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Classics & Latin

The foundation of our modern western world

The Department
Although relatively small, the Classics Department is thriving. Situated in the Maths and Science Building (and therefore named Pythagoras), the classroom is a haven of the study of ancient literature both in the original language and in translation. We aim to encourage a real love of the ancient world, and lessons, usually in smallish groups, are intended to be fun, as well as rigorous. Almost all those who study Latin or Greek achieve top grades at GSCE and A level, whilst those who study through translations also do very well.

Year 9
In year 9 pupils arrive from a variety of backgrounds. The aim is to enable each one to be in a position to start the GCSE course in year 10, and for most this will entail new vocabulary and learning new Latin idioms of expression.


This course will teach pupils to understand Latin, so that they can cope with quite sophisticated grammar and vocabulary; the aim is that pupils should translate the language into good English. During year 10, pupils meet “real Latin” for the first time, which is always an exciting moment, and this study of Latin literature, both poetry and prose, forms two of the four GCSE papers. It is a wonderful thing to be able to read great Latin literature and to begin to understand what enables it to be called “great.

It should be noted that Greek can sometimes be taught to motivated pupils; the structure of the course is very similar to Latin.

A level

It is possible to do either Latin or Classics at A level.

Latin: the course continues to develop pupils’ understanding of the way the language works, with the level of difficulty being increased from GCSE. At this stage translating English to Latin is introduced, and many pupils find this a particularly satisfying part of the course. There is also a literature paper, both prose and verse, and pupils are expected to carry out advanced literary criticism. The skills learnt and practised in A level Latin are eminently transferable to language and arts courses post-school, and it is still true that a high grade in Latin is looked upon very favourably by top universities.
Classics: this subject covers a very broad range of different topics, Pupils will be given some choice in the courses they which to follow, the end result being a very satisfying blend of culture and literature, both Greek and Roman. The subject, apart from being very worthwhile in itself, is a useful back-up to other arts A levels.

In recent years all pupils studying Latin have been to the Roman Baths, and several have been to lectures and other Classical occasions in Bath.

Next Steps…

To arrange a visit, or for any other enquiries regarding admissions at the Senior School, please contact our Head of Admissions, Mrs Carole Heritage on 01225 721 133

To arrange a visit, or any other enquiries at the Pre-Prep and Prep please contact our Deputy Heads of Admissions Nicky Davis or Katie Hiscott on 01225 831 238.

Give us a call:

Tel: +44 (0)1225 721 133

Or send us an email: for Senior School enquiries for Pre-Prep and Prep enquiries

Alternatively, to request a prospectus, please use our online form:

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