SCHOOL pupils in Oxford will be encouraged to say “it’s all Greek to me” when classes are introduced to teach youngsters the ancient language.

Oxford educational charity the Iris Project will teach ancient Greek to Year Six children at Barton’s Bayards Primary Hill School as part of its campaign to reintroduce classics into schools.

And teachers believe if the language is good enough for Greek epic poet Homer, mathematician Pythagoras and Alexander the Great, then it is good enough for children in Barton.

The Iproject, named after Iris the Roman messenger goddess, was set up in 2006 in a bid to bring the ancient languages of Greek and Rome across the UK.

Student teachers take the classes and introduce pupils to the language through storytelling, drama activities and games.

It is the brainchild of Lorna Robinson, a trained classicist, who set up the charity after she found teaching Latin in a private school unrewarding.

Dr Robinson said: “While classics is taught in many private schools, most pupils in state schools today don’t get the chance to learn Latin or Ancient Greek.

“But learning Greek provides a fascinating framework within which to teach English learning.

“It introduces them to a hugely influential culture and explaining how this culture and its language shaped English and English culture.

“It also connects with other aspects of the curriculum.”

The free hour-long classes will be held every Tuesday at the Waynflete Road school until the end of the term.

Year Six literacy co-ordinator Anneka Horne, said: “They are really excited about it.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn about how our language has been formed over the centuries.”

She said the lessons could be rolled out to other years if funding is made available.

She added: “The kids are absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to pose their questions to a real expert on the ancient Greeks.

“When Lorna came into the school and was able to answer them, they were just in awe.

“To the people who would say this is not relevant to children today, I would say that having an understanding of history and how it relates to our world today can only be a good thing.

“To understand our lives and language today we do have to look to the past.”

In October, the Oxford Mail reported that the charity was sending Oxford University graduates into schools in Blackbird Leys, Headington and Kidlington to teach Latin.