Blackpool Sixth has won a national award for its work in promoting the study of Latin and classical history across Fylde Coast schools. In addition to this, four Blackpool Sixth students have won bursaries of £2,000 each to support their university studies in areas related to ancient and classical history.
The awards all come from the London-based charity Classics for All whose mission is to increase the study of Latin and Ancient Greek and other aspects of the classical world. The charity has recently celebrated its tenth birthday and used this occasion to recognise the achievements of staff and students across the country.
Peter Wright who teaches A Level Ancient History at Blackpool Sixth and is also the coordinator of the Fylde Coast Classics Network received an award for the work he has spearheaded not only within the college but also in nine Fylde coast primary and secondary schools.
Peter has worked with Classics for All to train teachers to deliver Latin lessons as an additional part of the curriculum. The work with schools has had a major impact on literacy scores for pupils. “The results have been really impressive,” Peter said. “Seventy-three per cent of the boys involved in the project improved their literacy scores, around 65 per cent of the girls and 55 per cent of children on pupil premium (from low income households).” It has also sparked a huge amount of interest in ancient Rome and Greece amongst these young pupils.
Shortly after receiving the news that the Classics for All Network was to receive an award for its amazing achievements, Peter was told that the charity had sourced money to provide bursaries of £2,000 to Blackpool Sixth students who are soon to embark on degree courses in subjects linked to classics and ancient history. Four students will now receive this support: Callum Jones, Kane Barnish, Thomas Owen and Matt Mitchell.
Matt, who has.a conditional offer from York University to read archaeology, commented, “My passion for history, classics and archaeology was furthered by my time at Blackpool Sixth where I have been able to study ancient history at A level which would not be an option at many other colleges. This has been further supported by the passion for the subject from the tutors that I have witnessed over my two years there which has again furthered my interest in the subject.”
Fellow ancient history student Kane Barnish said, “It was a really enjoyable course with interesting and unique modules which covered a wide time period and themes. It was also taught in a very dynamic and fun way, keeping the course fresh over the two years.
Kane, who plans to go to Swansea University to study Egyptology and ancient history, added, “The bursary will help me as it will help cover living costs and make the first year at university less stressful allowing me to focus on my studies.”
Peter, who also coordinates the college’s Excellence Programme for academic high fliers, commented, “It is wonderful to lead the partnership between Blackpool Sixth and Classics for All. I’m incredibly proud that our work in Blackpool has been recognised nationally. The enthusiasm of teachers and teaching assistants in the schools involved has been inspiring. It is fantastic to see Latin being used effectively to boost English vocabulary, aid literacy, improve oracy and public speaking, and promote language learning. Latin should not be the preserve of a small number of privileged students, but should be available to all schools and pupils as a valuable tool in raising achievements and aspirations. Classics for All fully fund all training and resources, so there really is no barrier for any interested schools!”