The Iliad Project in Year 5

Every child in Year 5 at Elmhurst has taken part in the Iliad Project. This unique project combines drama, storytelling, writing and ancient history, to tell the story of the Trojan War in a fresh and innovative way. It is led by the specialist educator and children's writer, Jonny Walker, who has worked with schools in the New Vision Trust since 2011.

In the UK, too few students in state schools get to access a classical education, learning in depth about the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome. The scholar and writer Natalie Haynes writes "You're depriving us all of our collective cultural history if we don't get to study this." Thankfully for the New Vision Trust, the study of the Iliad is embedded within our curricula for our 9 and 10 year olds.

This year's Iliad Project gave students the opportunity to use ancient mythology to reflect on modern life. They explored questions of identity, philosophical ideas of fate, fame and pride. As the Iliad Project has developed, the social learning has grown within it - the project gives students the chance to step out of their comfort zone and to develop their speaking and performance skills. And the project is unapologetically fun - our storytelling is rich in humour, making it memorable despite the immense complexity of the tales we share.

In the New Vision Trust schools across Newham and Redbridge, a new generation of mythologists is growing!