The languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome have shaped and continue to shape many aspects of the modern world: literature, law, drama, architecture, philosophy and religion. The Classics Department offers students the opportunity to explore and engage with the classical world and develop their understanding of how ancient Greece and Rome continue to influence modern life.
All students study Latin in Years 7 to 9 and no prior knowledge of the language or the Romans is assumed. Students will develop their understanding of the Latin language as they read stories set amidst the colourful daily life of the Roman world, whilst also engaging with historical source material including archaeological evidence, literature, and mythology. By the end of Year 9, students will have developed a sound knowledge of the Latin language and the Roman world, which prepares them very well for further study at GCSE should they choose to continue.
Classical Greek is offered as an option in Year 8 and Year 9, allowing students the opportunity to broaden and deepen their understanding of the ancient world and its languages. Students study Greek in depth, beginning with the alphabet and developing their linguistic understanding to read increasingly complex texts. They will also have the chance to explore the world of Homer’s epic poetry, Aesop’s Fables, Plato’s philosophy, and Alexander the Great.
Classical Civilisation, which is offered at A level, enables students with no prior knowledge of the ancient world to study the ancient Greeks and Romans. Students will explore three aspects of the ancient world combining literature and visual/material culture: The World of the Hero, Love and Relationships, and Augustus’ Imperial Image. Classical Civilisation is taken by students with a wide range of interests and combines the study of politics, philosophy, literature and history.
Latin and Classical Greek are both options for GCSE and A level, with healthy numbers taking each subject every year, and many students opting to take both. Several students each year also choose to study all three Classical subjects at A level. The Classics Department has a strong track record of outstanding success in public examinations; every year some of our students go on to read Classics at Oxford and Cambridge, and at other top universities.
Beyond the Curriculum
The Classics Department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities including a weekly student-led Classics Society open to students from all year groups. We also take regular trips, for instance to the British Museum and to performances of Classical plays in Cambridge and Oxford. Every year there is an overseas trip and previous destinations have included: Italy, Greece, Sicily and Turkey.