2020: A YEAR IN REVIEW
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.
OUR COVID RESPONSE
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.
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.
ONLINE SUMMER SCHOOL 2020
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
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.
SUMMER SCHOOL 2020:
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
- 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.
THE LATIN PROGRAMME POETRY PRIZE:
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.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: FUNDRAISING
Now in its tenth year, The Latin Programme is committed to:
In order to maintain the excellent quality of our offering and to increase our outreach to new pupils, the wheels of our fundraising strategy are in motion, with a full launch coming this summer.
To set things rolling, on the 3rd of December we celebrated #GivingTuesday by creating a brand new campaign video detailing what we do at The Latin Programme and why we do it! You can watch it here: The Latin Programme: bringing the past to life to change the future
We also launched a limited range of TABULA RASA tote bags made from sustainable cotton. There are three purchase options - £10, £15, or £20 - and the profits of each sale will contribute to the continued delivery of our programme.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: ENRICHMENT
ROMAN WALKING TOURS
From September 2019, we have been offering our schools the opportunity to take part in a Roman Walking Tour, led by the City of London Guide Lecturers' Association. Participating pupils will be taken around key Roman sites in the City of London, ending at the London Mithraeum. The trip allows pupils to gain an insight into London's Roman roots.
SCRIPTORES WRITING COMPETITION 2020
Following the success of our 2019 Scriptores Competition, we will once again be encouraging pupils from current and prospective schools across London to build their confidence in creative writing by inviting them to take part in a writing competition. This year, our judge of honour will be Caroline Lawrence, writer of The Roman Mysteries series.
LEIGHTON HOUSE FESTIVAL OF LATIN
Continuing on from a very successful series of sessions with Holland Park School last summer, we're continuing our relationship with Leighton House Museum to deliver a Festival of Latin to new schools. The one-day session will give Year 3s and 4s the chance to experience a Latin class, a storytelling session and a presentation on the history of Lord Leighton.
PODCAST FOR PUPILS - AURICULUM
In addition to our existing podcast series, Audite, we’re currently preparing to launch a podcast for pupils, created by pupils. Not only will the Auriculum series be a useful learning resource, it will also give our participating pupils the opportunity to gain confidence in broadcasting and public speaking.
SUMMER SCHOOL 2020
With our first, hugely successful Summer School behind us, planning is well underway for the 2020 edition. Once again, the Summer School will explore the links between the ancient world and our own through Latin language lessons, music, dance, drama, animation, podcast production, and a showcase on the final day.
After a decade of honing our innovative and dynamic academic programme, we at The Latin Programme are in a strong position to broaden our reach across new boroughs of London. This year we continued to put into action a rigorous outreach strategy, we have rejuvenated our social media output and taken full advantage of the rise of the podcast to create vibrant content that reflects our enthusiasm for Latin and the Classical world.
Furthermore, buoyed by the enormous success of The Aeneas Project (our 15-minute film rap-retelling of the story of Aeneas' travels from war-torn Troy to a new land), we are busy devising a series of new initiatives which will allow our students to make links between cultures as well as explore the impact of Latin and the classical world on art and culture. Here are a few of our most recent and upcoming projects:
IN CULINA: A cookery project in collaboration with Kings Cross Bun Project, an initiative that brings food and communities together, celebrating the diversity and history of local baking in Kings Cross using sustainably grown heritage flour. We have been delivering workshops in our schools to create the perfect panis quadratus, using a recipe unchanged from thousands of years ago.
TLP PODCAST: The new TLP podcast, AUDITE!, features interviews with people we admire about the ways Classics and Latin has influenced their lives. Whether a famous Classicist, a novelist who uses Classical allusion, one of our teachers or some of our pupils, we want to know about their journey, their experience of learning about the ancient world, and why it has been so important for them. For pupils, teachers and the general public alike, there are currently thirteen episodes available to download on iTunes, Spotify or YouTube!
LONDON-WIDE WRITING COMPETITION: We have encouraged all key stage two pupils from current and prospective schools across London to build their confidence in creative writing by inviting them to take part in a writing competition. We have had hundreds of entries which are currently being shortlisted for our scholarly Judges to decide who will win the top prizes. We may have even discovered the next Virgil!
STORYTELLING at The Latin Programme
Storytelling is an integral part of our programme in schools. We offer a storytelling session based on ancient mythology and writers from antiquity led by a professional storyteller at the end of every term for all of our classes.
Here's what one of our fantastic storytellers had to say about her experience this year...
Inspiring students who struggle: Teachers often comment with surprise on specific children who struggle to engage and focus during day-to-day school lessons. These children can be the most absorbed and engaged in a storytelling session - their imaginations set on fire.
Making cross-cultural links: We make deep links between multiple cultures - African, Balkan, Ottoman, Asian - because the stories we tell, although they are Roman and Greek myths, originate from wherever the Greeks and Romans travelled. The pride and pleasure on the faces of children who find that their inheritance is being shared with the class is a joy to see. We also get to represent feisty women, black princesses, disabled warriors, men who struggle to contain their anger (we love Hercules) - all just by telling a story.
Building on what we already know: The old stories work for any age - it's just about using the right language to meet the children in their world. If an inner city Londoner sees a fleece as a jacket with a zip and maybe a school badge, then that is the starting point for the Golden Fleece and that has to be enjoyed and folded into the story. And hey presto! We're learning about wool and shearing and sheep and what clothes are made of...
Creating our own stories: There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to tell stories. The children can make a comment and later hear their comment in the story. They have ownership of the story that doesn't rely on them remembering the 'correct' words to tell it. I can go back into a school and a class will be able to tell me a story that I told them even years earlier. The stories have become theirs.
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