Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!

 
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Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!
Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry,
               the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!
               by Anastasia Christou

               ‘Classics in Hong Kong’ is not a phrase                     co-educational, bilingual school, based in                 our respective courses. With this aim in
               one comes across on a regular basis, so                     Pokfulam, offering a Chinese and English                   mind, students can choose to study
               when I was asked to write this article on                   immersion education. It was established                    classical Chinese outside their formal
               my experiences of teaching Classics in                      in 2000 and includes Foundation Year to                    timetable as a co-curricular activity from
               Hong Kong specifically and my                               Grade 12, now totalling around 1400                        Grades 5 to 9, studying a selection of
               perspective on Classics in Asia generally,                  students, who aim to graduate from the                     classical Chinese texts that cover literature,
               I was delighted at the opportunity.                         school with a bilingual International                      history and philosophy. The Chinese
               I joined The Independent Schools                            Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (DP) in                         Classics team consists of two members of
               Foundation Academy (The ISF Academy,                        English and Putonghua. In addition to the                  staff, who work tirelessly and energetically
               Hong Kong) just over two years ago,                         school’s usual curriculum, the Shuyuan                     to create tailor-made courses for their
               having studied, trained and taught Classics                 Program was set up, ‘based on the                          students, happily resulting in a steady rise
               in London previously. When the prospect                     classical Chinese learning sanctuary and                   in student uptake: thirty-four Grade 5
               arose of teaching the subject I love on the                 the Platonic Academy, the goal of which                    students; twenty Grade 6 students;
               other side of the globe, it was an offer I                  is independent study and enquiry under                     twenty-two Grade 7 students; eight Grade
               could not refuse, out of curiosity if                       the guidance of a master’ (ISF Academy,                    8 students; and eleven Grade 9 students
               nothing else! Although my teaching                          2017a). In essence, it is a programme                      for 2017/18. As with all courses that run
               experiences on my Asian adventure thus                      offering extension courses, projects                       during students’ own time, the challenge is
               far have been quite different and often                     involving higher education institutions                    to ensure that the students are able to
               unfamiliar, I still passionately believe that               and opportunities for student-led,                         maintain their commitment to the subject
               Classics is equally important everywhere:                   academic research. Within the auspices of                  whilst competing commitments arise and
               appreciating the achievements of the                        the Shuyuan Program are the following                      whilst maintaining a healthy school/life
               ancients; questioning human nature and                      specialist subject areas: Science and                      balance, especially in the very competitive
               the world we live in; and learning from                     Discovery; Global Politics; and Classics;                  and highly demanding climate of Hong
               heroes and villains, mortals and                            all offering selected students the chance                  Kong schools.
               immortals. After all, the Ancient Greeks                    to pursue interests beyond the usual                             I always find it deeply fruitful and
               and Romans played an important role                         curriculum, which challenge them and                       fascinating to speak with my Chinese
               both in the West and the East, with                         complement their other studies.                            Classics colleagues about their courses
               interaction between the civilisations                             Now to focus on the Classics                         and practice, learning much from them in
               across the ages; Alexander the Great’s                      provision at my school. Within the                         every discussion and as we try to link our
               empire is of course one such example of                     Classics department, there is a Chinese                    subjects, investigate possible collaboration
               the mutual intellectual, political and                      Classics team and a Western Classics team,                 and ensure consistency across our teams.
               economic exchange between the western                       the latter of which I am privileged enough                 This is an experience that I feel is unique
               and eastern worlds.                                         to be leading. There is much collaboration                 to my school and one which I am very
                     First, I will introduce my school and                 between our two teams and we both aim                      grateful for. In considering the bilingual
               the programme I am involved with in                         for our students to be able to connect with                setting of The ISF Academy and its
               order to put my teaching experience here                    and appreciate the foundations of Chinese                  constant aim to bridge Chinese and
               in a more meaningful context. The ISF                       and Western culture through the study of                   English, I feel that embracing and
               Academy is an independent,                                  classical artefacts, texts and languages in                connecting Chinese and Western Classics
                 The Journal of Classics Teaching 18 (36) p.29-36 © The Classical Association 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of
                 the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits
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Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!
is one way of achieving this, a belief                     fresh ideas to the team. Similar to my                    and running some whole-school Classics
         which the school’s management holds                        mentoring trainee Classics teachers back                  events.
