Since 2018, the CAS has been in the process of redefining itself as an organisation. While we remain committed to our ongoing mission to promote and disseminate the study of the ancient world in a general sense, our membership and committee have increasingly turned our attention to efforts directed at the landscape in Scottish schools.
It is no secret that provision of Classics in Scotland’s state schools is sparse compared to our neighbours to the south. In 2017-18, there were fewer than twenty state schools offering any opportunities in Classical Studies, with even fewer still offering any Latin. Since then, however, in close collaboration with Classics for All, CAS have begun to address this situation in a multitude of ways, be this through encouraging Latin in primaries; working with teachers and the SQA to make secondary level Classical Studies more accessible to non-specialists, through to working alongside colleagues in Edinburgh to secure the recommencement of initial teacher training in Scotland for the first time in decades.
Like the rest of the world, some of our wider outreach efforts have been heavily disrupted by the effects of the COVID pandemic. This has not stopped us trying to engage with anyone interested in antiquity, though!
It is with great pride, then, that we announce the beginning of a new series of online sessions that will take place over the coming year: The CAS Online Seminar Series. These will cater to a range of interests and abilities. They will be designed and delivered by a range of teachers, students and academics, depending on the topic and level being offered. Most importantly, however, they will be completely free to those who sign up!
Our working group overseeing this series of seminars decided that it would be good to tie these sessions together loosely with an annual theme. Somewhat fittingly for this new endeavour, not to mention the new reality we face in the midst of the pandemic, our theme for 2020-21 is ‘Beginnings’.
The first session will be announced shortly, and will take place at the end of August 2020, so watch this space for more information!
Dr Alex Imrie (CAS National Outreach Co-ordinator) A.Imrie@ed.ac.uk