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

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

New A-Level league tables to rank key subjects preferred by leading universities

With bated breath:

“The list of “key subjects” or so-called “facilitating subjects” includes : maths, further maths, English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and modern or classical languages. 

Follow the story here:

Ars longa, Twitter brevis? Pope tweets in Latin

From The Times:

“It’s only one quote from the Book of Micah, but the Pope’s latest foray into social media has set the Twitterverse, well, a-twitter.”

Whilst some of us steadfastly continue to resist the dubious appeal of Twitter, the Pontiff has apparently baffled many of his 5000 or so followers with his first tweet in Latin …

The story and the Tweet  is here:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/faith/article3663600.ece

More primary schools to offer Latin and ancient Greek

Good news!

Latin and ancient Greek are to make a comeback in state schools under Government plans to introduce compulsory language lessons for seven-year-olds.

All primary schools will be expected to teach foreign languages to pupils from 2014 as part of a major drive to boost education standards, it emerged.

At least one subject from a seven-strong shortlist – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin and ancient Greek – will be offered to seven- to 11-year-olds.

The move – outlined in a consultation document published by the Department for Education – could result in a major rise in the number of pupils studying the classical languages at a young age.

According to officials, Latin and ancient Greek were included to “give primary schools further options”, with claims that they can provide a good grounding in grammar, syntax and vocabulary which can boost pupils’ understanding of other modern languages.

It comes after a major study found that schoolchildren in England were less likely to study foreign languages to a decent standard than in any other European country.

Read the full story from The Daily Telegraph here:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9683536/More-primary-schools-to-offer-Latin-and-ancient-Greek.html#

 

All Greek to them – in New South Wales

classics back in vogue as schools embrace languishing languages:

“The classics are enjoying a revival in NSW high schools and universities, reflecting a similar trend in England where Boris Johnson’s Latin in London scheme is one of several initiatives to bring classical languages into more lives.

Latin is now the most popular language at the school, which is considering offering classical Greek as well. ”Why it has exploded the way it has, I don’t know,” she said. ”They just fall in love with it.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/all-greek-to-them-classics-back-in-vogue-as-schools-embrace-languishing-languages-20111016-1lrfe.html#ixzz1bLSg8xRo

 

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