         also. As a result, our whole-school                        in the U.K., I have found it greatly                           In terms of our courses, we now
         initiatives have been met with positive                    refreshing and energising to work with                    offer a Western Classics course to Grade
         support. For example, the school bases                     these colleagues, relishing the opportunity               6 students as a year-long, co-curricular
         itself on core values, referred to as ‘The                 to reflect on my own practice and on what                 activity, which aims to provide students
         Eight Virtues + One’ (ISF Academy,                         we are doing and trying to achieve with                   with an introduction to the Ancient
         2017b), which aim to provide a moral                       our Western Classics programme. Our                       Greeks and the Romans, covering the
         compass for the whole school community                     first teaching fellow was a Romanist, who                 usual audience-capturing and gory topics,
         and are grounded in Chinese culture, but                   led scansion workshops for our Latinists;                 such as gladiators, mythology and the
         also have modern-day relevance and                         helped in team resource development;                      Olympics. As Grade 6 is the first year of
         importance. Over the course of the                         and designed a whistle-stop tour of Greek                 secondary school, we felt it was important
         approaching academic year, we will be                      and Roman history, literature and                         to give keen Grade 6s some weekly
         circulating presentations on these                         philosophy for some Grade 9 students                      exposure to Western Classics in the hope
         embedded virtues, with each virtue given                   during their private study time. Our                      that they would develop a healthy
         in English, Chinese, Latin and Ancient                     second teaching fellow was a Hellenist,                   obsession with the ancients and continue
         Greek, thus aiming to connect ancient                      who impressively completed her PhD,                       with at least one of our classical courses
         and modern, east and west.                                 entitled The Greek Reception of Alexander the             at secondary school! We also run a
                                                                                                                              Western Classics course for Grade 7 and 8
                                                                                                                              students during their weekly ‘Big Learning
                                                                                                                              Afternoon’ (BLA) time, covering aspects
                                                                                                                              of Ancient Greek and Roman daily life,
                                                                                                                              from slavery to society, from
                                                                                                                              entertainment to education and from
                                                                                                                              military to meals. The two courses are
                                                                                                                              complementary to each other and have
                                                                                                                              entry requirements based on students’
                                                                                                                              prior reporting data, specifically their
                                                                                                                              ‘Commitment to Learning’ (CTL) scores,
                                                                                                                              which are scores given by teachers to
                                                                                                                              reflect each student’s effort in their
                                                                                                                              subject. For both courses, we use
                                                                                                                              purpose-made booklets, consisting of
                                                                                                                              varied tasks, glossaries and fun activities.
                                                                                                                              We focus on collaborative work,
                                                                                                                              independent research and interactive
                                                                                                                              presentations, with lots of peer and
                                                                                                                              self-assessment opportunities as the
                                                                                                                              students’ work is not formally assessed or
                                                                                                                              reported on. This is in the hope that the
                                                                                                                              courses will have more enjoyment and less
                                                                                                                              stress associated with them, thus
                                                                                                                              attracting a wider audience, especially with
                                                                                                                              the courses being outside the students’
                                                                                                                              usual timetable.
                                                                                                                                   Initially, we started the Western
                                                                                                                              Classics course as a joint Grades 6, 7 and 8
                                                                                                                              course. However, we found that the age
                                                                                                                              gap was too large to cater for and
                                                                                                                              challenge all the students appropriately,
                                                                                                                              but we also found that the high demand
                                                                                                                              for the course from Grade 6 parents and
                                                                                                                              students meant that we could create a
               In the Western Classics team, we                     Great, during her time with us, conducted                 separate Grade 6 course. For 2017/18, we
         have two permanent members of staff                        two mock archaeological digs on ISF                       have nineteen Grade 6 students, and seven
         and one teaching fellow who is with us for                 Academy soil and implemented our new                      Grade 7 and 8 students. As these are ‘extra
         a six-month or one-year placement. Thus                    Primary School initiatives. Our current                   courses’, we have found that
         far, we have been privileged enough to                     teaching fellow is a philosopher, who is                  communication and promotion are more
         have three such fellows, who brought                       continuing our Primary Classics                           important than ever in ensuring that
         their own classical expertise, interests and               campaign, aiding in course development                    students and their parents are aware of the

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Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!
courses and their content, but also know                   Ancient Rome and Egypt come to Hong                         month, which is then shared with the
               about the deadlines and requirements for                   Kong’s shores! Some local field trips                       whole school and promoted on the
               signing up to them.                                        include the Hong Kong Museum of                             school’s learning platform, Moodle.
