End-of-term round-up!

From joining with the UCD Classics Museum to welcome large school groups to UCD to helping an amazing class of primary-school children in Falkirk, Edinburgh, say “hello” in Ancient Greek, it’s been a hectic year for Access Classics! With the arrival of the end of term, this is the perfect time to sit back, look at some highlights of Access Classics’ activities since September 2021 and, most importantly, thank everyone who helped make this our most successful year yet!

School visits

School visits remain at the heart of Access Classics. Although the scourge of Covid-19 limited the possibility of face-to-face visits at the beginning of the school year, the tide began to turn as we approached Christmas, when, not only did we have the opportunity to visit schools again, but we were even accompanied by some of the UCD students on our Access Classics module (more on this later!). Our largest visit coming up to Christmas was to Gonzaga College SJ, where, with the invaluable support of the teachers, we were able to run four simultaneous activities, meeting all first-year students in one morning!

With the New Year came a lot of interest in Access Classics visits, and over the following months we were delighted to interact with lots of schools and students both online and in person. A particular highlight was heading out to Loreto Bray early in the year to meet all the TY students, who enthusiastically threw themselves into the task of writing and translating Ancient Greek! Thank you to all the schools and teachers who reached out to us and helped so much during the visits!

Collaborative visits/events

The overarching aim of Access Classics this academic year was collaboration, and we were particularly delighted to expand our working relationship with the UCD Classics Museum, under the careful guidance of the curator, Dr Jo Day. Along with a number of smaller visits, the combined forces of the Classics Museum and Access Classics ran two large visits from Gorey Community School and St Conleth’s College in May, in which the students were broken into smaller groups and rotated between activities in and outside the museum. Although this involved some careful logistical planning (and lots of running around campus!), we were delighted to welcome so many students to UCD and to chat to them about Classics!

Access Classics was delighted to be asked to give a sample lecture at an Access and Lifelong Learning (ALL) Future You event in early May: the opportunity to introduce 150 DEIS school students to monsters in the ancient world was too good to pass up! Looking ahead, we are excited to collaborate (through ALL) with colleagues in other colleges for the Creative Arts Summer School in June, especially as this is the first year of our involvement that will be face to face! We have met some really amazing people at the online Summer Schools over the past two years and can’t wait to meet everyone in person this year!

Access Classics’ Dr Bridget Martin and Dr Christopher Farrell put on their judging hats for the second year in a row and joined colleagues from Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin and the Classical Association of Ireland Teachers (CAIT) to judge the CAIT Young Classicist Awards in May. The level of creativity and engagement was incredibly high this year, and it was no small feat to pick the winners from among the many deserving entries. The Awards have been growing in popularity and scope every year, and we are looking forward to next year’s entries already! As an added bonus this year, the UCD School of Classics became the sponsor for the Palma Lingua Antiqua award which is given for a project based on, or with a large component dedicated to, Latin and/or Ancient Greek (see the winners for this award here)! Well done to all the entrants and to the organisers of this wonderful event!

Resources

It has been very gratifying this year to see the Access Classics Transition Year Unit on Classical Studies used (in whole or in part) in so many schools, and we have really enjoyed hearing how teachers are using it, what aspects students enjoy and also some ideas for future iterations of the Unit (keep the comments and suggestions coming!). If you haven’t come across our Unit yet, you can download a copy of the teaching manual and accompanying PowerPoint by clicking on the images below (if you have any questions about the Unit, just drop us an email: access.classics@ucd.ie / bridget.martin@ucd.ie). You can also find more TY resources under our Transition Year Unit tab, and make sure to check out our resources for the Junior and Senior Cycle also!

Speaking of the TY Unit, a highlight this year was visiting Ardgillan College, where the amazing teachers Ms Murry and Mr Walsh hope to begin introducing Classics to their students through the Unit in September 2022. We really cannot wait to hear how this goes, and we are delighted to be involved in any way with this wonderful project. Good luck with it, and may many more schools follow!

Student news

In the autumn term, Dr Martin Brady, Dr Christopher Farrell and Dr Bridget Martin ran the Access Classics module in UCD for the second time, this time face to face! During this module we train the students to “design and deliver a portfolio of teaching materials in a variety of media” to second-level students. As with last year, the students enthusiastically threw themselves into the module and produced some great work, including a weekly radio show on UCD’s Belfield FM to discuss Classics! As an added bonus, two of the students visited their former secondary schools to talk to some of the students there: thanks a million to Loreto College, Foxrock, and St Fintan’s High School, Sutton, for accommodating this. You can check out the Twitter account the students maintained for the module here.

Getting the message out!

