Alongside our usual programme work, all schools are welcome to participate in the following special initiatives.
Thanks to a generous grant from the A. G. Leventis Foundation, we launched the Electra Programme in 2017. This project supports the teaching of Ancient Greek in state primary and secondary schools across the UK. Originally funded for a three year period, we are delighted to have secured additional support from the A. G. Leventis Foundation for 2020-2022 and have ambitious plans to further strengthen the teaching of Ancient Greek language and culture in the state sector over this period.
Why Ancient Greek?
The study of Ancient Greek language and culture has long been considered a privilege for the few, not the many, but this picture is changing: the study of ancient languages is now part of the Key Stage 2 languages curriculum and a growing number of schools across the country are choosing to teach Greek at both primary and secondary level. Since 2017, we have introduced Ancient Greek into over 62 state schools across the country, many of which are in areas of deprivation. Through the Electra Programme, over 1400 state pupils have had the opportunity to explore the language and culture of Ancient Greece for the first time.
Studying Ancient Greek can:
enrich pupils’ study of the Greeks and Romans as part of Key Stage 2 history curriculum;
promote cross-curricular approaches to the teaching of Personal Social Health Education, citizenship, science, maths, design and technology, geography and the arts;
enhance pupils’ cultural literacy: classical mythology forms the bedrock of much modern art and literature, and is constantly reworked in theatre and in the visual arts, film and pop-culture;
support English literacy by enhancing grammatical understanding and providing insight into the origins of words, their spelling and the meaning of prefixes and suffixes;
scaffold language learning for pupils performing below age-related expectations, or pupils with English as an additional language;
stretch and challenge the most able students;
complement Modern Foreign Language learning at primary and secondary level.
This short video highlights the positive impact that Ancient Greek lessons are having in two Cambridge schools that are funded through the Electra Programme – Parkside Community College and St Matthew’s Primary School.
We are looking to find state schools that are interested in developing the teaching of Greek, either as a club or on the mainstream curriculum. As part of the Electra programme, we are also identifying ‘centres of excellence’ – i.e. state or independent schools where Greek is already taught – that could serve as a model for others or provide support for teachers and students who are new to Greek.
We can provide free training and support for schools interested in introducing Greek, and we are also developing additional resources to support the teaching of Greek in primary and secondary schools. Explore our Resources pages for more information about Greek resources available for each Key Stage.
In 2020 a key priority for us is to undertake more targeted work with schools in areas of challenge –urban areas of high socio-economic deprivation, peripheral coastal communities and areas where pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds experience the lowest levels of social mobility.
We are delighted to have been awarded three year funding from The Rank Foundation (2020-2023) which will enable us to develop two existing regional networks, Birmingham and the West Midlands, and Blackpool, and to build networks in three new areas of the UK. Both Birmingham and Blackpool have pockets of high socio-economic deprivation where schools with identified needs are clustered in tight geographic localities. Our three new target areas are all smaller coastal towns/cities with high levels of income inequality and unemployment:
Plymouth and Torbay
Dundee and Kirkcaldy
East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
We aim to introduce classics in at least three new primary schools and one new secondary school each year in each area; in at least 14 of 20 schools the numbers of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium funding will be above the national average.
We are particularly keen to work with new schools in these five areas and can provide free tailored support to enable the introduction of classical subjects sustainably on the curriculum or on an extra-curricular basis. We can also offer free training, at both primary and secondary level, for those wishing to incorporate some elements of classics teaching into other curriculum subjects (e.g. Modern Foreign Languages, English or History) or for teachers interested in exploring how Latin and Greek word roots can help students decode English vocabulary.
Alongside working directly with schools, we are also keen to develop productive new partnerships with cultural and heritage institutions in each area.
If you would like to find out more about this project and how your school or institution could benefit, please contact [email protected].
Are you running an extra-curricular classics club? Would you like to recognise your students' achievements in classics?
The Olympus Challenge recognises the work of students studying classics on an extra-curricular basis. To complete the challenge, students must choose three modules from a choice of five options. This flexibility enables groups to tailor the challenge according to their own interests.
