A pioneering project to promote Classics at schools in deprived areas is appealing for alumni to share their passion for the ancient world.
The charity Classics for All introduces Latin, ancient Greek, ancient history and classical civilisation to youngsters at state-run primary and secondary schools nationwide.
More than 6,000 pupils have already benefited from more than £450,000 in grants awarded by the charity to support the teaching of Classics. The charity believes every pupil deserves to benefit from the learning, enjoyment and inspiration that Classics provides.
Only in its fifth year, the charity has already supported 300 schools, and it aims to increase this to 600 schools to meet demand in the next two years. Cambridge Classicists are heavily involved in the charity’s activities, with three of our University staff, Mary Beard, Paul Cartledge, and Pat Easterling (former Regius Professor of Greek) serving as patrons.
Nicholas Barber CBE, chairman of Classics for All, said: “Classics for All is only five years old but we are on a roll. We work with schools to revive Classics and make them a permanent part of the curriculum. Most state schools do not have Classics teachers, so we offer training and mentoring for teachers with a basic knowledge of Latin or Ancient History or those who are keen to develop new subject knowledge from scratch. Enthusiastic volunteers are an essential part of our work; they help us in many ways including spreading the word about Classics for All, getting schools on board, offering classical talks to schools, teaching Latin in primary schools or mentoring teachers new to Classics. Even if your grammar is rusty, or if you have not returned to your texts in decades, Classics for All would value your support.”
Peter Olive co-ordinates CfA’s work in London through a programme called Capital Classics. He said: “Classics alumni have played a crucial role in getting Latin, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History onto the curriculum in more than 50 London primary and secondary schools in areas of social deprivation. Participating schools have been amazed by the positive reaction among pupils, and Latin and Classical Civilisation are now taught in some London primary and secondary schools alongside or as an alternative to modern foreign languages.”