The Classics Reading Competition 2019

On the 20th March, we welcomed students from Graham School, Sheffield High, Bradford Grammar and Dixons Kings Academy to the University of Leeds for our annual Classics Reading Competition. Organised and run with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and Classics for All, this year’s event included afternoon workshops to inspire our visitors and get them fired up for the competition. In the evening, 90 visitors competed in 9 different categories, read passages in Greek and Latin, performed energetic plays and our winners were announced!

The afternoon commenced with parallel workshops for KS3 and GCSE students, where the students learnt all about the Athenian justice system, and became investigators in a murder. One teacher commented that “the workshops were inventive and engaging, pitched perfectly for our students. Our students have had a little exposure to Classics and they have enjoyed learning more about the subject.”

Additional schools then joined us in the impressive Nathan Boddington Chamber for a rousing welcome from Deputy Head of Classics, Dr Emma Stafford.

It was then time to let the competition commence! Schools competed in Junior and Senior In Translation, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Latin, Junior and Senior Greek and group category Minimus where the judges saw a variety of impressive readings. From expressive and passionate Latin readings to creative plays (complete with severed head?!), the judges had a very difficult job crowning our champions.

During the competition, Classics For All provided a start-up library and were giving out book donations to teachers and students – everyone was a winner.

Our judges, made up of academics and post-graduate students from Classics at Leeds, announced their winners and runners up and it was great to see prizes won by all 4 attending schools.

Dr Maria Haley, Classics for All Hub Coordinator and teacher for Classics at Leeds, said of the event: “Classics is reaching out to new students, so it’s great to host an event with familiar friends and new faces. Classics teachers from across the region can meet and showcase the work their students put in. I love hosting the Reading Competition and it has really inspired the undergraduates I teach too, they were so impressed with the entries!”

A teacher from Dixons Kings Academy told us that “for many [of their students] this experience has taken them out of their comfort zone, giving them experience of public speaking outside of school” and a student visitor enjoyed “the opportunity to perform classical pieces with other passionate students in Yorkshire”. A huge thank you to everyone who attended, and we hope to see you all back next year!

Please click here for more information about the Classics Competition!