Iris Festival of Natural History, Classics and More, 27 March 2019

Festival posterWe are delighted to announce the Iris Festival of Natural History, Art and More on 27th March, 2019.

This event will be a large community event to celebrate the Rumble Museum at Cheney School as it continues the process of becoming the first Arts Council Accredited museum in a state school.

There will be five main discovery zones: Natural History, Art, Archaeology, Storytelling and Anthropology. Each zone will contain activities, stalls, exhibitions, workshops, and a wide range of visiting museums with artefacts to handle and explore. There will  be shows including animatronic dinosaurs, as well as the opportunity to see birds of prey! There will also be fossils pits, an opportunity to make your own prints at a printing press, the Story Museum's Little Shop of Stories, an ancient Greek daily life museum, Roman music, artists' exhibitions, as well as a cafe serving refreshments and hot and cold drinks.

The event will include expert talks as well as a wide range of stalls, activities and exhibitions. Visitors will be able to follow an exciting new model Dragonfly Trail as they explore the site, with each discovery zone containing striking decorations, workshops, stalls,  performances and activities themed on different aspects of museum learning.

The stalls, activities and exhibitions run from 3.30 until 6pm. It is free and caters for all ages. Primary and secondary school groups are warmly welcome.

The following talks will also take place throughout the afternoon and evening:

3.30 - 4pm - Professor Richard Fortey, Natural Historian and Palaeontologist

4.15 - 4.45pm - Professor Helen King, 'Ancient Greek Magic and Medicine'

5.15 - 5.45pm - Peter Randall-Page, Artist and Sculptor, Royal Academician

6 - 6.45pm - Will Gompertz, BBC Chief Arts Correspondent

The festival itself does not require booking unless you are visiting with a school group. Talks do need to be booked, and can be done so by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Distant Lands: Telling Tales Part 2

We are delighted to announce the publication of Distant Lands this April!

Distant Lands is a companion volume to Lorna Robinson’s Telling Tales in Latin. Also narrated by the poet Ovid, who tells the tale of his own exile, along with more well-loved tales from his Metamorphoses. Introducing readers to the history of Ovid’s life and exile, as well as an introduction to the geography of the Roman Empire, Distant Lands will engage pupils in stories such as Lycaon, the wild man who became a wolf, and Pyramus and Thisbe, the love-struck pair who whisper through a crack in their adjoining wall. These stories are woven into Ovid’s account of his last night in Rome, his dramatic journey across the seas, and the strangeness of the new world that he discovers.

Soham De’s illustrations bring Ovid’s stories alive and make learning Latin an imaginative journey of discovery while Lorna Robinson continues to build on the Latin vocabulary and grammar introduced in the first book in the series. Each story is accompanied with creative activities that update the stories around contemporary issues from history, geography, philosophy and literature.

Lorna Robinson has a doctorate in Classics from University College London and is the founder and director of The Iris Project, which promotes the study of Classics in state schools. Soham De is a graphic artist who works for an architectural firm. Evelien Bracke provided advice on the Latin text. She is senior lecturer and schools liaison officer at Swansea University.

Distant Lands costs £10 and is available to purchase in bookshops or to order online.

Praise for the previous book in the series, Telling Tales in Latin:

“Really inviting and engaging, with clear explanations and beautiful and fun illustrations by Soham De... Excellent for projects introducing... An inviting, absorbing and embracing learning experience.”

The Classics Library

Telling Tales in Latin

We're delighted to announce the publication of a new Latin course and storybook, Telling Tales in Latin!

Telling Tales in Latin infuses learning Latin with the magic of storytelling. Narrated by the chatty and imaginative Roman poet Ovid, this brand new kind of Latin course takes the reader on a journey through some of the most wonderful tales from the Metamorphoses. Along the way, readers pick up Latin words and grammar and are encouraged to explore the connections between Latin and English, and the ways in which Ovid's stories still speak to us today. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this Latin course reads like a story book, and as such, will appeal to a wide range of learners. It also contains the necessary vocabulary and grammar needed for the OCR Entry Level Latin qualification, so readers and schools can use this as the only Latin course geared towards this qualification.

Every chapter introduces the reader to a much-loved story from Ovid's poem, encouraging him/her to start reading Latin which is adapted from the original text straightaway. It leads readers through the story, encouraging connections to be made between English and Latin words, and exploring new aspects of grammar in a playful but clear way. Each chapter ends with suggestions for activities, as well as ways in which the story can be explored from literary and creative perspectives. Emphasis is placed upon thinking about the resonance and universal appeal of mythical stories, and identifying why these stories developed. The book also encourages readers to think about the many ways in which the stories connect to modern ideas and features ranging from scientific advances to climate change and caring for the planet! Alongside all these cross-curricular connections, there is a continual focus on literacy and language.

A free teacher's guide is now available.

Telling Tales in Latin is written by Dr Lorna Robinson, with illustrations by Soham De. Advice on Latin text provided by Dr Evelien Bracke.

ISBN 9780285641792        £10,  illustrated in colour throughout
Also available as an ebook

You can read a review of the book at The Classics Library.

It has also been given a five star review on Amazon by Steve Addis.

Available to order at Amazon and on Amazon Kindle.

Telling Tales in Latin Teachers Guide

Below you can download for free the Teachers Guide for the Latin course/storybook Telling Tales in Latin. The guide contains lesson ideas and activities, translations of all Latin text, running OCR Entry Level Latin vocabulary for each chapter as well as practice sheets which are based on OCR Entry Level requirements.  There is also an appendix containing the curriculum strand connections for each chapter of the book.

Telling Tales in Latin is published by Souvenir Press and available in all good bookshops. It can also be ordered on Amazon and as a Kindle edition.

 Telling Tales in Latin Teachers Guide

 Telling Tales in Latin Curriculum Strands

Iota Magazine

Iota is a Classics magazine produced by The Iris Project for younger children (ages 8+). It introduces Classics and Latin in a fun, informative and engaging way, and its content is designed and written to fit in with the key stage two material on the ancient Greeks and Romans.

There are three editions published per year - one for each school term - and every issue is themed around a different Classical myth. Through five exciting sections, children can learn about the way Romans and Greeks lived, as well as being introduced to the Latin language through activities and games. There are regular competitions, and a cut-out myth match card game amongst many other fun and stimulating aspects of the magazines.

Ordering and back issue information can be found here.

The Iris Project
24 Green Ridges
Headington
Oxford
OX3 8PL

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