Classics & Latin

We believe in the fundamental importance of providing girls with a traditional Classical education, providing a solid foundation for a range of further studies. Lessons are taught in our own suite of rooms and the department is keen to promote taught and independent study of the Classical World.

A Level Latin

In Sixth Form, Latin and Classical Civilisation are offered as A-Levels.

Throughout the A-Level course, girls continue to develop their language skills to a point where they are able to tackle complex unseen passages with confidence and flair. This challenging skill takes time and dedication but as study develops, girls become more attuned to using words with precision and pertinence and enjoy the various positive effects this has on their wider studies.

The course encompasses some of the world’s greatest literature in the original language, with girls now no longer dependent on the nuanced translations of others and able to hear the author’s voice for themselves.

Imagine listening to the rhetoric of Cicero as he lambasts the Senatorial jury to side with his argument. Swoon when Catullus whispers to you of life’s precious brevity and the need to find pleasure in human contact as a ward against despair.

Enrichment opportunities abound within Latin, including trips to Italy, Greece, London, various museums and theatres throughout the course. We also regularly share talks and ideas in our Symposium jointly with the Boys’ School, giving girls the opportunity to develop independent research and presentation skills while discovering more about the wider ancient world beyond the curriculum.

A Level Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation teaching is shared with the Boys’ School; the co-educational learning experience fosters a diverse and varied range of opinions on topical issues when studying literary texts.

While those wishing to study Latin must have taken the subject at GCSE, there is no prerequisite knowledge required for Classical Civilisation, although a GCSE can be helpful.

Literature and ancient history are at the heart of the A-Level course.
Students study epic poetry (Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid), philosophy and Greek art and architecture. Students will be expected to study, discuss, think about and form judgements on the works on the specification. An appetite for reading and for seminar-style exploration is welcome and we encourage lively debate.

Students acquire important transferable skills such as analysing sources and developing independent, critical and evaluative approaches.
There are also regular extramural activities including theatre trips, university lectures, competitions, museum trips and exposure to artefacts from the classical world.