Classics and Latin

In the Latin and Classics Department, we believe that the study of Latin is important as it allows students to develop problem solving and linguistic skills.

We believe that Latin, a key language of Western civilisation providing the key to the Romance languages, such as Spanish and French, supports students in their wider learning of language. Moreover, since many English words are derived from Latin, students can broaden their English vocabulary, enabling them to write and speak more eloquently.

Y7 students are introduced to the structure of the language and acquire a solid vocabulary base. They also learn about everyday life in the Roman town of Pompeii – how the people dressed, what they ate and what their houses looked like. This develops further in Y8 where students broaden their grammatical knowledge by learning new verb tenses and how to translate more complex sentences. We explore topics such as gladiators, the Baths and education.

KS3

Curriculum Information

The Classics Department is delighted to offer Latin (Years 7-13) and Classical Civilisation (Years 10-13) to all our students. As a consequence, all pupils at some stage in their careers at our school have access to a classical education and learn in depth aspects of the Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds. The benefits of studying Classics are as diverse as our curriculum, which focuses primarily on language, literature and culture. The study of Classics improves students' analytical, critical, creative and linguistic skills, which are key to both academic and professional success. Through the course, students gain a broader understanding of both ancient and modern societies and languages. They gain valuable insights into modern culture and enhance their understanding of English and Modern Foreign Languages. By studying literature and culture, students learn to engage with modern and ancient ideas and concepts. Classics is highly regarded by colleges, universities and employers. This is because it is a multi-disciplinary subject that encourages students to consider issues from multiple viewpoints and to enhance a range of highly prized skills. Students have the chance to discuss renowned works of literature and art, as well as develop their analytical skills by using visual and written sources to learn about the ancient world. They also practise debate and develop strong written communication skills. Students who choose this course will have the opportunity to examine the mythology, culture and literature of Ancient Greece and Rome. The Classics Department has strong links with other departments in the school, including Modern Foreign Languages, History, English and Drama. Our engaging curriculum includes ancient drama, theatre visits, lectures and seminars, and visits to local, national and international classical sites.

Expected Equipment

We expect all our students to be organised when they come to the lessons. As well as a normal equipment, they should, as per school policy, have a red pen for peer-marking and a purple pen for self-marking.

Resources for learning

Extracurricular enrichment

  • Lullingstone Roman Villa – cross-curricular visit with the Geography Department which involves an insight to Roman lifestyle in the first century AD and how the local landscape influenced settlement
  • Fishbourne Palace and Bignor Villa – a visit to King Cogidubus’ palace and a Roman villa with exceptional mosaics
  • Butser Farm – an archaeological dig, Roman jewellery making and insight to the working life of a British farm during the Roman occupation
  • Visit to Athens or Pompeii
  • Latin speaking competition
  • Year 8 ‘Classics in Art’ project based at the National Gallery.

Programme of Study

We use the popular Books I and II of the Cambridge Latin Course; studying the engaging and eventful stories in Latin enables pupils to develop their understanding and knowledge of the language whilst exploring areas of Roman culture and history. Language work throughout Key Stage 3 aims to equip pupils to read and understand passages of moderate difficulty and to gain a clear understanding of language structure and its impact on English and other modern languages. Students will build on their vocabulary ensuring that they are able not only to translate, but also to make connections between the languages they speak and are learning. Our aim is to bring the language to life through innovative teaching and activities which help consolidate the linguistic ideas in the stories and bring to life the cultural spirit of the Romans. Students learn about the culture of Roman society by following the life of the Caecilius in Pompeii in the 1st century AD and later his son Quintus, having survived the eruption of Vesuvius, on his epic journey through Ancient Egypt and Britain.

KS4

KS4 Overview

Curriculum Information

The Classics Department is delighted to offer Latin (Years 7-13) and Classical Civilisation (Years 10-13) to all our students. As a consequence, all pupils at some stage in their careers at our school have access to a classical education and learn in depth aspects of the Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds. The benefits of studying Classics are as diverse as our curriculum, which focuses primarily on language, literature and culture. The study of Classics improves students' analytical, critical, creative and linguistic skills, which are key to both academic and professional success. Through the course, students gain a broader understanding of both ancient and modern societies and languages. They gain valuable insights into modern culture and enhance their understanding of English and Modern Foreign Languages. By studying literature and culture, students learn to engage with modern and ancient ideas and concepts. Classics is highly regarded by colleges, universities and employers. This is because it is a multi-disciplinary subject that encourages students to consider issues from multiple viewpoints and to enhance a range of highly prized skills. Students have the chance to discuss renowned works of literature and art, as well as develop their analytical skills by using visual and written sources to learn about the ancient world. They also practise debate and develop strong written communication skills. Students who choose this course will have the opportunity to examine the mythology, culture and literature of Ancient Greece and Rome. The Classics Department has strong links with other departments in the school, including Modern Foreign Languages, History, English and Drama. Our engaging curriculum includes ancient drama, theatre visits, lectures and seminars, and visits to local, national and international classical sites.

