Alongside our usual programme work, all schools are welcome to participate in the following special initiatives. 

The Electra Programme

Supporting Ancient Greek in state schools

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.

Get involved

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. 

If you are interested in participating in this funded project or would like to find out more, please contact Hilary Hodgson, the Grants and Programmes Director at Classics for All (grants@classicsforall.org.uk) or Apply for Support. 

The Rank Foundation logo

Widening access to classics: a targeted regional approach

A three year project, funded by The Rank Foundation, to support the development of classics teaching in five key geographical areas

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 hannah@classicsforall.org.uk

The Olympus Challenge

A classics challenge open to students at all Key Stages

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. 

Options

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 hannah@classicsforall.org.uk

Olympus Challenge poster

Olympus Challenge entry form

N.B During the Covid-19 school closure period (March-July 2020), we ran an adapted version of the Olympus Challenge suitable for those learning independently at home. The deadline for submitting entries for this version of the Olympus Challenge was 17th July. Thanks to all students who entered; your work will be reviewed over the summer and certificates will be sent out to schools in time for the start of the new year in September. From September 2020, we will revert to the standard version of the Challenge as outlined above. 

Classics in the Classroom award

An award for trainee teachers

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.  

Image of a frog, phoenix and a helmet on classroom chairs

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. 

Classics in the Classroom award information

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 hannah@classicsforall.org.uk 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

Free teacher courses in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation

CfA's annual summer school for teachers - hosted at Harrow School (online for 2020)

Each summer, we offer state school teachers free training to support the teaching and learning of classics. Usually this takes the form of a two day summer school, kindly hosted by Harrow School, at the end of August. However, in response to Covid-19, this year we have moved the courses online. We hope to revert to usual format in August 2021.

This year, we will be offering our usual Latin and Greek courses (at a range of different levels). We are also delighted to be offering a dedicated GCSE Classical Civilisation course for the first time.  

Teachers engaged in a primary classics workshop in 2019

This training is open to anyone teaching in state secondary schools and colleges in the UK. Whether you are interested in introducing Latin, Ancient Greek or classical civilisation 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.

Group 1: Beginners’ Latin  
Group 2: Intermediate Latin  
Group 3: Beginners’ Greek 
Group 4: Intermediate Greek 
Group 5: Teaching Latin & Greek Literature at GCSE 
Group 6: Teaching GCSE Classical Civilisation 

All groups are now full for the 2020 online summer school and registration has now closed. For those who have a place on the course, detailed course information can be found here. 

June 2020 course update

Course poster and timings

Final information, along with links to all the Zoom sessions, will be circulated by email in the second week of August. 

If you have any questions about this year's course, please email hannah@classicsforall.org.uk