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Classics

The Classics Department is one of the largest in the region, comprising five teachers and offering Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation within the official school curriculum all the way up to A level. There is a steady flow of classicists applying for places at the best universities in the country and we normally have at least one successful Oxbridge applicant per year.

The department benefits from a wide range of resources – textbooks, library books, past and practice examination material, over 100 DVDs and various ICT resources, including abundant web material and a lot of custom-built software such as the software marketed by JProgs. Staff readily share resources they produce and there is a systematised bank on our network of home-made resources.

Head of Department - Mr D Stephenson

Course Specification

Year 7 upwards

Latin is taught from Year 7 (Lower Fourth) upwards and is an optional subject from Year 9 (Lower Fifth).
From Year 10 (Middle Fifth) Greek and Classical Civilisation are subjects available to be studied as GCSE option choices and as A Level choices too.

GCSE 

OCR is the current specification for all disciplines with the exception of GCSE Latin where we are now using the new WJEC (Eduqas) syllabus.

Classical Civilisation would suit anyone who is interested in any aspects of the Roman and Greek world and would like to learn more about the relevance of the Romans and Greeks to our own lives. Classical Civilisation will complement English, Theatre Studies, History or Philosophy, but provides a worthy challenge to broaden one’s horizons, whatever other GCSE subjects are chosen.

Greek and Latin both provide a marvellous insight into how other languages work and the foundations of European culture. Not only does it benefit linguists with keen analytical minds but it can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the classical world. Only by reading it in the original can one truly appreciate the simple beauty of Greek and Roman literature.

A Level 

OCR is the current specification for all disciplines.

Classical Civilisation
Component 1 (40%) - The World of the Hero (Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey, as well as Vergil’s Aeneid). You will develop a sophisticated level of knowledge of the epics, the way in which they were composed, and the religious, cultural and social values and beliefs of their societies.
Component 2 (30%) - Greek Theatre; drama produced in the Greek theatre forms some of the most powerful literature on the ancient world, and has had a profound and wide-reaching influence on modern culture. To fully understand this cultural phenomenon requires study of not only the plays but the context in which their form and production developed.
Component 3 (30%) - The Late Roman Republic (79-43BC): this was the period of upheaval and conflicting views on how the Roman state should function. In this component you will study the political thought of the period from Sulla’s retirement in 79 BC to the death of Cicero in 43 BC.

Greek
Unit 1 - unseen translation: of a prose and verse author
Unit 2 - prose composition; translation of an English passage (of approximately 100 words)
Unit 3 - prose literature; study of the work of one great author (or possibly two, each of half the length)
Unit 4 - verse literature; as prose literature. Usual choices include the great epic poet Homer, tragedians such as Sophocles and Euripides and the comic playwright Aristophanes

Latin
Unit 1 - unseen translation: of a prose and verse author
Unit 2 - prose composition; translation of an English passage (of approximately 100 words)
Unit 3 - prose literature; study of the work of one great author (or possibly two, each of half the length)
Unit 4 - verse literature; as prose literature. Usual choices include the great epic poet Vergil and various Roman love poets

Classics in detail

The Classical Society (including Day Trips, Classical Plays, Residential Trips, Events at School)

The Classical Society

What we do outside the classroom is also very important and the department has an extensive annual programme to involve boys in a lot of enrichment activities to widen and stimulate interest.

For example:

Year 7 (Lower Fourth): Wales to study the Roman barracks, bath-house and amphitheatre at Caerleon and civilian settlement at Caerwent.
Year 9 (Lower Fifth): Baths and Temples of Aquae Sulis (in Bath) and the Corinium Museum in Cirencester (all boys studying Latin)
Year 10 (Middle Fifth): British Museum to study the artefacts in the Roman and Greek Life Room, the Elgin Marbles and any relevant exhibitions showing (all boys studying a classical subject).

Classical Plays at Warwick School

There is a keen interest in drama within the Classics department, and most years there will be a collaborative production of a Roman or Greek play to include both Warwick and King's High pupils. Recent productions have included Oedipus, Ajax and Antigone.

Residential Trips

Year 7 and Year 8 (Lower Fourth and Upper Fourth): Hadrian's Wall to visit various Roman forts, temples, baths and towns. The boys can also visit various museums as well as walking along stretches of it themselves to really get a feel of what it must have been like to be a Roman soldier patrolling up there.

Trip Abroad: Warwick School usually organises an annual trip abroad which is open to any boy studying a classical subject.

Events at School

Year 8 (Upper Fourth): Classics "Taster Day" is for boys to learn more about the study of Classical Civilisation (which becomes an option in the Lower Fifth). The day involves a talk, the finals of the Classical PowerPoint Competition, a classical drama workshop and re-enactors of Roman and Greek military and domestic life (whole year group).

Year 9 (Lower Fifth) Latin: a talk on the Roman Baths and Temples at Aquae Sulis by Mr. Stephen Bird (head of heritage services in Bath).

GCSE Latin: a talk on at least one of the prescribed texts being studied for the exams.

Evening Theatre Trips

Classical productions that have been attended previously:

The Furies 
in the Oxford Playhouse  

Orpheus 
at the North Wall Theatre, Oxford

Antigone 
in the Watford Palace Theatre 

Thesmophoriazousai 
at the Warwick Arts Centre

Sophocles’ 
Electra at the Old Vic in London