15 teams of Latin and Classics scholars aged between 12 – 18 years old from across the region competed at the weekend in the annual North East Classical Association competition.  This year the event was organised and staged by Newcastle High School for Girls in Newcastle.

Saturday 30 January saw the school pupils compete in an ‘University Challenge’ style quiz to test their knowledge of Latin, Classics, mythology and general knowledge, all classics based.

The competitors competed in teams of three, made up of mixed abilities and ages depending on their level of Latin study.  The teams represented five schools from across the North East from as far North as Morpeth to Durham in the South of the region.   At the end of the competition, the coveted Senior Prize was awarded to three girls from Newcastle High School for Girls and the Intermediates and Beginners prizes to two teams from Royal Grammar School.

The competition is extremely popular amongst classics scholars and has been running in Newcastle for approximately 8 years.

The competition is managed on behalf of the Classical Association, whose North East branch is located at Newcastle University and aims to encourage the study and enjoyment of Classics through talks, lectures and quizzes like the one Newcastle High staged this weekend.

Newcastle High School offers GCSEs and A levels in Latin and Classical Civilisation and it is still a popular choice among the girls.

The school fielded fives teams with 15 girls from Year 8 through to A level students in Years 12 and 13.

Schools that took part were Newcastle High School for Girls, Durham School, Heaton Manor – Newcastle; King Edward V1 – Morpeth and Royal Grammar School.

Nina Cameron, Assistant Head of Faculty: Language and Literacy at Newcastle High who organized the event explained:  “We’re really excited to have hosted the event and it was a great day for the competitors and spectators – well done to Newcastle High and Royal Grammar School who were declared the winners.   Overall the competition was very close and all the teams demonstrated excellent knowledge.  The competition was a great opportunity to bring Latin and Classics to life in a fun, engaging way and to bring a lot of students together who have a shared interest in classics. It is not a common subject but it is still extremely popular.

“The quiz master was a lot less intimidating than Jeremy Paxman who hosts University Challenge and posed a range of both serious and fun questions.  It wasn’t all dates and battles, we mixed up the questions to test the pupils’ knowledge so they were asked to work out titles of current songs and films that have all been translated into Latin.  The event was both challenging and fun and we hope to do it all again next year.”


Test your knowledge of Latin and the Classics:

What is the name of the many-headed snake which Hercules killed?

Answer:  HYDRA


Which song title in today’s charts could be translated into Latin as ‘salve’?

Answer:  Hello (Adele)

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