                     Despite covering the Romans and                      History’s ‘Mare Nostrum: Roman Navy                         Monthly Shuyuan Classics Calendar
               the Ancient Greeks in their IB Middle-                     and Pompeii Exhibition’ (Hong Kong                          presentations thus far have included:
               Years Program (MYP) Individuals and                        History Museum, 2017) in August 2016                        Ancient Sport; Classical Clashes
               Societies (I&S) (International                             and the Hong Kong Science Museum’s                          (comparing the epic battles at Zama and
               Baccalaureate, 2017) lessons in Grade 6,                   ‘Eternal Life: Exploring Ancient Egypt                      Red Cliffs); International Mother
               we have found that our students generally                  Exhibition’ (Hong Kong Science                              Language Day; Ancient Technology
               have less of an initial idea about or                      Museum, 2017) in October 2017.                              (comparing the Antikythera Mechanism
               instinctive interest in the Ancient Greeks                 Excitingly, another potential trip of ours                  with the Chinese seismoscope);
               and Romans when compared to their                          may be to Beijing’s China Museum of                         International Philosophy Day; Fun
               U.K. counterparts. Nevertheless, we have                   Science and Technology to visit the                         Festivals (comparing the Roman Saturnalia
               capitalised on this opportunity for some                   upcoming ‘EUREKA. Science, Art and                          with the Chinese Winter Solstice);
               cross-curricular collaboration by                          Technology of the Ancient Greeks                            International Poetry Day; Great Empires
               delivering Latin and Ancient Greek tasters                 Exhibition’ (China Museum of Science                        (comparing Alexander the Great and
               and a Classics competition with the whole                  and Technology, 2017).                                      Emperor Qin); International Democracy
               grade via these I&S units. On pondering                          For the first time, the Chinese and                   Day; and New Beginnings (comparing the
               this observation further however, we                       Western Classics teams have joined                          Western and Chinese traditional
               thought that this may perhaps be due to                    forces to teach a timetabled                                calendars).
               our Hong Kong students having less                         ‘Comparative Classics’ course to five                             Moreover, we have presented some
               exposure to Western history around them;                   Grade 9 students, who have bravely (but                     Shuyuan Classics sessions for staff on
               being further from Europe and its                          wisely!) chosen to be our mega-                             professional development days,
               languages; and there being a slimmer                       classicists/guinea pigs alongside their                     explaining our courses and initiatives to
               chance of them stumbling over a Roman                      formal MYP subjects. With this course,                      our colleagues. These sessions proved to
               road in Britain on the weekend or                          we aim to bring together the cultures and                   be worthwhile not only for advertising
               exploring an Ancient Greek site whilst on                  literary works of the great ancient                         our subjects, but also for reaching out
               their summer holiday, being about a                        civilisations of the Greeks, the Romans                     for any cross-curricular, collaborative
               four-hour flight away. On the other hand,                  and the Chinese in translation.                             opportunities with other faculties. For
               some of our students have a keen interest                  Comparative units to be covered in the                      example, the English Faculty invited me
               in all things classical from the outset, as                two-year course are Ancient                                 into their Grade 11 and 12 English
               one Grade 11 student enthusiastically                      Historiography, Ancient Art, Ancient                        Literature lessons to give workshops on
               puts: ‘I study Classics for the same reason                Philosophy and Ancient Poetry. Classical                    Euripides’ Medea, one of their chosen set
               why we study Shakespeare, and guess                        texts will include: the epic poetry of                      texts. Likewise, being included in the
               what Shakespeare studied? That’s right,                    Homer and Vergil, as well as the Shijing                    Mathematics Faculty’s Pi Night was
               the Classics! Ancient Greek and Latin are                  poetry compilation; the histories of                        excellent fun; we had Greek alphabet
               languages that shed light on two of the                    Herodotus, Suetonius and Zuo Zhuan;                         Sudoku and Ancient Greek
               greatest civilisations in human history.                   and the philosophies of Plato and                           mathematician games in our corner! We
               Although they are languages and cultures                   Confucius. Through studying the various                     have also tried to be pro-active in sharing
               of the past, we still encounter them every                 literary and visual sources, we hope that                   Western Classics resources and news
               day in Romance languages, literature and                   our students will explore the intricate                     with colleagues, wherever relevant. In
               high art.’                                                 relations between culture, literature and                   addition, by arranging speakers to come
                     Furthermore, whilst the Percy Jackson                thought in the ancient Western and                          in to give talks on various topics, we have
               and Harry Potter series are popular among                  Eastern worlds. Both Classics teams are                     been able to build contacts for colleagues
               our students, not many of them have                        very excited to be co-planning and                          in other subjects. For example, we asked
               watched Classics-related films, seen                       co-teaching this course, as well as                         Lingnan University’s Professor Nado to
               Ancient Greek or Roman artefacts up                        learning from each other along the way,                     present a lecture on ‘An Introduction to
               close or visited ancient sites in the West.                so watch this space for more Sino-                          Philosophy’ to interested ISF Academy
               As a result, we have a monthly Classics                    Greek-Roman relations and comparative                       staff, parents and students, after which
               Film Club, featuring some of the usual                     work ahead!                                                 she was invited back to give a talk to the
               epics on rotation with popcorn provided,                         In the same vein, we have run other                   Grade 11 Theory of Knowledge
               from Disney’s Hercules to Clash of the                     comparative and collaborative Classics                      students. Other talks we have organised
               Titans (2010), which all Secondary                         initiatives, which have been met with keen                  have been ‘Classics at Cambridge: A
               students and staff are welcome to attend.                  interest and received positive feedback                     Hong Konger’s Perspective’ to
               Furthermore, we run overseas trips                         from students and staff alike. Every                        encourage more students to study
               annually, alternating between Rome and                     month, we have brought together two                         Classics at university level, and ‘It’s All
               Athens, for Grade 9 to 12 Classicists,                     classical events or related topics, based                   Greek to Me!’ to introduce the value of
               bringing the Roman Colosseum and                           around an international celebration or a                    Ancient Greek before launching it as a
               Athenian Acropolis to life for them. We                    Western and/or Chinese classical                            new subject at The ISF Academy last
               have also been lucky enough to have had                    anniversary occurring in that respective                    year.

