Network Co-ordinator: Laura Hope (Durham), [email protected] Stephanie Holton (Newcastle), [email protected]
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“We find it particularly difficult to engage boys in literacy; however, you provided them with a brilliant role model and as a result they are hooked - we even have some of the 'hard to reach' boys saving up their pocket money and spending it on abridged versions of the Odyssey.” Teacher at Hartside Primary School.
The Durham, Newcastle and North East Classics Network was founded in 2019 by Durham University and Classics for All, and joined in 2020 by the University of Newcastle. The network uses the research expertise of Durham and Newcastle's Classics Departments and outreach capacity to support local state schools to introduce classical subjects on the curriculum, broadening their cultural horizons, and raising the literacy skills and aspirations of pupils in the North East.
Since 2019, the Network has:
- Supported 56 schools, 42 primary and 14 secondary schools, to introduce or improve their classics provision.
- Trained over 70 teachers, many of whom had never studied classics before themselves, allowing over 1,000 pupils to study classical subjects on a regular basis.
We have also developed new resources and offer free Continuing Professional Development integrating classical subjects into the teaching of literacy and literature, in partnership with talented and enthusiastic classics teachers from across the region.
From 2014 Durham University delivered an innovative programme on ancient poetry in primary schools and since developed new resources to support the teaching of English literature and literacy in secondary schools, with a focus on ancient myth and storytelling. So far we have run successful pilot programmes with three schools, all of which have integrated classical subjects into the English curriculum.
Similarly, the University of Newcastle develops tailored resources for schools linked to a variety of subjects which use classics to enrich the curriculum – most recently, we developed an interactive project in collaboration with the University’s Library Education Team and Great North Museum on Ancient Medicine for GCSE History.
From 2021 Royal Grammar School Newcastle has been collaborating with Classics for All to combine outreach efforts in the city, delivering training and support to partner state schools to help embed classical subjects on the curriculum.
Building on this, in 2021-22 the network plans to:
- produce resources and run training sessions for teachers to increase the number of new primary and secondary schools in the region introducing classics on the curriculum.
- support teachers currently offering classical subjects with annual conferences, study days, resources, and network meets.
- run training for teachers on integrating the study of classical stories in the Key Stage 3 English curriculum.
- launch the 'Romans on the Tyne' project in Autumn 2021, funded by Newcastle University’s Engagement and Place fund and the Classical Association – bringing local Roman past to life for all pupils across the Tyneside area.
- provide free interactive workshops on Tyneside’s own Roman history, in partnership with educational teams at Segedunum and Arbeia.
If you are interested in introducing classics in your school please contact us. We look forward to helping you.
The Durham and North East Classics Network is generously sponsored by Andrew Hobson.
We invite individual or corporate sponsorship of our regional networks. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch at [email protected].