Our principal aim is to fire pupils’ excitement and imagination through contact with the many great and moving elements of Classical culture. Pupils are introduced to the significant realms of human experience and achievement: Greek and Roman language, literature (in its many forms), history, art and architecture, philosophy, religion, politics, law and science and technology. The subject encourages pupils to develop powers of close observation and analysis. Additionally, it instils a tolerant and sympathetic but objectively critical understanding of foreign morals, values and ethics as exemplified by Greek and Roman societies. In exploiting the perceived differences of cultures, pupils are able to reflect critically on their own modern environment.
Biennially the Department takes a party of Sixth Formers alternately to Greece and Italy during the Easter holiday. The trip to Greece lasts six days and takes in Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Tiryns, Epidauros, Mycenae and Corinth. The trip to Italy incorporates three nights in Rome and three nights based in Sorrento.
In the Foundation Year (Year 9) Latin and Greek are optional subjects. Pupils who have studied the classical languages at their previous school are normally advised to continue with Latin and some pupils take it up as a new subject. Pupils who study Latin or Greek in the FY are able to continue those subjects to GCSE. In the Sixth Form, Latin and Greek are both offered at A level and within the International Baccalaureate. A level Classical Civilisation, which explores Homer's 'Odyssey', Greek Tragedy, Greek Art and Architecture and Greek and Roman Comedy, is also a popular option for Sixth Formers.
The Classical Society meets three or four times per term in the Autumn and Lent terms to enable pupils to take part in a range of activities which will enhance their Classical educational experience. There are regular trips to the theatre, visits to museums and archaeological sites and pupils also attend lectures given by distinguished academics on Classical topics.