                                                         Hong
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Hong Kong: Home to the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and @ShuyuanClassics!
score across all subjects on a student’s last
                                                                                                  report. This is mainly as a necessary
                                                                                                  differentiator due to the high demand for
                                                                                                  the subject, but also because a high
                                                                                                  commitment is certainly needed when
                                                                                                  students are learning Latin in their own
                                                                                                  time.
                                                                                                        Students can continue Latin in Grade
                                                                                                  9, but on timetable, to eventually sit the
                                                                                                  Cambridge IGCSE Latin examination
                                                                                                  (Cambridge International Examinations,
                                                                                                  2017) in Grade 10. Students therefore
                                                                                                  study Latin alongside their formal MYP
                                                                                                  subjects, receiving four hours and
                                                                                                  fifty-five minutes of lesson time per
                                                                                                  fortnight in Grade 9 and four hours and
                                                                                                  thirty minutes in Grade 10. For 2017/18,
               Now to elaborate on the place of        with two hours of lesson time per week.    we have six Grade 9s and five Grade 10s.
         Latin and Ancient Greek at my school          For 2017/18, we have nine Grade 8          Over the two years, students finish the
         and our provision for both. The continual students. As always, the hope of these         CLC and cover the Cambridge IGCSE
         justification of classical languages in       Latin courses is that the students will    syllabus. For the language paper (1hr
         schools is universal, Hong Kong being no develop an appreciation for the                 30mins, 50%), students translate an
         different. In response to any doubter or      contributions of the Romans to the         unseen prose passage of around 120
         opposer of Classics at The ISF Academy        modern world and expand their English      words and complete a comprehension on
         or elsewhere, I would say that whilst they    vocabulary via derivation work, whilst     some more Latin prose, with some
         may think that Latin and Ancient Greek        improving their understanding of English derivation questions asked also. For the
         are ‘dead’ languages, they are in fact        grammar. Unlike the Western Classics       literature paper (1hr 30mins, 50%), until
         immortal and live around us, not only in      courses, Latin is always reported on and   June 2019 at least, students study Vergil’s
         the languages we speak, but also in a         has all the expected vocabulary tests,     Aeneid and a selection of Cicero’s works,
         variety of professions and disciplines.       written translations and comprehension     examining the content of the written texts
         Likewise, I would say that if the sheer       assignments per stage.                     and considering the authors’ styles and
         enjoyment and satisfaction of studying              Latin in Grades 7 and 8, occurring   the social, political and historical context,
         these languages do not suffice, their value twice a week plus homework, is a             with one ten-mark, opinion-based
         also lies in a host of skills that the study  considerable extra-curricular              question asked for each author.
