Key Stage 3
All students learn Latin, a very logical language, which is at the root of many western European languages and which shares roots with Sanskrit and Russian, for example. Students are encouraged to enjoy the problem-solving aspects of the subject, while at the same time learning about the values and daily life of the Romans. They are also encouraged to make links between Latin and other languages, both those taught in school and those which they may know from their home culture.
Key Stage 4
Students taking the OCR Latin course have the opportunity not only to develop further their language and problem-solving skills but also to read and study some Latin literature in the original language. In KS4 they may also study Classical Civilisation, a course in which they learn about the culture of the Greeks and Romans, through studying physical evidence of their societies and literature in translation. The third option offered by the department at KS4 is Classical Greek; like Latin, Classical Greek is a highly logical and beautifully-crafted language and the study of it gives access to very memorable and engaging literature.
Key stage 5
The study at A Level of any of the classical subjects complements all other subjects offered in the Sixth Form at HBS, as it gives many significant transferable skills, as well as being of great intrinsic value. Those who choose the classical languages acquire a thorough and rigorous knowledge and appreciation of Classical Greek and/ or Latin language, as well as having the chance to explore significant literary texts which have stood the test of time. The literature is discussed both in depth and with breadth, which enhances the students’ ability to weigh up arguments and also fosters an attitude of openness to and curiosity about the ideas of other cultures.
The A Level Classical Civilisation course is open to those who have studied a classical subject at GCSE and those who have not. We access Greek and Roman culture through a wide range of surviving material, both literary and material. The literature studied is at the root of much of western writing and explores many central human issues, while the art and architecture component involves study of some of the finest structures from the classical world, for example the Parthenon. As well as the intrinsic interest and value of the content, the skills of appreciating the nuances of a text and of drawing conclusions from data complement well all the other subjects offered here at HBS.