About us

Find out more about The Greek Summer School and the people who teach and run the courses.

About the greek summer school

The first JACT Greek Summer School was in 1968, in Bedford College, in Regent’s Park, London. For the next seventeen years, until 1985, it was at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, and since then it has been at Bryanston School in Blandford Forum, Dorset. After 52 consecutive years, the COVID-19 pandemic meant there was no summer school in 2020, so 2012 sees the 53rd JACT Greek Summer School.

In the mid-1960s, Classics in general and Greek in particular were endangered subjects. The mission and inspiration of the summer school have always been to support and enhance the teaching and learning of ancient Greek in UK schools and universities, at all levels from absolute scratch to post- A Level, and especially to give access to the Greek language to those from schools where it exists precariously or not at all. The declining fortune of Greek in secondary schools has meant that the large majority of summer school students have always been from independent schools, but significant and growing numbers come from state schools. An impressive number of established Classics teachers in schools and universities, and an appreciable proportion of summer school tutors, began Greek at the summer school.

In overall size, the summer school has grown and grown, from 52 students and six tutors in 1968 to c. 350 students and c. 45 tutors, more or less, in recent years. The tutors have always been a kaleidoscopic mix of school and university teachers, from newly graduated and qualified schoolteachers to senior professors of Greek from great universities. The students are similarly diverse, largely in the age-range 16-19 and from UK schools, but with increasing numbers of undergraduates, postgraduates and ‘mature’ students, and always with a small but significant leavening from overseas. With the aim of maximising the impact the summer has on the provision of Greek in schools, teachers wishing to offer Greek in their own schools have been welcomed onto the teachers course since 2017, combining language learning with opportunities to discuss teaching strategies and resources.

Plays, Music & Sports

When you need a break from your Greek, the summer school offers opportunities to get involved with plays, music and a range of sporting activities.

Management

The summer school is steered by a management committee a dozen strong, with a permanent chair and committee secretary. Its practical operations each year are set up and run by a course secretary, a director, a director of studies, a treasurer, a matron, and a large support team. The summer school depends on its generous bursaries scheme and for keeping beginners’ groups small on donations from a goodly number of benefactors, institutional and private. These it very gratefully acknowledges.

The Greek summer school staff

Tutors on the course are experienced teachers drawn from schools and universities across the UK and beyond.

Some have been coming for many years and some will be here for the first time this year, but all are dedicated to providing access to Greek.

JACT summer school trust

When the Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT) merged with the Classical Association in 2015, the JACT Summer Schools Trust (JSST) was formed to continue JACT’s work in providing summer schools. The Trust consists of four summer schools which collaborate to minimise administrative costs and maximise opportunities for discovering Classics.

JSST is a registered charity (1137562) and a limited company, registered in England & Wales (07331184). Registered Office: 10 Market Walk, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JZ.

The correspondence address for JSST is via the Secretary to the Trustees, Mrs Cathy Bothwell. Please use the contact page for the JACT Greek Summer School or email direct to [email protected] or phone 07875 252244.

Interested in attending the Greek summer school?