Expected Equipment

We expect all our students to be organised when they come to the lessons. As well as a normal equipment, they should, as per school policy, have a red pen for peer-marking and a purple pen for self-marking. At KS4, we strongly encourage them to purchase a pocket Latin dictionary.

Resources for learning

  • www.cambridgescp.com provides digital versions of the textbook as well as grammar and vocabulary practice
  • Use of bespoke courses for pupils on www.memrise.com for practising Latin grammar and vocabulary
  • The British Museum website www.britishmuseum.org.uk or a visit to the museum itself
  • The Museum of London
  • Access to OCR and Educas WJEC website for past papers.

Extracurricular enrichment

  • Key Stage 4 and 5 visit to Pompeii, Rome, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Athens, Mycenae, Corinth, Epidauros
  • British Museum personalised gallery talks
  • Viewing of classical films have included ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Pompeii’
  • Bath – a guided tour and handling session in the salubrious surroundings of the ancient Roman baths Theatre visits – past visits include Lysistrata at Kingston Theatre and The Libation Bears in Oxford
  • Classics drop-in clinic every week for pupils who are looking for extra support or just want to discover more about the classical world.

Year 10-11 Programme of Study

Latin GCSE is a popular subject. Following the WJEC EDUCAS specifications, GCSE Latin students learn about a wide variety of topics. Pupils will continue their study of the language, looking at more complex structures in the lead up to GCSE. Students will continue to use the Cambridge Latin Course up to Book 4 set in Roman Britain and Ancient Rome. In addition to studying the Latin language, students will study Roman Civilisation and also the literature of Tacitus, Catullus, Cicero, Ovid, Pliny and others. It is worth noting that despite no speaking component to this subject, students opting for Latin GCSE should have a sound and secure knowledge of the grammar covered at Key Stage 3 and enjoy the rigour and challenge of translating from Latin into English.

GCSE Classical Civilisation is also a very popular option. Students follow the OCR board syllabus, which gives the opportunity to study at least two different ancient societies, Greek and Roman, as well as works of art and literature such as Homer’s epic poem ‘The Odyssey’. Pupils will explore different aspects of life in Ancient Rome and Greece through analysis of original written sources, artwork and buildings. Roman epic poetry and Greek tragedy (or comedy) are also studied, with a particular focus on analysis and evaluation of the style, themes and characterisations found in the texts. If students are interested in studying Classical Civilisation at A Level, GCSE Classical Civilisation is recommended. No knowledge of the Latin language is required for this subject.

KS5 Classics / Latin

KS5 Overview

The Classics Department is delighted to offer Latin (7-13) and Classical Civilisation (10-13) to all our students. As a consequence, all pupils at some stage in their careers at our school have access to a classical education and learn in depth aspects of the Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds. The benefits of studying Classics are as diverse as our curriculum, which focuses primarily on language, literature and culture. The study of Classics improves students' analytical, critical, creative and linguistic skills, which are key to both academic and professional success. Through the course, students gain a broader understanding of both ancient and modern societies and languages. They gain valuable insights into modern culture and enhance their understanding of English and Modern Foreign Languages. By studying literature and culture, students learn to engage with modern and ancient ideas and concepts as well as their own views. Classics is highly regarded by colleges, universities and employers. This is because it is a multi-disciplinary subject that encourages students to consider issues from multiple viewpoints and to enhance a range of highly prized skills. Students have the chance to discuss renowned works of literature and art, as well as develop their analytical skills by using visual and written sources to learn about the ancient world. They also practise debate and develop strong written communication skills. Students who choose this course will have the opportunity to examine the mythology, culture and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. The Classics department has strong links with other departments in the school, including Modern Foreign Languages, History, English and Drama. Our engaging curriculum includes ancient drama, theatre visits, lectures and seminars, and visits to local, national and international classical sites.

