Sunday, 23 September 2018

Newsletter 64

September 2018

Mrs Jayne Treasure, Director
The Primary Latin Project
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Newsletter 64 – September 2018

Dear supporter,
Message from the Director of the Primary Latin Project
A warm welcome to my first Newsletter. I shall start with a news update: I am delighted that the Primary Latin Project has its first Patron, Lindsey Davis; without doubt a familiar name to all who receive the PLP Newsletter. Lindsey writes:

"We didn’t have Minimus in my day – but I have known of him for a long time now and he sounds such fun! I am delighted to be a Patron of this gallant mouse."
(Lindsey Davis - photograph by Fergus Noone)

I am also really delighted that Dr Catharine Edwards has agreed to become a trustee of PLP.

As you will have read in the last Newsletter and seen on the website, after many years of tireless work Barbara Bell and Jeremy Paterson have stepped down as the Director and Chair (respectively) of the Primary Latin Project. On behalf of everyone involved in the Project, I want to acknowledge the huge debt of thanks we owe them both. As the new Director, I certainly have big shoes to fill. However, as you will see below, I am very glad to say that Barbara is not going far and will remain as PLP’s Honorary President. As I add the final contributions to this Newsletter, Barbara and Helen Forte are hard at work writing a workbook to accompany Minimus Secundus. You will be alerted when it is ready.

My first half year as Director has gone in a flash. As well as the day-to-day running of the project, I have been involved in a number of events. It was a great privilege to represent PLP at the memorial service for Lady Belinda Morse in March – a beautiful service in a beautiful setting (St Stephen Walbrook, London). I also spent a very enjoyable afternoon at Bristol Grammar School in June; Sally Knights and I adjudicated the plays at Bristol’s 27th Annual Festival of Latin Drama, organised by the Bristol Classical Association, in partnership with the Bristol Classics Hub  and Bristol Grammar School. Congratulations to all who took part and, in particular, to St Augustine’s Primary School, Bristol, on their success in the Junior section and to the Royal High School, Bath, in the Senior section.

You will see from the reports below that our Minimus trainers have been busy.  I have also been involved in training in Cardiff (Primary PGCE students), Bristol (English, History and MFL PGCE students) and the Cotswolds (Chipping Campden School). We have trainers throughout the country and, thanks to the generous support of Classics for All, training can usually be offered freely to any maintained school. The demand for training is high. Please contact me if you would like more information on becoming a trainer.

Finally, my thanks to the PLP committee, the trainers and to Rachael Jones, PLP Administrator, for all their hard work and enthusiasm.
We are always keen to hear your news. Any items for the next Newsletter should reach me by December 1st, 2018.
Jayne Treasure

Message from the new Chair of the Primary Latin Project
At the November meeting of the PLP board, I was delighted and honoured to be welcomed as the new chair of the board. In my work with Classics For All for the past few years I have seen for myself the enormous difference that Minimus can make to primary school children’s literacy and vocabulary- and I have also seen the sheer enjoyment that the little mouse is able to generate in classrooms. While it will not be easy to follow in Jeremy Paterson’s footsteps, I am very much looking forward to working with Jayne Treasure, the new Director of the project, and with the wonderful team of dedicated members, to support the study of Latin in our primary schools. The board of trustees has also acquired a new member, Professor Catharine Edwards of Birkbeck College, University of London, who is the president of the Roman Society. We are very lucky to have Barbara Bell’s continued support, now in her new role as the Honorary President, and we are delighted that the historical novelist Lindsey Davis has agreed to be our patron. (Her new novel, Pandora’s Boy, is just out and you can catch her talking about at the Salisbury Festival of Archaeology in July or at Fishbourne Roman Palace on 6 October.

That’s it from your new chair for now! Do follow Helen Forte on twitter for news from Minimus himself (@minimus_latin), and stay in touch with us.

Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Birmingham


Report from the Honorary President of the Primary Latin Project

After 20 years of working at the heart of the Primary Latin Project, life with a much smaller mouse felt very odd indeed. Nevertheless, my decision to step down was definitely the right one. I have very much enjoyed hearing news of Minimus activities - whether from the PLP committee under the new leadership of Jayne Treasure (Director of the Project) and Elena Theodorakopoulos (Chair of the PLP committee) or from the terrific group of Minimus trainers who are doing splendid work across the country. I feel very honoured to be the Honorary President of PLP.

