We're raising £100,000 to enable our students to have continuing access to Latin and Classical Civilisation qualifications despite government cuts to school funding.
We are the Classics Department at High Storrs School in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, an 11-18 state comprehensive school with a diverse student body. Classical Civilisation and Latin have been part of our curriculum offer for many years – a tradition of which we are very proud, being, as far as we are aware, the only state school in Sheffield to make such an offer. All our Year 8 students get the chance to study our subjects before making options choices for GCSE and A level.
So what is Classics and why do we offer it as a subject? Classics is for everyone. It is the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans and is hugely varied including, as it does, literature, art, society and culture and their lasting influence. It also forms the building blocks of many other modern cultures and languages. At High Storrs, we want to be able to introduce pupils to a wide variety of learning, enabling them to access subjects they might not otherwise get the chance to pursue.
Unfortunately, constraints on the curriculum introduced by government in recent years have led to fewer students being able to choose Classical subjects, particularly at GCSE, despite many wishing to do so. Cuts to school funding across the country mean that our school can no longer afford to fund smaller groups of students such as we currently attract. For example, we had sixteen students wanting to study Latin in 2018/19 but GCSE groups across the school now typically have to contain thirty students or more because smaller groups are no longer financially viable. We need to access external funding in order to subsidise classes. Without this funding Classics at High Storrs may cease to be an option. Broadly speaking, we could say that every £5,000 or so that we manage to raise will enable a smaller group to run. These figures are based on how much our exam courses cost to run.