Inner-City Latin

by The Latin Programme
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Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin
Inner-City Latin


The academic year 2020-21 was the second to be affected by the pandemic. Although we were disappointed not to be able to teach our programme face-to-face from September onwards, the previous year had stood us in good stead for delivering lessons flexibly.

A significant portion of the year's teaching, across all schools, had to be undertaken online, either via live video links, or pre-recorded lessons.

To make things as easy as possible for our schools, and to maintain consistency for our pupils, we built an online portal through which school staff and pupils alike could access video and worksheet content from school or from home. This allowed us to continue delivering lessons even when circumstances called for self- isolation.

We were delighted that, despite the ongoing

disruption to our regular face-to-face lessons, our programme remained effective. Our biannual tests saw an 8% overall increase in results from the first

test in winter term to the second in the summer term. In the summer tests, 64% of all Year 6 pupils achieved 60% or above, while 76% of all Year 5 pupils achieved over 60% or above.

“We are very lucky to have Latin at our school. Our teacher is funny and helps us understand the vocabulary. “

“It's very fun and it really helps with grammar!”

“I tell my friends to do it because it helps with English and science.”

“You get to play games like 'unlucky -nt' and 'gladiator'!”


The Latin Programme has been embedded in the Argyle Primary curriculum since 2013. In the academic year 2020-2021, we taught across seven Key Stage 2 classes: one Year 3, and double-entry in Years 4, 5, and 6.

At Argyle, where the majority of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals and speak English as an additional language, pupils across the board achieved between 60% and 70% in the end of year Latin tests even after a turbulent pandemic year that meant our in- person teaching time was hugely reduced, and lessons were often taught via video.

In 2019, 92% of pupils spoke English as an additional language. 85% of the cohort achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths overall, 20% higher than the England average of 65%. The same group achieved a score of 106 in reading, compared to an England average of 104.


We have taught The Latin Programme at St Mary's Primary since 2014. In the academic year 2020-2021, we taught across eight classes from Year 3 to Year 6. At St Mary's, where the majority of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals and speak English as an additional language, the class average in the end of year tests was 70%.

In 2019, 76% of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths overall, 11% higher than the England average. The same group achieved a score of 104 in reading, matching the England average

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The Latin Programme Online Summer School 2021 
From 26th-30th July 2021 we ran the second edition of our online Summer School in partnership with The Classical Association. Over five days, we were delighted to work with over a hundred pupils, exploring all things 'natura' (that's 'nature' to us!) in the ancient world, from animals in Aesop's Fables, to constellations and how we can recognise them, to fruit and vegetables in myth!
Head over to our YouTube channel to watch five sessions back: 
Easter Mini-Courses
After a jam-packed two weeks over the Easter, there are ten episodes of our Mini-Course available to watch on Youtube1
Both The Meditations Project and Introduction to Opera and Theatre are available to view whenever you like, and are suitable for Key Stage 2 and above.
The Meditations Project: a mini-series exploring the Stoics and their influence on ways of thinking.
Introduction to Opera and Theatre: looking at Ovid's Metamorphoses through the lens of Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' and Lerner and Loewe's 'My Fair Lady'.
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Easter YouTube Mini Courses

Over two weeks, we are delivering two brand new mini-courses for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils.  From 5th-16th April, we’ll post a 30-minute video on our YouTube channel each weekday morning at 10am. We have been marketing the course via social media and our mailing list.

Introduction to Opera & Theatre, exploring Ovid's Metamorphoses through the lens of Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' and Lerner and Loewe's 'My Fair Lady'.

The Meditations Project, which asks the question ‘Who were the Stoic philosophers and how can they help us?’ Over 5 30 minute episodes, we explored the key figures of Stoicism and the influence of their teachings throughout history.

Watch the videos on our YouTube channel:

Latin Programme Lecture 

On March 3rd at 7pm we held our third Latin Programme Lecture, delivered by Simon Goldhill on the subject ‘The Spectacular Politics of Theatre’. We were delighted to be joined by 40 audience members!

Latin Programme Poetry Prize

In 2020, we launched our inaugural poetry prize. Poets were encouraged to compose a poem using the Latin phrase ‘de rerum natura’ (‘on the nature of things’) as a starting point. How our poets used the phrase was completely up to them.

Many thanks must go to our wonderful judges, Blake Morrison, Deanna Rodger and Ella Hickson, who chose the winner from a shortlist of nine. Read the winning poem and the rest of the longlist here:

Summer School 2021

Now that spring is here, we’re looking forward to our next online Summer School, which will take place on 27th-31st July.

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The academic year 2019/2020 was a tale of two halves. We began our year as usual, working in our participating London state schools to deliver dynamic, rigorous and engaging Latin lessons to improve literacy and foster creativity, confidence and cultural awareness. Many of our schools participated in the Roman Walking Tour scheme led by the City of London Guide Lecturers' Association, and we welcomed twelve groups to two editions of The Festival of Latin, a three-part enrichment day covering creative writing, poetry and performance, and art history at Leighton House Museum, the former home of the Victorian artist Lord Leighton.