Vindolanda has also clearly had a marvellous year in terms of excavations and we are very much looking forward to a visit in September to see the new finds, including the new room of wooden artefacts. We will be staying with Catherine and Nigel Jarvis at their excellent B & B ‘Four Wynds’ which is only 10 minutes from Vindolanda! Catherine is a trained guide as well as a Minimus trainer and member of the PLP committee; she also runs her own ‘Hands-on Latin’ courses. The newly refurbished B & B could not be better in terms of comfort or location and the food is simply delicious. If you are looking for a good base from which to explore Hadrian's Wall, look no further!

I am still doing a little training, particularly for individuals who have been unable to access training events in their own areas. I very much enjoyed speaking at Assembly recently at Elmlea Junior School in Bristol - nearly 400 pupils and staff. They will be starting to use Minimus on the timetable for Year 4 in September but are already offering it as an after-school club for Year 3.  A parent kindly emailed to say how excited her young daughter is at the prospect of learning Latin.

That's what it's all about- and has been throughout my 40 year career!

This term I am again training PGCE students at Bristol University to teach Minimus. As usual these are not Classicists, but MFL and English graduates and this year we have been joined for the first time by a small group of Historians.  I am sharing the teaching with Jayne. She is teaching those who have already studied some Latin and I have the Beginners' group. It is a rewarding experience to be training teachers for the future. Again, I was so pleased when one of my group spoke of the fantastic opportunity to learn a subject which had never been on offer to him at school.

Minimus - Future Writing
I am very much looking forward to spending a few days in Bury St. Edmunds in July where Helen Forte and I plan to collaborate on a new Minimus workbook. This will be targeted to accompany Minimus Secundus. We hope it will provide valuable further practice in the grammar covered in the Book 2. We hope to create a useful addition to the Minimus resources.
Barbara Bell

Minimus in Africa!
Collaboration at Stellenbosch University

News from the Minimus Trainers
Dr Masters and Dr Holmes-Henderson

Minimus trainer Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson (Oxford) and Dr Samantha Masters (Stellenbosch) have begun a research collaboration which seeks to explore opportunities to extend the learning and teaching of Classics in South African schools. There are significant barriers to literacy development for children in South Africa. Concerned by this, Dr Holmes-Henderson and Dr Masters are working together to investigate whether Latin could help bridge the literacy attainment gap. With a travel grant from the Africa-Oxford fund , Dr Masters visited the UK in March 2018 and Dr Holmes-Henderson made a reciprocal visit to the Western Cape in April 2018. Many fruitful relationships have been made and follow-up plans include an application for funding to run a pilot programme of Latin for Literacy in the Western Cape, together with Latin-specific pedagogical training for teachers in elementary schools. Minimus will be the textbook used.
Dr Arlene Holmes- Henderson

I am still working with Hexham Middle School/Minimus/Classics for All. They introduced a Latin Minimus club very soon after I trained six teachers to teach Minimus at the end of April. More details for Latin enrichment activities are to follow in the next newsletter.
Catherine Jarvis

Blackpool, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield
Blackpool:  Following the training I gave in 2016 and 2017, Peter Wright from Blackpool Sixth Form College reports that there are now five primary schools in his area in which teachers are delivering Latin as part of the curriculum. Three of those schools have started to deliver the Minimus course through from Year 3 to Year 6. There are also five high schools involved where staff are either delivering Ancient History / Classical Literature as part of the curriculum and/or offering Latin lunch clubs.

Latin training for Leeds: Classics for All has agreed to fund training for Brighouse School in Leeds. Maria Haley, Leeds Classics Hub coordinator, and I have been trying to set up Latin training for the school where they plan to use Minimus and the Cambridge Latin Course.  Hopefully, we can arrange training before the end of term so that the school can begin to teach Latin in the new academic year.

Minimus in Liverpool: I have continued to support the work of Alice Case, Liverpool Classics Hub coordinator. Schools that received training last summer have begun to teach Latin with Minimus. At one school, a HLTA is teaching Year 4 and Year 6 classes for 35 minutes per week.
Alongside Charlie Andrew, who has developed the Maximum Classics materials for CfA, I delivered Minimus training to teachers from 5 more primary schools in Liverpool on May 18th. Veronica Poulter, Primary English Coordinator at Hope University, joined us and we have arranged to schedule Minimus training for PGCE students in October 2018.  Similar sessions in 2016 were very well received.

CfA has agreed funding for Sandbrook Primary School on the Wirral, where the Headteacher aims to adopt Latin as the Key Stage 2 language across the school. We are trying to arrange training dates for her staff before the end of the summer term so that the teachers can start in September.

