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"Classics is the root of everything and your route to absolutely anything"

Classical myth, art and language provide the foundation - the roots - for these same areas in western culture today, and a knowledge of Classics is a prerequisite for deep engagement with later artistic, literary and linguistic areas of study. Due to the challenging nature of the subject and the transferable skills required to succeed, you’ll find that Classics is a pathway - a route - to anything. Classics graduates go on to have successful careers in just about every field imaginable.

"The study of Classics has a supremely important role to play in modern education"

We have extremely high expectations of our pupils; classical languages are challenging but so rewarding if effort is put into their study. We aim to nurture the inquisitive nature of our pupils and support them in becoming global citizens who have a deep understanding of culture, history and language.

King’s Classicists begin their study of Latin in 3rd Form, either continuing from previous schools or enjoying the opportunity to study the language afresh. We typically take pupils through the basics of the language providing a firm foundation for further study, while delving into some of the greatest stories ever told and experiencing a history and culture which underpins so much of what we take for granted.

From there, pupils may opt to study Latin at GCSE and A Level. Alongside prescribed material, we explore the history of Greek and Roman culture, and literature which explores all the questions that make us human.

For exceptionally academic and ambitious pupils, ancient Greek may be available.

"What did the Romans ever do for us?"

The primary aim of our curriculum is to promote curiosity about the ancient world, as well as challenging our pupils to think critically and creatively. Whether we are translating a passage of Latin, reading a Greek tragedy or exploring myth and religion, there will always be something to tickle our interest. Through the study of Classics, young minds are trained in logic, precision and quality of expression.

"Classical literature explores all the questions that make us human"

Whether you study classical subjects for their intrinsic interest, because of the enjoyment of the challenge or with a view to study the classical world beyond King’s, you’ll find that the time you put in with this department will stand you in great stead for the future.

GCSE Curriculum

GCSE Latin

Fearless linguists who opted to study Latin in 3rd Form may continue to the GCSE. The study of Latin at King’s Bruton fosters a set of high-grade, transferable skills that are highly valued by universities and employers alike, using a curriculum based on both skills-based practice and application of knowledge. Latin trains our pupils to have critical expertise, which is essential for making them forceful communicators.

In the 4th Form, we build on our previous study, developing our understanding of Latin vocabulary and grammar in order to create fluent and expressive translations of Latin text as part of the OCR Latin GCSE. We also study two set pieces of literature: a prose and verse text. The texts change every two years, however, this year, the class is preparing Apuleius' sagae Thessalae, an extract from a later Roman novel, featuring themes of witchcraft, magic and religion. For the verse paper, the class has read a selection of Roman love poets, including Ovid, Petronius and Catullus.

A Level Curriculum

A Level Latin

1 Year AS Course:

  • Module 1 Language (50%)
    Learners build their knowledge of vocabulary and linguistic structures through reading and studying passages of Latin with progressively decreasing levels of adaptation.
  • Module 2 Literature (50%)
    Learners study in depth one prose set text and one verse set text.

2 Year A2 Course:

  • Module 1a Unseen Translation (33%)
    Learners extend their knowledge of vocabulary and linguistic structures through reading original Latin in both prose and verse. The examination consists of a passage of translation with some grammatical questions from specific authors (currently Livy and Ovid).
  • Module 1b Prose Comprehension and Composition (17%)
    Learners perfect their knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and linguistic structures through manipulation of the language, composing their own translation of a passage of prose.
  • Module 2 Prose Literature (25%)
    Learners study a passage of prose in the original Latin.
  • Module 3 Verse Literature (25%)
    Learners study a passage of verse in the original Latin.

Contact Classics Department Staff

Head of Department
Mrs Caroline Garland 

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