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A Student's Perspective on Success at the Manchester Latin and Greek Reading Competition

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The below is written by Nick Thompson, a Year 12 student

After weeks of preparation, the moment finally came to take the coach to the Classical Association Manchester Latin and Greek Reading Competition at King's Macclesfield and to see if all of our hard work had paid off. After a brief welcome to King's by none other than Mr Griffiths (former Head of English, now Deputy Head at King's), we each went our separate ways to compete in the separate categories of the competition. Ten schools in the region competed, meaning that competition was fierce!

I was competing in the A Level Classical Greek section and we shared our room with the GCSE Level Classical Greek participants. This gave me an opportunity to witness some outstanding readings of a passage from Homer's Odyssey, which I studied last year. Therefore it was surprising for me when some of the GCSE students began changing voices during their reading to emulate the voices of Penelope and certain people in the crowd. The Sixth Form passage was taken from Sophocles' Oedipus Rex at the point where the tragic figure is trying to prove his majesty and importance to all who are persecuting him and suggesting that he killed the old king, his father.

It was only after the adjudication that we realised that one of our judges was none other than John Taylor himself, whose course books are the staple of pupils of classical subjects at GCSE! It was at this moment that we knew that we must have a photograph with this great pillar of the classical community much to the bewilderment and amusement of onlookers.

In the end, our hard work was well received and we returned to Bolton having been triumphant in four of the six available categories. Many of us placed highly and I foresee further successes in years to come as our triumph in beginner Latin suggests.

Results in the competition were as follows:

Latin Beginners 1st place - Jude Ashcroft and Thomas Britton (Year 7)

Latin GCSE 1st place - Aman Kumar (Year 11)

Greek GCSE 1st place - Aman Kumar (Year 11)

Greek GCSE 2nd place - Jack Virgin (Year 11)

Greek Sixth Form - 1st place - Nick Thompson (Year 12)  

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Bolton School boys with author John Taylor

Bolton School boys with author John Taylor

Year 7 boys Thomas and Jude were awarded first place in the Latin Beginners

Year 7 boys Thomas and Jude were awarded first place in the Latin Beginners' category

Nick Thompson was first in the Greek Sixth Form category

Nick Thompson was first in the Greek Sixth Form category