         of Latin and Greek develops and the deep commitment, which parents and students                I have found that the Cambridge
         insight it gives into English language and    have queried and which we have explained IGCSE is a sound precursor of IB DP
         Western culture and history in general.       is indeed appropriate and necessary for    Latin as it is rigorous and demanding. The
         The appeal of impressing universities is a language learning and in order to reach       expected quality of IGCSE students’
         very popular motivation for studying          the required standard for the Latin        Latin is high and the required syntax,
         Classics among ISF Academy parents and examinations to come. In fact, Latin at           morphology and vocabulary lists are
         students.                                     The ISF Academy used to begin in Grade substantial, especially after four short
               Latin is the most established of our    8, but I moved the beginners’ class down   years of Latin and when English might be
         course offerings, having produced its first a year to Grade 7, so that students would    a second or third language, after
         set of IB DP results in the summer of         have more years of Latin leading up to the Cantonese and/or Putonghua in the case
         2016. Happily, student numbers for Latin challenging Cambridge IGCSE in Grade            of ISF Academy students. With little to
         are sharply rising, likely due to an          10; a decision which I feel has paid       no formal training available for
         increasing ISF Academy student body and dividends on student confidence and              Cambridge IGCSE Latin in Asia,
         on the back of a barrage of initiatives and results. Another change to Latin teaching restricted online access due to my school
         a forceful promotional campaign by our        and learning at my school was the switch   not being an international school and very
         team! When I started at The ISF               to using the CLC rather than the Oxford    few schools offering Latin at this level or
         Academy, we had eight Latin beginners,        Latin Course (OLC). This was because I     at all in Hong Kong, I found that it was an
         whilst for 2017/18, we have thirty-eight.     found that the students were not very      enjoyable, manageable yet slightly arduous
         Students can begin Latin in Grade 7 as a      enthused or engaged with the OLC, but      experience to acquaint myself with the
         bi-weekly, co-curricular activity, using      also that the interactive Cambridge School nuances and expectations of this
         Books I and II of the Cambridge Latin         Classics Project (CSCP) website            examination. However, we have been able
         Course (CLC) and with two hours of            (Cambridge School Classics Project,        to make an arrangement with the Hong
         lesson time per week. Students can then       2017) and CLC e-learning software are      Kong Examinations and Assessment
         choose to continue with Latin in Grade 8, resources that are too good not to utilise. Authority to sit the examination every
         again as a bi-weekly, co-curricular activity, We have also introduced a requirement to year thus far. The establishment of the
         using Books II and III of the CLC and         starting Latin, namely high average CTL    Association of South-East Asian Classics

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Teachers (ASEACT) and subsequent                           HL Latin compared to SL. In addition, as                    enjoy Latin and achieve well.
               collaborative sharing between its                          students are only allowed to choose three                   Furthermore, the NLE means that all our
               members has done a lot to aid us IGCSE                     HL and three SL subjects, the                               Latinists have something tangible when
               Latin teachers and our students.                           competition is even greater between                         finishing their Latin careers, if only a year
                     In contrast, when preparing to teach                 students’ subject choices, with HL                          or two long.
               IB DP Latin, I gratefully attended the                     subjects being subjects that students                             Ancient Greek is only a year old at
               Category 1 and 2 Classical Languages                       would most likely pursue at university                      The ISF Academy, but has already seen a
               workshop at Wellington College (UK) in                     level. As a school, we are not quite there                  pleasing set of American National Greek
               October 2015. I found this professional                    yet in terms of the demand to offer both                    Examination (NGE) (National Greek
               development opportunity extremely                          SL and HL Latin.                                            Exam, 2017) results. Not as advanced as
               useful and beneficial, especially for                            Happily, we also have our second                      the NLE, this examination is not online,
               networking; becoming familiar with the                     Latin DP Extended Essay this year. The                      but is still multiple-choice, has the same
               assessment criteria; discussing approaches                 first essay was on ‘How does Cicero                         sense of achievement and the rewards
               to teaching the syllabus; seeing sample                    attempt to overcome xenophobia in the                       associated with it and is just as well-
               work; and as an introduction to the IB                     Pro Archia?’ and the current essay is on                    received by the relevant parties. The first
               generally and the Latin course specifically.               ‘How does Book I of Ovid’s Amores                           examination level is very doable with only
                     In Grades 11 and 12 at The ISF                       criticise the exploitation of women                         a slight amount of extra reading and
               Academy, students can study Latin as a                     inherent in amatory relations at that                       learning for the students to do. As with
               Group 2 IB DP option at Standard Level                     time?’. The process of researching and                      the NLE, some gap-filling and a brisk
               (SL), receiving five hours and fifty                       essay writing for each student was very                     pace are still needed, especially as the
               minutes of lesson time per fortnight in                    different, yet equally interesting and                      NGE usually takes place even earlier than
               both grades. For 2017/18, we have two                      valuable to be a part of. It was highly                     the NLE, in February.
               Grade 11 students and one Grade 12                         rewarding to witness the individual                               Students can begin Ancient Greek in
               student. In DP Latin, students are                         learning journeys of the students, from                     Grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 as a weekly,
               expected to apply their linguistic skills and              deciding on their areas of interest to                      co-curricular activity, using Part One of
               grammatical knowledge to translating an                    drawing their conclusions based on their                    John Taylor’s Greek to GCSE, with an hour
               unseen passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses                   own literary analysis and academic                          of lesson time per week. For 2017/18, we
               for Paper One (1hr 15mins, 35%). For                       research. The whole Extended Essay                          have six beginners, only one of which
               Paper Two (1hr 30mins, 45%), students                      process is certainly excellent preparation                  already studies Latin. If students wish to
               are expected to respond to selections                      for students for university study.                          continue with Ancient Greek and sit the
               from their Vergil (The Aeneid) and Tacitus                       All ISF Academy Latinists sit the                     next level of the NGE, they then attend
               (The Annals) set texts until May 2018, and                 annual American National Latin                              twice a week in order to cover the
               Vergil (The Aeneid) and Caesar (The Gallic                 Examination (NLE) (National Latin                           increased content and difficulty, finishing
               Wars) thereafter until 2021, answering                     Exam, 2017a) at various levels, depending                   Part One and also covering Part Two of
               comprehension, translation, scansion and                   on their stage of Latin. The NLE is                         John Taylor’s textbooks. I do feel
               literary analysis-style questions. The final               well-received by all relevant parties: the                  however, that there is a considerable jump
               component of DP Latin is the Research                      students enjoy the multiple-choice, online,                 between the first and second NGE levels.
