γνῶθι σεαυτόν - Know thyself.
Inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi
The study of Classics is central to the ethos of the school but the aims of the department go far beyond passing examinations and memorising grammar books. Inherent in the ethos of the Classics department, is a desire to encourage children to learn about themselves and become independent thinkers, who appreciate and uphold the values and importance of self-discipline and hard work.
Classical languages are rigid and abstract disciplines which reward the persistent and logical thinker and our aim is to promote the challenges and rewards of learning the languages, through an overtly grammatical approach.
Classics is started in Year 3, through mythology, proverbs, songs and storytelling and at the beginning of Year 5, pupils are introduced to the Latin language - the basis for classical culture and the root of Western civilisation. A non-linguistic course which serves as an introduction to the Graeco-Roman world is also studied throughout, where the structure is topical and incorporates a broad view of classical history and culture. The aim is to stimulate an informed interest in the ancient world, as a compliment to the learning of both Latin and Greek. Greek is introduced in Year 7.
The school runs many classical trips which begin in Year 3 and culminate in an 8-day trip to Italy, studying the classical art and architecture of Ancient Rome and the wonders of the Florentine Renaissance.
Chris De Souza, Head of Classics