Classical Languages

Latin and Classical Greek

Classics is a unique and engaging subject which includes the study of Latin and Classical Greek. Through these languages, which gave rise to modern languages such as French, Spanish and Italian, we are able to explore societies which have shaped the world in which we live today.

Literature, History, Science, Law, Art, Architecture and Philosophy are just some of the subjects which could not have existed without the foundations provided by the Classical World.

In Years 8-9 all girls are introduced to Latin. We follow the Cambridge Latin Course and combine firm grounding in the language with discovering about the ancient world through topics such as daily life, entertainment, politics and history.

In Years 10-11, the girls can opt to continue Latin for GCSE and even pick up Classical Greek. Each year, the numbers choosing the GCSE course are strong with around a third of the year opting for either Latin or Greek or both.  Both subjects can be continued right up to A Level  and every year we have girls who apply for a classical subject at university.

In addition to lessons, there is a wide selection of extra-curricular options. The most popular of these is the trip to Rome and Pompeii offered to Years 9 and 10. There is also a senior trip for Years 10-13 every other year to places such as Greece and Sicily.  Throughout the year girls watch classical plays, listen to visiting speakers and attend extension classes and classics clubs (such as Myths and Legends Club). Years 11-13 even get the opportunity to teach a primary school Latin Course called Minimus which they deliver to the NHEHS  Junior School and North Ealing Primary.

By encompassing many different disciplines, the study of Latin and Classical Greek  at all levels, is able to provide students with a range of valuable skills:

  • a capability to analyse the form and meaning of language;
  •  a critical understanding of literature and culture;
  • an ability to observe the similarities and differences between past and present;

Most importantly, studying Latin and Classical Greek stimulates excitement and imagination through contact with the great and moving elements of classical culture.

nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum cum superiorum aetate contexitur?

Cicero

‘To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is a person’s lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?’