Classics for All is very grateful for the grant of £3,000 provided by John Coates Charitable Trust in July 2018 for work with schools in Cambridgeshire. One year on, we are pleased to write to you to report on our progress.
We have had a good year in the Cambridgeshire area where we continue to work collaboratively with the University of Cambridge’s classics outreach programme. We are also in discussion with The Leys School, an independent school committed to promoting and supporting the teaching of classical subjects in state schools in the region.
Significantly, since July 2018, the grant from John Coates Charitable Trust has helped us support a total of 8 schools in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia more broadly – 5 primary schools and 3 secondary schools – including Parkside Community College, the excellent secondary school that you visited back in autumn 2018. Under the inspired leadership of teacher Angela Dix, the uptake of Latin and Greek in the school has expanded. 42 pupils in Year 7 are now studying Latin and 23 are now studying Ancient Greek. Angela has also helped to introduce Ancient Greek to 90 pupils at Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) at St Matthew’s Primary School, with proven appetite to expand provision to other feeder schools.
Other highlights include:
- St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School has introduced classics on the curriculum at Key Stage 2 for 60 pupils, as well as setting up a Latin club.
- In addition to its current offer of Latin GCSE, Chesterton Community College is in the process of introducing an Ancient Greek club to 15 pupils. The Head of Classics is also keen to extend classics provision and hopes to offer classical civilisation GCSE in the near future.
- This term, Angela Dix has been working closely with Newnham Croft Primary School in Cambridge to support the teaching of Ancient Greek on the curriculum for pupils at Key
- Thanks to Classics for All, Sarah Smyth, a classics teacher from Wymondham High Academy, attended the annual Cambridge School Classics Project Conference in April 2019 to further develop classical civilisation teaching techniques. This will benefit 90 pupils at GCSE and 20 pupils at A Level.
- St Peter’s Church of England Junior School, a primary school with high levels of Pupil Premium, recently decided to introduce Latin as the sole Modern Foreign Language at Key Stage 2. Ten teachers will be trained to deliver the primary Latin course, Minimus, reaching 245 pupils.
- At Boxford Primary School, an exciting partnership is in development with Thomas Gainsborough School, a nearby academy that already offers classics. With the support of Classics for All, Thomas Gainsborough School will offer Latin taster sessions to Year 5 and 6 pupils at Boxford in the hope that Boxford will introduce Latin to the curriculum from September 2019. Together, the schools will also promote the idea of a classics hub in Suffolk and provide a networking event for primary school teachers in 2019-20.
Angela Dix, Parkside Community College – Case Study:
“This year I have continued to teach Ancient Greek to Year 6 pupils at St Matthew’s Primary School and Newnham Croft Primary School. The reaction to Mega Greek, a course that focuses on teaching Ancient Greek language and culture at primary level, has been exceptional. The students find the resources engaging and love making etymological connections between the Greek and English language.
The teachers at St Matthew’s and Newnham Croft have been extremely enthusiastic about the positive effects of teaching Greek to their students. In particular, they have found that the study of Ancient Greek at primary level offers young people of all backgrounds and ability levels an opportunity to develop English literacy, improve their grammar skills and begin to gain an understanding of classical references. I hope that next year we can train more local schools in Mega Greek, which will hopefully lead to more primary Greek and Latin being offered in the region.
At Parkside Community College, classics is going from strength to strength. We have had a record number of 12 students opting to study Latin GCSE this year – double that of previous years! In February this year, moreover, Classics for All visited Parkside and St Matthew’s to make a short film highlighting the positive impact Ancient Greek lessons are having in both schools. It is only thanks to generous supporters like you that this is possible.”
Greek film: https://youtu.be/EbqzG95sUj8.