The Latin Programme answers the call for classroom-ready Latin teachers
Classics is making a comeback in the capital’s classrooms, however there is a dearth of experienced teachers to teach the subject. According to Zanna Wing-Davey, the Executive Director of The Latin Programme, finding experienced and engaging Latin teachers is a Herculean task, “We struggle to find appropriate teachers. Whilst there are a number of Classics graduates interested in teaching, few have any experience in the classroom and even fewer have the skills needed to engage, excite and hold the attention of young children, manage a classroom and respond to the needs of mixed ability classes.”
There are only two universities in England that offer a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) in Classics: The University of Cambridge and King’s College London. According to classicsteaching.com, “Every year about 30 people in England train to become classics teachers, but this just isn’t enough.” As Chris Arnot states, “the demand for Latin teachers in schools is going up, while the supply is going down.”
The Latin Programme has designed a pilot Teacher Training Project with the hope of producing a fresh crop of classroom-ready Latin teachers. The Latin Programme is unique in its interactive and kinaesthetic approach to teaching this so-called ‘dead’ language, which allows children to have so much fun that they don’t realise they are learning. As the Head Teacher at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School says, “Your Latin Programme has seen our literacy results rise to above national averages (85%). We asked the Ofsted Lead Inspector to observe the Latin teacher at work and she too was enthralled. The techniques used in Latin class are well suited to our children and, as a school, we have been amazed at the progress they have made in such a short time frame. The children are attentive and are thoroughly enjoying their Latin lessons.”
Supported by Classics for All, the Teacher Training Project will take place over six weeks. Trainees will work together in small seminars to learn skills such as classroom management, how to engage EAL students, lesson planning and responsive teaching. This will be coupled with hands on experience in primary school classrooms across London under the mentorship of experienced Latin Programme teachers.
We received a lovely vote of confidence from Professor Michael Scott: “It’s fabulous to see Classics for All and The Latin Programme work together on this new project to enable teachers to open up the wonderful world of Latin for their students. The Latin Programme team are fun, dedicated and brilliant at what they do. Anyone working with them is guaranteed to never regret it.”