Blackpool Sixth is celebrating recognition for teaching classics subjects to youngsters at Fylde coast schools, and four of its students have been given special bursaries to study classics at university.
The college won acclaim from London-based charity Classics for All, which has a mission to increase the study of Latin and Ancient Greek, plus other aspects of the classical world.
Staff and students across the country were recognised by the charity in celebration of its 10th birthday, and Blackpool Sixth A-level Ancient History teacher Peter Wright was among the recipients of a teaching award.
Mr Wright, who is also the coordinator of the Fylde Coast Classics Network, received the award for the work he has spearheaded not only within the college, but also in nine Fylde coast primary and secondary schools.
A Latin assembly at St. John’s Catholic Primary School in Poulton, part of the Fylde Coast Classics network. Pic: Blackpool Sixth
He has trained six local primary schools to teach Latin bringing the language to over 400 primary pupils in the resort, and introduced classics to three secondary schools and a Pupil Referral Unit.
Mr Wright has worked with Classics for All to train teachers to deliver Latin lessons as an additional part of the curriculum, and the work with schools has had a major impact on literacy scores for pupils.
“The results have been really impressive,” he said.
“73 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 from low income households.”
Mr Wright was also informed that the charity would be providing a £2,000 bursary to four of the college’s students who will be studying classics at university level.
Students Callum Jones, Kane Barnish, Thomas Owen and Matt Mitchell were the lucky recipients of the bursaries.
Matt, who has.a conditional offer from York University to study archaeology, said, “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.”
Mr Wright added: “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.