On June 12th I trained two teachers from Liverpool College. They wish to start a Minimus club for all year groups in KS2 as part of a timetabled weekly enrichment slot (60 minutes per week).

Sheffield training: Teachers from Sheffield who participated in Minimus training last summer are teaching Latin to all year groups (35 minutes per week).

Classics Hubs: Classics for All kindly invited me to attend a meeting of the Regional Classics Hubs in November. It was helpful to gain a picture of how the hubs are progressing and data regarding pupil access to the Classics. Although we have Vindolanda on our doorstep, very few state schools in the northeast of England offer Latin or Classical subjects. That is disappointing so I am working with Justine Wolfenden, Assistant Professor (Teaching) in Classics at Durham University, to initiate a plan of action. We are enlisting the support of museum staff and local teachers who offer Latin. We have a meeting with Hilary Hodgson from CfA on June 18th.
Sue Balmer

On Tuesday 27th February, I was invited to do some Minimus training at St Mary’s Church of England Junior School, Baldock, Hertfordshire. A very enthusiastic class teacher, Virginia Di Noia, was keen to start up a Minimus after-school club (or 2!), with 18 interested pupils. As she speaks Italian, I’m sure the Latin will sound wonderful!
Shona Shahryar

London, Suffolk and Norfolk
This year I have done two return visits to follow up on initial training. They were very different, one being William Tyndale Primary School in Islington and the other the Consortium Multi Academy Trust, a group of rural primary schools in Suffolk.

My other training session was also interesting as it was for a school which had originally declined to take part in the initial Norfolk project. They now wish to introduce Latin into their curriculum. They were joined by teachers from three other local schools which had taken part in the first project but who had lost the original teachers we trained.

In the same small Norfolk town (Aylsham) there is an exciting dig going on at a Garden Centre. Roman kilns and numerous pieces of pottery have been found and it is thought to be the site of a major settlement. At their summer fayre in August we are going to have a session on learning Latin, designed to possibly attract enough adults to establish introductory classes in the autumn.

Norfolk is losing a staunch supporter of Minimus as Colly Mudie, Learning Manager at Norwich Castle Museum, is retiring. Colly has been enormously helpful in establishing Latin as an integral part of their Roman Days for schools and facilitated a Latin Celebration Evening as well as hosting a PLP meeting in the castle. We are hoping her successor will continue the links.
Jane Maguire

Grant Report
Since the last Newsletter, I am delighted to report that twenty-two schools have received grants from PLP. They are: Lady Boswell’s Church of England VA Primary, Sevenoaks; Lynsted and Norton Primary, Faversham; Kelmscott School, London; Sudbury Primary, Middlesex; All Saints Church of England Primary, Fulham; Miles Coverdale Primary, Shepherd’s Bush; Rose Hill Primary, Oxford; Harris Academy Chafford Hundred Primary, Essex; Rooks Heath College, Harrow; St Michael’s Church of England Primary, Abingdon; Hele’s School, Plymouth; Gateway Academy, London; Kennall Vale, Truro; St Just Primary, Penzance; William Tyndale Primary, London; Hexham Middle School, Northumberland; Aldborough Primary, Norwich; Leicester Prep School, Leicester; Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary, Bristol; Chipping Campden School, Gloucestershire; Bullwell St Mary’s Church of England Primary, Nottingham; Lincoln Manor Leas Junior Academy, Lincoln.

My grateful thanks to Diana Sparkes and Bob Bass for their speedy decisions and eye for detail, and to Rachael Jones for dealing with all matters so swiftly.
Jayne Treasure          

Mythology Competition and Results 2018

It’s been another very successful year for the competition. The stories of Pyramus and Thisbe and the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis have been beautifully drawn and painted, skilfully modelled in clay, cake and lego, enthusiastically dramatised and imaginatively described in poetry and prose. It was very satisfying to welcome new schools to the competition this year, and to continue to receive entries from America and Australia.  Good news, too, that there were more entries overall this year, particularly for the drama category and for the Level Two topic.  Animations have also become very popular and accomplished. As ever, the PLP is hugely grateful to the Jowett Trust for generously funding the costs of running the competition. Well done to all the children who have risen to the creative challenge again this year and to the teachers for encouraging their students and making time in their busy schedules to submit the entries. As the newsletter goes to press, the judges have finished their task and the results, which have been sent to schools, are listed on the website, look out for the winners work - and details of the 2019 competition!
Linda Soames

My thanks to Linda and all the judges and to all the schools for participating (JT).

