Aspirational Classics

30th August 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Exploring the art and archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome in the Ashmolean Museum’s collection of ancient artefacts was one highlight of this year’s Classics Summer School.

Eleven A-Level students, from state sixth-forms in Wadham’s outreach link regions have followed a week-long programme of academically-rigorous study replicating a week in the life of an Oxford undergraduate studying Classics or Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.

The summer school also features daily Ancient Greek language classes (hosted at the Faculty of Classics) and seminars by Oxford and Wadham academics, written assignments, and an Oxford-style tutorial, all exploring this year’s theme of 'Race and Ethnicity in Antiquity’.

Commenting on the summer school, one participant said: “It’s my first time in Oxford and it’s so impressive. I’m thinking I might apply here - I’ve got nothing to lose by trying”

The programme has been designed to challenge students to think creatively and laterally and to provide them with a real sense of achievement before they make their applications to university next year.
Access Assistant, Emma Searle commented on the goals of the summer school: “At Wadham we are dedicated to encouraging all students with talent to realise their potential and aspire to the best universities. Our Classics outreach work aims to increase access to Classical subjects for state-school students inspire them to engage with and enjoy this vibrant, stimulating, and rewarding subject. A Classics degree is a proven route to success and achievement with a high level of employability as it provides graduates with a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary set of transferrable skills that are highly sought-after.”   

If you attend a state sixth-form provider in one of Wadham’s link regions (Barking and Dagenham, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hackney, Havering, Islington, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets) and are interested in attending next year’s Classics summer school please do get in touch with the Access and Outreach Officer, Emily Cannon.

With thanks

Many thanks to all students, faculty members and alumni who made this summer school possible.

Artefact-based workshops at the Ashmolean Museum were led by Samantha Harris, Supratik Baralay and Martin Gallagher. While at Wadham the students enjoyed talks on various aspects of race and ethnicity in the ancient world by Wadham tutors Stephen Heyworth (‘Augustan Poets on the "Toga'd Race" and Others'), Peter Thonemann (‘Racial Stereotypes in Greek Art'), and graduate students Samantha Harris ('Reading Homer in Rome: Constructing a "Civilised" Identity’) and Supratik Baralay ('The Words of King Aśoka: Mauryan India and the Greeks'), and by colleagues from the Faculty of Classics, Martin Gallagher ('Greek and Macedonian Ethnicity: Blood and Soil or Networks?'), and Mai Musié ('Aethiopia [Αἰθιοπία] in the Ancient Novel'). Mai, the Classics Faculty Outreach Officer, also hosted a university admissions workshop providing students with advice and guidance on applying for Classics, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, and other related disciplines, such as Oriental Studies, at degree level.