Using the ancient world to understand the present.
Classical subjects have a key role to play in a contemporary curriculum; as well as the intrinsic interest of studying the people of Greece and Rome and their achievements, the acquisition of languages like Latin and Greek develops an unparalleled range of transferable and complex skills. In short, Classics teaches you to think.
Latin and Greek are really fun. I love the variety – language and literature, history and culture, problem-solving and creativity.
Hethvi Gada, Year 11 student 2015
Sevenoaks School has a flourishing Classics department, one of the largest in the country. We run courses in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation throughout the school from Year 7 to the IB Diploma and university entrance.
As a department we believe that the education of everyone is enriched by the study of the language, literature and culture of the Classical world. From the study of Latin or Greek, a student develops a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally, and gains access to the literature and thought of ancient civilisations which have had a profound influence on the history, philosophy, politics, drama and artistic achievements of Europe and beyond.
All pupils entering the school aged 11 study Latin; we offer a lively introduction to the Roman world and the Latin language. In Year 9 new students either join one of our experienced Latin groups, or, if they have not had the opportunity to study the subject before, join an ab initio class. Greek is started in Year 9 by those students who have shown aptitude and enthusiasm for Classical languages.
In Years 10 and 11 we offer options in Latin and Greek, and also in Classical Civilisation, a non-linguistic course which aims to give students a broad understanding of the literature and history of the Greek and Roman worlds.
In the Sixth Form we offer Latin, Greek and Greek & Roman Studies within the IB. Students study a range of ancient texts and seek to establish links with modern literature and thought. In addition to two examined papers (language and literature), Latin and Greek students also complete a 'research dossier' – a collection of primary sources on a topic chosen by the candidate. No knowledge of Latin or Greek is required for the Greek & Roman Studies course, which sits within the Humanities group of the IB Diploma.
The department runs a number of co-curricular trips, including a Year 10 visit to Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, an IB trip to Rome, and occasionally a visit to Greece. We also run a Year 7 field trip to Fishbourne Roman Palace, plus a range of other trips to lectures, university study days and theatrical productions.