Experience the difference



"Few subjects offer the same opportunities for acquiring advanced skills in languages, analytical thinking, essay-writing, visual analytics, critical sensitivity, spotting a biased source at a hundred paces, and so on."    Cambridge University website

In the Classics department we allow pupils the chance to learn for themselves why Classics has been set at the core of a quality education for a thousand years. The founders of so many aspects of modern culture and civilisation chose to model their principles on those formulated in our classical past. Our law, our politics, our moral codes, our principles of good and evil, our methods of inquiry, all are deliberately based upon the achievements of the great men and women who lived in and dominated the Mediterranean world roughly two thousand years ago. Study of Classics cannot fail to give any student a deeper understanding of the aspects of the modern world with which he or she is most concerned. The opportunity to open up this broad and exciting avenue of study, which fewer and fewer school students now have, is something that we take extremely seriously. At the Academy we are strongly committed to reaching out to every child, whether their interests and aptitudes lie most strongly with language or with cultural, historical or artistic studies.

Students will have the chance to study the major Classical Writers, some of the greatest minds of all time. For example,

  • Experiencing the work of the greatest epic storytellers of all time, Homer and Virgil, will allow students to deepen their understanding of literature and narrative itself. They will learn about the construction of imagery and see the origins of the literary techniques found to be so effective that they continue to be used by writers in the modern day.
  • The greatest advocate of the ancient world, Cicero, looms very large in our Latin courses. His mastery of persuasive language in his political and legal speeches has rarely been matched even now, and his use of prose was so widely admired that it became the basis of English grammar.
  • Students interested in drama will find the study of the Greek and Roman dramatists extremely valuable. They will have a chance to read the writers whom Shakespeare himself looked to as masters.

The study of Classical History (ca.1000BC-500AD) is also very prominent in Classics. Our students have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the society and politics of an extremely advanced civilisation and learn, for example,

  • how Rome discovered the art of globalisation to hold together a multinational empire of more than a quarter of the population of the earth through peaceful means;
  • how Roman engineers could supply more fresh water to the city of Rome 2000 years ago than is supplied to Manhattan today;
  • or that the notions of racial and religious intolerance were unfamiliar to classical thinking and are, in many respects, modern concepts.

Students are also introduced to the principles of Archaeology and the use of various types of sources in the investigation of the past.





S3 and S4 Classics pupils in Rome, March 2013


















A joint production with the Drama department in 2013