The Classics department teaches a broad range of skills in Latin lessons. Students will learn the foundations of grammar and syntax in order to translate Latin passages. This knowledge will aid the study of modern languages and improve students’ understanding of how language works.
Students will also learn how to recognise English words with Latin roots. This will encourage a broader range of vocabulary, which will be essential in developing work in essay writing subjects such as English and Humanities.
The department explores a range of disciplines from a Classical perspective. We study the town of Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Year 7 and 8. Students will look at daily life including theatre, the Underworld and gladiators.
In Year 9 students have two options, Classical Literature and Latin. In Latin we study Classical mythology and the epic cycle including the adventures of Odysseus and the Trojan War. In Classical Literature students will read classical stories on these subjects written from a modern perspective and create their own responses to the ancient myths.
At GCSE students continue to learn Latin language and expand their knowledge on ancient civilisations. We study Roman entertainment including chariot racing, dinner parties and the Romans Baths. This includes a three day residential to Bath for all Year 10 Latin students to experience the sources we have looked at in real life. Students will also look at a section of original Latin poetry and analyse this for literary devices. This skill is essential for English Literature GCSE and therefore Latin is an excellent accompaniment to English in KS4.
At A-Level we continue the study of Latin syntax and grammar as well as studying four set texts from the great writers of the Classical era. Students will read speeches by Cicero and the love poetry of Catullus and Ovid. This is taught alongside the social and political context of the time ranging from the assassination of Julius Caesar and political unrest in Rome to the mythological background of Ovid’s letters from his heroines.
Some of our students continue on to study Classics at university. Many go on to a range of courses such as Medicine, Law, PPE and Modern Languages. Latin is an unusual subject which is only offered at a small number of schools. It is therefore an excellent addition to any university application