UofG Researcher brings Latin to Glasgow schools - "Praemium investigatrici antiquitatis discipulorum in scholis Glasguensibus de lingua Latina docendorum causa adiudicatum est"

A UofG post-graduate researcher has won an education award from Scotland’s largest local authority for co-ordinating a Latin outreach programme in Glasgow.

Alison Greer, School of Humanities, accepted the education award from Glasgow City Council on behalf the team of student volunteers who have been teaching Latin in five primary schools throughout the city.

The work of Alison and her team on the ‘Literacy Through Latin’ project was commended by Glasgow City Council for improving literacy and positively promoting modern foreign languages in schools.

Alison was presented with the Partnership Award at Glasgow City Chambers on 9 February 2019. 

‘Literacy Through Latin’ was originally initiated by education charity The Iris Project. The organisation aims to introduce the languages and culture of the ancient world to UK state schools in order to enrich the curriculum.

Alison Greer, PGR Student at the University and co-ordinator of 'Literacy Through Latin', said: “On behalf of the team, our volunteers past and present, I'm delighted that our work in the last five years has been recognised in this way. 

"We have always believed in the benefits of Latin language learning for improving literacy, and now we are at the stage where the Glasgow City Council Education is working towards embedding Latin in the primary school curriculum. It is the icing on the cake!"

Professor Matthew Fox, Classics, was successful in bringing the project to Glasgow’s schools when he secured the University’s Chancellors Fund in 2013.

The project has flourished since its pilot year; Greer and her team now deliver the Latin-enriched education programme to five primary schools across the city as well as delivering a Wider Achievement Programme in one of the city's secondary schools. One of those pupils went on to study Higher Latin, achieving an A pass.

In the first year of the project, pupils involved in the project were treated to visits to The Hunterian and the Antonine Wall at Rough Castle with support from the AHRC-funded Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome programme (run by APGRD, Oxford University).

Greer continued: “According to teachers we worked with last year, we have worked with in the last 4 years, we can see improvements in literacy, spelling and grammar.

Working with Latin also helps pupils to develop logical thinking and is invaluable in learning modern foreign languages such as Italian and French, which now form a core element of the primary school curriculum."

The Chancellor’s Fund is generously funded by donors who have opted to support the Chancellor's Fund, together with some unrestricted donations to the University which are not earmarked for specific appeals. 
The Fund aims to:

  • Support our students by helping to provide a rich and rewarding university experience;
  • Enhance the learning environment, by providing access to new technologies and enhanced facilities;
  • Develop excellence, by providing financial support for research and teaching and promoting academic developments;
  • Preserve the University's heritage, enhancing the physical and cultural heritage of the University.

First published: 12 February 2018