The Classics Department works towards promoting an understanding and an awareness of the Ancient world, its languages, customs, beliefs, social structures, institutions and history.
We look to encourage students in all year groups to develop an understanding of Latin and Classical Greek and to make them aware of the connections between these ancient languages and many modern languages, and in particular the links that there are with the English language. We also look to make students aware of the differences and similarities between our modern society and the civilisations of the Romans and the Ancient Greeks and to allow students to access these ancient societies via both our day-to-day text books, ICT and audio-visual resources and real classical texts.
The Classics Department aims to give students a wide range of opportunities to visit Classical sites, both in the UK and abroad, and to develop their understanding of the Classical world by attending other relevant Classical events, conferences & theatrical productions where appropriate.
All pupils study Latin in Years 7 & 8 and they explore the language via the first two books of the Cambridge Latin Course.
These books introduce the language while also looking at many aspects of daily life and culture in the Roman Empire. Book I is set in Pompeii while Book II takes us to both Roman Britain and Ancient Alexandria in Egypt. In Year 8, our work within the classroom is also supported by a curriculum visit to St Albans (Roman Verulamium) & Welwyn Roman Baths. Our weekly Classics Club for those in Years 7 & 8 also provides a further range of fun and interesting activities as well as offering a termly screening of a classical film in our 'Classics Film Club'.
In Year 9 Latin becomes an option subject and Book III of the Cambridge Latin Course moves back to Britannia and to the important Roman towns of Aquae Sulis (Bath) & Deva (Chester). While continuing to develop the language skills of the students, Book III also looks at the topics of the Roman Army, Religion and Curse Tablets as well as looking at a brief introduction to Archaeology. All these topics are ably supported by our curriculum visit to Chester in the Summer term. We also run a Beginners' Greek Club from January each year so that pupils can get an introduction to the Classical Greek language also.
At GCSE, Book IV of the Cambridge Latin Course takes pupils to Rome as they further develop their language skills and study the architecture of the city and how the Roman Empire was governed. Our work is further supported by using John Taylor's 'Essential GCSE Latin' and by having the opportunity of going on a residential visit to Hadrian's Wall. Pupils also, at this stage, have to opportunity to study real Roman literature.
Selections from famous authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Pliny & Tacitus give a real insight into life in the Ancient World and show just why these works have survived for over 2,000 years and how they have influenced many great works since. Classical Greek is also available to pupils as an additional GCSE subject outside of the timetable.
In the Sixth Form, the Department offers both Latin & Classical Civilisation on the timetable. In addition to our two designated Departmental rooms in the East Block, we also have a Sixth Form teaching room and departmental library based in the White House. This room and its resources provide both a location and a focus for much of our teaching at this level.
In Latin, students have the opportunity to study a wider range of literature and to take their linguistic skills to the next level.
The opportunity to study Latin Prose Composition and to challenge yourself further while tackling unseen passages of both prose and verse authors really help students to make great leaps forward.
In Classical Civilisation, students are able to study the ancient world via ancient sources that are grouped along certain themes. Topics include Greek Tragedy, Homer's Odyssey, Art & Architecture and The World of Aeneas just to name a few. All of these modules give students the chance to study ancient texts and objects without needing an in-depth knowledge of the classical languages but gives them a real opportunity to delve into the societies that produced them.
Our teaching in the classroom is supported also by the chance to visit the annual EMACT Sixth Form Conference, visits to see classical theatre, a museum visit and an opportunity to take part in our annual Classics Trip to either Italy or Greece. Our annual overseas trip is open to all those in Years 8 to 13 and is a fantastic opportunity to visit the most famous sites from the ancient world.