The Classics Department offers both Latin and Classical Civilisation at GCSE and A Level. Our students have the chance to explore language, culture, religion and history. This access to the Ancient World gives our girls a challenging and intellectual experience covering a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
During Years 7 & 8, all pupils study Latin and develop their knowledge of the language and Roman culture through the Cambridge Latin course. In Year 9, our students progress to Taylor’s ‘Latin to GCSE’ course, alongside which they develop their knowledge of Roman mythology. Thus, by the end of KS3, along with linguistic awareness, pupils have developed an understanding of the foundations of Western Civilisation through the study of classical history, philosophy and mythology. We frequently integrate laptops, iPads and Interactive Whiteboard activities into our lessons to provide an engaging and stimulating teaching environment for our students.
At GCSE, we follow the OCR syllabus and we continue to develop translation, comprehension and prose composition skills. We also focus on the relationship between Latin and the Modern Foreign Languages, as well as the cultural context in which the language was used. Students also explore an unadapted text of Latin poetry or prose from a range of authors, and develop an understanding of its historical and cultural context.
At A Level, students continue to improve their understanding of Latin grammar and syntax and build up to translating unadapted prose and verse passages confidently. A greater emphasis is also put on prose composition. There is the opportunity to study a wide range of Latin, including a variety of authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Tacitus, Livy and Apuleius.
Planting the belief that taking a risk is good and to stand firm with your ideas while respecting thoughts of others has been evident in her development.— Current Parent
Classical Civilisation is offered as a new subject at GCSE, following the OCR syllabus. We study a wide variety of Greek and Roman topics relating to Myth and Religion. These include literature and visual courses relating to Gods, Heracles/Hercules, Temples, Beliefs in the Afterlife and many more. In addition, we explore Homer’s Odyssey, one of the most famous and influential works of literature in history. Our students develop observation and analytical skills from reading and exploring a wide range of ancient sources and gain an awareness of life in a different time and culture.
At A Level, Classical Civilisation is again open to all students. We aim to gain an appreciation for how the classical world has shaped our own society and cultivate knowledge of their spiritual, cultural and moral values. The course consists of further exploration into the literature of Homer and also delves into Rome’s greatest epic, Virgil’s Aeneid. In the Greek Theatre module we build an appreciation for ancient drama by reading two tragedies (Sophocles’ Oedipus and Euripides’ Bacchae) and a comedy (Aristophanes’ Frogs). We then expand our understanding of ancient thought and ideas through the ‘Greek Religion’ module.
We regularly offer abroad residential trips to classical sites around Europe. In recent years we have alternated trips abroad to Italy and Greece. Our trip to Italy included Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples, as well as a few days in Rome itself. Our very own Greek Odyssey included visits to Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, Tiryns and a weekend in the capital of Athens, soaking in all the wonders of the classical world.
Regular day trips are organised throughout the year, including visits to the British Museum, National Gallery, Verulamium, Museum of London and various Lecture Days in the Sixth Form.
In school, we currently offer ancient Greek for beginners and advanced students. A weekly Latin Surgery is offered for those who wish to improve or expand their knowledge of the language.
The study of Latin and Classical Civilisation provides a solid intellectual foundation, independent of financial or political changes. Latin scholars develop exceptional linguistic awareness: they master new languages with speed and confidence, and, with their ability to manipulate Greco-Latin roots, are prepared to excel in careers like Medicine, Dentistry or Law.
The study of the Classics, which are at the core of Western Civilisation, provides a key to understanding the modern world, from literature and history to politics and economics.
For all these reasons, Classical subjects are highly regarded by both universities and employers and lead to a variety of high-profile careers.