Classics Outreach Project with local schools

Partner: Coombe Girls’ School and Hollymount Primary School
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic

The Classics department at King’s delivers an introduction to Latin to Year 7 girls at Coombe Girls’ School, a 'Minimus' Latin course to Year 6 pupils at a local primary school and an introduction to Classical Civilisation to Y12 students at the Coombe Sixth Form. The Year 7 and 6 classes take place every Friday and are taught by sixth form pupils studying Latin at King’s supervised by the Head of Department. Since 2010, some King’s parents whose son especially enjoyed the experience of Latin mentoring on Fridays, have provided the funds to enable Coombe to employ a teacher to teach short course Latin GCSE. Thanks to this generous gift, the girls who have enjoyed the course and would like to continue with Latin are able to do so and gain a GCSE in the subject. The donation has just been renewed for the next five years. Also on Friday afternoons, another member of the department supervises an introductory Latin course for Year 6 pupils at Hollymount, a local primary school. King’s pupils in Years 9 and above mentor the younger children, and their work culminates in the production of a short film in Latin based on a core Roman myth every year. The film has won a prize on several occasions. This year for the first time another Classics teacher is teaching Year 12 girls in the Coombe Sixth Form a short course in Classical Civilisation every Friday afternoon in the Autumn term.


Aims of the project

To extend the range of subjects on offer at Coombe Girls’ School and Hollymount primary school. To give pupils who wouldn��t otherwise have access to it the experience of learning the Latin language. To give our sixth-formers and younger pupils the opportunity to share their knowledge of a subject they love. To give teachers in the Classics department the opportunity to work with pupils in maintained schools and to teach Classical Civilisation, which is not on our curriculum.

Critical factors: Trust, mutual respect, clear communication, designated staff in charge of the project at both schools, termly reviews of the programme. Beneficiaries: staff and pupils.

Background and goals

King’s pupils were already teaching reading and arithmetic at several primary schools and mentoring in Maths and English at two of the secondary schools in the Wimbledon ISSP in 2007. Discussions with the former Headteacher of Coombe Girls’ School, Carol Campbell, and the Headteacher of Hollymount primary school, Philippa Jackson, led to the conclusion that Latin would enhance the curriculum of the two schools and provide a wonderful opportunity for King’s pupils on Friday afternoons. The idea of providing funding for the teaching of the GCSE short course came out of discussions with the Headteacher of Coombe Girls’ School, Deborah Walls, and the approach to parents was made by the King’s development department. The introduction of Classical Civilisation was in response to a request made by Deborah Walls.


The support of the Head of Classics and two teachers in his department. Timetabled time on Friday afternoons. The projects are costly in terms of invisible expenditure (mainly salaries) but the only visible financial contributions are a budget for books and catering as Coombe Girls’ School arranges the transportation of the Year 7s and Hollymount primary is within walking distance. All three projects take place at King’s.



The Coombe-King’s partnership is mentioned favourably in Ofsted and ISI inspection reports. Results on the Latin short course are regularly better than in the school’s other GCSE courses, which a good number of As and A*s. The Hollymount Latin course is extremely popular with the primary school, which brings its pupils to us every year, and the film has often won a prize.   


Pupil involvement

There are around 35 Year 7s from Coombe Girls’, around 30 Year 6 boys and girls from Hollymount and five Y12s. Approximately 20 King’s students mentor the Year 7 girls and the Year 6 children every Friday. The Classical Civilisation course is taught by a member of staff.  


Frequency and duration

Latin every Friday in the autumn and spring terms and for two Fridays at the beginning of the summer term. Classical Civilisation only in the autumn term.