Latin Teaching – the Journal

Latin Teaching

The Journal of the Association for (the reform of) Latin Teaching.

I am hoping to create on the ARLT website  an archive of the “Latin Teaching” Journal of the ARLT. Contributions from members past and present are invited. Submissions  to the webmaster should preferably be in electronic form, but a paper copy will be equally welcome. I promise to return the original, once scanned. I have made a start with the Jubilee edition of December 1973 –  here.

ARLT Reading Competition 2010

ARLT Latin Reading Competition 2010

charonSchools are invited to submit entries from students in Years 10-13 up to a maximum of  two entries in each category.  Students should record themselves reading Virgil Aeneid 6 295-314.  Please preface each recording by stating name, year and school and include these details in the name of the MP3 file. 

Recordings should be emailed in MP3 format to:

or sent on disk to Mr David Swift, Taverners, Bankwell Road, Giggleswick, Settle North Yorkshire BD24 0AN

Email submissions should give as their subject the words “Reading Competition\2 and the name of the school.

Advice on pronunciation can be found at:

Entries will be judged on accuracy of pronunciation, sensitivity to metre and ability to convey the meaning and mood of the passage.  These features will be given approximately equal weighting.  Elided vowels may either be completely omitted or the two vowels may be combined to fit a single metrical slot (synaloepha).

Advice on elisions can soon be found at

First, Second and Third Prizes (book tokens for £40, £30 and £20) will be awarded in two categories: Years 10-11 and Years 12-13.

The closing date for entries is Friday 19 March 2010.

Winners will be announced in early May 2010 on the ARLT website and by email to the winning schools.

For further information please contact Hilary Walters on or at Loughborough Grammar School, Loughborough LE11 2DU.

Pictures from the ArLT INSET in Cambridge

Hellenic Book Service
Hellenic Book Service
OCR presentation
Full session
Full session
Peter Geall's school trips session
Peter Geall's school trips session
Full session
Wilf and David
Hilary Walters' Juvenal session
Peter Geall's school trips session

Good news – the ARLT INSET/Summer School brochure is ready

I have just received copies of the Summer School/INSET brochure, looking good.

I shall try to make the details available on line, but the contact meanwhile is

Robert Grant
Nottingham High School
Waverley Mount
Nottingham NG7 4ED
Tel. 07779 567245

Total cost £390 en-suite, £320 standard, which should be met from your school budget. There are £100 bursaries available, but (in my personal view) it would be kind if just people who have to pay their own way apply for these.

Oh, and a reminder of the dates and place:

MOnday 27th July to Saurday 1st August at Wills Hall, University of Bristol.

Option group will include
As and A2 set texts
AS and A2 Classical Civilisation
GCSE set texts
Cambridge Latin Course
Latin pronunciation
Classical literature and its influence
Classroom drama
Reading Greek drama

Look a good list to me. THose who wish to keep their noses to the grindstone can opt for the first choices; those feeling a bit more laid back can got for the last ones. Or pick and mi.

Peakers will include Julian Morgan, ICT specialist
Steven Hunt, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University
Dr Genevieve Liveley, Liverpool University
D Kathryn Tempest, Roehampton University
Malcolm Smith, Principal Examiner OCR AS lit.
Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden, storytellers. (intriguing!)
Simon Smith, wine expert, The WInes of Italy and Greece (different!)
Andy Smith, Nottingham High School, sharing good classroom practice.

Go on, register today!

More about the ArLT Summer School

There are more details, with an application form, here.

ArLT Summer School – the first details

See the display ad here.

ArLT History – highs and lows

When I posted that stimulating and amusing Dorothy Sayers lecture given to the ARLT in the 50s (available by the tab at the top of your scren) I referred to the workaday reports among which it shone out stellar.

In some sort of an attempt to put a fuller history of ARLT on line, I spent an hour yesterday scanning some of these reports.

I can’t imagine anyone will rush to print out and study these, but they are a resource for the brave and scholarly souls who have undertaken to write a centenary history in time for the 2011 Summer School. (These souls almost certainly have the print versions on their shelves already.)

After the high point of 1952 when more than 90 teachers heard Dorothy Sayers, 1953 was a comparative flop, and the report does not mince its words:

IT must be confessed that this year’s Summer School, held at Coolhurst near Horsham, August 23rd to 31st, was not the unqualified success that most of its predecessors have been. In the first place, so many intending members cancelled so late that the Association could not help losing money on the course; and in the second place, there were certain domestic difficulties, which caused the director and secretary great anxiety and the rest of the members frequent discomfort. These very difficulties seemed, however, to produce the right spirit among those present, and helped to weld the community together probably even more than usual. The academic side of the course was as good as ever, and attendance at lectures, demonstrations, etc. always keen and full. Indeed one old and seasoned member of the association was heard to say that although the domestic side of the course was probably the worst in his experience, the academic side had much more to offer than the older summer schools, and members were certainly making the best use of all that was provided.

