For the past four years, Classics for All has supported a Greek Academy run by the University of Liverpool, which offers state pupils an opportunity to study for a GCSE in Greek over two years. The Saturday morning lessons are run by university lecturers and target pupils aged between 13 and 18 (Years 9-13) divided into two groups at junior and senior levels. The course is free to attend and open to all state school students in Liverpool and the wider North West region.
For the 2018-19 academic year, there were 30 students from across 10 schools (nine state, one independent) participating in the Academy: 23 in the Junior group and seven in the Senior. The first cohort of Greek Academy students also sat their GCSE exams in summer 2018 and achieved outstanding results, particularly given the limited tuition time: five x Grade 9s, one x Grade 7 and two x Grade 4s. Although numbers are relatively small, this 2018 cohort of students from the Liverpool Greek Academy made up 7.5% of all state school entries in the UK for Ancient Greek GCSE and 16% of all entries in the North West.
“For me, the most important part is that young people across the region are being given the opportunity to try this subject and there is huge enthusiasm for it.” (Alice Case, Liverpool Classics Network Coordinator)
Building on the continued interest in these GCSE classes, we are now delighted to be supporting a new AS Greek class, launched in September 2019 by the Liverpool Classics Network in response to demand from students and teachers. Four students, all of whom achieved their Ancient Greek GCSE through the Liverpool Greek Academy, are now working towards the AS Level qualification on Saturday afternoons.
Given that no school in Merseyside (including in the independent sector) is able to offer Greek on timetable at either GCSE or A level due to viability difficulties with small pupil numbers, the Liverpool Greek Academy is providing a unique opportunity for state school students in the North West who would otherwise be unable to access the language.
“I wanted to learn Greek in order to challenge myself, but also in order to enrich my understanding of other subjects. I have not been disappointed!” Eira, Greek Academy GCSE student
“I knew that I would have to study Greek for what I wanted to do, but I didn't expect to enjoy it this much! I'm excited to study further at university and study religious scriptures in their purest form, and I feel confident in the background that I will be taking forward with me.” (Tara, former student at the Liverpool Greek Academy, now studying Philosophy & Theology at Durham University)