By Dr. Arlene Holmes-Henderson
Our partners in Leeds provided a range of engaging Classics activities for teachers and students on a wet Wednesday in dark December. Participants had travelled from schools across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Humberside and Lancashire. Postgraduate Maria Haley describe d how she became a PhD student in Classics having been educated at a state school in Sheffield. Gemma Williams from Allerton Grange school summarised her motivations to introduce Classics to the curriculum from the perspective of a History Teacher. She also provided some top tips including how to optimise communication with senior leaders, how to promote the subject to students and how to source funding to set up a new subject. Lucy from Dixon’s Trinity Academy explained the role of Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in broadening the cultural horizons of students in Bradford.
Participants then transferred to the Brotherton Gallery where they were fortunate to experience two handling sessions of ancient artefacts led by postgraduate student Elinor Cosgrave and Professor Emma Stafford. This ability to engage and connect with the material past in a tangible way ensured smiles all round.
Hilary Hodgson from Classics for All led a session with teachers to establish what support they may need to introduce Classical Civilisation/Ancient History in their schools. The University of Leeds and the Yorkshire Classics network will work with these teachers to provide support in various ways.
ACE patron Charlotte Higgins closed the afternoon event with a talk entitled ‘Four things I learned from Classics and it’s not what you think!’. Her illustrated talk covered art, history, literature and politics. She then chose the winner of the Roman mosaic caption competition – what is the she-wolf saying? Signed books were given as prizes and participants left feeling inspired, enthused and entertained.