School Latin project lands European language award

The Iris Project has been bringing Latin to our Primary schools by means of its “Literacy through Latin ”  programme since 2007 and has now received European recognition.  My thanks to Shona Harrison for bringing this report from the Oxford Mail to our attention.

iris

Of the award, the Project Director, Lorna Robinson said

“We’re really excited at the news that the Literacy through Latin project has won this prestigious award.

The judge who visited our lessons was delighted at the pupils’ enjoyment of Latin and their engagement with our method of using storytelling to deliver Latin as part of literacy.

It shows that the project works and that it’s useful and interesting for pupils.  We hope the award will help us secure funding for this long-running project to expand and develop.”

Read the whole article here

Disappearance of Classics in education

Hard on the heels of the  “Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cultappeal” and the “Latin at Bilborough College” success stories comes this awful reminder of what we, as guardians of the Classical tradition, and the next generation of would-be Classics teachers are up against.

If this young man doesn’t have the opportunity to train as a Classics Teacher it will be a great loss.  writes Shona Harrison, with regard to this letter from Lee Baker,  from the TES dated 30th August 2013

It is with great sadness that I write with regard to the situation of Classics and classical education in Scotland. I am a student at the University of Glasgow, living in Lanark, studying Classics and English literature. It was always my intention, after completing my degree, to continue in education and become a Classics teacher. Having been a pupil at Lanark Grammar School, I was privileged to see the great benefits of Classics teaching and education at its finest under the guidance of some excellent teachers.

However, the situation for training Classics teachers in Scotland is currently non-existent. This is a great loss to Scottish children as Classics education is fast becoming a discipline for the private sector. Some independent schools already employ people without any formal teaching qualifications as Classics teachers, as there is no supply from the teacher training institutes.

This cannot surely be condoned by the Scottish government, when there are people wanting to be trained in this field. It is not because of a decline in interest from students that Classics has disappeared from the state sector, as most schools that still offer it have high presentation numbers (“Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cult’ appeal”, 23 August). Where is freedom of choice and equal opportunity for the children of Scotland? The University of Glasgow was the last place in Scotland where a Classics PGDE was delivered, and it seems as though it has just vanished from the offered curriculum without due cause.

With Latin being one of Scotland’s heritage languages and the rich tradition of Classical learning and influences in the Scottish culture, it seems unthinkable that there is no provision for teaching children the key foundations of our past, when so much time, money and publicity is spent on the benefits of the Gaelic medium. Latin provides an equally beneficial, if not greater, learning environment, as it allows us to recognise and understand not only our own culture and heritage, but also our place in the international European community.

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6352788

Latin at Bilborough College

I am so pleased. I want to share my delight with colleagues who will appreciate it, because my college has not responded. This is the third year that Latin GCSE has been offered as an additional subject to year 13 A level students at my state sixth form. I make no bones; I love Latin and I am dedicated to state students having the same opportunities as private school students. We have in effect 8 months to prepare for the higher tier GCSE OCR Latin. 31 took the exam this year. 23 achieved A*-C with 2 A*s, 10As 7Bs and 4Cs. I am so proud and if other teachers would like advice regarding introducing GCSE Latin into the curriculum, I would love to talk with them about promoting so important a subject.

Sean Cormac

Languages – Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cult’ appeal

Members achieve impressive results without qualified teacher

Students at an East Dunbartonshire secondary are scoring top grades in Latin – even though the school has no qualified teacher in the subject and no timetabled classes.

Bearsden Academy depute headteacher Annette MacKay said that Latin has become a “cult” favourite among high-achieving students since an after-school club was set up in 2011-12.

Five students sat Intermediate 1 Latin that year, with another five doing so last year – and all achieved the highest award of A at band 1. Both times they were the only Intermediate 1 Latin candidates anywhere in Scotland. One student even took Intermediate 2 last year, also earning an A at band 1.

The club, which meets for about an hour every second week, was set up at the request of a student who wanted to study at Oxbridge. Ms MacKay had told the student, Anna McDonald, that her application could do with “something to make it stand out”, and suggested Latin or Mandarin – although “whether I could find someone to teach it was another matter”.

The club that emerged has proved attractive to aspiring law, medicine and languages students. It is run by Ms MacKay, who read languages at university but whose last sustained experience of Latin was sitting the Higher some years ago. In the first year, a regular group of eight S6 students worked through Cambridge Latin Course textbooks. There were nine regulars last year and Ms MacKay expects a similar number in 2013-14………….

read the rest of the story here

Classics at Cheltenham – and Chedworth Roman Villa

Quite a lot of people said they were coming back to Latin after 30 years or so. I had a fun discussion with Natalie Haynes about classics, blogging and

From Mary Beard’s TLS blog: http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_life/2012/10/classics-at-cheltenham-and-chedworth-roman-villa.html

Final update on the 6th international CICERO competition

Rex Stretton-Pow with the Malvern St. James CICERO Cup

     

from Anne Dicks

It was a great success again, with a total of 117 Sixth Form students taking part in the UK: 79 taking the cultural test on ‘Aeneas from Troy to Latium’ and 90 attempting edited passages from Quintus Cicero’s ‘Short Guide to Electioneering’. They all really enjoyed the challenge of the tests and were able to video-chat with students around the world as well.

