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This event has been postponed due to extreme weather conditions. A new date will be confirmed as soon as possible.


This event is the first stage of an ongoing process of engaging with schools about the value offering classical subjects to schools (for example as a means of delivering certain outcomes outlined in the curriculum for excellence).

For our event on 3rd March, we would like to invite teachers and pupils aged 14-18 from schools across Central and Eastern Scotland which do not currently have classical subjects on the curriculum to come to St Andrews and get a taste of the subject. The event is also open to schools which do already offer classical subjects but is designed to be fun and informative for all pupils. So no prior knowledge assumed. The climax of the day (3-4pm) will be a lively and exciting talk by Bettany Hughes, the well-known writer and TV/radio broadcaster. Bettany’s recent TV series include Eight Days That Made Rome (Channel 5) and Genius of the Ancient World (BBC). She will give an illustrated talk on the value of classical story-telling.

Beforehand, there will be three different hands-on activities for pupils, as well as art and story competitions. There will also be a networking lunch for all teachers who attend (with food provided). We are hoping that the event, and especially the networking lunch, can form part of teachers’ continuing professional development. The activities should be of interest to all pupils, and especially those with interests in Drama, English, Modern Studies and History. You’ll see below that there are also creative writing, art and model-making competitions which your pupils can enter.

Booking Instructions

Please see the detailed timetable and outline of activities. We would be very grateful if teachers who want to come could do the following:

  1. If you are bringing pupils for the activities, please email classcon@st-andrews.ac.uk by 9th February. In order to make the day go smoothly, please let us know the names and number of pupils, and their ages. Please also let us know which choice of three activities each pupil would prefer to take part in (see outline below). Please also let us know the number of teachers attending from your school for the teachers’ networking/CPD lunch.
  2. If you are ALSO or ONLY bringing pupils and teachers to the Bettany Hughes talk at 3.00 pm, please book for the Bettany Hughes Lecture here. We need to have this as a separate process so that we can release any spare seats to students and the public.

If you would like to come but transport for the pupils is a problem, please let us know anyway in the hope that we might be able to find a solution.


9.45: Welcome and announcements (Buchanan Lecture Theatre)

10.15-11.15: Activities session 1 (various venues)

11.15-12.15: Activities session 2 (various venues)

12.15-1.45: Break

Teachers’ networking lunch + round-table discussion

1.45-2.45: Activities session 3 (various venues)

2.45-3.00: Short break

3-4: Bettany Hughes’ talk: ‘The value of classical storytelling’ + prize giving until 4.15ish (Buchanan Lecture Theatre)


Pupils will choose three out of five activities. For each activity they will be in groups of 20-30. The activities are:

 1. ‘In touch with the past’. 1) 30 mins archaeology activity in The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) with MUSA education staff and student volunteers. 2) 30 mins handling real ancient Greek pots and other artefacts in the School of Classics’ archaeology room.

2. ‘Become a Fury!’ Pupils will have a chance to act as a chorus from Aeschylus’ amazing tragedy The Kindly Ones and learn about the importance of song and dance in ancient drama. With help from Byre Youth Theatre Ltd.

3. Mask and model making. Learn about Greek and Roman theatre by making masks and models of ancient theatres. If there is demand, we could use this session to make and discuss other ancient buildings too.

4.‘Classical quiz and games party’. The Greeks loved a party (called a ‘symposium’). Riddles and games were a big part of what they did. In this session our student volunteers will get the pupils into groups to do some multiple choice quizzes and other games about ancient history, myth and literature: fun and informative! No previous classical knowledge necessary.

5‘Myth and rhetoric.’ The Greek and Romans invented the art of public speaking and learning ‘rhetoric’ was key to an ancient education. Ancient pupils often did this by composing imaginary speeches by figures from myth. In this session, we’ll teach each speech-writing team of pupils some tricks of the trade. Pupils will create (e.g.) a defence speech for Helen of Troy (‘the gods made me do it’) or Orestes (‘she started it’). This one is probably more suited to older pupils.


On the advice of local teachers we will not provide lunch for the pupils. Pupils should either bring a packed lunch with them or money to buy lunch in town. We hope to provide some an area for packed lunches to be consumed.

Competitions for pupils

  1. Write a short story or piece of descriptive writing inspired by a Greek or Roman myth of your choosing (500-1000 words). Please make sure that pupils put their name, school and year on their piece. Submit by February 23rd to classcon@st-andrews.ac.uk.
  2. Write a short poem in which you imagine yourself to be a character from Greek or Roman myth or history. Please make sure that pupils put their name, school and year on their piece. Submit by February 23rd to classcon@st-andrews.ac.uk.
  3. Create a piece of art or a model inspired by Greek and Roman literature, art, history or culture and bring it with you on the day. (Make sure the piece is labelled with name and school: group efforts also welcome!)


See our flyers for more details:

Flyer 1

Flyer 2

Flyer 3

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