Welcome to Classics for All's second quarterly e-newsletter! We are pleased to bring you the latest news from our schools and regional networks across the country. In this update, read about...
• How classics has reinvigorated a love of teaching at The Bewdley School
• The launch of Classics for All's new Resources Hub
• Good news for Greek
• Classics for All's Teaching Awards - 5 July 2023
• Overboard! Who will sink or swim? - 27 September 2023
As we draw to the end of exam season, we take our hats off to teachers and students across the country who have worked hard in the run up to GCSE and A Level exams in classical subjects, and SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in Latin and Classical Studies. We would also like to share an encouraging statistic from this year's Ofqual data (reported in Schools Week) that shows a huge boost in popularity for classics:
"At GCSE, entries to classical subjects rose by 24.7 per cent, from 3,595 to 4,480, while at A-level entries increased by 20 per cent, from 4,875 to 5,855."
This tremendous rise shows that interest in classical subjects is growing. We are proud to play a significant part in this through our support for state schools.
Passion for classics at The Bewdley School
According to teachers at The Bewdley School, one of the schools' greatest sources of pride is its appetite for Classical Studies! Situated in Worcestershire on the banks of the River Severn, The Bewdley School is a medium-sized secondary school that kickstarted its grassroots classics department in 2020 with A Level Classical Civilisation.
Sixth form pupils embraced their new A Level option with overwhelming enthusiasm. The subject has since expanded to the lower school through an extra-curricular classics club for Key Stage 3 pupils and a very popular GCSE option for Key Stage 4. This year, the school enhanced its classics offering further, successfully introducing GCSE Latin alongside other Modern Foreign Languages.
Classics for All has supported Bewdley's budding classics department with teacher training to develop subject knowledge and teaching practice. Here's what one of the teachers had to say...
"Teaching Classics has reinvigorated my love of teaching. It is a joy to pass on my expertise not only to students, but also to other teaching staff. We learn so much as professionals when we teach and mentor each other - especially if this takes place alongside our students. It is an opportunity to model learning and brings a positive, competitive edge to study and thus, raises the goals.
The introduction of Classical Civilisation A Level has lifted the aspirational tone of our sixth form. Students who might never have had access to the rich cultural capital of an A Level in Classics, outperformed in classics AND other subjects as a result. From our first cohort of classicists, half of them have gone on to study Classics at University.
Visits to The British Museum and university lecture days have also served to broaden our students' horizons. One of the highlights of this academic year was watching the care and enjoyment of our students as they visited The Barber Institute and closely inspected the paintings and sculptures.
Introducing classics has made our curriculum special, aspirational and engaging: this should be a right for all sixth formers in state schools!" - Teacher, The Bewdley School
Introducing our new Resources Hub
After months in the making, we are thrilled to launch our brand new Resources Hub - an online platform where teachers can find reliable and high quality resources to support the teaching of classical subjects across all key stages.
This new hub is free to access for all state schools and brings together the very best classics teaching resources under one roof. All materials on the hub are recommended by Classics for All, and many have been directly commissioned by us or produced by teachers or academic staff in our partner schools or universities.
We couldn't have created this hub without the generous support of our donors and vital contributions from our networks and partners. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in bringing the hub to life!
Hundreds of pupils sit the ICCG exam
If you read our Autumn 2022 Classics Matters newsletter, you may recall an article by classics teacher Claire Le Hur on a new initiative to save Greek from the brink.
The Intermediate Certificate in Classical Greek (ICCG) is a new pre-GCSE Greek qualification developed by Classics for All in partnership with the Classical Association and the Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT). It was designed to be an accessible alternative to the full GCSE, which demands a lot of teaching hours and is not a feasible option for many schools. After a successful pilot with 15 schools in 2022, the first official, open to all ICCG exam takes place this June.
We are delighted to report that we now have 458 pupils signed up to sit the ICCG exam, and hearteningly, over half - 242! - are from state schools. Given the dwindling number of state and independent schools teaching Greek, this number is hugely encouraging and shows great promise for a revival of Greek in schools.
We wish the very best of luck to every ICCG entrant. Or should we say... εὐτυχοίης!
Classics for All's Teaching Awards 2023
Classics for All warmly invites you to its third annual Teaching Awards ceremony on Wednesday 5 July 2023 from 5:30-6:30pm.
This special, online event is an opportunity for us to celebrate the outstanding achievements of teachers who have gone above and beyond in the last year to bring classics to young people in their schools.
The evening will be hosted by Classics for All’s Chairman, Jimmy Mulville, and will feature guest appearances from Kitty Low, a Classics MA student at Cambridge and committee member of The Chorus (Classics for All's youth network) and Rhiannon Litterick, a former Learning Officer at the Sir John Soane’s Museum, who has collaborated with Classics for All on numerous projects to engage pupils with art and visual culture.
This event is free and open to all. Click here to register on Zoom.
Save the Date: Overboard!
When Poseidon sends a tempest to stir up the Aegean, four titans of the ancient world find themselves stuck on a rapidly sinking boat...
Who will stay and who will be thrown overboard?
Watch in awe as four top classicists go head-to-head in this compelling and hilarious debate. Each will make the case for why a famous character from antiquity should be thrown overboard. At the end of it all, you decide who is consigned to the watery depths!
This debate will take place on Wednesday 27 September 2023 at Linklaters LLP (One Silk Street, London) and will be livestreamed online. More details coming soon...
Thank you for reading our latest news! To keep up with Classics for All's work, sign up to our quarterly newsletter here.