Latin

Latin is taught to all girls in Years 7, 8 and 9. Latin is then an option at both GCSE and A Level.

In Years 7 to 9, pupils are introduced to the Latin language, and then begin to learn more complex language skills, including composition. They study the city of Pompeii and its eventual fate, and learn about Roman culture, society and history.

At GCSE, pupils follow the OCR course, which involves the study of authors such as Pliny, Tacitus, Virgil and Ovid. They learn to appreciate Latin prose and verse literature in the original and develop a more sophisticated understanding of the accidence and syntax. They are then able to read continuous Latin prose with fluency and tackle simple English into Latin translation. The course includes trips to the British Museum, and to classics conferences at other schools.

At A Level, pupils follow the OCR course, which provides a blend of language and literature, including works by Ovid, Cicero, Virgil and Horace. They study Latin authors in depth and tackle both unseen verse and prose for translation and comprehension, as well as building on their composition skills. They also go on regular outings to museums and galleries, to university events and lectures, and to theatrical performances.

Classical Greek

Pupils are given a taster in Classical Greek in Year 9. It is then an option for both GCSE and A Level.

At GCSE, pupils pursue the OCR course, studying authors such as Euripides, Herodotus, Homer and Xenophon. They learn to appreciate Greek prose and verse literature in the original and develop their understanding of syntax so that they are able to read with fluency. They also tackle simple English into Greek translation. They go on trips to the British Museum and classics conferences, and performances of Greek tragedies at local and national theatres, including the Cambridge Greek Play.

At A Level, pupils pursue the OCR course, which includes the in-depth study of authors such as Plato, Sophocles, Euripides, Homer and Thucydides. They tackle both verse and prose unseen for translation and comprehension, as well as building on their composition skills. There are regular outings to university events, lectures and performances of Greek tragedy.

Classic Civilisation

Aspects of Greek and Roman civilisation are encountered as part of the Latin course in Years 7 to 9. Classical Civilisation is then available as a subject option for GCSE and A Level.

At GCSE, pupils follow the OCR course. They learn about Greek and Roman society, religious beliefs, mythology, and domestic life. They also analyse ancient source material, including classical literature in translation, and material evidence such as archaeological finds from the Mycenaean world, Pompeii and Herculaneum. They develop an awareness of the relationship between classical Greece and Rome and the world of today.

At A Level, pupils follow the OCR course. This incorporates a blend of ancient literature in translation and the study of classical culture, including religion, politics, sculpture, architecture and vase painting. Pupils explore the world of the hero though an in-depth study of selected books from Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid in translation and develop an appreciation of the religion of the Greeks and Romans using a variety of sources including classical art and architecture. They go on outings to the British Museum, the Sir John Soane Museum and the Cambridge Cast Gallery. 

Beyond The Classroom

Sixth Form classicists run the school Classics Society for the benefit of all girls. They attend plays, and host film and video evenings, suppers, debates and discussions. They offer craft activities for junior girls, such as designing and creating Roman mosaics, or writing and shooting videos on Greek mythology.

Trips are plentiful and varied across the year groups. Younger pupils visit the Roman villa at Chedworth and the museum at Corinium, Butser Ancient Farm, and the Roman Baths. Senior pupils attend set text study days and lectures at a variety of venues such as Oxford and Cambridge Universities. They have also visit exhibitions at the British Museum and the Ashmolean. There are regular theatre trips, most commonly to see Greek tragedies and comedies performed in the original Greek and in translation at Cambridge, Oxford, Stratford and London.

Overseas residential trips normally take place approximately once every two years. The most recent trip was to Athens in October 2022. A trip to Athens for Year 11 and Sixth Form pupils is planned for October 2024.

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