A: at least one term studying a cultural or historical topic related to classics
B: at least one term studying classical literature
C: at least one term studying Latin or Greek
D: a creative response (e.g. film, drama, art, creative writing) to a classical topic
E: a study visit to a museum, classical site, theatre etc. which culminates in a presentation or debate on a topic related to the classical world.
All students who complete the challenge will receive a certificate from Classics for All, endorsed by a number of our university and further education partners.
The Challenge is open to students at all Key Stages but detailed advice can be provided about suitable resources for different age groups. For further information about module choices and the entry process, please download the documents below. For any other questions, please contact [email protected].
Are you currently training to teach in the UK? Are you interested in developing your own classical knowledge? Are you keen to explore how classics could be your main subject or your extra-curricular teaching?
This Classics in the Classroom award has been developed with the Bristol and South West Network and Joan Foley, English PGCE course leader at University of West England (UWE), Bristol. The award, launched with secondary school trainee teachers in 2020, is suitable for for trainee primary and secondary teachers of any subject discipline and encourages new teachers to explore ways using the ancient world to enrich and enhance the wider school curriculum.
To complete the award, trainees choose three from a choice of five modules. This allows trainees to tailor the award to their own interests and subject specialisms. Examples of evidence are provided on the award information sheet but this is not an exhaustive list; we encourage trainees to demonstrate their learning in other ways where appropriate. All trainees who complete the award will receive a certificate from Classics for All. Entries can be submitted at any point in the academic year.
Following a successful pilot with UWE Bristol in 2020, we are delighted to open the award up to a wider audience for the 2020-21 academic year. If you run a teacher training course or are embarking on a teacher training course (PGCE, SCITT etc.) yourself, please contact [email protected] for full details about the award and how to participate.
"I have been very excited to have the opportunity to complete the Classics in the Classroom award alongside my PGCE. I believe bringing classics into the classroom is an excellent way to engage students of all abilities, nurture an appreciation for language and develop students’ cultural capital by introducing them to the captivating myths that are often alluded to in the texts studied in class. I am excited to bring classics into my classroom next year and share this new passion through extra-curricular clubs."
Secondary English PGCE student and Classics in the Classroom award participant, UWE Bristol, July 2020
Each summer, we offer state school teachers free training to support the teaching and learning of classics. In previous years, this has taken the form of a two day summer school, kindly hosted by Harrow School, at the end of August. However, in response to Covid-19, we moved the courses online for 2021 and have continued to hold them online since.
In 2023, the summer school will run from Monday 21st August to Wednesday 23rd August. Four different language classes will run in the mornings (2.5 hours each day). In the afternoons, we are delighted to be offering a series of 2 hour workshops on Classics at KS3, aimed primarily at those who are interested in incorporating some classics into their teaching of English or History.
This training is open to anyone teaching, or training to teach, in state schools and colleges in the UK. Whether you are interested in introducing classical subjects into your school or college for the first time, or whether you would like to refresh your subject knowledge to enhance what you currently teach, we hope that you will find this opportunity valuable.
Further information about the 2023 summer school can be found here.
To apply, please complete our online sign up form by 30th June.
If you have any questions about the summer school, please email [email protected]
Classics for All is delighted to be working in partnership with the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) to launch a new Project Qualification (PQ) to support the study of classics at Key Stages 2 & 3 in the state sector.
The Exploring the Ancient World PQ provides an exciting opportunity for pupils to develop independent project learning skills while engaging with an aspect of the ancient world that motivates and inspires them.
Designed to complement the Key Stage 2 & 3 curriculum, the PQ allows pupils to identify a question, research the answer, develop their views in light of research, present their findings and reflect on the learning process. The emphasis throughout is on process rather than output, and pupils are encouraged to respond creatively to their project question.
For more information, please see this introductory poster and read the course specifications for KS2 and KS3. The award is free to enter and we have developed a range of teaching resources to support the project process - all available to view here. Information about how to register for the award with ISEB can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to register your interest in this new PQ qualification, please email [email protected]