“Classics” covers three school subjects – Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation – although they have considerable overlap. It involves studying the ancient Greeks and Romans: who they were, what they said and did, the language they used, how they lived and died, and how they have subsequently influenced the culture and history of Europe.
New Hall School believes that Classics has an important part to play in the education of all boys and girls because it provides them with opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and insight in three main areas: language, literature and cultural background. We aim to provide excellent training in logical and analytical thought and create clear communicators. Furthermore, Classics connects students to their historical, social and literary heritage, fostering a deeper understanding of our own culture and society. In our modern world, which prizes critical acumen, clarity, and precision in speech and writing, we aim to nurture intellectually curious minds and a life-long love of learning. The ancient Greeks were the first in the West to study history, philosophy and mathematics, writing some of the greatest texts in human history: the epics of Homer, the dialogues of Plato, the tragedies of Sophocles, the historical essays of Herodotus and the New Testament. Moreover, we can learn life lessons on leadership and power from the lives of great men and women such as Caesar, Cleopatra, Constantine, Alexander and Hannibal.
We believe that Classics can help to provide a strong foundation for a broad and modern education – relevant, challenging and inspiring:
‘It is simply unconscionable that our children should not be given the opportunity to take their pick from this unmatchable linguistic, literary, historical, artistic, cross-cultural, intellectual feast.’
(Dr Peter Jones MBE)
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)
Students study Latin for three periods a week throughout Key Stage 3. The study of Latin increases students’ knowledge of grammar in English and enriches their English vocabulary by making them aware of the origin and meaning of words. Additionally, it provides a gateway to the learning of languages such as French and Spanish, and gives students an insight into the way languages change over time. Furthermore, students thoroughly enjoy learning about the historical and cultural background of Pompeii, Roman Britain and Roman Egypt. By introducing students to one of the two main influences on our culture (the other being the Judaeo-Christian tradition, studied particularly in Theology lessons) makes them aware of the debts we owe to the Greeks and Romans, ranging from the philosophical and linguistic to the technical and scientific.
A well-attended and popular Ancient Greek club runs once a week after school for Year 9 students.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Latin (9-1) – J282 (OCR) and Classical Greek (9-1) – J292 (OCR)
Latin and Classical Greek are both attractive options at GCSE. Students are introduced to literature which has influenced the culture and writing of Europe and hence the rest of the world. We discuss issues raised by the literature, some of which are of universal importance, such as life, death, love, war and politics. In addition, we examine and discuss the moral, religious, philosophical and artistic outlook of the works studied and compare these with later views. The study of Classical languages is an invaluable support to other subjects such as English, modern languages, Theology and STEM.
Key Stage 5 (A Level)
Latin – H443 (OCR) and Classical Greek – H444 (OCR)
Classical subjects are comparatively rare and therefore distinctive and prized on UCAS applications and by employers. The skills examined are the same as at GCSE, but students extend the depth of their knowledge and understanding and the range of literature studied. The courses aim to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious and to develop critical, logical and analytical skills, which will enable them to go on to higher education to study a wide range of courses, including Classics, Theology, Law and STEM subjects.
In addition to the Year 9 Ancient Greek club, the Classical Department run a Classics Society. There are trips to places of classical interest, subject clinics, visiting speakers and theatre and lecture visits. We also have a department lending library suitable for all year groups to extend the depth and breadth of our students’ knowledge.
We visited Greece in 2018 and Italy in 2019.
Head of Classics: Mr P. Goulding [email protected]