Expected Equipment

We expect all our students to be organised when they come to the lessons. As well as a normal equipment, they should, as per school policy, have a red pen for peer-marking and a purple pen for self-marking. At KS5, we strongly encourage them to purchase a pocket Latin dictionary.

Resources for learning

  • Access to OCR and Educas WJEC website for past papers.
  • use of bespoke courses for pupils on www.memrise.com for practising Latin grammar and vocabulary.
  • Ovid Unseen – Mathew Owen
  • Latin Unseen Translation – Roy Hyde
  • Latin Beyond GCSE – John Taylor
  • The Latin Language – Oliver Boyd
  • The British Museum.
  • The Museum of London.

Extracurricular enrichment

  • KS4 and 5 visit to Pompeii, Rome, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Athens, Mycenae, Corinth, Epidauros
  • British Museum personalised gallery talks.
  • Sixth form lectures by leading figures in the classical world.
  • Classical films including ‘Ben hur’ and ‘Pompeii’.
  • Year 12 have also taught Latin to primary school pupils ab initio.
  • Essay competitions.

Programme of Study

For Latin A Level, we aim to study a combination of prose and poetry and to encourage a high level of literary response and linguistic understanding. Various authors are studied in-depth, and students practise translating pieces from a specific author. The skill of translating and interpreting the nuances of a writer’s meaning is developed and students should find the subtleties of meaning a rewarding experience. Students who opt for this subject should have sound and secure grammatical knowledge as the linguistic content of the course is more challenging.

The A level Classical Civilisation course covers a wide variety of subjects from Greek and Roman literature (The Iliad by Homer and the Aeneid by Virgil); to Roman art and architecture (Pompeii, Rome, Herculaneum and Ostia); Greek art; Greek Tragedy; Roman Religion; and finally Augustan Rome. No knowledge of the Latin language is required for this subject; and prior knowledge of the ancient world is NOT a prerequisite for opting for this subject, in fact a significant number of pupils who choose this subject do not have a GCSE in the subject. Students who take A Level Classical Civilisation become confident independent learners who communicate effectively and articulate a coherent argument. It also provides practice in essay writing, research and textual analysis. We find that Classical Civilisation appeals to a range of students studying a diverse range of subjects.

Student Experience - KS5 Classical Civilisation

I enjoy A level Classical Civilisation because it enables me to gain knowledge of ancient societies, both real and mythical. I find it fascinating to learn about the lifestyles, politics and religious beliefs these societies. I also find that I am able to appreciate the aspects of the modern world which have resulted from the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome, a legacy of which I would have been unaware had I not chosen to study the subject. I find it very interesting to learn about the cast of characters from the myths of the ancient world, such as Odysseus, Penelope, Aeneas, Dido and Oedipus. Additionally, I find analysing the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks and Romans fascinating as it helps me to better understand how humankind views the world.

Classical civilisation involves reading exciting pieces of ancient literature, for example plays by Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles and the epics of Homer and Virgil. The subject predominantly requires students to write essays about these works of literature and the culture of the societies in which the authors lived. Independent research is encouraged, which helps me to enhance my understanding and prepares me well for university. Studying classical civilisation has given me the opportunity to become a subject prefect in Year 13. I find this role very rewarding as it involves helping younger students with their understanding of the subject and enables me to pass on to them the interesting things that I have learned.

Student Experience - KS5 Latin

Latin is a unique and exciting choice for A Level due its multi-faceted nature, which allows you to study the language, literature and culture of the ancient world. I find it has improved my grammar and vocabulary, which has helped me with essay writing for my other A Level subjects as well, and the smaller classes allow for more focused teaching and more rapid progress.

The course is split equally between language and literature. Our work consists of both translation and grammar exercises as well as analysis and essays on our set texts (both prose and verse), which vary in subject matter from exciting tales of political turmoil to comedies about gods, magic and love. Within these, we can expand our knowledge of the culture of the ancient Roman world whilst also developing our translation skills, which is enjoyable and rewarding and can set you apart when applying for university places and beyond. Latin A Level students also have the opportunity to teach and assist younger students as well as running activities and presentations at open days.

It is for all these reasons that I have enjoyed my Latin studies in sixth form and am hoping to continue this subject at university. I would thoroughly recommend taking Latin A Level at Chis and Sid. If you enjoy English, history or learning a language, then taking Latin will allow you to combine all of these areas into one subject. Hopefully, you will choose to take Latin next year and learn more about this amazing subject!