Classics

Monmouth School for Girls Classics tripAt Monmouth School for Girls we believe classics opens the girls’ eyes to other worlds and that Latin and the classical world are accessible to all our pupils. Their imaginations run wild as they learn all the most exciting stories from Greek mythology and they are given access to the earliest, and arguably the best, literature in Europe. Learning Latin teaches students the fundamentals of many languages, including English. Classics encourages you to solve linguistic problems and increase your word power. It helps you to expand memory and powers of reasoning and enables you to consider issues still relevant today from a much longer perspective. Classics is the closest you can get to long-distance time travel. An extremely wide-ranging subject, it encompasses language, literature, art, archaeology, history, politics, philosophy, science and technology.

Years 7-9

For the first half of Year 7, all pupils follow a classical studies course specifically designed by classics teachers at the school.  The course explores the history and culture from the earliest European civilisation, the Minoans, to that of Classical Greece in the fifth century BC.  There is an annual competition based on Odysseus’ wanderings after the Trojan War.

As part of the course, pupils are given the opportunity to explore the neo-classical architecture of Monmouth. In February, Year 7 pupils embark on their study of Latin, using the Cambridge Latin Course, the first volume of which is set in ancient Pompeii.  Language teaching is accompanied by the study of the historical context and archaeology.  There is a useful website as well as electronic teaching and learning materials to support this course.

In Year 8 all pupils continue their study of Latin.  The focus of study remains on Pompeii, during the course of which they will learn about work and leisure in the ancient Roman world, as well as the eruption of Vesuvius and excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum.   They will learn to read Latin passages of greater complexity, using a variety of tenses.

The majority of pupils will continue to study Latin in Year 9.  Pupils in this year group are divided into groups working at varying paces to suit their needs. They will embark on the second volume of the Cambridge Latin Course, which is set in Roman Britain and Egypt.

A taster course in Classical Greek is offered to the top sets.

As part of their study of Roman Britain, Year 9 pupils visit the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, where they can see a wealth of Romano-British artefacts, including an impressive collection of mosaics. They also participate in a workshop recreating the lives of ancient people based on archaeological evidence.

GCSE

Latin GCSE (OCR J281) offers students the opportunity to study elements of the language and literature of the Roman world; it aims to provide a rigorous, academic course which is not only satisfying in itself but will also provide a sound foundation for further study.

Students will develop an appropriate level of competence in the Latin language and a sensitive and analytical approach to language in general. They will read and appreciate some of the literature of the first century BC and first century AD in the original and will learn how to evaluate, analyse and produce a personal response to the verse and prose set texts. They will also gain an insight into certain aspects of Roman civilisation and the continuing influence it has had on our own.

The classics department aims to foster an interest in all aspects of the classical world, beyond the curriculum, by means of external lectures and trips.

Assessment

The GCSE assessment will consist of four short written examinations at the end of the course which will test ability in translation work and knowledge of the set texts. The marks are weighted equally between language and literature.  The first translation paper will focus upon mythology and the second upon history.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment.  To find out more see:  www.ocr.org.uk

Classical Greek (OCR J291)

Classical Greek GCSE is also available and, depending upon numbers, it may be taught within the curriculum or as an extra-curricular subject.  Any pupil who wishes to follow this course needs to be coping well with Latin, be extremely industrious and willing to rise to the challenge.  It is a very rewarding course. To find out more see:  www.ocr.org.uk

The format of the examinations is exactly parallel to that of GCSE Latin.

A Level

The following classical subjects are available at A level. 

  • Latin (OCR H039, H439)
  • Classical Greek (OCR H040, H440)
  • Classical Civilisation (OCR (H041, H441)

Latin (OCR)

Year 12

  • Two modules are studied – Language and Literature (prose and verse)
  • They will all be examined in May/June in Year 12.
  • There is no coursework.
  • Texts are not allowed into the examinations.

 Language

Most of the work has been covered at GCSE.  Now there is a chance to see the constructions in a slightly more complex form.  There is a comprehensive vocabulary list which must be learned.

Year 13

  • Two more modules are studied – a mixture of Language and Literature (verse and prose).
  • Texts are not allowed into the examinations.
  • There is no coursework.
  • All examinations will be in June at the end Year 13

Classical Greek

The course is parallel to Latin as at GCSE.

Classical Civilisation (OCR)

You do not require any Greek or Latin.  You must enjoy reading and relish learning.  There is plenty of opportunity for discussion and personal response in this course.

Year 12

  • Two modules are studied – Greek Epic and Greek Tragedy
  • They will all be examined in May/June in Year 12.
  • Coursework is not available.
  • Texts are not allowed into the examinations.

 Greek Epic

Homer’s Odyssey will be read in full (in English). Certain books are chosen for context questions. The whole poem is needed for the essay questions. Homeric society is also studied.

Greek Tragedy

Tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides will be studied – four in total. 

Year 13

  • Two more modules are studied – Greek/Roman Epic and Greek Art/Architecture.
  • All examinations will be at the end of Year 13.

Greek/Roman Epic

Virgil’s Aeneid and part of Homer’s Iliad will be read.

Greek Art/Architecture

Athenian pottery, Greek sculpture, the construction of temples and the sites of Delphi, Olympia and the Acropolis will be studies studied.

For more details on Latin see: www.ocr.org.uk

For more on Classical Civilisation visit: www.ocr.org.uk

Co-Curricular

Activity

When?

Age group

Junior Classics Club

Thursday lunch time

Year 7 & 8

Greek Club

Tuesday lunch time

Any year

Classical Film Club Monday after school Year 9 up
Classics Society Evenings and after school Year 12 & 13

Junior Classics Club is open to pupils in years 7 & 8. Activities include stories, drama, art and crafts.

Greek Club is open to any pupil who wishes to try learning some Classical Greek in an informal context.