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. There is cross curricular synergy between our teaching and the teaching of English and Modern Languages on issues of grammar and vocabulary. We also aim to introduce students to the history, culture and mythology of ancient Rome and Greece during these years. There are also important areas of overlap between Classics and Religious Studies, Art and History.
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. The cross curricular links are numerous and important, with those between Classics and Drama/Theatre Studies proving especially significant at this point. We also stimulate the girls’ interest in classical culture through visits to the museums and theatres.
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 actively participate in the selection of the components they study at GCSE. We also 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.
A Level (Year 12-13)
Success at A Level in Classical Civilisation and Ancient History is directly proportionate to student participation in active discussion of the material study. We conduct these courses on a discussion basis, which places the premium on the students’ preparation for class and active participation in discussion during class. Written assignments flow out of this core of the course. Success at A Level in Latin and Greek requires the students’ regular recitation, i.e. they must prepare and discuss set texts and face unseen translations and comprehensions on a regular and weekly basis.