The Iris Project - Other Projects

Capital Classics

The education charity,  Classics for All, has been awarded £250, 000 by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s London Schools Excellence Fund to lead a partnership which will train 70 teachers to work in London schools, teaching Latin and other classical subjects.

The partnership, Capital Classics, includes the Classics Centre, BSix College in HackneyThe Iris Project and Nower Hill High School in North Harrow, Middlesex.

Supporting Classics for All in this project will be: Birkbeck College, University of London; University of Liverpool; Oxford University (the Faculty of Classics and Wadham College); University College London.

Two coordinators will plan and run activities from hubs in east and north London (BSix College and Nower Hill High School) supported by specialist CPD and enrichment activities led by the Iris Project and HEIs. The hubs will also establish and co-ordinate local teachers’ networks.

Chairman of Classics for All, Nicholas Barber CBE, says:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant.  It will be of great benefit to pupils at schools in North and East London“.

“We are looking forward to hearing from any primary or secondary schools in the area. Latin and Classics are fun to learn, are well within the capability of most children, and bring that precious gift of academic confidence.”

The award has been granted by the London Schools Excellence Fund, which is part of the Mayor’s Education Programme working to ensure excellent teaching in all London schools. It will focus on schools in north and east London bringing Classics to 1000 pupils in primary and secondary schools up to A-level.

In the first two years, the project will train 70 teachers to deliver new or improved Classics teaching, increasing access to Classics for pupils in challenging areas of London with limited or no Classics provision. It will:

  • Run high quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for 70 teachers in primary and secondary schools to enhance subject knowledge and equip them to teach Classics independently. The programme will reach 1000 students from Key Stage 2 to A-Level.
  • Run a complementary Classics enrichment programme including visits, lectures and summer activity to inspire and enthuse teachers, students and parents
  • Establish a teachers’ network to further subject knowledge, develop and share teaching resources and approaches beyond the period of the grant, reaching a further 30 schools per year from 2015.
  • Disseminate case studies promoting the Classics to build wider support for the network in London and nationally.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is a well-known Classicist, said: ‘Parents in London want to know that the school their child attends will give them the best start in life and access to top universities and careers. That’s why we’re making funding available for high performing schools and organisations like Classics for All to share their knowledge and expertise with others, to raise expectations, bring academic rigour and improve attainment for more pupils. With the London Schools Excellence Fund our goal is to turbo-charge the system so that all schoolchildren in the capital have the best possible education.’

An external evaluator will undertake an independent evaluation of the project and its impact. Classics for All will oversee project governance, budgeting, evaluation and reporting, and will ensure the smooth running of the partnership.


Making Mars Speak Latin

The Iris Project is excited to have been invited to take part in the NASA HiRISE project run by the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

The HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful one of its kind ever sent to another planet. Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before, and helps other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and is operated by the University of Arizona.

The HiRISE team has created an innovative approach with the HiTranslate Project: a call for volunteers to help translate over 1,300 captioned images into as many languages as possible. We’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked to produce the Latin translations, using a team of volunteers who work with Iris.

Alongside this, Iris is also creating an outreach project, "Making Mars Speak Latin", which will engage schools and communities in this exciting project merging classics and science! This will involve monthly meetings for interested people to come and find out about the project and how it is progressing, as well as talks to schools about the project with an opportunity to engage in the scheme.

If you would like to join our team of translators, please get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!


Hestia Schools

Hestia Schools is a collaboration between the Hestia project and The Iris Project, which aims to produce and deliver accessible, exciting and interactive sessions about Herodotus for school audiences.

Hestia schools involves four distinct stages:

  1. Designing workshops for schools to use Hestia’s technologies to explore Herodotus;
  2. Delivering these workshops to mixed ability classes in schools;
  3. Collecting feedback on these trial sessions which will be used to improve the functionality of this website;
  4. Creating a series of downloadable and deliverable resources for schools to use nationally and internationally.

‘Travelling Herodotus’s World’

This participatory workshop explores the historian Herodotus and the ancient world in which he lived and about which he wrote. Students learn about the origins of historiography, including the duty and responsibility of the historian. By using Hestia’s interactive technologies, students are able to move beyond the written page to explore the geography of the ancient world.

We are now in the process of trialling this workshop in schools. If you would like to be involved in trials of Hestia Schools, please contact us through the website. After the trial, we will make our resources freely available on the Hestia site.

Classics in Communities

The University of Oxford, the Iris Project, and Swansea University are delighted to announce an exciting new project which will promote the option of teaching Latin or Greek to primary schools throughout the UK. The project has been set up in response to the primary curriculum reforms being implemented in England in 2014, and will particularly target schools from deprived areas.

Detailed information about various events will be distributed via the traditional means (Classicist list, Classics Library, JACT, Facebook, and Twitter); however, in the meantime, we would like to share the outline of the project, and invite anyone interested in getting involved (in whatever way) to get in touch (email address below).

The opening conference of the project (‘Classics in Communities: Theories and Practices to develop Classics Outreach in the 21st Century’) will take place at Corpus Christi College (University of Oxford) on the 30th November. The keynote speakers are Prof. Edith Hall (King’s College London) and Dr Michael Scott (University of Warwick).

Eight workshops will be given at HE institutions around the UK (by people who work on Latin and Greek teaching, including

  • Barbara Bell [Minimus]
  • Dr Lorna Robinson (The Iris Project)
  • Dr Evelien Bracke (Swansea University)
  • Dr Aisha Khan-Evans (King’s College London)
  • Steve Hunt (University of Cambridge)

The workshops will offer information about approaches, resources, and support (morning sessions), and practical sessions (afternoon). The workshops will aim to bring together primary, secondary, and HE level teachers and allow for sustainable links to be created and developed.

The second phase will begin in July 2014 and focus on providing practical ongoing support for schools which decide to teach Latin or Greek:

  • resources will be shared via the JACT website
  • pre-arranged video meetings and workshops will be set up
  • mentoring will be available
  • we will also test the impact of the language teaching on the pupils’ literacy skills and global awareness

The two-year project will end with a conference bringing together the findings from the project, and discussing how the project might move beyond the first year of the curriculum reforms.

We are already very grateful to Classics for All, SSAT, and Routes into Languages, for the advice and support they have provided in setting up the project. The Faculty of Classics (University of Oxford) has kindly provided funding to get the project off the ground, a further fundraising event is planned.

Anyone who wishes to get in touch can do so via our Facebook account (search ‘Classics in Communities’), Twitter (@ClassicsinCommunity), or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Iris Project runs several exciting and innovative projects in state schools and local communities, ranging from regular teaching sessions on the school literacy time table delivering Latin, through to outdoor sessions on Classics. Please follow the links to find out more about these initiatives.

Literacy through Latin

London Mayor's Love Latin Scheme

Greek in Schools


Ancient Theatre

Latin in the Parks

Olympics 2012

The Iris Project
24 Green Ridges

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