Classics is the study of all aspects of the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome. The foundation of Classics is a knowledge and appreciation of Latin and Ancient Greek. It also includes the study of the history, literature and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome through classical works in translation. It is always based upon a knowledge of the primary sources, in particular the literature, whether in the original or in translation.
Classics has long been the core and foundation for all humanities and liberal arts subjects taught within the British, European and American school and university curriculum. Classics is the basis for virtually all subsequent developments in the cultural and intellectual history of our civilization, and there is no academic or life pursuit which a knowledge of the Classics does not enrich.
Remove and Lower IVth Form (Year 7 & 8)
The basic goal of teaching and learning in these years when Latin is compulsory for all students at Queen’s Gate is to teach the girls the fundamentals of grammar, some basic Latin vocabulary, and some sense of how English words are derived from Latin. We aim to introduce students to the history, culture and mythology of ancient Rome and Greece during these years, by looking at the myth of Troy and Aeneas’ travels thereafter.
IVth Form (Year 9)
Students of Latin move on to more challenging linguistic material at this time, and the basic goal for this year is to lay solid linguistic foundations for further study at GCSE level. We also aim to introduce the more able and interested girls to the study of Ancient Greek, which normally begins during this year. This year, girls studying Latin also begin to they expand their study of modern languages. We aim to demonstrate the distinctive character of Latin and Ancient Greek as well as to help the girls use their Latin grammar and vocabulary to assist them in learning modern languages. Students of Classical Civilisation pursue a broad course of study, which surveys many of the more interesting and significant aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture and civilisation, such as the tragedy of Oedipus and daily lives of Romans. The bespoke course is tailor made to give students the opportunity to explore a variety of topics from the Classical world, which they might then pursue further at GCSE level.
GCSE (Year 10-11)
Students learn best where they take a personal and active interest in their own learning. To this end, we encourage students to take a greater responsibility for their own learning by actively participating in discussion and recitation lessons and by reading and pursuing their interest in classics outside the classroom. The Classics Society, established academic year 2004-5, has proven very popular with girls in the Vth form beginning to study Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Latin and Ancient Greek at GCSE. Using the Society to foster the students’ interests in ancient drama, art and culture is important for enhancing the girls learning. Girls are able to study Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History at GCSE level, and they find it a huge benefit when they study more than one classical subject. This breadth of subject choice means everyone can pursue their unique interests fully.
A Level (Year 12-13)
Girls are able to study Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History at A level. We offer the widest range of Classical subjects available, all under the OCR examination board. Students are also able to take up Classical Civilisation and Ancient History even if they have not studied it at GCSE level, and often thrive at it. Classes are based on discussion and evaluation of ancient texts and sources, where students have prepared work in advance of the lesson and are urged to develop their own personal interpretations. We regularly have girls deciding to study a Classical subject further at University level.