Classics

At KEHS, we teach Classics (Latin and Classical Greek) to Oxbridge level.

Every pupil studies Latin for the first three years, and is then able to choose Latin at GCSE and at A level. We use the Cambridge Latin Course as our principal resource, and we follow the OCR courses at GCSE and A level.

The study of Latin (including Latin literature in the original) and of Roman culture and society, greatly enriches our understanding and appreciation of the cultural, linguistic and literary heritage of Western civilisation. Latin offers a wealth of cross-curricular opportunities; links to History, English, Drama, Modern Languages and the Sciences are exploited in lessons, encouraging girls to make connections independently and to see their education as a continuum, rather than as a collection of discrete and disparate elements. The study of Latin and Roman civilisation offers a unique opportunity in the Lower School curriculum: to be able to study a whole society as opposed to elements of it. The Roman world is removed from ourselves in both time and place, which makes it an ideal arena for the exploration of fundamental issues still affecting society today, for example: beliefs about life after death; systems of government; the position of women in society; religious and social prejudices.

The Latin language is undeniably a rigorous academic discipline, but teaching staff work hard to ensure that it is made accessible and interesting to all students. We employ a range of activities during lessons in order to cater for different learning styles and interests: drama; art; creative writing; ICT; student-led research projects and presentations; debating; prose composition; film making. Our examination results are excellent.

We also offer Classical Greek as an optional subject at GCSE and at A level. KEHS girls achieve excellent examination results in the classical subjects, and each year, girls go on to study classical subjects at top universities, including Oxbridge.

Trips and Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The Classics Department run regular trips and visits to enhance the girls’ appreciation and enjoyment of their studies. There are annual visits in the Lower School, including a visit from a Roman Soldier to school, and trips to Chedworth Roman Villa and Bath. The Fifth Form Latin groups visit Caerleon to complement their study of the ‘Roman Literature and Culture’ course as part of their GCSE. The girls studying Classical Greek enjoy seeing plays performed in the original language in Oxford and London. Residential overseas visits are also organised; we visited Italy in October with a large group. We regularly accompany girls from across the school to lectures and presentations organised at Birmingham University by the Birmingham and Midlands Classical Association.