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Kelmscott Testimonial: Welcome
Kelmscott Secondary School is a state school in the heart of East London. Kelmscott is an ambitious school that endeavours to offer unique opportunities for both students and staff. We have an ethnically diverse community, with 47.6% of students speaking English as an additional language. It therefore made sense that our curriculum offer reflected the diversity and inclusivity of our community. Although Waltham Forest is one of the most diverse areas, it is also the most deprived borough in London. It therefore was paramount that our bespoke Classics provision met the needs and strengths of all our students; the subject needed to be inspiring and available to all Kelmscott students. We are now able to say that Classics permanently exists on timetable and is a fundamental part of the Kelmscott journey.
Within a short period of time, I was appointed Head of Classics, leading to the first ever Classics department in our school’s history. With the incredible support from Classics for All to train and upskill colleagues with limited or no background in Classics, I am pleased to finally say that 450 students out of 933 enrolled in school are studying either Latin, Classical Greek, Classical Civilisation or Classics Reading Programme in Key Stage 3. In addition, a total of 56 students are sitting GCSEs in Classics: 16 students in Ancient History, 17 in Classical Civilisation, 8 in Classical Greek and 15 in Latin. Our achievements are owed to Classics for All who have never failed to support us, both academically and financially. The constant generosity of the organisation has allowed hundreds of students to study Classics in Key Stage Three and Four, as well as to create pathways to pursue Classics beyond Kelmscott. It is wonderful to think that Classics is a huge part of our students’ learning journeys.
There is still much work to be done to develop and sustain our bespoke Classics offer and to ensure that every lesson is challenging, inspiring and ambitious. I strongly believe that learning opportunities outside the classroom adds much value to classroom learning. We have made huge efforts to organise a variety of trips, run workshops and our first Classics competition, invite guest speakers such as Natalie Haynes, and so much more. In January 2023, 40 students in Year 8 and 9 will be going on a trip to Bath – our first ever residential trip in Classics.
Our colleagues and senior leadership team have worked tirelessly to ensure the development and sustainability of our bespoke Classics offer - but this all would not have been possible without the help of Anna Bell from Classics for All.
Classics for All gives us hope that someday Classics will no longer be tangled up in issues of privilege and exclusivity, but every child is given the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful pathways and experiences the subject offers.
Kelmscott School, Walthamstow, Waltham Forest
Kelmscott Testimonial: Text
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