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