Prizewinners were announced at the JACT Conference and AGM on 19th May and you can see the full list on the UK page of the website http://www.ciceroconcordia.com along with credits to all those who supported the competition either financially or by donating signed books. The winning student came from France this year.

If you click on the ‘2012’ link you can see some of these students and hear the video-messages they have sent to each other. Unfortunately there was a problem with the recording from Australia which we have so far not been able to resolve, but I particularly recommend the videoclip from the Serbian students and (of course) my own students’ version of the story of Aeneas, even though I don’t think it can rival the one they made about Jason last year!

As I am retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, the CICERO UK competition will be taken over by a new team: details will appear on the website as they are finalised but more volunteers are always welcome …. I will continue as international Webmaster.

Here are two accounts of the day: the first one written by the winner of the U6 Latin section and the second by one of my students.

  • …………………
    Having arrived at Malvern St James School relatively early one Saturday morning, the warm greeting we received more than made up for the loss of a potential lie-in. As always, MSJ were more than happy to see us and made us very welcome; the other students participating were equally friendly and we all got off to a flying start. This, to me, struck the first difference between CICERO and other competitions of its nature. Though everyone seeks to do well, no-one provokes competition or rivalry. The inherent message of harmony is taken to heart.
    As part of the opening ceremony, Duncan and I had the privilege of reading a piece of the Aeneid to the group, followed by a video from Boris Johnson, outlining and praising the competition, and a recorded video-conferencing message from Anne Dicks, the founder of CICERO, speaking to us from a school in Serbia. After a lovely lunch, we also had the chance to talk to some of the many other schools across the world taking part in the competition over video conferencing, including Serbia, Italy and Spain, and received messages from those who had already done the competition due to time zones, such as Australia. It was truly amazing to be able to communicate on such a global level so effortlessly and openly, and especially refreshing to find that, on the whole, there were people like us – Classicists – all over the world, who shared our interest.
    The first test was the Latin translation, a piece by Quintus Cicero, brother of Marcus Tullius Cicero, on how to win an election in Ancient Rome. Though the passage was in places tough, containing some idioms difficult to translate, it was very enjoyable and (unusually for a test) provided a window into Ancient Rome that I hadn’t looked through before.
    Classicists can often feel that the world of Classics nowadays is tightly knit, and it is a shame that this is so, since it really can be a tool for bringing people together. Through CICERO we were able to meet many people and start many friendships, as well as communicate on an international level. A good day and an extremely worthwhile competition.

  • ……………….
    For 6 years the Cicero competition has inspired budding young classicists all around the world and it truly is a valuable experience for everyone involved. It has benefited me on so many different levels; the papers were challenging and intellectually stimulating, whilst I enjoyed the chance to meet and forge friendships with other like-minded teenagers at our centre as well as those from other schools in Britain, Spain, Italy and Australia. It really is a fantastic opportunity for students to come together and share a common interest outside the classroom, in a competitive yet friendly setting. I would highly recommend it to all and very much hope that someone will take on the responsibility of organising the British centres so that future students will be able to benefit in the same way that I have.
    ………………..

CICERO international Classics competition 

For the love of Latin

‘Once a compulsory part of any education, today Latin and ancient Greek die silently.’
Read article here >>>

Why We Need More, Not Less Latin in Schools …

Later this month, as part of the Mayor’s new Latin volunteering initiative, I will be going into comprehensive schools across the capital to talk to the students about the joys of Latin; more precisely, in an attempt to dispel Latin’s fusty, doddery and quite frankly arcane image problem (which we would be churlish to deny it has), I’ll be talking about why we need more (not fewer) Dead White Men in our lives and why ancient Rome was in fact, contrary to popular perception, a very multi-cultural place, with Black and brown emperors, playwrights and generals, not just slaves or menials. I’ll be asserting that in ancient Rome colour didn’t matter, only whether or not you were a Roman citizen. Other volunteers will be giving talks on a multitude of classical topics, such as democracy, the Olympic games, gladiators and the Latin language.

Read rest of article >>>

Latin on the timetable for pupils

Pupils at St Mary’s C of E Middle School in Belford are now studying Latin as part of their foreign languages curriculum thanks to a grant from the organisation ‘Friends of Classics’. More >>>

Pupils Rome through history as ancient mouse leads the way

Thanks to a grant from the organisation Friends of Classics, the pupils at St … to the Latin language and the culture of Roman Britain,” said Mrs Brookes.
From the Northumberland Gazette >>>

 

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