One of the most useful and reassuring aspects of the weekend was Evelien’s talk about funding and its availability. The fear of starting a project with no funding was definitely putting me off asking for opportunities in my school. I felt that wanting to introduce Classical Studies in to a small comprehensive school with big literacy issues would be hopeless. Being able to access funding and show some strong signs of Latin supporting literacy has boosted my confidence tenfold! On Sunday evening when I got home I emailed the head of KS3 in my school and asked if we could start a transition project linking to Classics – it was a confident yes! Now I just need to get planning.
The weekend focused (quite rightly) on Latin and how to introduce it into schools. I still find this area a little bit daunting, but taking time to look closely at the Cambridge Latin Course and all the online resources has made me think that it could be possible. I am currently an NQT trying to find my way through teaching English in my first year. My comfort zone is rooted deeply in Classical Studies and I feel that it would be best for my school to start there and get the pupils interested before introducing Latin – although having discussed it with my colleagues it certainly is something we hope to do in the future with the support of Swansea University.
The whole weekend was framed beautifully in Gregynog Hall. It was an inspiring place to stay for the training and also a relaxed enough environment to be comfortable and talk freely. It was extremely exciting to see so many people from different areas of Wales and beyond interested in Classics. Hopefully we will be able to make the most of our links to share ideas, resources and fun projects.
I care deeply about Classics and if Gorseinon College hadn’t offered Classical studies I’m really not sure what I would have done after my GCSEs. My parents were incredibly supportive and I was lucky to receive the education I wanted for free. A small nagging part of my brain worries that my parents would have tried to educate me privately for 6th form just so I would have the chance to learn about something I was desperately interested in. I am not even sure if they would have been able to pay for private education – and it certainly wouldn’t be an option for the students in my school or Swansea in general. This is why I think it is hugely important to be able to offer students in Swansea the chance to experience Classics purely for enjoyment and learning’s sake – without a price tag. Yes, improving literacy will always be a priority and yes, we will need to justify the links to literacy in our schools but I loved Classics because of the monsters, the heroes and the heartbreak. If we can get pupils interested in a good story, or two, then literacy will surely follow.
Written by Bryony Green