JACT Greek Summer School at Bryanston

Tragedy 3The 51st JACT Greek Summer School will run in 2018 between 29th July and 11th August. Full details will be posted here in November 2017.

Please go to greeksummerschool.org for further details and to contact us. 

30th July – 12th August 2017

Director                              Professor Catherine Steel

Director of Studies           Henry Cullen

The Summer School takes place at Bryanston School, Blandford, Dorset, by kind permission of the Headmistress and Governors. The School is situated in a beautiful setting in extensive grounds on the outskirts of Blandford, and has excellent facilities for study and recreation.


Students are divided into three main categories: Beginners, Intermediate (up to GCSE standard) and Advanced (GCSE standard and beyond). Within these categories, tutorial groups will be formed of people who are, as far as possible, at the same level.

Beginners will use the JACT course Reading Greek. They may buy this at a reduced rate to keep. To get full benefit from such an intensive course, the work must be consolidated not too long afterwards. Before the fortnight ends, all beginners will have read some original Greek, probably some Homer or an extract of Greek Tragedy.

Intermediate groups: There will be several levels between Beginners and GCSE standard. Groups will start at various points in Reading Greek or Taylor’s Greek to GCSE course to consolidate their linguistic knowledge, and will go on to the next texts of the course (World of Heroes or Intellectual Revolution) or to other texts; starting point, progress and finishing point may vary considerably in these groups, but some substantial passages of original Greek should be read in all of them.

Advanced groups will normally aim to read three texts: a book of Homer, a tragedy and a prose book. The texts will be chosen to avoid what students have already read and, if possible, their A-level prescriptions. The main aim is to build up the students’ fluency and linguistic self-confidence. Some consolidation of grammar may be thought appropriate. While critical appreciation of the texts will play a part, it will not take precedence over the linguistic priorities which the course exists to promote. Historical, cultural, aesthetic and philosophical exploration is amply on offer in the series of lectures and seminars.

Intermediate and Advanced students will also have the opportunity, if they wish, to take part in a rehearsed reading or performance of a Greek Tragedy (in Greek) which will be presented at the end of the course in the open-air theatre.

Teachers course – a new initiative in 2017, aimed at practising or trainee teachers who wish to learn Greek in order to offer it in their schools. For further details, see www.greeksummerschool.org


Most applicants are students at school or university. They must not be less than 16 at the start of the course. The upper age limit is normally 25 but a few older students may also be accommodated.


Students work in groups of 7-10. The tutors are experienced teachers drawn from schools and universities. There are three one-hour teaching sessions each day at 9.15, 11.45 and 4.30. Students must attend all these and to do a considerable amount of work on their own between sessions.

On most evenings, after dinner, there is a lecture on some aspect of Greek literature or culture, and on many afternoons there are seminars on a choice of Classical topics.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday are free. Excursions and other activities are arranged for those who wish.

Students are expected to attend the full course, arriving between 4.00 and 6.30 on the first day (Sunday) and leaving after the final meeting on the last Saturday by about 11 a.m.



Accommodation is provided in separate boarding-houses for male and female students. Responsible adults are resident in the houses and available for help in an emergency.



A quiet room is available for private study. Students may use the school’s tennis and squash courts, indoor sports hall . They may also use the music school and practice rooms. Students who wish to play should bring their own instruments. There is a concert towards the end of the course, featuring a choir and orchestra as well as individuals and small groups.



Bryanston School is nearly two miles from the centre of Blandford. Some long-distance coach routes pass through Blandford. The nearest railway stations are Salisbury and Poole. Coaches will be arranged to collect students from Salisbury station from about 4.00 p.m. on the first day, and to deliver them to Salisbury station at about noon on the last day. A charge is made for this.



The course fee for 2017 is £700 including tuition and full board for the course. For non-residents, total fee is £460 comprising tuition, all meals (except breakfast) and use of the school’s facilities.



Sponsors of the Summer School have provided a fund to give grants to those who cannot afford the full cost of the course. It is hoped that adequate financial assistance can be given to everyone who needs it. While most bursaries will be between £150 and £300, it will normally be possible to give larger sums where these are needed.

Some Local Education Authorities, schools, universities and other bodies give grants to students attending the Summer School. If you can get a grant from any of these sources, it will save the JACT bursaries for those who cannot get money from elsewhere. The Cambridge Classics Faculty Fund for Intensive Greek students (ie for students from beginners to those who will not have reached Greek AS level) with offers to Cambridge is administered by the JACT Greek Summer School and you should complete our bursary form.

If you think that you will need financial help, confirm this at the relevant point in the application process and the Course Secretary will send you a bursary form to complete. Please return this as soon as possible – do not wait for the result of your requests for grants from any other sources.



Applications for the 2017 Summer School should be submitted through our new online system, which will open on 1st February 2017, following a link from this page. Further information about the Summer School and about the bursary scheme can be obtained from the Course Secretary, Cathy Bothwell, jactgreek@aol.com (tel. 0191 3841413).

A deposit of £50 (non-refundable) must be paid at the time of application.  The balance is due by the end of May. No refunds for withdrawals can be made after July 7th (three weeks before the start of the course or after the start of the course).

The closing date for applications is 31st March, but earlier application is encouraged. Places will be allocated after 31st March and applicants who are successful will be notified in the second half of April. If the Summer School is oversubscribed, priority will be given to beginners and intermediate students over advanced students.


The Summer School gratefully acknowledges subsidies from the Gilbert Murray Trust, the Oxford Classics Faculty, the Cambridge Classics Faculty, the Jowett Copyright Trust, the Oxford Craven Committee, the Classical Association, the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, the JACT Greek Project and several private benefactors. It is also very grateful to Trinity College, Cambridge for funding an additional tutor.


The Thucydides Peace Fund

JACT has been given a most generous donation to provide additional funds for bursaries. The donor says that he has in mind that ‘if in future Thucydides’ work were more widely understood, war would justly be more reviled than it evidently is at present’.