On our home turf in UCD, Access Classics was able to spread the word about our initiative and, more importantly, hear all about the initiatives of our colleagues in the School of Arts and Humanities through an outreach event organised by the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. After listening to our colleagues speak about their Schools’ initiatives, we can safely say the future of outreach is in safe hands! Thank you to Dr Joe Twist and Access Classics’ own Tasneem Filaih for organising this event! Thank you also to the Principal of the UCD College of Arts and Humanities, Professor Sarah Prescott, for her continued support and for inviting us to speak about our initiative at the College Council recently – it was a lovely way to bring the semester’s events to a close! And, finally, to round out a great year in UCD, we had the pleasure of attending a long-delayed in-person ceremony for the UCD Values in Action Award which the team won in 2020! Hearing about the activities and initiatives of the other winners made for a great afternoon!

Beyond UCD, Access Classics’ Dr Bridget Martin joined Lisa Doyle (Trinity College Dublin) and Helen Meaney (Classics Now festival) for the Hublic Sphere Podcast in January to talk about bringing Classics to the public. Thank you so much for Lisa for the invitation to contribute and for the insightful questions and comments during the podcast. Hearing Helen speaking about the amazing work done through the Classics Now festival was a real treat! In a similar vein, Bridget was pleased to join Dr Louise Maguire, Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson and Ms Aryn Penn to speak about “Classical Subjects in Schools: An Update from Ireland” for the Classical Influences and Irish Culture (CLIC) seminars. Using Access Classics as an example, Bridget spoke about Classics outreach in Ireland.

Thank you!

As usual, we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported and interacted with us over the 2021/22 academic year. It has been a very heartening experience to once again visit second-level schools and throw open the doors of UCD to the students: thank you to all of the teachers and students we met this year, and we hope to see you again next year! Thank you to Dr Jo Day for being so accommodating with the UCD Classics museum and with trusting us to bring some artefacts with us on school visits! Thank you to Eleanor Kellett and Maria Wood for their always-wonderful podcasts and help. And thank you to the UCD School of Classics and the College of Arts and Humanities for their constant support.

Keep an eye on the website for any updates/new resources, and get in touch at any point if you have any questions or would like to talk about a visit! Goodbye for now from the Access Classics team: Bridget, Christopher and Tasneem!

Great news from the “Our Mythical Childhood” project!

Congratulations to all involved in the wonderful volume Our Mythical Hope. The Ancient Myths as Medicine for the Hardships of Life in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture, which arises from the Our Mythical Childhood project. This open-access (🎉) edited volume considers how “the authors of literary and audiovisual texts for youth make use of the ancient myths to support their young protagonists (and readers or viewers) in crucial moments of their existence, on their road into adulthood, and in those dark hours when it seems that life is about to shatter and fade away” (quoted from descriptor found here). If you are interested in how ancient mythology remains relevant for and useful to us today, this volume is for you, and you can download a copy of the volume here!

Young Classicist Awards 2022

It’s that time of year again! The Young Classicist Awards 2022 is now open for entries! The Young Classicist Awards is an innovative competition open to all second-level students who are interested in Classics. Students (either as individuals or as part of a group) are encouraged to present a project on any aspect of Classics, including Ancient Greek and Latin, and to be as innovative in their approach as possible! Past projects have included videos, PowerPoints, crafts (such as posters or paintings), performances (such as singing or recitation), Minecraft and diary entries! For some inspiration, you can check out the winning projects from 2021 here. Please note that the 2022 iteration of the competition will be held online and all entries must be submitted digitally.

The awards categories are as follows:

Robin Miller Award – Senior. This award is for senior competitors, from 4th to 6th year.

Dionysus Award – Junior. This award is for junior competitors, from 1st to 3rd year.

Athena Award. This is open to all students, both Senior and Junior, and it encourages students to connect their project to one of the UN sustainable development goals.

Palma Lingua Antiqua. This award is open to all students who have Ancient Greek and/or Latin as a substantial part of their project.

The deadline for entries is 8 April 2022, and all entries must be submitted digitally. Full details on entry requirements and dates, past winners and contact information can be found on the Young Classicist Awards webpage or in the documents below. Access Classics was delighted to be part of the Young Classicist Awards for the past two year, and we really look forward to seeing this year’s entries! Good luck to all!

For a copy of the brochure, poster, success criteria and application form, please visit the Young Classicist Awards webpage or click on the images below.

Brochure:

Poster:

Success Criteria

Application form:

UCD Classical Society Inaugural Lecture

Copy of Inaugural invitation: design by UCD Classical Society

The UCD Classical Society is delighted to announce that their annual Inaugural lecture will take place in person in April, after a two-year hiatus! The Classical Society Inaugural lecture, a tradition that stretches back more than 100 years, is a highlight in the calendar of both the Society and the UCD School of Classics, and we are delighted each year to welcome past and present staff and students, among others, for an evening of Classics and chat! The details of this year’s lecture are as follows:

Professor Edith Hall (Durham University)

Classics and Social Class in Ireland, 1689-1922

7 April 2022, 7 pm

Location: The Fitzgerald Camber (1st floor of the new Student Centre, University College Dublin)

Reception to follow

All welcome!

