Classics Gifted & Talented/Enrichment

Classics Department Ethos for inclusion

Studying Classics in whatever form – be it Latin, Classical Civilisation, Ancient Greek - has the potential to engage and inspire all pupils. We aim to ensure that all pupils work together through the planned programmes for their classes, take part fully in lessons, and benefit from discussions and interactions with their teacher and their peers. Through this, we aim able to provide each student with educational opportunities that complement their individual learning requirements.

Identification of Gifted Students

The very nature of the Classical Languages means that they cater for those pupils considered G&T. We use many different indicators to highlight gifted and able students in the Classics Department.
Most pupils arrive at Blundell’s with no prior experience of the Classical Languages. Thus, initial indicators of G&T may be from national assessment data, external examinations and internal assessments. However, we are also aware that gifted students’ skills and inclinations vary widely, and gifted students can demonstrate their skills in various ways other than in formalised assessments. We are receptive to each students’ capabilities; pupils who are gifted in Classics are more likely to:

  • make connections quickly between facts and concepts they have learned.
  • use more extensive vocabulary than their peers.
  • read widely.
  • be interested in finding out more about links between us and the Classical World.
  • enjoy researching obscure periods of Ancient History.
  • be able to sustain their interest and go beyond an obvious answer to underlying mechanisms and greater depth.
  • be inquisitive about how and why things happen.
  • ask many questions, suggesting that they are willing to hypothesise and speculate.
  • think logically.
  • put forward objective arguments, using combinations of evidence and creative ideas, and question other people's conclusions (including their teacher's!)
  • consider alternative suggestions and strategies for ideas and concepts.
  • enjoy talking to the teacher about new information or ideas.
  • be self-motivated, willingly putting in extra time.

Provision in lessons

All Classics teachers establish a classroom climate where all pupils feel that they can contribute. We adopt teaching and organisational strategies that keep all pupils involved and suitably challenged, while giving them maximum opportunity to interact with their teacher.  Written tasks and prep are adapted to suit particular needs.
The more gifted students are encouraged to move on to extension or enrichment tasks linked to the theme of the lesson so that they use and apply their skills in more challenging contexts. Other strategies may involve:

  • targeting more challenging questions at gifted pupils during whole-class questioning.
  • asking gifted pupils more challenging questions during individual, one-to-one questioning.
  • grouping gifted pupils together, offering opportunities to set more challenging or evaluative group tasks.
  • encouraging gifted pupils in mixed-ability groups to carry out in-depth research or higher-level analysis, which feeds back into the group effort.
  • Allowing students to take the lead and extend investigations and analysis.

The learning environment

  • We regularly update department notice boards to include recent news items, new journal articles, new areas of research.
  • Examples of work by gifted students are displayed in both Classics teaching rooms and outside on notice boards.
  • Journals, magazines and information leaflets are available for all students to borrow and read. Omnibus magazines are available to borrow from RES. Furthermore the most recent editions of the Journal Greece and Rome are kept in the library.
  • We have an extensive Classics library in the Japes Room, which is catalogued on the main library network, from which students can borrow to read.

Extra-curricular provision

The Classics Department provides various opportunities for gifted students outside lessons:

  • Greek Activity: which is run up to 3 times a week. Students can broaden their knowledge and stretch themselves by learning Greek from Beginners’ level. This can be continued to GCSE, AS and A2 if desired.

Ancient History Essay Competition

  • Run by Fitzwilliam College Cambridge. It is an essay writing competition aimed at L6th Students on Ancient History / Classics related topics.
  • Omnibus essay competition:

University preparation

We give advice and support to students who are preparing for Latin, Classics, Ancient History, Classical Studies and related degrees at University.  We arrange interview practice and discussion groups.     

Summer Schools

  • There are opportunities for pupils to attend Summer Schools. These are run by J.A.C.T, and are highly regarded:
  • JACT Classical Civilisation and Ancient History Summer School (at which REM is a tutor).
  • JACT Latin Summer School.
  • JACT Greek Summer School.

Further Curriculum enrichment through Departmental Lectures and activities

We arrange a range of other trips and visits that give us the opportunity to extend the experiences of all students, whilst often being able to provide enhanced activities for gifted students.

Lectures

The Department attempts to invite at least one lecturer of national standing to speak both to Classicists and to others interested, such as parents and Classical students from other Schools, on a Classical topic each year. If not, the Classical Association is at Exeter University so attendance at these lectures is a possibility. (see below)

Speakers in recent years have included:

  • Professor Peter Wiseman (Exeter): Roman Myths
  • Mr Robin Bush (Somerset County Archivist and Channel 4 'Time Team')
  • Dr Matthew Leigh (Oxford): 'Aeneas the Hero'
  • Dr Peter Jones (Newcastle; Friends of Classics): 'Classics in the Modern World'
  • Dr Shelley Hales (University of Bristol): The Casts Project and Pompeii
  • Professor Richard Buxton (University of Bristol)

Classics days and external lectures

  • Pupils regularly attend the Classics days organized by Exeter University for A level and GCSE students. These events are designed to be of broad general interest as well as subject-specific, and enable students to meet classicists from other Schools.
  • Pupils also attend lectures at the Classical Association branch meetings in Exeter when these prove relevant to their studies or of general interest. This is aided by the fact that RES is Secretary of the South West branch of the Classical Association.
  • Sixth form groups occasionally attend day courses such as those run by Sovereign Education if these prove relevant to their studies.
  • Sixth formers with the appropriate aspirations attend the annual Oxford and Cambridge Classics days.

Visits

  • The Department arranges visits to important Classical sites in Britain, especially when they are seen to be relevant to work in the classroom.
  • These include: Aquae Sulis (Bath); Isca Silurum (Caerleon), Maiden Castle, Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter).
  • Other targets could include Roman London and museums, Cirencester, Silchester and Reading museum, but the distance of the school from many of these sites requires a careful assessment of the aims, purposes and age groups suitable for such visits.
  • Visits to Classical lands are under consideration. There was a visit to Rome  and there is the  possibility of visiting Roman Provence or returning to Rome.
  • Classics Day, Exeter University (lectures and visits).
  • Opportunity for participation in drama.
  • Visit to 'Antigone' (Actors of Dionysus) performed in Exeter.
  • Visit to Oedipus (AOD) performed in Taunton.
  • Excursion to Hadrian's Wall.
  • Fieldwork/project on a particular aspect of Roman Britain.
  • London visit: British Museum/Museum of London/sites of Roman London/performance of Classical drama/ Classics conference.
  • Performance of Medea at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter
  • National Theatre Live Screening of Medea at the Wellesley Cinema, Wellington.