Ovid in the West Midlands celebration

On 9th May, children and their parents, carers, and teachers from schools across Birmingham visited The Exchange for a prize-giving ceremony.

Person in period costume looking out of a window

The ceremony awarded prizes to children from across the West Midlands for the best creative responses to myths from Ovid’s epic The Metamorphoses. Children submitted stories, poems, drawings, statues, multi-media pieces — and even a cake. The competition was delivered by Birmingham and West Midlands Classics Network, led by Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos and Dr Polly Stoker of the Department of Classics and Ancient History, and is part of the Classics for All programme.

On the day, prize-winning and shortlisted young classicists showcased their work, as well as watching a new play based on the Greek myth of Pandora by the Birmingham based playwright Matthew Gabrielli, performed by Charis McRoberts.

Schools taking part included: King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls; King Edward VI Handsworth Wood Girls' Academy; Ark Boulton; Bewdley School; Rural Enterprise Academy; Rawlett School; Queen Elizabeth Academy; Kingsmead School;


People attending an event

Elena Theodorakopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Classics, said: This competition is a wonderful initiative from Classics For All which we are delighted to be a part of. I loved judging the entries from children around the region. Their creativity knows no boundaries - we had everything from beautiful pencil drawings and lyrical poems to Lego dioramas, video puppet shows and even a cake! Judging this work really confirmed for me how important and inspiring the ancient poets still are today. The best way to keep them alive is to let children's imaginations go wild with them.

Saffi Grey, teacher at at Rural Enterprise Academy, said: “The Ovid competition was a great chance for us - as a rural school - to raise aspirations and open access to the Classics, particularly for our disadvantaged students. The competition tied closely with our year 7 English syllabus about myths and legends and we look forward to competing again next year!”

If you are a Liverpool or Birmingham based teacher and would like to take part in your region’s Ovid for All competition in Autumn 2022, which aims to engage students with storytelling and classical mythology before producing their own creative response.

A lady and a child at the event