Study to be Quiet
Posted on: 3/3/2016

Thursday 9th July to Thursday 16th July 2015

A conference to inspire, challenge and nourish teachers with a genuine interest in the universal process of education. A fine balance of study, reflection, conversation and recreation.

Sponsored by

Venue: villaboccella

We are fortunate to be based in the Villa Boccella, a 17th century estate just outside the city of Lucca. It is quiet, beautiful and spacious.

The delegates will be housed in various villas (shared accommodation) and there are study rooms, a library, dining areas, extensive gardens and a swimming pool.
The villa itself is an integral part of the conference and ensures a delightful atmosphere in which to study, socialise and relax.

You will enjoy the olive oil and wine produced by the estate which accompanies the abundant locally produced food.


As in 2013 the delegates will be from all types of school and many different cultures and countries. The common factor is the love of an education that meets the whole child.

Countries represented include: UK, India, South Africa, Australia, Trinidad, USA, New Zealand.


The daily programme has a natural design and seeks to inspire all aspects of a teacher’s vocation.

  • Reflection
  • Study of Principles of Education
  • Study of a chosen Subject
  • Meetings on educational issues
  • Visits to Renaissance Cities, e.g. Lucca and Florence
  • Al fresco dining
  • Recreation (e.g. time in the pool!).



All delegates will enjoy ‘Quiet time’. The day begins with one hour, where after a short meeting, people can enjoy a period of stillness and silence. This can include meditation, reflection, study or simply a walk through the tranquil surroundings.

Study of Principle

Four discussion groups will be offered to explore the essential principles of education and their practical application


At present this year we are offering four subject groups. They are designed to inspire the individual teacher and to deepen one area of subject knowledge. These sessions are practical, informative and relevant to current education and will enhance curriculum development

  • Classical Literature: A step into the magnificence of the Greek Tradition
  • Art: Practical painting classes in a beautiful environment
  • Sanskrit: An academic and exquisite language
  • Geometry: Hands-on drawing with study of geometric patterns

If there is enough interest a fifth group of English or Science could be provided.

The Evening Meetings are on a variety of educational topics.

Impressions of the 4th International Teachers Conference from a 2013 delegate.

‘Sitting within the stunning grounds of an early 18th century Tuscan villa, complete with vineyards and olive groves producing its own wine and olive oil, with the sun beating down and a beautiful swimming pool at our disposal, this really was the setting for the 4th International Teachers Conference!

I was very pleased to join headteachers and teachers from all over the world to study, reflect, explore my chosen subject, discuss a wide range of issues with delegates, meet old friends and make new ones.

The event is advertised as ‘a course to refresh teachers’ and this is just what it did. There was a chance to delve deeply into a beloved subject or an opportunity to develop another skill.

We studies principles of education, we had a quiet hour, we sang every evening and each afternoon in the heat of the day there was time to relax, swim, walk, visit nearby Lucca or even study further (or sleep!).

It was very useful to meet and speak to people at the conference to gain a greater understanding of the needs of their schools and communities and to hear first-hand the excellent work they are doing, often in difficult circumstances.

It was also delightful to get to know some teachers outside the family of St James Schools who responded to the invitation to join the conference. Their contributions were highly valued and it would be lovely to see more delegates from other schools to share in the quality, peace and harmony of the occasion.’

Course Director: Paul Moss