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Recently, our Year 8 Latin students have completed an exciting project uniting Politics and Classics: a study of Roman elections. Ani (Year 8) gives us an overview of this innovative aspect of our Latin curriculum.

Reaching the Elections

The lessons before the elections were spent translating texts which when put together formed a bigger, sometimes funny, story. Then, an extension task was set for those who had finished the task at hand, and it was to read about Roman politics and the positions they would have campaigned for. Some extension tasks made us look at other Romans who campaigned for roles and achieved those roles; some were ones we would end up choosing for our elections.

On the penultimate Latin lesson of our spring term, we were put into groups of four and the teacher displayed a few slides which had key information about who our candidates were. First, we had to select a candidate out of six and choose a background setting for our character; whether they were wealthy, had connections, were noble, etc. Finally, we chose their personality traits; were they kind, were they generous (giving out money), were they famous, etc. We had to also consider things like how we were to deliver the speech, whether we wanted to threaten our people and if we appeared official and worthy of the role we campaigned for.

Campaign Process

Making the campaign for our candidate for whom we selected, including a few background traits, was one of my most favourite homework tasks I have ever been set. My team and I decided it was best to split the campaign tasks between ourselves; one of us on poster, one on speech, etc. The campaign was to be presented in front of the whole class in our following lesson, so we had a week to prepare it and the week was very short. I had been tasked with preparing the poster for our campaign and I was excited to see what I could do. The tasks we were set were to make a poster with a catchy slogan, a speech, some graffiti if we wanted, gather bribes to offer and if wanted, form threats to use against everyone and even the teacher! (These threats however are never to be acted upon; they are just another fun aspect of our campaign).

Elections Process

On our final Latin lesson of the spring term, we all brought in our posters, our bribes (cakes, cookies, etc.), our speeches and threats: it was finally time for the week's hard work to pay off. In our books, we wrote down the names of the students in the group and the name of the candidate that they campaigned for. We could also note any positive traits or flaws about the group’s campaign as a whole. Every team would go up to the front of the class and present their campaign to the rest of the class. Some graffiti ,if a team made any, would be put up at the back of the class (the graffiti refers to mini A4 posters at the back of the classroom with drawings of the candidate or the team’s catchy slogan). The team would deliver their speech and then hand out their bribes and/or announce their threats. At the end of the lesson, when all eight campaigns had been delivered, slips of paper were handed out to everyone in the class and everyone would write down the name of the candidate and the names of students in the team that they wanted to vote for (they could not vote for themselves). The biggest surprise of the whole event however was that the teacher could vote too and whichever team the teacher voted for got 32 votes! After the Easter break, we will find out who won the elections and the prize is still yet to be decided.


Although the prize is still yet to be decided, many would agree that the most rewarding experience of the whole event was working together to form the election campaign. The hard work put into the campaigns by all my classmates, for some and most especially me, was my favourite part of the amazing fun lesson our teacher set for us. The goal of the lesson was to show us, first hand, how Roman elections were carried out and our teacher did not fail to deliver. Chats about who did what in other forms went around during lunch and break, other students who were interested in hearing what we did swarmed around. I can personally say that Wilson’s Grammar School for Boys always makes our time here amazing. Latin was only the beginning!

May the best team win!

Ani and Tobias, Year 8

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