Feb 4, 2014

Poor students still falling behind

taken by Caroline Lonque for The Latin Programme
taken by Caroline Lonque for The Latin Programme

According to the Institute of Education children from poor backgrounds must do even better than their peers in key academic subjects in order to “get on in life”.  The chance of poor pupils becoming high achievers remains low, with those who receive Free School Meals lagging behind their peers in the core subjects. 

At The Latin Programme, our students tend to experience greater disadvantage than the average with 30% receiving Free School Meals, 56% coming from minority ethnic backgrounds and fewer than half speaking English as their first language.

We  are passionate about ensuring the best future for all children.  By supporting students to increase and solidify their reading, writing and communication skills, we not only improve the likelihood of their educational success but enhance their overall life chances. Our Programme has proven results--by the end of a school year 90% of our students have attained the expected level for Reading and 83% are at the expected level for Writing.

We believe good literacy skills are key to future success.  The Latin Programme ensures that these skills are acquired at an early stage.

“We have seen a sharp increase in our literacy results as a result [of The Latin Programme]. Our ethnic-minority children who have English as an additional language are now taking pride in their mother tongue.”

Head Teacher, St Mary’s Church of England Primary School

“My daughter has really enjoyed learning Latin at school and her confidence is growing all the time. I think the experience of learning this language will really help when she moves into secondary school next year.”

Parent, South London

What skills did you acquire as a child that are valuable to you today?


Nov 5, 2013

Latin Offers Hope for England's Falling Literacy Rates

Recently BBC reported that young adults in England score amongst the lowest in the industrialised world in both literacy and numeracy tests. According to Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, "This shocking report shows England has some of the least literate and numerate young adults in the developed world."

We at The Latin Programme have just completed an analysis of our students’ results for 2012/13 and can counter this depressing research with some good news.

We are thrilled to report that 87% of our students attained the expected level for Literacy at the end of the school year---far surpassing the national average. This is particularly impressive as the majority of our students face multiple barriers to learning, such as living in poverty, having Special Educational Needs and/or English as a second, or even third, language.

Asha’s* story below is an example of how The Latin Programme is contributing to improving the literacy levels and thereby the life chances of children facing such barriers.

At the beginning of last year Asha’s* Reading and Writing levels were far below the average for her age.  Asha lives in inner-city London, comes from a lower economic background and receives free school meals. Identified as having Special Educational Needs, she had low self-esteem and frequently did not take credit for classroom achievements. After just one year of The Latin Programme however, Asha’s confidence level and her test scores both rose substantially.

Asha is now among the first to answer questions and offer explanations, regularly making links between Latin and other modern languages.  The praise and encouragement she has received for her bright remarks and quick understanding of language points has fostered her budding self-belief.  

She was delighted to achieve 87% in her end of term test.  When it was handed back to her, she eagerly went over each answer to see where she had gone wrong--even managing to make her own corrections before reading the comments.  She is an enthusiastic student of Latin and has blossomed in the classroom. In fact, she is so keen she often takes Latin work home to share with her family and friends.

The Latin Programme is passionate about and committed to finding innovative ways to help children achieve improved literacy and thus enhance their life prospects. We have seen real changes in the confidence levels of our students and our pioneering approach has proven results with 88% progressing more than one level in Literacy after just a year of instruction.

Good literacy skills result in significant advantages in health, job opportunities and income. By increasing and solidifying childrens’ literacy skills we not only improve the likelihood of their educational success, but also, more importantly, we contribute to expanding their overall life chances.


*Name changed to protect her identity

The image used above is of one of our students, but in order to protect her identity, it is not the one mentioned in this update

Aug 13, 2013

Thanks to you we made it!

Students at St Monica's
Students at St Monica's

This July The Latin Programme entered the world of online fundraising, and thanks to you, this new venture has been overwhelmingly successful. We raised above and beyond our goal of £2500 and thereby secured a permanent place on the charity website, globalgiving. Thank you so very much.

While The Latin Programme runs during the school year, summer is a very busy time.  We are planning lessons for September and, as we do every August, collating all our student scores and feedback in an effort to improve the programme in the coming year.

This September we will be in 31 classes working to improve literacy and therefore the life-chances of children across London, and for the first time ever we will be launching the programme with even younger children in Year 3. 

Thanks to your support we will be able to offer the programme in South West London this year.

Here is a big thank you from some of our wonderful scholars:


tibi gratias ago

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