On Wednesday 5 July 2022, Classics for All marked its third annual Teaching Awards Ceremony to recognise the outstanding achievements of schools, teachers, and network coordinators across the country.
This special, online event was 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 was hosted by Classics for All’s Chairman, Jimmy Mulville, and featured 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 was a virtual event so we’re pleased to share our recording of it more widely.
Norbreck Primary Academy (Blackpool Network)
The first of our awards goes to Norbreck Academy in Blackpool, where Kate Haworth has been a phenomenal champion for Latin. From offering no Latin just a few years ago, Kate now leads a team of three other teachers, with Latin taught across the three form-entry school from years 3 to year 6 – that’s over 300 pupils! The school and staff have featured in promotional films highlighting the benefits of Latin for students.
Yealmpstone Farm Primary School (Devon & Cornwall Network)
Down in the Southwest, the school nominated for Devon and Cornwall by co-ordinator, Mike Beer, is Yealmpstone Farm Primary School. Since training Esther Archer to introduce Latin, Mike checks in regularly and is delighted by how enthusiastically Esther champions Latin in her school. She attends network events, encourages her colleagues. She also hosts sessions for teachers showing other local schools how to get started. A superb team effort.
St Winifride’s Catholic Voluntary Academy (Leicester Network)
Under the inspired leadership of Sophie Waldram, St Winefride's Roman Catholic Voluntary Academy in Shepshed, Leicestershire, has shown huge commitment to teaching about the ancient world.
Only a year in, over 63 pupils in years 3 to 5 are now learning Latin on the curriculum. Teachers have noticed that pupils with Special Education Needs have benefited particularly from the change to an ancient language. Pupils have also relished the chance to learn more about life in Leicestershire under the Romans through excellent resources designed by the team at Leicester University.
Sophie recently held a Roman day for other schools in the trust, inspiring two more schools to join the growing East Midlands network.
The best advocates for learning are always the pupils - St Winefride's pupils say "A lot of English words derive from Latin. This helps us to learn more." "I like that we get to learn about the past and about real Roman families and real Roman artefacts."
Beam County Primary School (London & SE Network)
In the capital, the spotlight is now on Beam County Primary School in Barking and Dagenham, one of the most socially deprived boroughs of London. Over 70% of pupils at Beam have English as an Additional Language, and nearly 30% are eligible for Pupil Premium Funding.
The school began their classics journey during Lockdown, introducing Latin to over 500 pupils, the whole of Key Stage 2. According to Latin lead Catherine Cook, pupils love Latin so much that she now runs an extra after school Latin club for extra keen learners, who are staging a play in Latin.
Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (East of England Network)
Now for something slightly different. This year’s nomination from Angela Dix, our East of England network is Tricia Moss, Curriculum Lead from the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust.
In the last couple of years, Tricia has been an astonishing advocate for classics in the 39 schools that belong to the Trust. As a result of her herculean efforts the Trust has now introduced Latin from scratch in 17 primary schools across the region, and continues to promote classics to all of 39 of its schools.
Tricia is also planning a Primary Latin Conference so that teachers can get together and share good practice.
Shrewsbury Colleges Group (University of Birmingham & West Midlands Network)
Kicking off nominations for our secondary schools, we have one-woman-wonder, Sian Squire. Sian has single handedly shepherded the Classics department at Shrewsbury Colleges Group on a path of steady growth.
The College now boasts a cohort of more than a hundred students studying Classical Civilisation A level.
Sian’s engagement with her students is relentless; a never-ending stream of ideas for events, talks, crafts, and competitions. Through developing links with a local independent school, Sian has given her students even more opportunities, including the chance to take part in a production of Oedipus Rex.
Her students come to class with classically themed gifts, cakes, and even news of an ancient Mediterranean jewellery business! With 25% of Sian’s pupils going on to study the ancient world at university, she truly deserves this nomination.
Fairfield High School (University of Bristol & Southwest Network)
Down in Bristol, English teacher Ollie Taylor began teaching the GCSE Classical Civilisation course at Fairfield High School in September 2022.
He has since been described as “a paradigm of engagement” for the Bristol and Southwest network. He recently volunteered to test out a new scheme of work developed by University of Bristol alumni in his school’s classics club.
This was a fantastic opportunity for the Bristol team to test out their resources in a classroom setting. It has also boosted awareness of classics at Fairfield, and will hopefully encourage more students to take up Classical Civilisation at GCSE.
Liverpool College (Liverpool Network)
Definitely overdue an award for her work, Joanne McNamara is Head of Classics at Liverpool College, an all through academy in Liverpool, and home to the CfA Liverpool Network.
Here classics is thriving, and pupils can study classics all the way from Year 7-11. Latin and classical studies are taught to all students at Key Stage 3 on the curriculum; Latin and Classical Civilisation are available at GCSE and Classical Civilisation at A level.
Joanne also runs the successful Classics post graduate teacher training scheme, coaches the Head boy and girl to deliver a Latin oration for speech night and regularly puts on Greek plays with the drama department.
Liverpool College is a welcoming and generous host to the Liverpool Classics for All Network, which has helped CFA to increase its presence in schools in the Northwest. Joanne is part of a successful partnership with an independent school which trains regional schools, runs school trips to the Cambridge Greek play, and hosts local Classical Association events. Above all Joanne is a wonderful sounding board for the network, and generous with her experience and enthusiasm for others.
