The Classics Department is responsible for teaching both Latin and Classical Civilisation, encompassing not only the language but also cultural, historical and mythological elements of the ancient world. The breadth of this study offers boys an insight not only into ancient cultures but also into their own own; it also heightens their linguistic and literary awareness, making them better students of modern languages, English and History.

Boys begin their study of Latin in Year 5. They learn why we still study Latin and its applications in the modern world, as well as its influence on many European languages. Boys gain a firm grounding in grammatical terminology and a solid basis of vocabulary and grammar on which to build. There is half an hour a week of homework, consisting largely of vocabulary learning, basic grammar terminology as well as mythology, and an exam in the summer term.

common entrance latin preparation

Preparation for the Common Entrance (CE) starts in Year 6 and continues through to Year 8. Boys study Latin for two hours a week and receive 30-45 minutes of homework, again consisting largely of vocabulary learning. Written exercises will also be set to assess the boys’ knowledge on grammar, translation, reading comprehension of Latin texts as well as mythology.

The boys are formally assessed throughout the year using CE past papers, and are continually tested on the prescribed vocabulary, grammar and mythology. As the Common Entrance exam provides for different levels of ability within the subject, each pupil will be entered at an appropriate level according to his ability and progression.

The main text used in all year groups is ISEB Latin Practice Exercises, which provides the rigorous level of grammar required for CE and Scholarship standard. Additional resources such as online games and interactive learning tools form an important part of lessons for all year groups.

Greek Mythology forms an important element of the non-linguistic aspect of the syllabus.

Thomas Vogiatzis
Head of Classics

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