Classics

The Sixth Form runs a Classics Club for Year 7, enabling girls to meet other keen classicists."
Did you know?
All 3
of our applicants for the GDST Pearson Award were recognised and given financial awards to further their classical studies

Classics lies at the heart of Western European civilisation: politics, philosophy, drama, art, architecture, law, science and mathematics all have their origins in the society of Greece and Rome, and we believe that understanding our past is key to interpreting the present. Learning Latin, moreover, develops linguistic skills and clarity of thought in a way that no other language can, besides opening up a world of wonderful literature.

Key Stage 3:

Pupils study Greek Mythology in Year 7 as an introduction to the Classical world. The course includes a wide variety of work, both written tasks and more creative assignments, and covers some fantastic stories about the Trojan War and the adventures of heroes like Odysseus and Theseus. We also run an introductory course in Ancient Greek. 

Students begin the Cambridge Latin Course in Year 8, using textbooks and a range of electronic resources. Language work is accompanied by background material based on life in Pompeii just before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. The course continues in Year 9, with an introduction to life in Roman Britain and Alexandria, Egypt.

GCSE:

Latin: Pupils continue with their language work throughout Year 10 but in Year 11, they have the opportunity to study a range of Latin literature. Texts in recent years have included love poetry by Catullus and Ovid, epic poetry by Virgil and prose texts by Tacitus, Cicero and Apuleius, dealing with themes as varied as the assassination of an heir to the imperial throne, the exploits of a Republican con artist and the supernatural.

Classical Civilisation: This course explores the culture of two hugely influential civilisations through literature, art, archaeology and other evidence.  There are two main areas of study: Myth and Religion and The Homeric World, covering religious beliefs and practices, myths about the gods and the cities of Athens and Rome and Homer’s Odyssey and its archaeological context. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

A Level:

Latin: Pupils have the opportunity to translate verse as well as prose unseens from early on.  There is a steady progression in difficulty from GCSE through the two year course, however, with plenty of chances to revise language work already studied.  We tackle two new set texts in each year of the course: Cicero’s Pro Milone, Book 1 of Tacitus’ Annals and Books 8 and 10 of Virgil’s Aeneid, with pupils also studying the work of Livy and Ovid for the unseen translation paper.

Classical Civilisation: The course is hugely varied, allowing for the study of Greek Tragedy and Comedy and the epic poems of Homer and Virgil, as well as a new paper entitled Love and Relationships, which incorporates Greek and Roman ideas and values, as evidenced in cultural practices and the writing of authors as diverse as Plato, Seneca, Sappho and Ovid, all of which is read in translation.

Extension Activities:

Trips to Bath, the National Gallery and the British Museum feature at various points in the courses offered as well as theatre trips to Classical plays and study days put on in London.  A thriving Greek club runs at lunchtimes in the Classics Department and we regularly send committed students to the Summer Course in Ancient Greek at Bryanston School, often assisted by grants from the G.D.S.T Pearson Silver Bequest Fund.

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