All three primaries (St John's, Westminster and Westcliff) form part of the Blackpool Classics Network, established in 2016 and led by Peter Wright, Classics teacher at Blackpool Sixth Form College.
The network aims to bring the teaching of classics to schools in Blackpool and the North West, many of which are in areas of socio-economic deprivation where the number of children receiving Free School Meals is significantly above the national average. The network offers free taster days, training and ongoing support and mentoring to primary and secondary school teachers who often do not have previous experience of classics.
Over the last three years, there has been particular interest in introducing Latin as a main language at Key Stage 2.
In 2017, St John’s Catholic Primary School in Poulton-le-Fylde started to teach Latin on the curriculum with all pupils at Key Stage 2. Now the current cohort of Years 5 & 6 are ready to progress from the beginners’ Minimus course to Minimus Secundus and there is a clear four year progression plan in place for Latin as the school’s main language.
“We started out with a Latin club but the pupils started fighting over who could go to this club so…it’s now added to the curriculum so all the children can access this exciting opportunity.” (Teacher at St John’s Catholic Primary School)
At Westminster Primary Academy, where over 75% of pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium funding, Latin was introduced on the curriculum for 90 Year 5 pupils from September 2018. Following this successful introduction, all pupils in Years 3-6 are now learning Latin as part of the curriculum and four teachers have been trained to teach the Minimus course.
Similarly, at Westcliff Primary Academy, 4 teachers have received training from the Blackpool Classics Network, enabling them in September 2019 to introduce Latin on the curriculum for 240 pupils from Years 3-6.
In each case, Classics for All has provided free teacher training and support with purchasing the Minimus course textbooks.
In 2018, Classics for All visited Blackpool Sixth Form College and surrounding primary schools to see how Latin has been introduced and what difference it is making for their pupils and teachers. Watch our video here for more information.