               Dossier (20%), which is the internal                       quiz-like approach to Latin testing; the                    For 2017/18, we have five intermediates,
               assessment, whereby students select                        parents feel pride over their children                      only two of which do not already study
               relevant primary sources and produce                       achieving ribbons, medals and certificates                  Latin. As with Latin, Ancient Greek is
               detailed annotations on their sources in                   in Latin; and the school management                         also always reported on and has all the
               response to their chosen inquiry question.                 welcome the opportunity for healthy                         expected vocabulary and translation tests
               Research Dossiers completed by ISF                         competition and achievement, both                           per chapter.
               Academy students include: ‘To what                         among our Latin scholars and between                              Initially, the beginner Ancient Greek
               extent was Nero’s legislation beneficial to                schools on an international level.                          course was open to Grade 8 students and
               the common Roman people?’; ‘How did                        However, for each level there is extra                      above. However, I found that the
               Augustus consolidate his power through                     reading and learning for the students to                    challenge of a completely new language
               exercising religious traditions in the early               do. Although the NLE has a document                         and alphabet was too much for Grade 8s
               years of his rule?’; and ‘What does the                    that roughly aligns each examination                        and their busy Middle School lives, hence
               Second Pompeian Style of mural art tell                    level’s syllabus with the relevant CLC                      raising the grade requirement to Grade 9
               us about middle-class Roman tastes in the                  stages (National Latin Exam, 2017b), we                     upwards. Nevertheless, it has been
               early Roman Empire?’.                                      must ‘fill in the gaps’ and race forward                    gratifying to see older students taking up a
                     In terms of IB DP Latin at Higher                    somewhat when approaching the                               classical course despite not doing so earlier
               Level (HL) versus SL, there is more                        examinations in March, which is only                        on their Secondary School journeys. As a
               unseen translation; more lines of                          two-thirds into the academic year and any                   completely new subject, the challenge for
               literature with a long, personal response                  Latin course at The ISF Academy.                            us is still to advertise it and its value as
               question; the Research Dossier is longer                   Teaching some of the catch-up grammar                       much as possible and make clear that
               with more sources required; and                            in isolation does feel very against the                     Ancient Greek is both a stand-alone
               supplementary reading is expected. Thus,                   intended inductive CLC approach.                            course, but also one that complements
               more time is also needed on timetable for                  Nevertheless, students manage fine, still                   Latin and/or Western Classics.

                                                         Hong
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                                                                                                                     Cambridge Core terms of use, available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S2058631017000204
As mentioned previously, we have                          As well as ‘getting the classical word                     On reflecting on the jam-packed two
         directed considerable efforts to infiltrating              out’ early among the students, ISF Academy                years it has been and the exciting times
         the Primary School, which has been more                    parents have been instrumental in raising                 ahead, it would be apt to mention the
         doable as the Primary and Secondary                        the profile of Western Classics at the school             ASEACT in more detail, which we
         Schools share the same campus and both                     and helping our course numbers grow from                  founded on the back of a successful
         management teams are very supportive of                    strength to strength. Thus, we have run an                FOBISIA Job Alike Workshop on
         any Classics collaboration. One initiative                 annual programme of sessions for any                      ‘Teaching Classics in Asia’ at Tanglin
         has been Shuyuan Storytelling, by which all                interested parents to introduce them to                   Trust School in February 2016. At this
         Grade 3, 4 and 5 students have a monthly                   Latin and Ancient Greek; showcase our                     workshop, the first of its kind, we shared
         session with our teaching fellow during                    lesson materials, including the CLC’s                     our experiences of teaching Classics in
         their allocated library time. During these                 e-learning software; and outline our courses              Asia thus far and also discussed key issues,
         sessions, students listen to and interact                  and initiatives. The sessions have been                   such as: examinations; use of ICT; how to
         with various audio clips from the                          well-attended by Primary and Secondary                    promote our subject; and how to design
         University of Cambridge Classical Tales                    parents alike, with the highest turnout being             and implement dynamic programmes and
         (Lister, 2017). Last year, all three grades                thiry-one. We have also appeared at some                  engaging lessons. Since then, I was
         listened to stories from the Metamorphoses:                of the Head of School’s Parent Coffee                     honoured to host the first ASEACT
         Tales of Change selection, including:                      Mornings to promote our subject and                       conference in February 2017; I have
         Creation, whereby students completed                       explain our Classics provision. In                        circulated termly CPD bulletins, compiled
         storyboards and made their own Pandora’s                   considering some parents’ perception of                   from best teaching practice and model
         boxes; King Midas, whereby students                        the place of Classics in Asia, two ISF                    student work shared by ASEACT
         participated in a quiz; and Arachne,                       Academy parents supportively affirm that                  members; I have visited member schools
         whereby students held a debate between                     studying a Western Classics course ‘helps                 to observe Latin lessons; and we have
         Athena and Arachne. Students enjoyed                       children who are raised in Eastern families               arranged Skype Symposia, where IGCSE
         listening to the animated professional                     become more familiar with Western culture                 students from Kellett School and The ISF
         storytellers and learning about Greek                      and thus become educated, global citizens!’               Academy each prepared and shared
