Reviving Classics in Glasgow’s Schools

Reviving Classics in Glasgow’s Schools

Issued: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:00:00 GMT

Literacy through Latin

A scheme to improve literacy in Glasgow Primary schools is to be extended, writes Professor Matthew Fox, Professor of Classics.

The scheme started five years ago with the help of the Chancellor’s fund. It has used student volunteers, who are studying Latin themselves, to take Latin into primary schools, mostly in Glasgow’s East End. The scheme has been so successful that the city’s education department is now extending it and training its own own teachers to deliver the course. 

In the public imagination, Classics is on the rise, thanks largely to TV appearances of Mary Beard. But Scotland has suffered badly from the disappearance of the subject in state sector education. A number of factors have produced a situation where the subject itself is viewed as elitist, and where unfamiliarity and political mistrust deter attempts to revive it. Teacher training ceased a few years ago, in spite of growing numbers of graduates in Classical Civilization.

Happily, Moray House in Edinburgh is now taking steps to bring it back. So the commitment of Glasgow to Latin is encouraging news, and it coincides with two other initiatives. One is a campaign led by Classical Association of Scotland, and the charity Classics for All. The other is the AHRC-funded campaign ACE: Advocating Classics Education, a UK-wide project to bring Classical Civilization into more state schools.

The College of Arts is hosting an ACE event at the Hunterian Museum on 28 March 2018, inviting educational leaders and teachers to explore and invest in the subject. Please get in touch with me matthew.fox@glasgow.ac.uk - if you know of a teacher or a school which would be receptive to this initiative.

Here is an artice in University News Letter  about the scheme to improve literacy in primary schools by means of the teaching of Latin.


Find out more

Professor Matthew Fox - research profile

Advocating Classics Education