Shrewsbury Colleges Group hosted students from across the region for talks about the Ancient World by one of Britain’s most respected Classicists.

Students studying A Level Classical Civilisation from five different colleges in the Hereford, Shropshire and North Wales region were invited by Shrewsbury Colleges Group to their London Road Campus to hear from Professor Edith Hall and a successful ex-student – Will Coles The students were treated to a full day of knowledgeable talks and an authentic Roman buffet made by the on-site professional restaurant, Origins.

Edith Hall, a Professor of Classics at Kings College, London, spoke about the Gods in Homeric Epic. She has written more than 20 books, broadcasts frequently on TV and radio and works with the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. She is currently visiting schools and colleges as part of her project “Advocating Classical Education,” which aims to promote the teaching of Classical Education - particularly in state schools. As part of this project, Professor Hall has spoken to many influential organisations, including the House of Lords, to show that a study of the Ancient World is still vital and relevant in 2018. She said: “It was a joy to speak to so many students from Shropshire and the local regions.”

Another speaker was sixth form’s former Classical Civilisation A Level student, Will Coles, who spoke about the changing image of Emperor Augustus and the advantage of studying Ancient World subjects at a higher level. He is currently doing his PhD in Classics at Royal Holloway University and since leaving college, Will has gained a Bachelors in Ancient History, a Masters in Classics, he has won the Andrew Leno memorial prize for Ancient History, the Driver Prize, the Bedford Scholarship and is due to address the Classical Association conference this year.

Will said: “I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t studied A Level Classical Civilisation at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. It opened up an important area of history and culture, which students are sadly not often exposed to earlier in their education. It was a privilege to speak to students from a number of institutions across Shropshire and Herefordshire, particularly my alma mater. I hope many others will be inspired to follow my route and enter the ongoing academic debates surrounding the ancient world.”

Sian Squire, Classical Civilisation teacher, said: “It was brilliant that Edith and Will came to talk to our students and it was great that other colleges chose to join us. I commend Professor Hall on her enthusiasm to speak to our students, shown by her travelling from London after doing a BBC Radio 4 broadcast in the morning and then travelling back to London after speaking for two hours in Clayton Hall. It was also great to see Will and Shrewsbury College Group is so proud of what he has achieved since gaining his A Levels.

“It is great to be able to give students this opportunity by putting on these types of talks. They gain so much knowledge and it’s good for them to hear information from another point of view.”

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