A CASH boost is set to create a classics hub so that the city’s children have better access to GCSE and A-Level Latin courses.

Cheney School has been awarded a grant to run the courses from its East Oxford Community Classics Centre.

The money will also be used at a primary school level to teach classics – Latin, Ancient Greek and Classical Civilisation.

The £10,000 grant will create more after-school and A-Level classes as well as lunchtime GCSE sessions for pupils from the city’s schools.

Director of the centre, Dr Lorna Robinson, said: “We are the only state school in Oxfordshire offering Latin and this grant will enable us to expand the numbers of classes and pupils who have access to it.

“There is often the idea that classics is only taught in public schools but a lot of children want to study it. In running the centre I have seen that the passion for it is there.

“We want to increase the numbers, that’s what the hub is about: to be able to offer classics to everyone.”

The centre has been open since 2006 through charity the Iris Project, also run by Dr Robinson.

Its Literacy through Latin scheme has been taken to primary schools in the city.

The grant, issued by national charity Classics for All, will allow the centre to be used for two summer schools for primary and secondary pupils to learn the ancient languages from scratch.

Barnaby Evans, from Cheney School, is one of the pupils set to benefit.

She said: “I have really enjoyed learning Ancient Greek at the centre and am really looking forward to doing it for GCSE next year”.

Oxford University’s Professor of Greek Christopher Pelling was tasked last year with heading a nationwide initiative to support Latin in state schools by former Education Secretary Michael Gove – a task which he said has been going well.

The Christ Church professor studied classics at a state school and said it was important everyone had the same opportunity.

He said: “The children are keen.

“They want to study these subjects, and it’s a great shame if we can’t offer them the opportunities that many of us, including me, had at our own state schools.

“It [classics] offers a particularly good opportunity to look at a civilization as a whole and the differences help students to realise what’s distinctive about our own culture, thinking critically about ourselves and realising what’s good as well as bad about today’s world.”

The centre has also been awarded “Working towards Museum Accreditation” status by the Arts Council.

This means the centre can put in a full application for Museum accreditation and will help them secure funders to do so.


  • Veni, vidi, vici – I came, I saw, I conquered.
  • Cui bono? – To whose benefit?
  • Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am
  • Curriculum vitae – The course of one’s life
  • Et cetera – And the others
  • Mea culpa – My fault
  • Modus operandi – Method of operating
  • Quid pro quo – This for that