- We are proud to announce that from 30th April 2019, the WCN will receive funding from the A. G. Leventis Foundation. This funding will allow Dr Paul Grigsby to continue in his role with WCN as Research Fellow in Outreach in the dept. of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. In addition, the funding will be used to support many new projects including our Schools Study Day here at Warwick this coming November.
- On 1st May 2019 Prof. Michael Scott was named a Trustee of Classics for All.
- In other news, congratulations to WCN's Prof. Michael Scott and Dr Paul Grigsby for being nominated for the Warwick Public Engagement Contribution Award 2019
Upcoming WCN Activities
1st June 2019 - Fourth #AskAnAcademic video to be released - Dr Clare Rowan on Imperial Image and Coins
1st July 2019 - Warwick Classical Civilisation A-level Teachers' Day
This day has been organised by Dr Paul Grigsby of WCN and Dr Emmanuela Bakola and Prof. Zahra Newby to cater for the needs of teachers of the A-level Classical Civilisation syllabus.
1st July 2019 - Fifth #AskAnAcademic video to be released - Prof Michael Scott on Greek Religion
7th July 2019 - Dr Grigsby to speak at CA/FIEC 2019 at UCL London
On 7th July Dr Grigsby will talk about the work of the WCN at this years Classical Association/FIEC Conference at UCL, London. Dr Grigsby will be speaking as part of a panel organised by Prof. Edith Hall and Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson of Advocating Classics Education.
8th July 2019 - Coventry: A City of Cultures - Herbert Gallery and Lunt Fort Visit
On 8th July, 90 students from Barr's Hill and the President Kennedy School, Coventry, will visit the Herbert Gallery for talks by academics from Warwick University and Coventry University; a special museum tour of the Medieval Galleries; and artefact handling sessions with some of the Museum's rarely seen Roman pieces from Lunt Fort. In the afternoon the pupils will be given a guided tour of Lunt Roman Fort.
29th July - 2nd August 2019 - Sutton Trust Summer School 2019
The WCN is involved in the organisation of this year's Sutton Trust Summer School here at Warwick. We have created an exciting course for interested pupils working together with the departments of History of Art and Film and TV. We will examine how Classics has been a constant theme throughout art history, and how classics is used in modern film and TV media. We will be discussing especially the themes of spectacle and the body.
The Sutton Trust targets WP schools in its efforts to open university as an option to pupils from areas of traditionally low university uptake. WCN has used its contacts and social media to advertise this classics summer school. PG’s role is to organise the week, part of his continuing role as funded by the Widening Participation Development Fund.
Recent WCN Activities
29th April 2019 - Introducing Classics to Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby
Dr Grigsby visited Nick Wharton at President Kennedy School in Rugby to discuss the creation of Classics resources for the school's enrichment sessions. The plan will be, working with Steve Hunt and Classics for All, to create 8 1-hour sessions which will give an overview of the variety of topics covered under 'Classics' and 'Ancient History',, and which will then be made available for other schools as teaching resources.
24th April 2019 - Third #AskAnAcademic video posted - Prof. Michael Scott on the Ancient Greek Symposium
In this two-part video, Prof. Scott introduces us to the Ancient Greek Symposium through his Undergraduate Symposium seminar, where students recreate the drinking party (with ribena, not wine) in our Experimental Teaching Space. Prof. Scott discusses how the symposium was set up, what drinking-ware was used, and how the images on these vessels were experienced at the drinking party.
10th April 2019 - Introducing Classics at Cardinal Wiseman School, Coventry
Dr Grigsby visited Cardinal Wiseman School in Coventry where he discussed the introduction of classics and Latin with Vice-Principal Matt Everett and the Headmaster Tom Leverage. Keen to introduce Latin to help their leavers with their UCAS applications - they have been introducing Latin via an online course - they were interested to learn about what WCN and Classics for All could do to help them introduce taught Latin at the school. They have three or four teachers with some Latin (GCSE standard) and are very keen for these to be trained up in order to teach at school, probably to teach in normal school time. Firstly they are interested in providing GCSE, but almost as an enjoyable extra. The headmaster Tom Leverage is keen to get classics in somehow as well, and is aware of the beneficial knock on effect of learning Latin and classics.
