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Latin, Ancient History and Ancient History & Classical Civilisation

Classics Department

We are proud to be able to offer Latin (7-13), Ancient History (10-11) and Ancient History & Classical Civilisation (12-13) to all our students. The benefits of studying Classics are as wide-ranging as our curriculum, which focuses primarily on language, literature and history.

The study of Classics improves students' analytical, critical, creative and linguistic skills, which are key to both academic and professional success. Through the course, students gain a broader understanding of both ancient and modern societies and languages. They gain valuable insights into modern culture and enhance their understanding of English and Modern Foreign Languages and of the concept and patterns of language in general. By studying literature and history, students learn to challenge modern and ancient ideas and concepts as well as their own abilities.

Classics is a growing and forward thinking department which achieves excellent results, and benefits from excellent facilities and teaching expertise. The department has strong links with other departments in the school, including Modern Foreign Languages, History, English and Drama. Our lively curriculum includes ancient drama, theatre visits, lectures and seminars, and visits to local, national (Fishbourne Palace, Lullingstone Villa, Roman Bath, Hadrian’s Wall, the British Museum) and international classical sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Rome, Delphi, Olympia (home of the ancient Olympics), Athens and Epidaurus).

Key Stage 3

Imperium Latin is learnt by all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 and an emphasis is placed on language, history and culture. Language work throughout Key Stage 3 aims to equip pupils to read and understand passages of moderate difficulty and to gain a clear understanding of language structure and its impact on English and other modern languages. Students will build on their vocabulary as regular testing ensures that students are able not only to translate, but also to make connections between the languages they speak and are learning. 

Students learn about the history of Roman society by following the life of the Emperor Hadrian, from his childhood to the end of his reign. Hadrian was a progressive emperor who is famous for his building projects in Rome and most famously the wall he built from Tyneside to the coastal defences at West Cumbria, UK. 

The department runs a lively Classics Club and a Latin Clinic for KS3 students who want to improve their language skills. This is led by the sixth formers, and seeks to enhance pupils' enjoyment and understanding of the subject. From Year 8 onwards, there may also be the opportunity to study Ancient Greek as an extra-curricular activity. 

Key Stage 4

Latin and Ancient History are now available on the curriculum at GCSE level. In Latin we offer the subject as an option class and as a second language class. Following the EDUQAS specification, GCSE Latin students learn about a wide variety of topics. Students will study the Latin language, Roman Civilisation and also study the writings of Tacitus, Catullus, Cicero, Ovid, Pliny and others.

GCSE Ancient History (OCR) is subject new to the school since September 2015. Students will study 2 longer periods of history (The Persian Empire 559-465 BC and Foundation of Rome: From kingship to republic 753-440 BC). They will also study 2 topics that cover a significantly shorter period of time in-depth. These topics could include Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and Rome and Hannibal and the 2nd Punic War.

Key Stage 5

We offer Latin IB (Higher and Standard level). We aim to study a combination of prose and poetry and to encourage a high level of literary response and linguistic understanding. Various authors are studied in-depth, and students practice translating pieces from a specific author. 

Ancient History and Classical Civilisation at IB will be offered at standard level. This course covers a wide variety of subjects from Greek and Roman literature (The Iliad by Homer and the Aeneid by Virgil); to Roman art and architecture (Pompeii, Rome, Herculaneum and Ostia); Greek art; Greek Tragedy; Roman Religion; and finally Augustan Rome.

Our Sixth Form students play a dynamic role within the department and promote Classics throughout the school and the wider community through their involvement in lower school lessons, organising visiting speakers, assisting with planning trips and through their extra-curricular activities, such as Latin Clinic and Classics Club, run by our Year 12 Prefects.