Classics comes to life at Packwood

Last Thursday, Packwood’s annual Classics Reading Competition took place with pupils in Year 7 and 8 and the parents of finalists treated to some wonderful renditions of extracts in both Latin and Greek, including the myth of Perseus and Medusa and the story of a riot in Ancient Alexandria.

A new category this year, designed to stretch our most able linguists, was Senior Latin Verse. For this, contestants rose to the challenge of reading Virgil’s Aeneid in the original metre (dactylic hexameter). The competition also included texts read masterfully in Greek, a real achievement for pupils given their relatively short exposure to the language.

To start proceedings, the audience enjoyed a short play of ‘Three Little Pigs’ (Tres Porci Parvi) in Latin by members of 8P, starring Kutenda C as the ‘lupus maximus’. There was also a screening of a highly entertaining ‘Guide to Grammar’ in the form of a rap video by 7W.

The overall standard of reading was very high, making choosing the finalists an unenviable task for Mrs Besterman, Packwood’s Head of Classics.

We welcomed Mr Paul Fitzgerald, Head of Classics at Shrewsbury School, as our judge. He spoke engagingly about the living nature of ancient languages and the potential comedy in misplaced Greek inflections before announcing the winners:

Year 8 Latin prose: Winner – Freddie W, Runner-up – Henry H
Year 7 Latin prose: Winner – Tom T, Runner-up – Suzanna P
Senior Latin Verse: Winner – Tom K
Senior Greek: Winner – Cai H

Head Boy, George S, presented Mr Fitzgerald with a gift and thanked him (in Latin) to bring proceedings to a close.