In this year’s Big Give Campaign, our focus is on creating fairer access to classics for all pupils in the UK; one of our newest schools helping us address this inequality is Hartside Primary Academy.

In the North East, just on the edge of the Pennines, Hartside Primary Academy belongs to a region with some of the highest deprivation rates and lowest attainment levels in UK, where classics being on a curriculum is extremely rare. Thanks to the support of our new North East Network, run by Dr Laura Hope and funded by last year's Big Give Campaign, Hartside Primary Academy have just begun their training to introduce Latin to all 120 of their Key Stage 2 pupils.

Their journey began with teacher Tim Pratt attending one of Classics for All’s taster training sessions earlier this year and, after seeing the potential ancient languages have for the modern curriculum, the idea of bringing Latin to his pupils stuck with him.

“Some children from our primary go on to study French at secondary, some Spanish, and others German. When they get to secondary, any previous language learning is pretty much disregarded and they start from scratch again. It seemed that teaching children how to learn a foreign language might be a better idea than learning a particular language itself. Added to this was the emphasis that we place in school on improving children’s vocabulary. Teaching Latin ticked all the boxes.”

Children's Collage of The Odyssey
Hartside Primary pupil's collage of The Odyssey

Soon after Tim’s taster training session, Dr Laura Hope arranged a fabulous classics experience for Hartside Primary’s pupils. Students spent the day learning all about The Odyssey and creating brilliant collages based on artist Romare Bearden’s series ‘A Black Odyssey’, giving teachers a chance to see the passion classics brings and an opportunity to discuss with a Classics for All expert the Latin resources available and how to bring classics to their school.

After hearing about their opportunities and seeing the quality of resources produced by Classics for All, Hartside applied for and received a training grant.

Children's Collage of The Odyssey
Hartside Primary pupil's Odyssey collage

“The application process for funding to train our teaching staff was very straightforward”

By this time next year, Hartside Primary Academy will be one of the first state maintained primary schools in the North East teaching Latin. With your support we can ensure that they are not the last.

If you'd like to support our work, please click here to donate to our Big Give Christmas Challenge Campaign during Big Give week (Tuesday 28 November - Tuesday 5 December) and DOUBLE your donation at no extra cost to you.