Orchard School is an 11-16 comprehensive school in North Bristol, with high numbers of students eligible for Pupil Premium funding (52%) and with English as an Additional Language (29%).
Thanks to the enthusiasm and personal interest of two key members of staff, an extra-curricular classical civilisation club had been offered to pupils at Orchard School for several years prior to Classics for All’s first contact with the school in 2017.
Since then, with our support, classics has grown rapidly and is now part of the curriculum at both Key Stages 3 and 4. Following two days of intensive training in July 2017 for 10 English and Modern Foreign Languages teachers, Latin is now taught to all pupils in Years 7 and 8 each week and is used to support literacy and vocabulary acquisition.
“I’m feeling utterly inspired. It was great to work through the textbook as a student would when they are learning.” (English teacher at Orchard School, feedback on Latin training day)
Orchard School has also participated in the ‘Ovid in the West Country’ project, run annually by our South West regional network. After trialling the teaching materials with two classes in 2017, in 2018 the entire Year 7 cohort completed a term’s work on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and English teachers designed an internal public speaking project to complement the competition.
“Students were intrigued and totally engaged from the start. It has encouraged them to connect seemingly abstract ideas (myths) to familiar concepts (morals).” English teacher and Classics leader at Orchard
The enthusiasm with which classics has been received at Key Stage 3 provided valuable impetus for the inclusion of classical civilisation as a timetabled GCSE option from September 2019 and for classics transition days during the summer term for incoming Year 7 pupils. 20 pupils also took their OCR Entry Level Latin exams in 2019 and a further 19 students in Year 9 completed their Olympus Challenge award in January 2020.