The Classics department aims to enable pupils to develop an enthusiasm and understanding of the Classical World, to extract and analyse information, to develop their knowledge and application of the language and to give personal responses about the literature and culture.
All girls will study Latin during Year 7, following the Cambridge Latin Course Book 1. There will be emphasis on studying the grammatical structure of language, vocabulary learning and on seeing the links between different languages and their vocabularies. The acting out of short role plays and scenarios is involved as well as the study of cultural background and history, such as houses, daily life, food, the forum, the theatre and slavery.
In Year 8, all girls continue to study Latin using the Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 to increase their understanding of basic grammar and syntax. They will also learn a range of vocabulary and use this to help with understanding of Modern Languages, as well as continuing to explore the historical and cultural background in Pompeii, such as life after death, gladiators, the baths, politics, education and the eruption of Vesuvius.
In Year 9, the year group is divided up: some girls will continue with Latin and will have the option of pursuing their study to GCSE level; others will study Classical Civilisation again with the option of pursuing their study to GCSE level. In Latin, girls continue to build on their vocabulary knowledge, beginning to learn the WJEC GCSE vocabulary list, and their grammar knowledge through the Cambridge Latin Course Book 2. Girls will also learn about new areas of Roman culture, such as the Roman conquest of Britain and how people lived there, and Roman Egypt (its religion, trade and medicine).
Girls can then opt to continue their studies in GCSE level. As well as developing their knowledge, understanding of the language through the Cambridge Latin Course books 3 and 4 and finishing learning the WJEC GCSE vocabulary list, topics of historical and cultural study include the Roman army, the city of Rome, Roman architecture, Roman society, Roman beliefs, entertainment and freedmen.
Girls also study short stories, poems and myths in the original language, learning to translate them and analyse them in terms of style. Latin is the only foreign language GCSE (except Classical Greek) in which girls do this. The literature includes a range of authors, mixing in historians, biographers and poets, so that the girls can experience a variety of styles.
A year 7 Latin drama competition is run in the summer term and a year 8 vocabulary competition is run in the spring term, as well as any theatre and exhibition trips to events which are relevant to the syllabus.