With the closure of schools in March and the subsequent nationwide lockdown, we were no longer able to see our pupils in person and were forced to cancel our museum days, Roman walks, and forthcoming university trips. From our homes, we continued delivering lessons in whatever ways we could, delivering bespoke homework packs and videos to our schools, and expanding our online offering to include free or very subsidised resources for young learners looking to keep up their studies. When it became clear that the restrictions would carry through the summer months too, we made the decision to move our second Summer School online, opening the invitation up to pupils not just in London but nationwide, and organising both group sessions and YouTube livestreams run by our specialised team of creative facilitators.



 It was of the utmost importance to us and to our schools that we continue to provide our pupils with high quality Latin and literacy resources that could be completed from home. From March onwards, we delivered weekly bespoke, age-specific worksheet packs to our participating schools. Each pack was made with five key elements in mind: history, comprehension, a movement activity, a game, a grammar exercise.

Video Content:

An Introduction to Reading Ovid - In this six-part series, our Executive Director Zanna Wing-Davey explored scansion, translation and close reading using a passage of Ovid's Ars Amatoria Book 2, lines 21-30.

Who Were the Gods of Mount Olympus - As part of our online Summer School offering, our facilitators took to YouTube every day for two weeks to deliver a 40 minute creative session for KS2 and KS3 viewers.

The Gods Mixtape, ‘If I Were A God’ - In the weeks after our online Summer School had drawn to a close, our Director of Teaching and Learning Jonathan Goddard took to the studio to record 'If I Were A God,' a twelve-part poem exploring the characteristics of each god of Mount Olympus, inter-weaving lines written by ourSummer School participants in their poetry and performance classes.


After receiving confirmation of a generous grant from the Classical Association for the delivery of a face-to-face Summer School, the ongoing health crisis forced us to rethink our model. Instead of delivering day-long sessions over a week to 50 participants, we decided to pilot a digital model, delivering daily 45-minute YouTube Live sessions, followed by hour-long Zoom sessions for one hundred participants over a fortnight.

“I always thought you just read a mythology book and that's it - I would never have thought you could explore Latin in so many different ways” - summer school participant 

“A varied introduction to the Roman gods run by enthusiastic teachers” - parent of Summer School participant

“I would never have thought you could associate gods with dance!” - summer school participant

I always thought you just read a mythology book and that's it - I would never have thought you could explore Latin in so many different ways - summer school participant


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2020 has proved to be a year full of challenges, tempests and transitions. Schools closed and left hundreds of thousands of children without the stimulation and room for growth that education provides. Our schools shut their doors to all but the most vulnerable and the children of key workers but we wanted to keep doing our job. both the schools and children have welcomed our contributions. 

Now we are asking you to help us. Throughout lockdown we have sent schemes of work, remote resources, videos and other rich media to our schools across London.  In some schools we have been part of their in-school provision. For hundreds of children our efforts have provided a sense of continuity, knowing that we are able to deliver: online, on paper, on time. As we work harder, our future is in jeopardy. schools are anxious about their ability to provide our transformative programme. grants, given in principle, now hang in the balance.

Our work isn't just teaching Latin, it is changing the world, using Classics to redress inequality, provide opportunity and sharpen young minds.  At this time we need your help. Improving literacy raises life chances. And your donations will impact the life chances of thousands of young people, equipping them with valuable skills to weather any storm.  Please give generously. With your help we can bring the past to life to change the future.



This year, The Latin Programme is partnering once again with the Classical Association to present the second Latin Programme Summer School.

Due to the ongoing health crisis, we’ve made the decision to move this year’s event online. We are also extending the duration of the course from one week to two!

Sessions will take place every weekday, 27th July to 7th August, from 10am-12pm on Zoom.

The programme will include:

-       an introduction to Latin language

-       hip hop & poetry

-       opera & dance

-       storytelling

-       creative writing and much more!

We welcome all pupils aged 7-14. Summer School attendees aged 7-10 will work together in one group, while all attendees aged 11-14 will work together in another. 


We know that parents and guardians have been working hard to keep their children busy and engaged at home, and so we've spent the past month creating worksheets and video content that we hope will be of some help.


We’ve just launched our very first Poetry Prize judged by the brilliant writers Deanna Rodger, Blake Morrison and Ella Hickson.

The rules are simple. 

By 1st December 2020, use the form below to send us your poem using the Latin phrase ‘de rerum natura’ (‘on the nature of things’) as a starting point. How you use the phrase is completely up to you. For example, it could simply be as a theme to meditate upon as you write. You don’t need to use the phrase - or indeed any Latin - in your poem if you don’t wish. 

Entries should be no more than 40 lines. The winner will be announced on February 1st, 2021.

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The Latin Programme

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LatinProgramme
Project Leader:
Anna Richmond
London, London United Kingdom
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