Helen McVeigh

Helen has a Masters degree in Classics from Queen’s University Belfast and founded the Belfast Summer School in Latin and Classical Greek in 2016. This venture has grown to the provision of weekly online classes throughout the academic year. Helen is a trustee of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. She was convenor of the Classical Association in Northern Ireland from 2017-2021, and chair of the Classical Association of Ireland from 2021-2023.

What Helen’s students say: “Helen aptly balanced new material and review so that we never felt either lost or bored. We followed the book, but Helen’s explanations were never limited to the book. Her notes (which she always sent us) and exercises were extremely helpful. There’s a strong feeling of community in class. Helen has gone above and beyond. I can’t imagine a better person to teach Ancient Greek, and I feel very honored to have begun this journey with her.”

Dr Kerry Phelan

Kerry has been a tutor at the Belfast Summer School since its inception in 2016. She teaches ancient Greek for H.M. Classics Academy and has taught at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, and Maynooth University. Kerry’s research centres on Attic oratory and Athenian social history. Her doctoral thesis was a commentary on Demosthenes ‘Against Euboulides’, which will soon be published by Liverpool University Press as part of the Aris & Phillips Greek Orators Series.

What Kerry’s students say: “Kerry held a masterclass in making people feel confident and comfortable. The material was just right and she judged the pace well.“

“Kerry was clear and thorough at explaining the grammar points and providing notes. This meant that I was able to enjoy the independent study each week as I wasn’t spending too much time trying to get my head around it! I also liked that Kerry linked new grammar back to previous learning so that it didn’t feel too daunting and so that we could get a sense of the “bigger picture”.”

Dr Joanne Brown

Joanne did her PhD in Latin epic poetry (Statius’ Thebaid, supervised by John Henderson) at the University of Cambridge and teaches Latin and Classical Civilisation at Victoria College Belfast.

What Joanne’s students say: “Joanne was a very friendly and engaging tutor who was obviously well on top of her subject. She supplied copious amounts of material for us to follow up as we wanted and the notes etc will be invaluable for ongoing study.”

Lynn Gordon

Lynn was most recently Head of Classics at Royal Belfast Academical Institution. After her MPhil at Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Lynn worked in London and Cambridge.

What Lynn’s students say: “Lynn Gordon is absolutely brilliant with both the Latin and the analysis of style. I learned so much—she’s an amazing teacher, so enthusiastic!”

Dr Eilidh Macleod

Eilidh studied Classics in Aberdeen for her M.A., then did her Ph.D. on Homeric language and its evolution at St. Andrews. She has taught Greek, Latin and Classical Studies for over twenty years to people aged from 11 to 80+, in school and university, including summer schools at Lampeter, Swansea and Belfast, and she loves teaching anyone who wants to learn!

What Eilidh’s Summer School students say: “I’d been learning Ancient Greek on my own during lockdown – as an experienced language learner, it seemed fairly easy to start with, but after a few months I was struggling. Two weeks of the summer school in the company of a lovely group of people from across the world made all the difference. I feel I made a lot of progress under Eilidh’s patient and good humoured guidance.” “The intensive 2-week course was a charm. The instructor was brilliant in getting us involved and motivated to delve deeper into the language.”

Stephen Janssens

Stephen taught Latin in schools for over 22 years, in both maintained and independent sectors, most recently as Head of Classics at King’s School Rochester. He enjoys teaching Latin and sharing his enthusiasm for it as a puzzle that anyone can solve.

What Stephen’s students say: “(Stephen) set a pace that was neither too fast nor too slow, and walked us through the grammar of each sentence or passage in a way that really made me think and internalize the grammar without it ever becoming tedious. He cheered us all on every step of the way, so that there was never any stress, simply good grammatical enjoyment. I’m even becoming more confident at translating English to Latin!”

Wendy Smith

Before she retired, Wendy was Head of Classics for 20 years at The Henrietta Barnett School in London, where she taught Latin and Classical Greek from beginners’ to A Level. Since retirement she has been a trainer of teachers for Classics for All, an organisation that works to make the study of classical subjects accessible to pupils in non-selective state schools in the UK.

What Wendy’s students say: “Wendy is warm, supremely knowledgeable and a wonderful trainer and teacher.”

“Wendy is a wonderful and encouraging teacher. She is patient and passionate during all the sessions, and always sends additional notes after the class. I personally feel the improvement of Greek with her help.” 

Dr Philip Burton

Philip Burton loves studying and teaching Greek and Latin. He had the good fortune to learn Latin at school, took up Greek at university, and hasn’t looked back. His particular interests are in linguistics of Latin and the Romance languages, in Christianity in the Graeco-Roman world, and in depictions of the classical world in English literature. He has taught in the universities of Cambridge, St Andrews, and Birmingham.

Dr Eirene Allen

Eirene studied literature and comparative arts for her MA and did her PhD in Teaching and Learning at New York University. Her research is on text reception, with an emphasis on Homer.

She is the director of the Institute for Classics Education, a US-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting educators who teach Homer and ancient Greek texts in English classrooms.

Lauren Heilman

Lauren Heilman is a Classical Studies graduate from Villanova University, with a B.A. in French and a B.A. in English from Bob Jones University. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham. Her research areas of interest include the reception of classical texts in pre-World War II France, the transformation of classical drama by 17th century French playwrights, the role of dance and choral performance in the ancient world, and the role of music in Greek and Roman theatre.

Simon Beasley

Simon is a graduate of Newcastle University with 20 years teaching experience. He is currently Head of Classics at King Edward IV Five Ways Grammar School in Birmingham. Prior to this, Simon set up a Classics department at a Worcester school.

What Simon’s students say: “Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement through A levels. I have enjoyed Classics so much over the last two years and I am so grateful for everything you’ve taught me … thank you for being an amazing teacher.”

Dr Stephen Chappell

Stephen Chappell attained his Ph.D from UCLA in 2005 and spent the next seventeen years teaching full-time in American academia, most recently as Associate Professor of Ancient History at James Madison University in Virginia.  He took early retirement in 2022 and now runs Historic Tours UK and Greece, capitalising on his long teaching and study abroad experience.

Stephen’s colleagues say that he shows particular ability to guide the transitions from topic to topic, and to keep students attentive and engaged. His students deeply connect with the text, doing readings attentively and critically, and discussing them enthusiastically.