Classical Association of Ireland Latin Summer School

Our colleagues in the Classical Association of Ireland (CAI) are pleased to announce that the Latin Summer School 2022 is now taking bookings! The summer school offers an immersive two-week course that is open to secondary-school students from age 12 upwards. The course will be taught by very experienced Latin teachers and is aimed at complete beginners. The summer school will be held in a hybrid format, whereby students can attend either virtually (through Zoom) or in person (held in Trinity College Dublin). Click on the document below for more details or email the organiser, Dr Cosetta Cadau, at cosetta.cadau@mu.ie.

Resources update!

With lots of new resources coming on-stream soon, this is the perfect time to take stock of what is currently available for teachers, students and members of the public on our website and also to point out some upcoming highlights!

In podcast land, we are continuing with our popular “Greek gods in under five minutes” series! Over the coming weeks and months, our wonderful podcasters Eleanor and Maria will introduce us to Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and Dionysus! Last week, we also launched a second podcast series! These podcasts deal with things we often get wrong about the ancient world, again in under five minutes! We began with an introduction to the surprisingly colourful world of ancient buildings and temples. You will find this and all of our podcasts under the “podcast” tab. Happy listening!!

We are currently building up our stock of resources for the Junior Cycle, particularly for the core component of the specification, so keep an eye out for our upcoming resources on daily life, looking in particular at objects and artefacts associated with daily life. These will join our current resources on mythology (including a new resource on the connection between Greek mythology and the names for certain birds, etc. – click on the image above for a copy of this resource!) and Greek and Latin classroom posters! For the Senior Cycle, both outgoing and incoming, a video on Greek art will soon join our videos and PowerPoints on Alexander, Virgil, Greek funerary practices, Greek tragedy and Roman architecture!  

Our Transition Year resources are ever-expanding! In addition to the extensive core manual and accompanying PowerPoint, you will find resources for Ancient Greek (wordsearch), the Parthenon, the Casino at Marino and Heracles & Monsters! Soon, we will be adding a walking tour of Classics-associated sights in Ireland!

Podcast news!

We are delighted to announce the return of our mythology podcast: once again, sit back and allow our wonderful podcasters, Eleanor Kellett and Maria Wood, to introduce you to some of the main gods from the Greek Pantheon, each in under five minutes! This time around, we will meet Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and Dionysus! Keep an eye on our Twitter (@ClassicsUCD) so you don’t miss any episodes!

Black-figure vase depicting a procession of some of the Greek gods (© The Trustees of the British Museum)

Also (*drum roll*), we will soon be launching a new series of short podcasts on the wonderfully broad topic of ‘Interesting Things in the Ancient World’! Have you ever wondered whether statues and temples were a riot of colour in the ancient world? Would you like to know more about ancient pirates, or the Amazons? If so, this is the series for you! More details to follow soon!

Twitter Takeover!

Access Classics is delighted to announce that the new cohort of students in the UCD Access Classics module have taken over the @AccessClassics Twitter feed! Over the coming months, our wonderful students will be using @AccessClassics to spread the word about all things Classical – we can’t wait to see what you come up with! You will find the feed on the right-hand side of our webpages, and please consider supporting our students by following @AccessClassics!

Careers with Classics

Have you ever wondered what careers you can go into after studying Classics, or what transferrable skills you can gain through a Classics degree? Well, wonder no more! Maynooth University is running “Careers with Classics”, an online event open to undergraduate and postgraduate students of all Irish universities, and to Transition Year and 5th- and 6th-year pupils in secondary school. The event will tackle questions such as: Where do Classics graduates work? What skills can I gain from Classics, and where can I use these skills?

The event will be hosted by Maynooth University on Microsoft Teams on Thursday, 16 September 2021, 14:00-16:00. More information can be found here. To register you interest, please contact Dr Cosetta Cadau at cosetta.cadau@mu.ie.

Certificate of Completion for Transition Year Unit!

Attention all Transition Year teachers! We are delighted to announce that we can supply schools with a tailored certificate for their students who complete the Access Classics TY Unit, or complete aspects of it as part of a Unit. Simply get in touch (bridget.martin@ucd.ie; access.classics@ucd.ie), and we can tailor the certificate to your school! If you have not seen our TY Unit yet, you will find the Teaching Manual, accompanying PowerPoint and additional resources under the Transition Year Unit tab. We would be delighted to answer any and all questions and would love to hear from any teachers planning to use the Unit!