Dr Grigsby also made plans to organise a school classics day with VR headsets for this coming July.
3rd April 2019 - Second #AskAnAcademic video posted online - Prof. Zahra Newby on Myth, Art and Architecture
In this 3-part video, our Head of Department Prof. Newby discusses the use of Greek Myth especially in later Roman Art and Architecture, discussing the use of myth in funerary art as well as ancient examples of iconoclasm.
2nd April 2019 - Introducing Classics to Ashlawn School, Rugby
On 2nd April Dr Grigsby visited Headteacher Siobhan Evans of Ashlawn School in Rugby to discuss the ways in which classical subjects can be added to the Ashlawn curriculum. Ms Evans has been in position only 10 weeks, but is keen to start something. We decided that maybe some classics linked to history and also after school clubs might be the best way to start. Again, she will meet with the potential history teacher and SLT and will get back to me, but again she was very keen, and also keen that this should be rolled out to the new school in the chain that is being built, and which she will be head of as well.
2nd April 2019 - Introducing Classics to Hartshill School, Nuneaton
On 2nd April Dr Grigsby visited Assistant-Principal Sam Behan of Hartshill School in Nuneaton. Sam and her staff are very keen to introduce some Latin and classics, first in MFL but eventually possibly across the whole curriculum. It is hoped we can do something similar across all four schools of the Academy chain - Hartshill, Nuneaton Academy, George Eliot School, and Heath Lane. Fingers crossed we may be looking at a possible September start.
1st April 2019 - Dr Grigsby talks to the High Attainers at President Kennedy School, Coventry
On Monday 1st April Dr Grigsby introduced the High Attaining Yr 7 students of President Kennedy School to the ancient world and to Roman Coventry. The pupils especially enjoyed the VR headsets and the tour of Athens and are keen to help the WCN with their ongoing project 'Coventry: A City of Cultures'.
This event involved a series of interactive talks and activities on numerous themes pertaining to the depiction of the ancient world in modern media – including issues of diversity, gender expectations and beauty ideals - hosted by researchers from Department of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University, culminating in participants designing their own advertising campaign inspired by an aspect of ancient society. The day got young people engaging with Classics and Ancient History in a way that was purposeful and strongly relevant to them – not just as students, but also as consumers of modern media.
This event was created to provide a stimulating vehicle for putting into practice some of the wider aims of the various GCSE syllabi, helping to inform students’ critical understanding of the role of the media on its contemporary society, but also using classics to discuss topics such as gender and race. We were especially pleased that a number of our local schools were involved with this project.
Some of the feedback collected on the day reflected the importance of these visits on pupils’ perceptions of university:
Q. Has your experience today at Warwick changed your opinion about the possibility of coming and studying at University?
‘It has made me more eager to join Uni as there are many chances open for everyone’ – Tasneem Rahal, Year 9 President Kennedy School.
‘Yes, I think I would definitely want to go to university in the future’ – Nida Mansoor Year 9 President Kennedy School.
25th March - Recorded new #AskAnAcademic video with Dr Clare Rowan on Imperial Image and Coins
This video will be available at the beginning of June.
5th March 2019 - First #AskAnAcademic video posted - Prof. James Davidson on Love and Relationships
The first video was posted at the beginning of March 2019(Prof. James Davidson on Love and Relationships) and was promoted via social Media and the WCN contacts. Public Engagement at Warwick will also be promoting this series. So far three sessions have been recorded, with two more in the pipeline for February and March. In addition, videos will be created by PG from footage taken at the Roman Food and Drink event of 13th February and ‘Ancient Images, Modern Eyes’ in March.
Part of the idea behind these videos is to increase the exposure of our dept. to non-classicists. We hope that by advertising these resources to our contacts, including our WP schools, we will increase the visibility of Warwick and increase the chance of further interaction with the university.