Minimus et cetera
Our best sellers in recent months have undoubtedly been the Minimus Workbook (grammar practice) and the three sets of Minibooks (extra readers). This is especially true of orders from the USA. It is as if there has been a piece of national publicity recommending the Minibooks! Whatever the source, the word is spreading, and it is lovely to think of children in Virginia, Florida, Texas etc. enjoying the little books.

Minibooks for Sale

The three sets of Minibooks used to be sold either individually (£2 each) or in sets of ten for £18 + P & P. Nowadays, we only sell them in complete sets of ten for £18, plus P & P. Please note there are 3 different sets.

We have a large number of incomplete sets and are proposing to sell individual books at half price - i.e. £1 per book, in order to clear them. You may have some gaps in your own collection which need filling, or you could use them as prizes etc.

If you would like to buy some please email Nick Bell ( stating clearly which books you would like and how many. Nick will add the appropriate P & P & send you an invoice. If you live outside the UK we can send a Paypal invoice and you can pay in your own currency. First come first served!

Here are the numbers of the books we still have (I-XXX) and the quantity which are available:


Set 1:
Set 2:
Book Number
Set 3:
Book Number

Please note the following points about our business and how we operate:
  1. We do not sell the main Minimus textbooks (Starting out in Latin and Moving on in Latin). Best to contact the Hellenic Bookservice in London who will post them anywhere in the world ( or your regular bookseller. 
  2. There are three sets of Minibooks. Set 1 works best with Starting out in Latin and Set 3 with Moving on in Latin. Set 2 can be used with either. They are a useful source of extra reading for the classroom but do not advance the grammar at all. They can also be used for drama or as special prizes in competitions. 
  3. We can also post our Minimus items anywhere in the world. 
  4. Those of you who live outside the UK can request a Paypal invoice so as to pay in your own currency. 
  5. We don’t have facilities for card payment so please pay by BACS transfer or send a cheque. 
  6. If you have any queries about our products or payment, including postage, please contact Nick Bell at:
Thanks very much for your custom.            
Nick & Barbara Bell

With many thanks for your support,
Jayne Treasure


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Mythology Competition 2018

Here are the results for this year's Mythology Competition. Congratulations to the winners, and well done everyone who took part!

LEVEL 1 – Pyramus and Thisbe
Zachariyah Babar
Manchester Grammar School

Alexander Chakraborty
Keble Prep

Loucas Louca
Keble Prep
Sahansa Udawatta
St Michael’s Collegiate Hobart
Samia Karalan
St Michael’s Collegiate Hobart

None Awarded
CLASS DRAMA – Pyramus and Thisbe
Hollymount School with King’s College, Wimbledon
North Ealing Primary with Notting Hill and Ealing High School
Ealing Primary with Notting Hill and Ealing High School

Robert Hughes
Moreton Hall

Lucas Page
Manchester Grammar School
Thomas Brough-Byatt
Terra Nova Prep
LEVEL TWO – Marriage of Peleus and Thisbe
None Awarded
Alexandra Balog
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Camille Murray
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Rosie Dymock
Heath Mount

Sophia Chi
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Sally Liu
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Phoebe Lim
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Annelise Cormack
Abbotsleigh  NSW
Indra Catolico
Chicago Grammar
Niara deWit
Chicago Grammar
Sanya Sujdak
Chicago Grammar
Isla Harrison
Millfield Primary North Walsham
Kushi Rao
Northwood College
Daniela Paminello
St Augustine’s, Bristol
Nikhel Mandalia
St Hugh’s Prep
Georgiana Back
St Hugh’s Prep
Roxy Davies
St Hugh’s Prep

Nehemiah Hill
St Augustine’s, Bristol

Alicia To
Abbotsleigh NSW

Tegan Hicks
Millfield Primary, North Walsham
Clara Thomson
St Augustine’s, Bristol
Amelie Hotton
St Augustine’s, Bristol

Katherine Ly
Jasmine Hing
Grace Fisher
Millfield Primary, North Walsham
Isha Patel
Northwood College
Neeti Sinha
Northwood College
Ellen Roberts
St Augustine’s, Bristol
Ashleigh Serle
St Augustine’s, Bristol

DRAMA – Marriage of Peleus and Thetis
WHOLE SCHOOL PRIZE for Best Set of Entries: Abbotsleigh  
WHOLE SCHOOL PRIZE for Creative Writing: St Augustine’s Bristol