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Classical Tales in the English Curriculum

"The art of storytelling is something that connects us in a profound way with our earliest ancestors. It's one of the most important, humane, most liberating and most democratic things that human beings can do, and it should have a central place in every classroom. This particular story [i.e. the Trojan War] is the best in the world - no question. I have told it myself dozens of times; I've listened to it, read it, been thrilled and uplifted and terrified and moved and inspired by it for most of my lifetime."

Philip Pullman in a letter to the Cambridge School Classics Project


The Cambridge School Classics Project (CSCP) wholeheartedly shares Philip Pullman’s views on storytelling in the classroom (and on the story of Troy). For this reason we are working with storytellers and teachers to have pupils listen to rather than read stories and respond through talk rather than writing.


The aim of the Classical Tales in the English Curriculum (CTEC) project is to create three modules on classical epic for the KS3 English curriculum:

  • Tales from Ovid: Arachne, Baucis and Philemon, Echo and Narcissus, Erisychthon, Midas and Daedalus
  • War with Troy: the story of Achilles
  • Return from Troy: the story of Odysseus

Modules and Resources for the English Curriculum

The modules will be designed to promote pupils’ speaking and listening skills and for each module there will be an audio retelling of the story (or, in the case of Ovid, collection of stories), a scheme of work and related visual resources.

Website support

In addition to creating the teaching modules and resources, we have created a website devoted to Classical Tales in the English Curriculum. The web site offers free downloads of the newly-created schemes of work, together with a range of additional teaching resources, and acts as a first port of call for all teachers interested in using or already teaching the CEC units.

For further information please contact: Will Griffiths and Bob Lister