Classical Civilisation, Latin & Classical Greek
Around 60% of English words have Latin or Greek in their etymological roots. At St Gabriel’s we follow the Cambridge Latin Course and Greek to GCSE which allows our students to develop their knowledge of the languages alongside the history and culture of the Greek and Roman world, whilst also enriching their grasp of English and other modern languages.
Latin is taught as a logical yet dynamic and engaging subject, involving the inductive learning of linguistic forms and an appreciation of Roman culture. The language is brought to life for the girls through a variety of teaching and learning strategies which include kinaesthetic, visual and auditory activities as well as creative projects. Through studying classical civilisation girls develop creative and higher-order thinking skills as they encounter the myths, legends and cultures of the ancient world. Greek is taught from ab initio in Year 10 and provides an excellent means of intellectual challenge for those who enjoy such challenges.
The Classics Department has a wide range of resources that include a comprehensive library which pupils are welcome to browse through and borrow from, physical artefacts and, for those taking examinations, past papers. The Department has two main teaching areas: one room in main school, and one room in the 6th form house.
Year 7-9 Latin and Classics
In Year 7, as well as studying basic accidence and syntax, students cover topics including gladiatorial combat, the Roman theatre, religious customs, and the city of Pompeii.
In Year 8 they go on to look at Roman Britain and the Celts, Egypt as a Roman province, and the spread of the Roman Empire. During this time, they will progress to translations of longer passages and more complex grammar.
In Year 9 girls will either continue studying Latin or move to a non-linguistic course which focuses on a mixture of Greek mythology, tragedy, comedy, and the ubiquitous Olympic Games.
Challenge & Extension: Pupils also have the opportunity to attend Greek Club in Year 9. We provide a variety of trips, both abroad and within the UK, such as to Corinium, Bath, Fishbourne, Parc Asterix, the British Museum and the Ashmolean. The classical community within the school is strong as we hold events such as film nights and external speakers which are open to all years.
Years 10-11 Classical Civilisation GCSE
The study of Classical Civilisation at St Gabriel’s is centred around allowing students to interact personally with the ancient world and give them unforgettable experiences that put them in the shoes (or sandals) of their Greek and Roman ancestors. Pupils are encouraged to engage critically and emotionally with the cultures that we study through discussion, argument, and access to primary sources from the time. They will have the opportunity to participate in a sacrifice, experience education the Roman way (with wax tablets) and enjoy a symposium with an authentic game or two of kottabos. The new GCSE course covers topics such as myths and gods, epic poetry, and the heroes of the Greek world. To supplement their understanding we provide trips to sites of archaeological interest like Sicily and Greece, as well as museums and plays, which allows pupils to place their knowledge within a real-life context.
Classical Civilisation offers challenge but is also accessible to all since everybody recognises something of themselves in the ancient world. Study of the ancient world provides an interesting and deeply relevant lens through which girls may make observations about the world and society in which they live today. This subject also enables girls to develop many essential skills: literacy, self-expression, artistic ability, reasoning and debating.
Challenge & Extension: There are many opportunities within the course; individual research projects and challenging essay titles enable girls to delve deeply into the vast array of subject material and to develop higher-order thinking skills. There is also the opportunity to get really “up close and personal” with the ancient world through a variety of extra-curricular visits, both in the UK and abroad.
Years 10-11 Classical Greek GCSE
Girls with tenacity and dedication to language learning have the opportunity to study Classical Greek. This intensive course really stretches the most able yet is accessible for any ambitious and motivated student. Girls are introduced to the vocabulary and grammar of ancient Greece and also have the unrivalled and worthwhile opportunity to study the texts of the great authors of the Western tradition, such as Homer and Herodotus, in their original form. The course covers an extensive range of historical accounts, myths and legends which fuel the imagination and encourage the development of an inquiring and intelligent mind.
Challenge & Extension: Classical Greek is difficult and the course, by its very nature, provides ideal challenge for our most able students.
Years 10-11 Latin GCSE
The aim of Latin at St Gabriel’s is to develop the student’s understanding of linguistics and to allow them to access the preeminent literature of Roman writers in its original beauty and form. Pupils will study a variety of authors in both prose and poetry, as well as learning about the fascinating society that surrounded them. Building on their experiences of Latin from Years 7-9, they will continue to develop their knowledge of grammar and syntax through a mixture of unseen translation, collaborative class activities, and assessed work. To supplement their understanding, we provide trips to sites of archaeological interest like Sicily and Greece, as well as museums and plays, which allows pupils to place their knowledge within a real-life context.
Latin is brought to life for the girls through innovative and stimulating teaching strategies, as well as creative projects.
Challenge & Extension: Girls are always encouraged to challenge themselves in a variety of ways: English into Latin composition is offered as an extension activity and girls are given the tools they need to stretch their grammatical knowledge and understanding.