The ‘newcomer’ teacher that year, who was asked to write his or her impressions, did not give the glowing praise that we are used to reading these days in the JCT reports section. Here is some of what was written:

After the delays and discomforts of a long raid journey on a Sunday—a wet and dreary Sunday at that—I arrived in time to have missed tea and to make my bed with a couple of blankets which had seen better days in a place which seemed to possess all the more depressing features of the less well run Youth Hostels. …

I attended all the lectures, demonstration classes, etc., and at the end of the week felt in need of a holiday. The lecturers and demonstrators must have been really exhausted. All of which is a tribute to the enthusiasm of the elect.

There seemed little doubt of the effectiveness of the Oral Method in the hands of experts, though no doubt enthusiastic teachers like Dr. Loehry or Miss Silverwood would do well whatever their method and I found others beside myself thinking that it might be worth trying at least on a small scale.

Damning with faint praise, I think.

The newcomer reporting on 1954’s Summer School (a more successful one, apparently) raised a basic issue:

THE hopes of not a few who attended the School were tempered by it few vague fears. The Association appears to be fighting for both sides of the field at once, and many teachers find themselves leaving the traditional path only to slip upon the question why teach Latin at all? It was all very disconcerting, certainly not what they expected, and much more than they paid for. And it was therefore all the more trying of the lecturers sometimes to forget that behind some of the questions they were asked there lurked, unrecognised and the more disturbing for that, a second question of Purpose.

For instance, someone asked what one should tell a class which wanted to know what it was all for anyway ? The reply was that it the class were being taught properly they would accept the subject Without asking why. For this is surely both untrue and doubly unhelpful. Children are not always able to make their problems explicit, nor should they be encouraged to unthinking obedience. Then, too, it seemed to me that the question (though shyly framed) was asked as much for the teacher’s sake as for the children’s, and it was dishonest to leave it unanswered—to encourage us to reform our own methods and disparage those of our predecessors With only the slightest reference to the fundamentals. Fundamental problems are to-day the concern of teachers of any method, reformed or otherwise, and the school, not I think unwilling to take the praise for bringing such problems to the light, should have answered them as well as it could.

To me it seems that ARLT was in a rut at this time. The Summer Schools were largely composed of demonstration lessons, an hour on Catullus was a rare treat. One newcomer tellingly referred to ‘the elite’. Ow! I must confess that on my first visit to an ARLT Summer School, in Chichester, there was still a bit of that hierarchical feeling. We didn’t have a lovely welcome drinks party on the first evening – we awaited a formal invitation to one evening of “Drinks with the President.” Oh dear, oh dear.

When I compare this with the highly effective, varied and stimulating Summer Schools ArLT now provides, where teachers share on friendly and equal terms from the word Go, and find the answers to the questions they have come with, and find lots of good new friends at the same time, I am thankful to be living now. (I think a warm tribute is due to a group of younger teachers a few years ago who engineered the changes, largely inspired by Peter Geall. Here’s to you, Peter!)

The reports, with almost all the photographs that have lain in the ArLT albums, are becoming available (slowly) at, for example, That is for 1954 Change the date at the end of the URL (web address) for different years, or visit the general history index here.

Refresher Day INSET March 7th – latest

Tracey Headland our Administrator for the day has just sent me the latest update for Saturday 7th March, including last-minute contact details for anyone who has missed the deadline for registering.

The update is here:

Tracey adds

If people want to apply last minute, they can either call me on 01223 321118 or email

I am hoping I may be able to attend myself – suffering poor health, but I’d love to be there.  (David writing)

ARLT INSET Day Sat 7th March – new deadline

March INSET Day
The date for registration for the INSET in Cambridge on Saturday March 7th has been changed. You can now register up to 28th February.

For details of the INSET please see this page.

ARLT INSET in Cambridge

The annual INSET Day (Refresher Day) will be held on Saturday 7th March at Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, home of the Cambridge International School, beginning at 10.30am. The director is Russell Lord, and the course secretary is Tracey Headland.

The cost, including lunch and all refreshments, is just £25.

There will be one keynote address, and the rest of the day will be taken up with discussion groups on topics that are relevant to practising teachers. Follow the link below for an application form, and for an invitation to introduce a group discussion on a topic you feel is important.

See the details here.