26th February 2019 - Coventry: A City of Cultures
PG met with Francis Ranford of Culture Coventry at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry to discuss the project. The present aim is to invite 100 pupils from WP schools of Future’s Trust to take part in this project. Barr’s Hill have shown interest in sending their entire Year 8 pupils to visit the Museum and Fort in mid-July. In addition, PG is working together with HA group at President Kennedy School in the development of this project.
20th February 2019 - Prof. Michael Scott Inauguration
Prof. Michael Scott’s Inaugural Professorial lecture on the importance of classics and the future of classics teaching at university was streamed live via Facebook and the video of the lecture professionally recorded on the night has been posted online on the WCN website.
WCN schools (including the 29 WP schools) were contacted to make them aware of both the live streaming and then the availability of the final video online. Prof. Scott’s Television work, his numerous talks, and his weekly Facebook Q&A increase the profile of the classics dept. here at Warwick and the perceived approachability of the classics dept. as a whole.
18th February 2019 - Introducing Classics to President Kennedy School, Coventry
In February 2019, the SLT approved the creation of this classics club, and on 18th February Classics for All receive their application for training in Greek and Latin for teachers.
16th February 2019 (on-going) - Classics for All Ancient History Resource Creation
On 16th February Dr Paul Grigsby attended a meeting at Classics for All HQ in London, which he had organised alongside WCN teachers across the country. The aim was to create a suite of online Ancient History resources in order to encourage more schools to take up classics. The WCN were integral in the choice of Ancient History as the first target, as Ancient History is an easier subject for new teachers to take on, and compared to Latin or Classical Civilisation is more likely to be introduced by state schools and WP schools. These resources will provide extra ammunition when approaching WP schools and trying to interest them in teaching some classics.
The creation of these resources will go hand in hand with creation of resources for short courses and clubs created with Classics For All for Lawrence Sheriff, Stoke Park, and Barr’s Hill, as well as those resources created for ‘Coventry: A City of Cultures’. Thus WCN are busy creating a whole host of downloadable teaching resources, which will be especially targeted to local WP schools, and through which contact with Warwick can be strengthened and new relationships formed.
End of January 2019 - Helping Solihull Sixth Form
On 8th Jan 2019, Dr Grigsby responded to a request from Karen Greaves, Humanities Curriculum Leader at Solihull Sixth Form to find a temporary replacement for our WCN contact Gaynor Phillips on long term sick leave. By the end of January we were able to have a replacement in place.
28th January 2019 - High Attainers at President Kennedy School, Coventry
In January 2019, Dr Grigsby was approached separately by Layra Meyrick of President Kennedy School for help with her class of High Attainers. On Thursday 28th January Dr Grigsby visited President Kennedy School to meet up with Laura Meyrick to discuss how WCN could help create workshops with her 28 HA students. Dr Grigsby proposed a strong link between these students and his project ‘Coventry: A City of Cultures’ (see below). The students will be involved with the creation of videos, creative writing, workshops, and will help in the creation of a suite of online resources which the WCN hope to roll out as a teaching resource for all WP schools in Coventry and beyond. It is hoped that the Classics Club and the HA involvement with ‘Coventry: A City of Cultures’ will build the relationship between this school and Warwick University.
24-25th January 2019 - Ancient Drama Festival
On 24th and 25th Jan Warwick Classics held their production of Aristophanes’ Frogs, with a public performance on 24th and a schools’ day on 25th. Part of the cost of running this day was provided from the Widening Participation Development Fund awarded to the WCN project.
539 students from 30 schools across the country attended the schools’ day, with another 19 schools on the reserve list. Of these 49 schools, 29 had no previous link with Warwick Classics, but others were regulars, proving the importance of creating ties with schools and building relationships, especially with the local community. Information on Warwick Open Days, study at Warwick, and the WCN was included in the programme.
