In view of the developing public health situation and in line with government advice regarding meetings and public events, we have, with regret, decided to cancel all GCA events for the current season (i.e., until July 2020 at least).
We will post further information when we feel able to offer our activities again, and meanwhile wish everyone well in these difficult times.
It was the turn of Charterhouse this time to host our annual Reading Competition on March 12th. Although overall numbers were slightly down this year, we heard a good balance of candidates in each of the eight Sections. The passages chosen for the different age groups (Years 6 – 13) reflect the length of time the students have been learning Latin or Greek; there is a short play and lively dialogues for the junior classes, and solos from Greek and Latin literature for senior candidates.
Our experienced judges give up their time each year to share with us their expertise and encourage the students to improve their pronunciation and expression: theirs is not an easy task to judge between the good and the outstanding. This year the standard was very high and competition fierce. We are especially grateful to Miss Sarah Parnaby and Mr Jeremy Antrich who worked exceptionally hard to compensate for the absences of two colleagues through illness.
We congratulate all the candidates who practised diligently with their teachers to give a polished performance, in recognition of which everyone received a certificate – a smart new design for 2020. The very best received a substantial book token as a prize, and we extend our thanks to the Classical Association for their financial support in making this possible.
We also thank our hosts, Charterhouse, for making rooms available to us and for the provision of very welcome refreshments at half-time. We had a great afternoon!
Some of the winners of the 2020 Classical Reading Competition
We held our annual GCSE Latin Conference on Thursday, January 16th at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford. This proved a satisfactory venue and, despite some problems with the sound system, most people could hear the speakers without difficulty. Talks started at 2pm and continued till about 4.30 with a refreshment break between the two. Five schools attended (one for the Virgil lecture only – selected lines from Aeneid 2.) Total student numbers were over 70 with about a dozen accompanying staff.
Our speakers were both from Nottingham University: Professor Helen Lovatt on Aeneid 2 and Dr Simon Malloch on Tacitus’ Germanicus and Piso and Pliny’s Regulus. Professor Lovatt used an informal style – moving among students and asking them questions, whereas Dr Malloch spoke from the lectern. The students engaged with both and asked relevant questions.
Our Secretary and Treasurer took our speakers to lunch before the meeting and refreshments were provided for all during the interval. My thanks go to our Membership Secretary, Marian Wernham, for helping organise this event.