We seek to expose pupils in equal measure to the language, stories and civilisation of the Classical World – a rigorous and immensely rich experience.

All pupils are introduced to Latin in Year 7 via our tailor-made course which follows the story of Flavius and Livia, a Romano-British boy and girl who live in Verulamium (Roman St. Albans). In a series of accessible and amusing stories, pupils learn about life in a Roman villa, the Baths and the festival of Saturnalia. We then follow Flavius as he dons his armour and joins the Roman army, culminating in a final battle with the barbarians in the north of Scotland.

In Year 8, the focus switches to Rome itself. We explore the iconic sites of the city, such as the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum, together with stories from early Roman history. All this is taught using material authored by the department especially for King’s Ely pupils. The upper sets study these topics via the medium of the Latin language, whilst the lower sets focus more on aspects of civilisation. In the second half of the year, we set sail with Odysseus on some of the most loved stories from Homer’s Odyssey.

At the end of Year 7, all pupils visit Verulamium, the third largest city in Roman Britain, where our course is set. There, they explore the remains using the excellent Museum of Roman Life and perform Latin plays which they have prepared in the only surviving Roman Theatre in the country.