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Alumni Interview: Classics Student Turns Teacher Thanks to Notre Dame

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Alumni Interview: Classics Student Turns Teacher Thanks to Notre Dame

Here at Notre Dame we’ve welcomed back an ex-student who’s studying to become a teacher. Elinor Cosgrave, who left college in 2010, is working towards a PGCE (postgraduate certificate in education) and is currently on placement with us in the Classics Department.

It was Elinor’s experience of A level Classics that inspired her to study the subject at university, and then to become a classics and history teacher. We asked her to tell us more.

What did you enjoy about studying A level Classics with us?
Although I'd always been interested in Greek myths, it was at Notre Dame that I first had the opportunity to study the ancient world in detail. Classics is never boring: I encountered heroes, witches, monsters, and cannibals; grew to love the fickle and capricious gods; discovered what life was like for women and enslaved people; found out what the ancients thought was funny (and sometimes struggled to see the joke!); and learnt how the ancient Greeks practised religion. What continues to amaze and enchant me is how, even after thousands of years, we can empathise with the characters and peoples from the ancient world.

Why is A level Classics useful?
Classics helps you to develop key skills, including strong evaluative, analytical, written and research skills, alongside an ability to formulate and present an argument. At Notre Dame, I studied A levels in Classics, History and English Literature, and it was a great combination which allowed me to develop these invaluable skills.

What did you study at university?
The teachers at Notre Dame inspired me with a love of classics that I'll always have with me. In fact, since leaving college, I've spent nearly a decade studying Classics! I went on to the University of Leeds to study a Classics BA, MA and I'm currently finishing my PhD in Roman history.

What are your plans for the future?
I'm now back at Notre Dame on a teacher training placement, and I'm delighted to be able to share my love of the subject with a new generation of brilliant classicists who I have no doubt will go on to do great things.

Elinor is pictured above at her MA Classics graduation. We wish her the best of luck with her teacher training.

You can find out more about A level Classics here.

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