Dixon’s Cottingly Academy (University of Manchester & Leeds Network)
Laura Clements is Principal Teacher in English at Dixons Cottingley Academy in Bradford, where most pupils are from a minority ethnic background and many are eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
Last summer, Laura successfully launched a scheme of work about Homeric Epic to the Year 7 English curriculum with a hugely popular Greek day, which will now be repeated annually.
She motivates students with imaginative and motivating activities, which are equally fun for the staff. Her infectious energy has been an inspiration for all those who work with her.
Berwick Academy (Northeast Network)
We are particularly excited by the great work happening in the Northeast, where we recently re-launched the Northeast Network, led by Laura Hope and supported by the universities of Durham and Newcastle, as well as Royal Grammar School Newcastle.
A recent jewel in the crown of the network is Stephen Thompson at Berwick Academy.
A Modern Languages teacher by trade, Stephen has worked tirelessly to get Latin into the school for in on the curriculum, impressively learning Latin ab initio on the job!
According to Laura, Stephen is an incredibly enthusiastic Latin teacher with a contagious passion for the subject. He is a dynamic leader and makes exciting cross-curricular connections using his knowledge of modern languages.
Next year 5 students will be studying for Latin GCSE for the first time at the schools and more will follow.
Laura says “ There is a palpable buzz about Latin at Berwick, and hopefully this award helps acknowledge Stephen’s place at the centre it”.
Trinity School (Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire Network)
Trinity School in Newbury is ambitious for its students. In 2020, religious studies specialist Lawrence McCabe approached CfA in 2020 for support and training to introduce classical civilisation at GCSE.
Since then, the GCSE course going from strength to strength. The first cohort of students will sit their exams this summer. To build on this success, Lawrence is training to teach AS Classical Civilisation from September 2023, as well as a new Latin Club for Year 7's. Soon classics will be available to pupils from KS3-5 thanks to Lawrence’s tireless efforts!
Buckie Community High School (Scotland Network)
As Alex Imrie, our Scotland Co-ordinator knows, the curriculum and context in Scotland make it difficult for schools to commit to classics, SO what Susan Rowley at Buckie Community High School has achieved something truly remarkable.
From a standing start, Susan has fought to give her pupils access the classical world. As a first step, had to develop her knowledge and teaching skills to meet the often-draconian requirements of the General Teaching Council.
Since then, she has taken a lead, bringing classics to her pupils through digital technology. The results speak for themselves. In only a couple years, Susan has nurtured a robust classics community, learning both Classical Studies and Latin at various levels, making Buckie a beacon for Classics teaching in Scotland. All of this she has done with boundless positivity. She is a worthy winner of a CfA Teaching Award.
Croesyceiliog School (Wales Classics Hwb)
Like Scotland, classics in Wales faces unique challenges, and competing for space in the Welsh National Curriculum can require teachers to go above and beyond the call of duty.
At Croesyceiliog School in the town of Cwmbran, over a third of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals. Teacher Nathan Phillips is currently striving to introduce the ancient world into the curriculum, with aspirations to introduce classical civilisation GCSE. To generate interest, Nathan took pupils to attend a classics club at the Caerleon Roman fortress and baths. Momentum is building and with the help of the Welsh Hwb Croesyceiliog will soon be another important classics outpost in Wales!
Stoke Park School (Warwick Classics Network)
Stacy Howe is the Associate Assistant Headteacher at Stoke Park School in Coventry. Stacy was one of the first teachers to contact the Warwick Classics Network back in 2018, seeking support to introduce classics to this inner-city Coventry School.
Stacy has since been key to the amazing success of Classics and Latin at Stoke Park. Starting with 180 Year 7 pupils in 2018, Stacy's tireless enthusiasm has paid off. The school now offers classical civilisation and Latin throughout the whole of Key Stage 3 on the curriculum and in September 2022, their first cohort of pupils began studying Latin at GCSE.
Stacy is always keen, energetic and inspiring, an amazing role model for other schools showing what is possible if you believe in the importance of Classics as a subject.
Chris Pilcher Award
In May 2022, we were incredibly sorry to hear of the tragic passing of Chris Pilcher, a passionate and dedicated teacher at Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow, Essex. Chris worked closely with our London & Southeast network coordinator, Anna Bell, to bring Latin and classics to his pupils, and his parents nominated Classics for All as his chosen charity for donations in his memory.
Chris was a thoughtful and enthusiastic teacher, who cared about wanting to do the best for his students. He had that special spark which makes the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher, and he clearly loved the subject and loved teaching.
To honour his memory, The Chris Pilcher Award is awarded one school each year in special recognition of outstanding accomplishment in bringing classics to young people in state schools – an endeavour to which Chris was among the most committed and successful.
This year, the inaugural Chris Pilcher Award goes to Archbishop Tenison’s CofE High School, Croydon
Archbishop Tenison’s CofE High School (London & SE Network)
Archbishop Tenison’s School in Croydon has been busily and very successfully teaching Classics since 2015, when the Headteacher, Richard Parrish, introduced Latin for all 120 students in Year 7 as part of the English Curriculum.
Latin has since firmly taken root, and now taught right up to GCSE. Classical Civilisation is also now offered at A Level.
Teachers Lucie Phillips, Francesca Ryan, and Fabiana Di Carlo deserve huge praise for making Latin and Classical Civilisation classes the huge success that it is at Archbishop Tenison’s.
Overall, the school has offered around 900 pupils at state school in Croydon the opportunity to study the ancient world. Well done to all for their hard work and dedication in growing the subject so successfully!
We offer our warmest congratulations to all Teaching Award winners, and to every school in the Classics for All family who has worked tirelessly to ensure pupils have access to the literature, languages and cultures of the classical world.