“I’m supposed to be some sort of thug. But I know Latin, I know the roots of words.”

Bernie Grant

Classics teaches us to think. In a global and rapidly changing world, the ability to draw connections and communicate clearly are skills that are increasingly valued. With its highly inflected languages and civilisations which are fascinatingly different and yet fundamental to our own, Classics develops key skills needed in today’s workplace, as well as being a richly rewarding subject in its own right.

In Year 9, pupils study either Latin or Classical Civilisation. For the Latin sets, the Cambridge Latin Course is used throughout, a course which places great emphasis both on the acquisition of Latin by reading, and on an understanding of Roman civilisation and culture. By their study and analysis of Latin, pupils are encouraged to develop an awareness of language generally, and an appreciation of the extraordinary influence Latin has had on many European tongues. For Hispanists and Francophiles Latin is their alma mater. In Classical Civilisation, we use our own tailor-made course that explores the world of the Greek heroes, Pompeii and Roman Britain. Students gain a clear overview of key events and figures from ancient history and some initial training in source-based research.

In Years 10 and 11, Latin and Classical Civilisation are studied as GCSE subjects. In Latin, the main syntactical structures are covered thoroughly before students then embark on their Prose and Verse set texts. Currently we are reading accounts of Boudica’s rebellion, Druidical religion and Horace’s charming tale of the town mouse and the country mouse.  In Classical Civilisation, a wide variety of topics is covered, ranging from Greek and Roman myth and religion, to the world of Homer’s Trojan War, Roman city life and the role of women in the ancient world.

The study of Classical Greek is also offered off-timetable from Year 9 to GCSE and beyond.

In King’s Ely Sixth Form, we offer A Level Latin, Classical Civilisation and Greek. Students enjoy the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the best literature in the world. Classroom teaching is supplemented with a rich variety of trips, films, talks and theatre visits.

The department enjoys great success at GCSE, A level and beyond. In recent years, a number of students have won places to read Classics at leading universities including Princeton, Oxford and London.