         myths: ‘I really liked the fantasy element                 and it ‘broadens the learning of our children             literature paper ten-markers, which very
         and that it was something out of the                       in Asia, so that they are not just familiar with          much benefitted the students in terms of
         ordinary.’ Teachers also approved of their                 Chinese culture, but that their minds are                 articulating their ideas, sharing their
         students’ learning beyond the usual                        extended to appreciate Western culture and                knowledge and realizing that they were
         curriculum: ‘It’s great to expose the kids to              history too, hence enhancing the                          not alone in their IGCSE Latin
         these classic stories.’ Going forward, only                diversification of our children’s thinking.’              endeavours!
         Grades 3 and 4 will receive these sessions,
         mainly due to the curriculum pressures in
         Grade 5, not wanting to spread our
         teaching fellow too thinly and prioritising
         other Classics initiatives for Grade 5.
               With our weekly Grade 5 Western
         Classics Club, we aim to get students
         engaged and interested in the classical
         world in the hope that they will take up a
         classical course in the Secondary School,
         seeing as Grade 5 is the final year of the
         Primary School. Club activities have
         included: arts and crafts, such as making
         mosaics and paper Parthenons; films and
         quizzes; and storytelling. The club has been
         so popular that we will be running it twice
         next year to be able to accommodate more
         students, with twenty-five students in each
         club and hoping to include some Lego,
         armour and jewellery-making too!
         Moreover, we have tried to make as many
         guest appearances in the Primary School as
         possible. For example, I was excited to be a
         guest reader to a Foundation Year class
         during the ‘Primary Love of Reading Week’
         and went along with some Aesop’s Fables and
         matching visual aids! Similarly, my colleague
         was keen to dress up as a centurion to
         promote the Western Classics Club!

            34                                               Hong Kong:on
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                                                                                                                   Cambridge Core terms of use, available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S2058631017000204
Twitter has been another facilitator                   state of affairs without reference to the
                                                                          for networking and sharing with other                       past: it has shaped every aspect of our
                                                                          schools and the international Classics                      existence, materially, intellectually,
                                                                          family. We were very happy when                             philosophically and spiritually.’
                                                                          Villanova University (Pennsylvania)
                                                                          contacted us via Twitter to arrange a Skype                   Anastasia Christou is Head of
                                                                          meeting between their Classics
                                                                                                                                        Shuyuan Western Classic
                                                                          undergraduates and our students; once
                                                                                                                                        Programme at The ISF Academy,
                                                                          again, showing our ISF Academy students
                                                                                                                                        Hong Kong
                                                                          that the Classics world is bigger than they
                                                                                                                                        achristou@isf.edu.hk
                                                                          may think, which our use of Massolit
                                                                          (Massolit, 2017) with its online lectures
                                                                          has also helped with.
                                                                                                                                      References
                                                                                                                                      Advocating Classical Education. (2017,
                                                                                                                                      August 8). Advocating Classical Education.
                                                                                                                                      From Advocating Classical Education:
                                                                                                                                      http://aceclassics.org.uk/

                                                                                                                                      Cambridge International Examinations. (2017,
                                                                                                                                      August 8). Cambridge International Examinations:
                                                                                                                                      Programmes and Qualifications. From Cambridge
                                                                                                                                      International Examinations: http://www.cie.
                                                                                                                                      org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/
                                                                                                                                      cambridge-igcse-latin-0480

                                                                                                                                      Cambridge School Classics Project. (2017,
                                                                                                                                      August 8). Cambridge School Classics Project Online
                                                                                                                                      Resources. From Cambridge School Classics
                                                                                                                                      Project: www.cambridgescp.com

                                                                                                                                      China Museum of Science and Technology.
                                                                                                                                      (2017, August 8). China Museum of Science and
                     ASEACT member schools include:                             With the exciting establishment of the                Technology: EUREKA. From China Museum of
               Tanglin Trust School, Singapore; Kellett                   Ancient Civilisations Forum (Hellenic                       Science and Technology: http://erevna.
