by Arlene Holmes-Henderson
Background to the Classics in Communities project
The Classics in Communities project is a partnership between the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the Iris Project. It was set up in response to the primary curriculum reforms which were implemented in England from September 2014. In the Key Stage 2 (KS2) Languages curriculum, for the first time, Latin and Classical Greek can be chosen for study by pupils aged 6-11. The project particularly targets schools which might not otherwise consider the option. It has twin aims: to equip teachers in primary schools with the skills and knowledge necessary to teach these languages; and to conduct parallel research to determine the impact of Classical language learning on children’s cognitive development.
In collaboration with project funders and supporters, we are pleased to launch two new ranges of digital resources.
How to get started with Latin guides
In response to requests from ‘non-specialist’ teachers of Latin, we produced simple guides to inform teachers how they might begin to introduce Latin into their school curriculum. The primary guide explains ways in which Latin fulfils language policy requirements in England and Scotland for pupils aged 7-11. It also combines, in one document, various suggestions regarding funding, resources and training.
The guide for secondary teachers details possible approaches to the introduction of Latin either on-, or off-timetable. Step-by-step instructions for discussion with school leaders and governors are provided. Furthermore, the document contains an overview of the funding available to state schools, as well as some suggestions regarding resources and training.
Non-specialist teachers often ask how to introduce key topics or language concepts in Latin/Ancient Greek to pupils. With the support of the Oxford Classics Faculty Media team, we recorded six videos featuring experienced practitioners discussing effective teaching strategies and offering suggestions for classroom activities:
(a) Teaching the Greek alphabet
(b) Teaching the definite article in Greek
(c) Teaching the Latin cases
(d) Teaching Latin verb tenses
(e) Teaching the Ablative Absolute in Latin
(f) Teaching the Indirect Statement construction in Latin
The Latin films can be accessed here and the Greek films here. The skills progression grids for primary Latin created in 2014 are still available here.
To learn more about the Classics in Communities project please contact our administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Classics in Communities project would like to thank the Classical Association and the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their generous support in helping the project generate these resources.
Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson is a language education specialist who conducts research and provides training for schools and universities, in the UK and worldwide. She is an academic at both King's College London, where she is working with Professor Edith Hall on the AHRC-funded 'Advocating Classics Education' project, and at the University of Oxford, where she leads research into the impact of Latin and Greek on children's cognitive development for the Classics in Communities project.