Classics

Welcome to the Classics Department. We aim to give all of our pupils a stimulating introduction to the culture, language, literature and achievements of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. We encourage the pupils to develop their own opinions about the events, personalities and ideas of the classical world. In order to help them achieve this, we develop their powers of observation and deduction, their ability to think analytically, and their ability to communicate ideas effectively. In the process, we also hope to foster in each pupil a greater sense of her own cultural and linguistic heritage.

Latin is taught to the majority of pupils in Year 7. Some will continue with Latin into Years 8 & 9, whilst others will take up Classical Civilisation instead. Both subjects are taught through to A-level standard, and our students achieve very good results.

 

Key Stage 3 LATIN

Throughout Years 7, 8 & 9, pupils study the Cambridge Latin Course. This is the most popular Latin course in Britain, offering access to a dedicated website for home-learning and a wide range of supplementary materials.

The first book of the course is set in Pompeii, and pupils will study Latin stories which help them to learn all about the sort of lives people led there, and what happened when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearby in AD 79. The second book is set in Roman Britain, so pupils will learn more about life in our own part of the world some 2000 years ago.

Pupils learn how to understand and translate increasingly complex Latin sentences. To support the development of their language skills they will study stories in Latin, complete language exercise, and learn vocabulary on a regular basis.

In Y7, pupils are expected to spend about half an hour/week on their Latin homework, rising to about 45 minutes by the end of Year 9.

We always run a special activity for Y8 students in the summer term.  Click here to learn more about one of these Classics Days.

Pupils will find the following websites useful:

The Cambridge Latin Course website

BBC Life in Pompeii

BBC The eruption of Vesuvius

BBC Roman Britain

 

Key Stage 3 CLASSICAL CIVILISATION (Years 8 and 9)

In Year 8 over half of the students begin to study Classical Civilisations. They will cover some historical topics such as life in Roman Britain, Pompeii and Ancient Athens, as well as studying the literature and mythology of the Ancient Greeks.

In Y8, pupils are expected to spend about half an hour/week on their Classical Civilisations homework, rising to about 45 minutes by the end of Year 9.

As part of their study of Roman Britain, we take all pupils to explore the remains of Verulamium (Roman St Albans) during Year 8. We also invite them to enter various competitions with a Classical theme to them.

All of the websites listed in the KS3 Latin section (above) will also support the study of Classical Civilisation in Years 8, and the following sites will be of benefit in Y9:

BBC Schools – The Greeks

BBC History – The Greeks

British Museum – The Greeks

Birmingham Museum – The Greeks

 

Key Stage 4 LATIN

At the end of Year 11, students will sit a GCSE in Latin. We are following the OCR specification J282.  Click here for more details.

Students will be examined on their knowledge of Latin vocabulary, word formation and sentence structure, their appreciation of Latin literature, and their understanding of life in the Roman world.  There are three exams to sit:

 

Component 01 – Latin language – 1 ½ hour exam – 100 marks – 50% of overall mark

 

Component 03 – Prose Literature – 1 hour exam – 50 marks – 25% of overall mark

The 2019 passages are taken from these sections of the Cambridge Latin Anthology:

Druides The power of the Druids, their education, their religion, The Druids’ last stand.

tumultus et rebellioBoudica’s rebellion.

The 2020 passages are taken from these sections of the Cambridge Latin Anthology:

Germanicus et Piso – Piso in Syria, The death of Germanicus, Mourning, Revenge.

personae non gratae – Regulus, lines 1–19 (assem … detestatur).

 

Component 05 – Verse Literature – 1 hour exam – 50 marks – 25% of overall mark

The 2019 passages are taken from the Oxford Classical Text:

Virgil, Aeneid Book 4  lines 279–319, 331–361 and 381–396.

Virgil, Aeneid Book 6  lines 450–476.

The 2020 passages are taken from these sections of the Oxford Classical Text:

Virgil, Aeneid Book 2  lines 506–558, 705–740, 768–794.

 

Students are expected to complete one written task each week and one reading or learning task. Between them, these should take about an hour and a half to complete.

We aim to take all Latin students on some sort of trip which may involve one or more nights away from home. Previous visits have taken us to Bath, Italy and Greece.

Pupils will find the following websites useful:

The website for the Cambridge Latin Course

Online Latin dictionary and grammar tool

Online grammar tester (nouns, pronouns & adjectives)

 

Key Stage 4 CLASSICAL CIVILISATION

Students are following the OCR J199 specification.  Click here for more details.

Pupils will be assessed in these two topics:

  • Myth and Religion – 1 hour 30 minutes exam
  • Roman City Life – 1 hour 30 minutes exam

There is no controlled assessment involved in this specification. Each topic counts towards 50% of the final mark. All exams are taken at the end of Year 11.

Pupils are usually expected to complete one written task each week and one reading or revision task. Between them, these should take about an hour and a half to complete.

 

Key Stage 5 LATIN

Students are following the OCR H443 specification. They will be examined on their Latin translation skills, their Latin Prose composition skills, and their appreciation of both Latin verse and prose literature.

Students should spend at least three hours on their homework at this level of study.

We regularly take our students to attend talks given in London by Oxbridge lecturers.

We continue to offer students the opportunity to take part in various competitions.

Useful websites:

Exam boards materials

Online Latin dictionary and grammar tool

An online Latin dictionary which focuses on specific texts

 

Key Stage 5 CLASSICAL CIVILISATION

Students follow the OCR H408 specification.  Click here for more details.

At the end of the two year course, students will be examined on:

  • The World of the Hero (H408/11) – 2 hours and 20 mins exam worth 40% of the total A Level
  • Greek Theatre (H408/21) – 1 hour and 45 mins exam worth 30% of the total A Level
  • Greek Religion (H408/31) – 1 hour and 45 mins worth 30% of the total A Level.

 

Pupils should spend at least three hours a week on their homework at this level of study.

We regularly take our pupils to attend talks given in London by Oxbridge lectures.

We take pupils to relevant theatre shows whenever possible.

 

Page updated March 2019