Welcome to Classics for All's first quarterly e-newsletter! We are pleased to bring you the latest news from our schools and classics networks across the country. In this update, read about...
• Primary Latin lessons in London's East End
• School trips from Vindolanda to Verulamium
• Bringing together our regional network coordinators
• Fully-funded bursaries for state school teachers
• The Chorus: our budding network for young classicists
Introducing Latin in London's East End
Since 2021, Classics for All has supported Latin at Beam County Primary School - a large primary school in Barking and Dagenham, one of the most socially deprived boroughs in London. Over 70% of pupils don't speak English as their first language, and when teachers first approached Classics for All, they were keen to build pupils' English vocabulary through Latin. Two years on, Latin is taught as the school's main language to all pupils from Year 3 onwards - and they love it!
On a recent visit to the school, London Network Coordinator Anna Bell spoke to Year 5 pupils learning Latin through Minimus. They were very enthusiastic about the fact that they are learning a language that most schools don’t teach as it made them feel special. When asked whether they thought everyone should be able to learn Latin, their immediate answer was a resounding “YES!”.
Year 3 pupils were equally vocal about their enjoyment of Latin. When asked about what they are currently learning, they spontaneously broke out into a Latin Verb Ending song, set to the tune of "We Will Rock You”! They also talked about enjoying learning about the classical myths and the links between Latin and English.
Classics for All's school trip grants
In 2021, guests at our Gala Dinner helped us raise £10,000 for a School Trip fund - enough to provide 40 state schools with grants to run classics trips to museums or archaeological sites! The grants were a huge hit with schools. Many would not have been able to run classics trips without them. Here are some of their stories...
North Liverpool Academy
Classics for All started work with North Liverpool Academy in 2021, helping set up a Latin programme for Year 7 and 8 students. Situated in a disadvantaged area of Liverpool, Pupil Premium and Free School Meal levels are significantly higher than national average at 60% and 58% respectively.
Many pupils have not left Liverpool before, so the school was delighted to receive a grant to take 60 pupils to Hadrian’s Wall for a two-day summer school on Roman Britain.
A student wrote, “On arrival in Vindolanda, we met with the Director of Archaeology, Andrew Birley, who explained what they were digging at the moment. We watched the archaeologists at work and as we walked around the site, we saw the remains of a pub, the baths, a grain store, houses and barracks.”
Their teacher told us that although the students already knew a great deal about Roman life from their studies, the opportunity to see artefacts from the daily lives of people who lived 1,900 years ago truly brought the ancient world to life.
Great Abington Primary School, Cambridgeshire
The school trip fund allowed Great Abington Primary School to take 80 children from Years 3-6 to the Verulamium Museum in St Albans. The school was keen to deepen pupils’ understanding of the Romans in Britain as part of their history topic on the Romans and ongoing Latin teaching across Key Stage 2.
Teacher Helen Colchester wrote, “Over the day, pupils took part in a workshop where they explored different artefacts from Roman times (some originals, some replicas) working out what they were made from and what they might have been used for. The day has really brought to life our Roman topic and enthused the children further about learning about both history and Latin!”
Together again at last
This February, Classics for All’s regional network coordinators travelled from far and wide to convene at the University of Birmingham for a two-day summit with Classics for All's central programme team. This was the first in-person gathering of network coordinators since 2019 and it brought reunions with old friends and long overdue face-to-face meetings with newer ones (despite having worked together online for years in some cases!).
Over two days, the programme team and regional coordinators put their heads together to discuss everything from strategic objectives to the nuts and bolts of running a regional network. Punctuated with a team dinner to catch up and put the world to rights, all went home armed with new ideas, inspiration, and perhaps most importantly, freshly renewed bonds of friendship.
Special thanks goes to Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos of the University of Birmingham for generously hosting the occasion.
Fully-funded bursaries for state school teachers
Classics for All is delighted to be partnering with the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) for a second year to offer four full bursaries to teachers wishing to enrol on the Undergraduate Certificate in Classical Studies course.
Aimed at non-specialist teachers working in disadvantaged schools, these bursaries provide an opportunity for teachers seeking to bring classical inspiration into their classrooms to gain a high-level qualification in classics. The deadline for bursary applications is 15th May. Click here to find out more about the UG Cert in Classical Studies.
"Receiving the ICE bursary to study an undergraduate certificate in Classics at University of Cambridge has been a life-changing experience. As a Head of Classics in a state school with no background in Classics, this opportunity has allowed me to introduce and sustain our bespoke Classics offer that is ambitious and engaging. I am able to confidently engage with the Classical world, tapping into classical references that surrounds us in modern society.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every seminar and assignment, and I know my classical journey has only begun. I cannot thank Classics for All enough for their endless support - I can proudly say that I work in a state school in East London that offers Classical Civilisation, Ancient Greek and Latin on timetable from Year 7 to Year 11. Kelmscott owes its success to the generosity and kindness of Classics for All." - Saziye Ahmet, Head of Classics, Kelmscott School, Walthamstow
Introducing... The Chorus
Classics for All is thrilled to introduce 'The Chorus' - our budding network for young classicists. Open to any young person aged 16 to 25, The Chorus aims to connect like-minded classics enthusiasts from across the UK.
As part of this, The Chorus is proud to launch:
The Forum: Termly online gatherings, where Chorus members will have the opportunity to hear from other students, enjoy seminars by guest speakers, and have a platform to share their ideas.
The Rostra: Our new student blog. Covering everything from 'Star Wars as a reception of the Odyssey' to Kitty Low's monthly classics roundup, The Rostra is a platform for Chorus members to write about their experiences of studying classics and aspects of the classical world that inspire them.
To find out more about The Chorus and how to join, please visit our website here.
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