               School, Hong Kong; The French                                                                                          minedu.gov.gr/index.php/en/news/834-two-
                                                                          Republic, 2017) and the Advocating
                                                                                                                                      exhibitions-of-ancient-technology-in-athens-
               International School, Hong Kong; The                       Classics Education (ACE) (Advocating
                                                                                                                                      and-beijing-in-collaboration-with-the-china-
               French International School, Bangkok;                      Classical Education, 2017) project this year,               museum-of-science-and-technology-of-beijing
               The French International School,                           I hope that the championing of the classical
               Singapore; The Taipei European School,                     world, both in schools and on a world stage,                Hellenic Republic. (2017, August 8). Hellenic
               Taiwan; North London Collegiate School,                    will only get bigger and stronger…per aspera                Republic: Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Athens
               Jeju; and The ISF Academy, Hong Kong.                      ad astra! We are certainly trying to do our bit             Declaration on the establishment of the Ancient
               Some recent detrimental news affecting                     and our best for Classics teaching and                      Civilizations Forum. From Hellenic Republic:
               some ASEACT member schools has been                        learning here in Asia, at both The ISF                      Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.mfa.
               the withdrawal of Oxford Cambridge and                     Academy and at all ASEACT member                            gr/en/current-affairs/statements-speeches/
               RSA’s (OCR) approval for international                                                                                 athens-declaration-on-the-establishment-of-
                                                                          schools, to educate, engage and enthuse the
                                                                                                                                      the-ancient-civilizations-forum.html
               schools to sit the newly reformed GCSE                     next generation of Classicists!
               and A Level qualifications. However,                             To conclude with the fitting words of                 Hong Kong History Museum. (2017, August
               some better news is the introduction of                    the Head of School at The ISF Academy,                      8). Hong Kong History Museum 2016 Exhibition.
               IB MYP Classical Languages, whose guide                    Dr Malcolm Pritchard, who sums up the                       From Hong Kong History Museum: http://
               was published in April 2017 and which                      value of Classics in schools, in Hong                       hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/
               should lead nicely into IB DP Classical                    Kong and beyond: ‘As education is a                         exhibition/2016_past_01.html
               Languages. Time will tell how these                        process of progressive change that takes
               developments will impact Classics in our                   us from infancy to maturity, retaining the                  Hong Kong Science Museum. (2017, August 8).
               schools, but we will find strength in                      collective experience and wisdom of                         Hong Kong Science Museum; Eternal Life
                                                                                                                                      Exhibition. From Hong Kong Science
               numbers; look forward to more                              humanity must sit at the heart of what
                                                                                                                                      Museum: http://hk.science.museum/ms/
               conferences and further collaboration,                     and how we learn. The very roots of our                     el2017/eindex.html
               such as some more inter-school                             philosophies, laws, culture, even our
               competitions; and hope to keep the                         language, are to be found in the Classics.                  International Baccalaureate. (2017, August 8).
               ASEACT empire expanding!                                   In fact, we cannot understand our present                   IBO Middle Years Programmes. From International

                                                         Hong
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                                                            46.4.80.155, on 24toNov
                                                                                 the2021
                                                                                    Star Ferry, the Peak
                                                                                         at 15:23:39,    Tram
                                                                                                      subject toand
                                                                                                                 the @ShuyuanClassics!                                                35
                                                                                                                     Cambridge Core terms of use, available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S2058631017000204
Baccalureate Programmes: http://www.ibo.                   http://acdemy.isf.edu.hk/en/about-us/                     National Latin Exam: https://nle.org/pdf/
         org/programmes/middle-years-programme/                     vision-mission-and-values/                                worksheets/CLC.pdf
         curriculum/individuals-and-societies
                                                                    Lister, B. (2017, August 8). Classic Tales. From          National Greek Exam. (2017, August 8).
         ISF Academy. (2017a, August 8). ISF Academy                Classic Tales: htp://classictales.educ.cam.ac.uk/         National Greek Exam. From National Greek
         Shuyuan. From ISF Academy: http://academy.                                                                           Exam: https://aclclassics.org/pages/
         isf.edu.hk/en/academics/the-isf-academy-                   Massolit. (2017, August 8). Massolit. From                national-greek-exams
         shuyuan                                                    Massolit: https://www.massolit.io/
                                                                                                                              National Latin Exam. (2017a, August 8).
         ISF Academy. (2017b, August 8). ISF Academy                National Latin Exam. (2017b, August 8).                   National Latin Exam. From National Latin
         Vision. Mission and Values. From ISF Academy:              National Latin Exam: CLC worksheets. From                 Exam: https://.nle.org

            36                                               Hong Kong:on
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