10th January 2019 - Introducing Classics to Stoke Park School, Coventry
On 10th January 2019, Dr Grigsby visited Stoke Park School in Coventry, who are interested in introducing Classics and Latin across the board, including the introductory Cambridge Latin Course and Minimus as part of their introductory ‘Bridge’ study. Together with Classics for All, WCN are working with teachers of the trust to introduce Classics at KS2 and KS3, developing classics topics to fit into the English, History, and MFL curricula. As part of this link with the Futures Trust, we aim to help get Classics into Barr’s Hill School in Coventry (a good WP target school – see below), whose Head Chris Jupp WCN has already been in conversation with. The meeting at Stoke Park involved Steve Hunt on behalf of Classics for All, Jacqueline Parsons-Moore (MFL) and Natalie Rock (Director of Teaching & Learning and Director of English).
The end result was a plan to introduce a broadly based Classics course for all Year 7 students in September 2019. This will consist of three main strands which would be designed to show how Classics is all around us in the modern world and the value of Latin to help with literacy and cultural understanding. The students will study a Classical play (such as Oedipus, Antigone), some Classical History, and some Latin (Cambridge Latin Course stages 1-4). Students who receive additional support in Year 7 might do Minimus instead of the Cambridge Latin Course. In the following Year Latin may be on offer to Year 8 students as part of the languages provision. It is anticipated that over time this will build towards a GCSE.
There are a number of teachers within Stoke Park who have some Classical knowledge and who are prepared to take this on. Some training to top up will be necessary for CLC (provided free by CfA).
Stoke Park is part of a consortium involving two other secondary schools (President Kennedy and Barrs Hill). it is our intention that this model might be applied to these schools as well. Within the consortium are a number of primary schools. Our further aim is to introduce Minimus in these schools to aid literacy and to draw students into the world of Classics and support the teaching of history. Training for Minimus will also be supplied by Classics for All.
January 2019 - Coventry: A City of Cultures
The WCN have been awarded £2000 for the project 'Coventry: A City of Cultures' from GRP Connecting Cultures, at the University of Warwick. We are especially excited by this project, as it will involve collaboration between the Dept of Classics and Ancient History here at Warwick and academics from the Coventry University, along with the Herbert Museum and Gallery in Coventry, Lunt Fort Roman site, and local Coventry schools. In this project, we will look at the role played by the meeting of cultures in the development of Coventry, creating a teaching resource online for future use, with our events culminating in school events at the Herbert Gallery in July 2019 and visits to Lunt Fort.
The WCN has made good contacts through its role in helping introduce Classics to local schools, and will be involving schools from the Futures Trust in Coventry in this scheme including President Kennedy School and Barr’s Hill.
WCN is planning to use this event and the resources and links created to build up a lasting and growing relationship with some of our local schools, opening up the idea of university study as a viable option to more pupils. WCN will host the resources on its website, and create a space for local pupils to post content. We aim to use these resources as an introduction to especially under-achieving schools in the Coventry area, as a way of increasing our interaction with local WP schools, and of the schools with their local cultural establishments and history.
17th December 2018 - Introducing Classics to President Kennedy School, Coventry
On 17th December with himself, Charlie Andrew (CfA )and Eleanor Pettitt and Charlotte Stentoft to discuss the creation and funding of this club, with Charlie giving overview of her course, Mega Greek.
30th November 2018 - Classics for All meeting London
on 30th November Dr Grigsby attended the Classics for All meeting for regional classics hub leaders. Future plans for introducing classics to state schools were discussed, with an emphasis on the creation of resources for Ancient History teachers and the creation of classics-based modules for introduction at KS2 and KS3.
21st November 2018 - Introducing Classics to Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby
On 21st Nov WCN along with Steve Hunt of Classics for All visited Dr Peter Kent at Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby to discuss introducing some classical material to their curriculum. Dr Peter Kent attended our 2nd July event [Emperors, Coins, Frogs and Oracles] where he was very vocal about the benefits of classics in enriching the curriculum and providing cultural capital - things Ofsted are becoming increasingly keen on. Following this meeting, Steve Hunt and Dr Grigsby will be producing a number of short courses for the Lawrence Sheriff enrichment sessions which will then be made available online for more general use in other local schools.
