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The Association for Latin Teaching


ARLT Summer School  1984

held at Bishop Otter College, Chichester

Directed by Mrs V M H Anstey & Mr R Young

"Classics in the Eighties"

Director : Veronica Anstey

Because it was supported by the Department of Education, the Summer School was officially co-directed by Bob Young, HMI

Visiting Lecturers

Mr D. Fowler   Jesus College Oxford

Mr M. Hughes   Bristol Polytechnic

Dr P.V. Jones    Newcastle University

Mr J.V. Muir     King's College London

Dr O. Taplin    Magdalen College, Oxford

Mr A.F. Turberfield   HMI

The ARLT / DES Summer School , Chichester, July 1984 - Report

I would perhaps have anticipated remembering many things about this Summer School : the lectures, perhaps, or the lecturers, or the reading groups, or.... what? I have remembered one thing that I would not have anticipated: what it is like to be a pupil, a learner again, what it is like to follow a teaching timetable again, from the other side (so to speak). This in itself proved to be stimulating, the more so since I was not expecting it. I spent a fascinating week (my first Summer School, in fact) in a lovely part of the country, in lovely weather, learning once again how to get up early in the morning and be ready to study texts and tackle quite complex problems. Never again will I rave and storm at pupils at Watford for not concentrating fully at nine a.m.! To be able to teach one's subject efficiently and sympathetically, I have learnt, is to fill once again the role of the pupil - to subject oneself, as it were, to a taste of one's own medicine.

The Summer School, a joint venture of ARLT and the Department of Education and Science, was entitled 'Classics in the Eighties', and I am sure I speak for a large number of people when I say that by the end of the week we were able to place our own grasp of the classical world in a modern perspective.

There were lectures on  the  diction of Virgil  (Dr. Don Fowler). Greek Tragedy (Dr. Oliver Taplin), story-telling in Classical Studies (Mr.John Muir), the new Newcastle Latin Course for older beginners (Dr. Peter Jones). and the  'correct' context for a Classical Studies Foundation Course (Mr. Michael Hughes). There were also contributions from within the ARLT itself : Mrs. Veronica Anstey and Mr. Wilf O'Neill on the Greek Olympic Games and the Classical Continuum  respectively. These lectures not only  provided us all with  much food  for  thought, but also gave us the chance of placing the lecturer s in the teacher role; it proved to be a most refreshing experience - it was like going back to school! I hope I may single out two points from  these  lectures,  points which  make me glad I was there to be faced with them: one, the appeal from Dr. Jones that 0 level Latin needs to be much simplified, the other, the problem posed by Dr. Taplin on the understanding of the significance of the reference in the Oedipus Tyrannus to the place where three roads meet : not just the place where Oedipus slew Laius, but also possibly the very stage on which the actor-Oedipus now stands : puzzle that one out!

Yet this was not all:  we were called upon to justify the place of Classics in a modern curriculum; we were given a talk on the future of Classics in the wake of the GCSE; we had the reading groups on Latin authors (I attended the one led by Mr. R.E. Young HMI on Horace); the option groups that were varied in content , including Latin pronunciation (Mr.J. Hazel). Greek drama (preparing for the production of Aristophanes'  Lysistrata on the last night) ,modern Greek songs and language, Latin Prose composition. These groups were excellent : they were comparatively informal, and were led by stimulating and informed teachers . This was a real opportunity to recharge our rather run down pedagogic batteries.

Then there were the social activities: plenty of chances to mix with colleagues from all types of secondary schools,with ARLT committee  members and their wealth of experience, with HMI, to talk, gossip, share a joke or two. and make new friends. AR LT is a friendly and hospitable body, always pleased to welcome new faces.

The accommodation and food were very good indeed, and we were treated to a guided tour of the town too. My advice to those contemplating an AR LT summer school in the future: don't hold back! You will provide yourself with a week of stimulating ideas, new friendships and - most important - a refreshed determination to put over the wonders and complexities of the Graeco - Roman world successfully and efficiently to the young people of the eighties.

Philip Blackshaw Watford Boys' Grammar School

Reading Groups with leader

Pliny's Letters  Mary Beachcroft

Vergil Aeneid I  Joan Newey

Aection of Horace's Odes  Bob Young

Livy Book I - Praefatio  Tony Hubbard

Odyssey XVIII  John Randall

The Iliad in the Penguin Translation  Charles Craddock

Option Groups with leader

Aristophanes' Lysistrata in translation (scenes for performance)  Roger Davies

Classroom Video Techniques  Peter Garland

Introduction to literary Criticism  Belinda Dennis

Pronunciation of Latin  John Hazel

Prose Composition  Tony Hubbard

Modern Greek through Dialogue and Song  John and Lesley Hazel