A Leys Education is one which is built firmly on three main foundations; Academic, Pastoral and Wider Curriculum.More information
The Classics Department, based in the Clapham Building, includes Latin, Classical Greek, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation options.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 study Latin for two periods a week. They follow the Suburani Latin course and are introduced to the cultural and historical background of ancient Rome under the emperor Nero, Roman Britain and Roman France. For many, Latin lessons are their first introduction to the teaching of formal grammar.
Pupils entering Year 9 opt for Greek and Latin combined, Latin or Classical Civilisation. The aim of the combined Greek and Latin and Latin courses is to enable all pupils, regardless of their previous learning, to carry on to GCSE if they wish. The aim of the Classical Civilisation course is to give pupils a flavour of the ancient world by studying everything from the myths of the Minotaur from ancient Crete, learning the story of the Trojan War, to independent research projects at the end of the year on such major figures as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra.
Latin and Classical Greek at GCSE are linguistically demanding but within reach of all Leys candidates. The opportunity to study set texts in the original languages is unique and provides a considerable boost to the pupils’ analytical skills. There is a continued stress on linguistic rigour and it is necessary to think about English words derived from Latin and Greek roots in order to succeed fully in the examinations. Studying Latin makes learning the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) far easier.
This subject makes the classical world accessible to all, since no knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages is required. The GCSE offers pupils the chance to expand their knowledge of the ancient world beyond the usual scope of Greece and Italy (although Athens and Rome are both still studied) through modules on the Persian kings of the 6th and 5th centuries BC and Egypt under Cleopatra. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, as pupils develop their evaluative and analytical skills through studying documentary, literary and material culture sources.
Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation are all studied as separate subjects at A Level. They test similar skills as GCSE, but in greater depth and complexity.
A range of authors in both Latin and Greek introduce the pupils to the finest literature. In Classical Civilisation, acute critical skills are honed by topics such as Greek Art, Love and Relationships or Politics of the Late Republic, while the Iliad and Aeneid paper engages by means of profound stories and challenging encounters with the values of societies very different, but at times similar, to our own.
Recent activities outside the classroom have included a trip to Rome, to the Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology and to the theatre to see Greek tragedies performed.
Those who study, or have studied, classical subjects are valued in Higher Education and by employers because they demonstrate a diverse skills set. Latin and Classical Greek in particular are evidence of considerable linguistic ability, and all three subjects are facilitating subjects requiring the ability to reflect on evidence and write about it convincingly.