**The Isle of Wight County Press is partnering with Christ the King College in Newport to give young reporters the chance to find out what journalism is all about. We hope you enjoy their stories.

Andrew Montrose, the new Headteacher of Christ the King College, says he is committed to keeping subjects like Latin and Classics as part of the broad college curriculum. 

Despite never leading a school that offered classical subjects, he believed that they were crucial.

Nevertheless, he explained: "Sometimes things are out of the headteacher's hand…it is down to money, availability of the staff to teach the subject and the uptake of the students.

"Like most schools, Christ the King has to balance the books." 

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It is currently one of only a few state schools on the Isle of Wight and across the country that offers Latin and Classics from Year 7 upwards.

According to The Association for Latin Teaching, only two Island schools offer a Classics or Latin course: Christ The King College, Newport (GCSE Latin, Ancient History and A-Level Latin, Classical Civilisations) and the Island Free School, Ventnor (GCSE Latin). 

Unfortunately, a study by Cambridge academics inferred students believed Ancient History had "elitist" connotations.

Since 2009, few schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have offered Ancient History, as they focus on National Curriculum subjects only.

Annually, around 0.1 per cent of GCSE students undertake the Ancient History exam - an even smaller percentage attending state schools. 

History and Classics teacher, Thomas Ferguson, expressed the importance of traditional subjects incorporated as a sector of children’s education.

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He said: "I believe that we offer a broad, diverse curriculum (which I am happy to say that I have played a part in designing).

"I am proud to be part of a school that offers these subjects throughout students' learning journey from Key Stage 3 to 5."

Although recognised as a traditional subject, Classics is an interdisciplinary course and academics have acknowledged that it aligns with our contemporary society: From Herodotus, the father of historical thought to Homer and Virgil, whose poetry has influenced Western Literature; and from Alexander the Great’s achievements explored in military schools to lawyers/orators who study Cicero’s speeches.

Latin/Classics teacher Harry Hare said: "We cannot fully understand our society unless we have some knowledge of the Romans."

He continued: "With specific reference to Latin, the skills and disciplines required for translating Latin involve high-level problem-solving. This is universally applicable. I have found it useful in many areas from working as a solicitor to training as a mechanic."

The skills and disciplines required for translating Latin involve high-level problem-solving...universally applicable...from working as a solicitor to training as a mechanic.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Latin/Greek languages offer problem-solving and critical thinking skills, whereas, Ancient History delivers abilities in historical/literary analysis, philosophy, politics, language, ethics, culture and religion - aiding a student in understanding the importance of a multicultural society. 

Ultimately, Christ The King College aims to continue teaching Classical subjects, which teachers appear to find gratification in. 

“All teaching is tough, often gruelling work. However, with Classics and Latin, one tends to teach groups of keen and committed students. Watching them gain skills and confidence is rewarding. It is always gratifying when they succeed, especially when they go on either to take their studies of Classics further or realise its usefulness in succeeding in other areas. It is also pleasing to know that one is continuing a tradition that is now rare and in danger of disappearing.” - Harry Hare (Latin/Classics teacher)

Pleasantly, it appears as students enjoy studying Classics and are pleased with the continuation of Classics and Latin at Christ The King college. 

“A love for Classics should not be left in the corner, resigned as a 'hobby' purely because parents were unable to pay for tuition.” - Thomas Ferguson