Our aim is to create a suite of resources which will be posted on our WCN website, and which will be advertised and made available to all out local WP schools, thus creating stronger links with these schools, encouraging dialogue, and leading to further interactions and visits of Warwick academics to these schools, and these schools to events on campus, giving these students an idea of the possibilities of study at university.
November 2018 - #AskAnAcademic Video Resources receive funding from Warwick Public Engagement Fund
The WCN has been awarded £500 from the Warwick Public Engagement Fund to develop its project #AskAnAcademic. This is a video resource in which Warwick Classics academics answer questions sent in by schools relating to the Ancient History and Classical Civilisation GCSE and A-level curricula. In addition, these videos will allow our WCN academics to talk about their latest research and to promote their work to the wider public. A new video will be posted every month once the project is up and running.
19th October 2018 - Introducing Classics Club at President Kennedy School, Coventry
On 19th October 2018 Dr Grigsby met with Eleanor Pettit and Charlotte Stentoft (English Dept.) at President Kennedy School to discuss the creation of an after-school classics club. They were especially keen on the idea of creating resources and learning some Ancient Greek. Another meeting has been orgaised for December.
13th October 2018 - VR Headsets at Solihull Sixth Form
WCN have been busy active in engaging with local schools through the sending out our VR headsets to local schools for use in teaching and open days. On 13th October our Athens VR has been used at Solihull Sixth Form open day (Saturday 13th October 2018). PG visited the school to instruct the Classics teacher Gaynor Phillips in the use of the headsets, and created a user guide. They proved a great success.
September 2018 - Sidney Stringer Academy, Coventry
WCN have been maintaining contact with the Sidney Stringer Academy to ensure the continued teaching of Latin, which has been under pressure of being dropped from the curriculum. At the beginning of September 2018 Dr Grigsby approached Vicki Tomlin to check on the progress of Latin at Sidney Stringer, and found that she was still struggling to maintain the subject given the school’s inability to recruit a new Latin teacher. Dr Grigsby contacted the Vice Principal Gemma Earles, and finding that there was budget for extra teaching hours, used his contacts as Classics for All and the WCN to help find a recruit for this position.
On 2nd July 2018, the Department of Classics and Ancient History hosted the launch event for the Warwick Classics Network (WCN), ‘Emperors, Coins, Frogs and Oracles’.
Organised by Professor Michael Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Paul Grigsby (email@example.com), in partnership with Advocating Classics Education (ACE) and the charity Classics for All (CfA), the event was funded with the help of the Warwick Widening Participation Development Fund, and the Warwick Impact Fund (awarded to Prof. Michael Scott). The day was attended by almost 200 schoolchildren from 30 schools across the country and their teachers, alongside staff from some schools interested in developing Classics and Ancient History as part of their curriculum.
The event consisted of lectures for pupils by Warwick academics and separate teacher sessions aimed at creating a community of WCN teachers, including a special session on introducing classics for teachers and SLT of schools not currently teaching the subject.
Through the organization of this event, the WCN made contact with a number of schools interested in introducing classics in the near future in the Coventry/Warwick area, namely: Barr’s Hill (Coventry), Cardinal Newman (Coventry), Finham Park II (Coventry), and Westwood Academy (Coventry), as well as the non-WP Higham Lane (Nuneaton), Lawrence Sheriff School (Coventry), and Studley High School (Studley).
WP schools which attended the event were Aldridge School (Walsall), Sidney Stringer Academy (Coventry) and the Westwood Academy (Coventry). Teachers from each of these schools also attended our teachers’ sessions.
In organising the event, Dr Grigsby directly contacted over 135 Secondary Schools, and created a database of contacts which will be of use in future WCN WP activities. This contact list for Warwickshire has 64 schools, of which 29 are WP schools. Through this initial round of contacts, three WP schools are already moving ahead with the introduction of classics to their curricula – Barr’s Hill, President Kennedy, and Stoke Park.