Access Classics second-level questionnaire!

Since its creation in 2019, a fundamental aim of Access Classics has been to increase knowledge about and uptake of Classics in second-level schools in Ireland. To help us achieve this aim, we are conducting a survey of all second-level schools and adult-education institutes in Ireland to gain a greater understanding of the following:

(i) the current landscape of Classics in second-level schools in Ireland (e.g. how many schools offer Classics in some form, how many students take Classics/Greek/Latin, how many schools offer Classics at TY level);

(ii) the barriers to maintaining and introducing Classics in second-level schools (whether lack of knowledge about the subject, lack of interest from teachers and/or students, lack of resources, etc.)

(iii) the impact of Access Classics, particularly the use of the Access Classics Transition Year Unit on Classical Studies.

The data we receive from this survey will form part of a report on Classics in second-level education in Ireland that will be available on this website (keep an eye out for updates!) and will be used to lobby for greater support for the subject at government level.

A link to a questionnaire will be sent to all second-level schools and adult-education institutes. If your school does not receive the link and you would like to be involved, please email Dr Bridget Martin, Director of the Access Classics, at

We really look forward to hearing your input!

UCD Classical Society Inaugural Lecture 2023!

The UCD Classical Society, in conjunction with the UCD School of Classics, is proud to announce that the annual Inaugural Lecture this year will be given by Dr Joseph Skinner (Newcastle University). Following the successful return of the Inaugural Lecture last year, we look forward to welcoming many students, staff and friends for a wonderful evening! All are welcome! The details of this year’s lecture are as follows:

Dr Joseph Skinner (Newcastle University)

The Histories of the explored (the explored exploring…)

27 April 2023, 7 pm

Location: UCD Village auditorium (map here)

Reception to follow

All welcome!

New publication in the Our Mythical Childhood series!

Congratulations to all involved in the latest publication in the “Our Mythical Childhood” series: Classical Mythology and Children’s Literature…An Odyssey. This beautiful volume by Dr Elizabeth Hale and Dr Miriam Riverlea (and with wonderful illustrations by Steve K. Simons) takes the reader through an alphabetical journey of Classics in children’s literature, opening up a world of possibilities for how and where younger (and older) people today can engage with the ancient world! Both informative and thought provoking, this is a little gem. And, if that wasn’t enough, the volume is … wait for it … open access! You can download a copy here. Really looking forward to more upcoming volumes from the series, particularly Teaching Ancient Greece: Lesson Plans, Vase Animations, and Resources, edited by Dr Sonya Nevin!

Classical Association of Ireland Teachers lecture day

The UCD School of Classics and the Access Classics team are looking forward to hosting the annual Classical Association of Ireland Teachers (CAIT) lecture day for Leaving Certificate Classical Studies students on Saturday, 25 March! UCD School of Classics lecturers will give talks based on topics from the Leaving Certificate curriculum, allowing students to expand and consolidate their knowledge, as well as enjoy a day on the beautiful UCD campus! The lectures will take place in Theatre O of the Newman Building. The provisional schedule is as follows (click on the image above for a pdf of the schedule):

10:00 Welcome
10:05 – 10:35 Gods and Humans: Experiencing Ancient Temples (Dr Jo Day)
10:40 – 11:10 Gods and Humans: Funerary Practices (Dr Bridget Martin)
11:15 – 11:45 Judging them by their enemies: Alexander & the Persians; Caesar & the Gauls (Assoc. Prof. Philip De Souza)
11:50 – 12:10 Gods and Humans: Morality and Living Well in Plato’s Crito (Dr Christopher Farrell)
12:10 –13:00 Lunch
***Please ensure that you bring something to eat and drink. There are vending machines and water fountains for snacks and beverages, but UCD cafes and restaurants will be closed. ***
13:00 – 13:30 Roman Spectacle: the Colosseum and Circus Maximus (Assoc. Prof. Alexander Thein)
13:35 – 14:05 World of Heroes: Odysseus and Aeneas as Heroes (Dr Nicholas Freer)
14:10 – 14:40 World of Heroes: The Aeneid as Propaganda (Dr Helen Dixon)

The Access Classics students are back!!

There’s great excitement in the UCD School of Classics as our level-three outreach module is back with a new cohort of students! We are really looking forward to hearing all the students’ opinions on and ideas about the place of outreach in Classics and can’t wait to see what materials they produce. As a first step, the student will take over the dedicated @AccessClassics Twitter feed and, over the next few months, will use this to promote engagement with Classics. Look back through the feed to see the work of previous student cohorts – it makes for a good read! Please consider supporting our students by following @AccessClassics!

Classical Association of Ireland Latin Summer School 2023

After a very successful run last year, the Classical Association of Ireland is delighted to announce the 2023 Latin Summer school, an exciting opportunity to learn Latin through a two-week immersion.

The Latin Summer School is designed for secondary school students between the ages of 12 and 18, with little or no knowledge of Latin and/or Classics.

If you are not studying Latin or Classics, but you are interested in ancient languages and history, this is the place for you! Whether you are studying Classical Studies or the new Junior Certificate Classics or not, the Summer School offers an exciting opportunity to explore the culture of the Romans through their language. Perhaps you want to improve your language learning skills or understanding, communicating and writing in English? Or you are exploring your academic future? If you are you thinking about studying Classical Civilisation, Archaeology, Classical Languages, Ancient or Medieval History, Philosophy, Religion, History of Art, Romance languages in college, the CAI Summer school is a great place to start!

Over the course of two weeks (19-30 June), you will immerse yourself in the language and history of Rome and engage in a variety of fun activities, led by experienced and passionate teachers. There will be interactive and online games, singing contests, Latin cartoons, and a bit of spoken Latin, too!

The Latin Summer School offers courses at Beginners level for students who have not studied Latin before. Each course has three 50-minute classes per day. All resources and learning materials are provided. After two weeks, students will be able to read simple Latin texts and have sufficient knowledge of the language to continue studying it independently or enter a higher-level course.

The Summer School will be conducted in a hybrid format this year, i.e. in presence for those who choose to do so (venue: Trinity College Dublin), and online via Zoom.

  • Contact hours: three classes/per day for two weeks
  • Minimum age 12
  • Course fee: €200
  • Information and registration: Dr Cosetta Cadau,

Click on the image below for a copy of the registration form.

Maximum Classics

Here at Access Classics, we’re always interested to see what our Classics outreach colleagues are up to, and Maximum Classics is doing some fantastic work! If you would like to introduce some Ancient Greek or Latin to your classes, would like to try your hand at an more in-depth approach or are interested in teacher training in these areas, have a look through the great resources on the Maximum Classics website or send them a quick query!

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!


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: / 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.



Success Criteria

Application form: