About the Curriculum
Latin and Classical Civilisation are offered to A Level; OCR syllabuses are followed and there is no coursework option. Current Latin set authors are Cicero, Tacitus, Seneca, Virgil, Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus; Classical Civilisation topics include the works of Homer, Virgil and Cicero.
Translation of the Latin language is an exercise which develops valuable skills of focus and precision while providing a key to some of the most intriguing and influential texts of the Ancient (or any other) World. Close reading of these texts fosters important and transferable analytical skills and is, moreover, enormous fun for those with an enquiring mind and a taste for a puzzle. The enduring appeal of Latin as a subject owes much to this but also, just as importantly, to the cultural perspective and independence of mind, which it has always encouraged in its students.
While Latin has a natural affinity with other arts subjects, particularly History, English and modern languages, the analytical nature of the discipline makes it an ideal companion for subjects such as Mathematics, Economics, Music and the sciences. Candidates should have obtained at least a grade 6 at GCSE.
Classical Civilisation offers an introduction to a culture which, while very different, has had an outstanding influence on our own. The units studied emphasise a variety of ways of approaching the ancient world – through its literature, its historians, its material remains, and its art and religion – and cover periods ranging from the Second Millennium BC to the end of the Roman Empire. Students will develop a broad knowledge and a wide range of valuable and transferable interpretive skills.
Classical Civilisation traditionally sits well with History, English, Art and Religious Studies as well as with languages, both classical and modern, but the archaeological units may combine equally well with Geography and the sciences. GCSE Classical Civilisation (or Latin) is not required but candidates should have demonstrated their ability in essay-writing subjects, and have at least a grade 6 in GCSE English.