Our Trojan Horse Project - St Katherine’s School

A class of thirty students in year nine at St Katherine’s School in North Somerset are taking the Classical Civilisation GCSE a year early. Taking the GCSE a year early has been a challenge for us all, but it’s completely worthwhile. The GCSE has allowed us to extend our learning in
both English and Classics, by allowing us to discover about life in the Ancient Greek times, an area that we don’t study in other subjects in the curriculum.
 As part of the course, we studied the Odyssey by Homer – where the background of the story is about the Trojan War. We were all fascinated about the idea of the Trojan Horse, so we decided to make our very own Trojan Horse in school!

Since November, we have worked every week to create our Trojan Horse, which is approximately three metres tall. We, as students, had complete freedom, which allowed us to face challenges, extend our knowledge in Technology and Classical Civilisation, and most importantly have fun! We work in the Technology department, making this a cross-curricular project.

To begin the whole project, we visited the British Museum, where we discovered how horses were represented in the Ancient Greek times. We use our research to brainstorm ideas for the overall horse. We spent a couple of weeks researching Trojan horses, so we could make our version as realistic as possible. To check the practicality of our design, we made a scale model of the horse.

After Christmas, we began to construct our final Trojan Horse, which has been a challenge but very exciting. One of the most enjoyable parts was being able to sit in the horse and be pushed around the school! We made the Trojan Horse large enough to allow space for five people to hide inside!

Every week, we took photos on an Ipad and uploaded them onto our “Trojan Horse blog”, allowing us to gain the skills of using Apple software. As part of the project, we were involved in the BBC’s School News Report, where we developed our journalistic skills to produce a report about our Trojan Horse. We chose to create a blog and participate in the School News Report, for it was a fantastic opportunity to extend the project to suit our talents and interests! If you wish to view our blog, follow this link: http://trojanhorsestkaths.wordpress.com/

The Trojan Horse was not created for our own enjoyment entirely – it was part of a Classical Play that was performed last week. While we, a group of year nine students, have created our Trojan Horse, the script for a Classical play has been produced. The play was written and directed by year 10 students at St Katherine’s School, so the project was entirely student lead. During the classical play, the Trojan Horse made an entry across the stage - transporting Trojan soldiers!  The Classical play was performed in our school, in a courtyard renamed “St Katherine’s School’s Amphitheatre”!  We combined our Classical Play with a Technology Showcase evening, where we modelled our costumes that we created in an extra-curricular Technology club. During the performance of the Classical Play, Greek canapés were served, while Greek music was performed by students. The Classical Play was a complete success, and it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our achievements, it was an unforgettable event!

Recently, we attended a workshop at the Apple store which taught us how to create an advanced film. We’re using our knowledge to produce a video showing the development of our Trojan Horse and the Classical Play. We will enter the video into the "Electric December" competition,  we
attended a filming workshop at the Watershed (in Bristol), and we were praised for our work.

Overall, I think the project was a fantastic opportunity for us to extend our skills in English/Classics, technology and drama. I think it has made me and my friends more interested in Classical Civilisation, for we can learn in a creative and practical way. I think the biggest success of the project was that it was entirely student lead, so we had complete control over everything that we wanted to do! A combination of our crazy ideas meant that the project could be extended, and allow individuals to share their talents and interests.  In addition, the project has allowed everybody to make better relationships with both students and staff, which builds the school community, while allowing us to gain skills that will remain with us for life.

Our plans for next year include creating a galleon, to resemble the boat that Odysseus sailed in during the Odyssey. We’re going to enter Clevedon Raft Race, where we will sail our galleon, and compete against other local people!