsche Lyrik (Macmillan).

VI. Scheddel's Der Trompeter von Säkkingen(Harrup).

V. Storm's Immensee (Hachette).

Italian (In preference to German)

VI. & V. Italian Lessons and Readings, by C. U. Clark (Harrup): (VI.) read from Part II., using Part I. And Appendices for studies in Grammar, (V.) lessons 19-23, inclusive. Italian Irregular Verbs (Hachette). The Hundred Best Italian Poems (Gowans & Gray).

VI. read six cantos from Dante's Il Purgatorio (Dent). Le Mie Prigione (Hachette).

V. Cuore (Hachette).


VI. &V.* Pendlebury's New School Arithmetic, Part II. (Bell), pp. 306-315, 320-321, 323-328, 411-414; or (2nd year), pp. 316-317, 322, 330-332, 335-339.

Geometry and Trigonometry.

VI. & V.* A Shorter School Geometry, {another book, same author} by H. Hall and F. Stevens (Macmillan), pp. 232-252, or (2nd year) pp. 270-277, and revise sections V. The School Set of Mathematical Instruments (P.N.E.U Office). [2nd Year C.S.C. Numerical Trigonometry, Part I., by A. W. Siddons and R. T. Hughes (Cambridge Press), chapters 3 and 4].


VI. & V.* A School Algebra, by H. Hall, Parts I. And II. (Macmillan), pp. 219-223, 240-244, 250-254, or (second year), 345-362, 385-394.

Art Studies.

VI. The Painters of Florence, by Julia Cartwright (Murray), chapters xv-xix. inclusive. A Short Critical History of Architecture, by H. Heathcote Satham, Vol. I. (Batsford), chapter I.

V. *Schools of Painting, by M. Innes (Methuen), chapters xxix and xxx. *The Story of Architecture, by P. L. Waterhouse (Batsford), pp. 228-261 {another book, same author/subject}. For reference: Styles of Architecture, by A. Stratton (Batsford).

VI. & V. Six reproductions of works by Vermeer* (P.N.E.U. Office), see September P.R.


The Speaking Voice, by Emil Behnke (Curwen & Son), pp. 194-206, with practice of previous exercises. The Art of Reading and Speaking, by Canon Fleming (Arnold).

Musical Appreciation.

VI. & V.* Bach: see article in August P. R. The Term's Music, by C. H. Glover (Kegan Paul). Parry's Studies of Great Composers. The Enjoyment of Music, by A. W. Pollit (Methuen).


VI. & V.* (a) Studies of Great Composers, by Sir C. H. Parry (Routledge): Beethoven.

(b) An Introduction to Music, by H. E. Piggott (Dent)

(c) Pollitt's The Enjoyment of Music.

(d) Foundations of Practical Harmony and Counterpoint, by R. O. Morris (Macmillan), four chapters each term; see preface.

(e) For revision, Elements of Music, by F. Davenport (longmans).

(f) *Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonata in C Major, Opus 2, No. 3, {audio} Universal Ed., No. 4012 (Curwen)


Two French songs; two Italian songs or two German songs. Two national or Folk Songs,* direct from Novello & Co., or from The Oxford Song Book, Vol. II. (Oxford Press). Songs from Bach's Christmas Oratorio {audio} (Novello, Parts I. And II.).

Drill, etc.

A Manual of Free Standing Movements, by H. D. Hassum (Hachette). Syllabus of Physical Training for Schools, 1927, Supplement No. 12 (H.M. Stationery Office). Ex-studemts tale House of Education Drills. Six Country Dances: music and Instructions, price 6d. Each dance (direct from Novello), or, The Country Dance Books, Part i.-vi. {Vol 5,} (Novello). Hockey; Lacrosse.

Work: Arts and Crafts.

Drawing, Design and Craftwork,* by F. J. Glass (Batsford): studies of form in nature; animals, trees, plants, from memory, pp. 26-83.

The Basis of Design,* by Walter Crane (Bell), pp. 3020373.

Pewter Work: See Glass, pp. 211-217 (1927 edition), and Pewter Work, by J. S. Reeve (Dryad). Beautiful Lettering for Schools, by M. Judson (Dryad). Studies of animals: Animal Drawing and Anatomy by Edwin Noble (Batsford). Help in a Christmas entertainment for poor children. Make Christmas presents.

Valuable suggestions will be found for the teaching of all Handicrafts and Drawing in the following; Applied Art, by Pedro J. Lemos (Batsford).

Do some definite house and garden work. Practical Housecraft: (1) Housewifery, (2) Laundry, (3) Cooking (Longmans). {Full name The Concise Series of Practical Housecraft} Art in Needlework, by Lewis F. day and M. Buckle (Batsford). Darn and mend each week. Make or knit a garment and send to a miner's child. (An address can be had from Ambleside.) Woolcraft, Book 9 (Patons & Baldwin), may be used. {PDF: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3}


The Cambridge University School Certificate Examination may be taken on the work set in the P.U.S. Programme for Form V. For particulars write to the Director, Parents' Union School, Ambleside, and see subjects marked.*

Teachers who are sending in candidates for the Cambridge Certificate Examination are asked to communicate with the Director as some modifications in the work are sometimes necessary.

N.B. 1. - In home schoolrooms, Forms VI. And V. may work together in all history and literature subjects.

N.B. 2. - For principles and methods of teaching the various subjects see Home education, School Education, Parents and Children (P.N.E.U. Office). A record of work should be kept (see leaflet H.).

N.B. 3. - In grammar (English and foreign) and in mathematics there must be no gaps (see leaflet G). Pupils, if not at the stage indicated, must go on from where they left off, but they will be handicapped in the future unless they can do the work set for the Form.

N.B. 4. - Each pupil should have a copy of the books, etc, marked * and a set of the Pictures and materials. One copy of the other books is sufficient. The books from “drawing” onwards are advisable but optional. The work of the Programmes cannot be fully carried out unless each child keeps a Nature Note Book and a Century Book.

N.B. 5. - Members are particularly asked to follow the notes under Our Work and in Notes and Queries in the Parents' Review.

N.B. 6. - Members are asked to remember than an average pupil should cover the whole programme suitable for his age; also that provision is made for holiday and evening reading, occupations and hobbies.

N.B. 7. - The current Programmes are for Members of the School only and must not be lent. Specimen copies of old Programmes can be obtained by members from the Director, Parents' Union School, Ambleside.

N.B. 8 – All books, etc., may be obtained from the Secretary of the P.N.E.U., 26, Victoria Street, London, S.W. 1, as well as exercise books bearing the school motto, 5d. and 3d. each, and Cambridge paper for Examination, 1/- for 4 quires (not less) single, double lines (two rulings) and squares; special clipped book post envelopes 3 for 4d. Drawing paper, 20 sheets for 6d. Drawing Books, painting paper (9d.) The School Badge (silver, 4/-, metal, 9d.). Book plates, gummed and ungummed (25 for 6d). P.U.S. Hatbands, ties, belts, badges and blazers obtainable at various prices. Prayer and Hymn (1d.).

N.B. 9. - All letters about the School and Programmes, except book orders, should be sent to The Director, Parents' Union School, Ambleside, Westmorland. Members are asked to send the School Fee direct to Ambleside. The P.N.E.U. Subscription should be sent to the London Office, also money for books with the enclosed Order Form; orders should be sent as early as possible.

* The 115th term of work set since the Parents' Union School began.