The Iris Project - Literacy through Latin

Literacy through Latin

The journey of excitement, discovery and connection that can be started when someone learns Latin is one that should be available to every pupil, wherever they live and whatever background they come from. As Latin is the root of English and many other languages, it is a valuable key to understanding and learning these, and it is a fun and fascinating subject for all children.

We run many different Latin projects in the UK state sector. We are the first organisation to run a scheme delivering Latin as part of the national literacy curriculum, and to focus especially on schools in deprived urban regions, where literacy levels are often low, and the subject may be a particular challenge for pupils. Through our projects we use storytelling, games and activities to introduce the nuts and bolts of Latin grammar, and to demonstrate the deep connections between Latin and English. In this way, we help to unlock the complexity of English and to instil a fascination for learning new languages.

The Literacy through Latin project runs in London, Oxford, Manchester, Reading, Swansea, Fife and Glasgow. It has recently been awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for innovative language teaching projects.

Latin at Key Stage 2

Since 2006, we have been running free Latin courses on the school curriculum at KS2 for state primary schools across the cities of London and Oxford. The courses are designed to support and enhance KS2 curriculum strategies across subjects, particularly focussing on literacy and linguistic skills.

By the end of a year course in Latin, as well as promoting effectively the KS2 requirements in English and others noted below, pupils will have a grasp of simple Latin, including:

Read more: Latin at Key Stage 2

Latin at Key Stage 2 continued


Latin is the root language for many other languages, and hence its introduction can facilitate language learning in many other languages, especially French, Spanish and Italian. The teaching of Latin involves an emphasis on grammatical training and linguistic analysis which provides a firm foundation for the learning of all other languages and particularly those languages which are directly linked to Latin. The main aim of teaching MFL is to develop children's linguistic competence. Lessons need to be regular and frequent so that previously learnt language can be reinforced and so that pupils can make good progress.

Read more: Latin at Key Stage 2 continued

Inner London Project

The Iris Project's Inner London Latin Project has been running since 2006 in the capital's state primary and secondary schools - offering pupils in large, mixed-ability classes the opportunity to learn about Latin in fun, accessible and relevant ways. Experienced volunteer teachers as well as student teachers from University College London Department of Greek and Latin and King's College London Department of Classics deliver a year long introductory course to year fives and sixes in inner London schools, which introduces Latin using activities and games, and offers a taste Classical myths and culture, using storytelling and drama.

Read more: Inner London Project

East Oxford Latin

Learning latinThe Iris Project, in association with the Oxford University Classics Outreach Scheme, runs Latin as part of literacy in Oxford primary schools, particularly focusing on schools in deprived regions of the city. The scheme has been running since 2006, and has worked with hundreds of pupils in more than thirty different local primary schools.

Read more: East Oxford Latin

South West Wales Latin

Swansea University logoWe are delighted to be teaming up with Swansea University to set up an expansion of our Literacy through Latin scheme in early 2012!

Read more: South West Wales Latin

Reading Literacy through Latin

We are delighted to have teamed up with Reading University to set up an expansion of our Literacy through Latin scheme in 2012!

Read more: Reading Literacy through Latin

The Iris Project
24 Green Ridges

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