Classics is a broad and stimulating subject area, bringing together the languages, literature, drama, art, architecture, history, politics, and people of the ancient world under one umbrella. It is unique in its sheer variety of potential content and the vibrant interdisciplinary culture it encourages, and has something to offer every girl at Queen Anne’s.
The study of Latin has long been recognised as an essential component of a rigorous education. It instils in its students an awareness of language which improves their critical reading and writing in English, as well as aiding and complementing their acquisition of other modern foreign languages. Latin demands methodical learning as well as logical and considered thinking; in many ways it is a sort of verbal mathematics, which challenges its students to solve complex linguistic problems.
Exposure to Latin texts allows students to engage with some true literary masterpieces, perhaps examples of the finest prose and poetry ever written. It also encourages an engagement with Roman civilisation, which functions not only as an ‘other’ against which it is possible to better understand ourselves, but in many ways as an ancestral civilisation, as a central influence on the modern western world.
At Queen Anne’s, every girl is expected to study Latin for at least two years. A somewhat gentle introduction in L4 is bolstered by a fast-paced 4s programme.
In U4 the cohort is split into two strands and approximately half of girls continue to follow a demanding Latin programme to the end of the year whilst the other half follow a Classical Civilisation programme. For girls who prove themselves able, Latin is a popular option in the Fifth Form and, following a GCSE in the subject, girls can pursue Latin to A Level at Queen Anne’s.
Knowledge of the history and literature of classical Greece and Rome offers its students a fascinating window into the beginnings of civilisation as we know it, and a chance to reflect critically on the modern world.
Students of Classical Civilisation have the opportunity to explore some of the finest works of art and literature ever produced, to enjoy passion-fuelled mythological tales and heroic legends, and to evaluate the values, failures and successes of a period filled to the brim with drama and intrigue.
Classical Civilisation fosters in its students an appreciation for alternative belief and value systems, firm analytical skills, and the confidence to communicate personal responses to a broad range of stimuli, all vital products of a solid education.
Girls at Queen Anne’s are first introduced to the classical world in L4 where they will undertake a course of Ancient World Studies. This covers an introduction to ancient Greece and Rome, along with a gentle introduction to basic Latin language. In the 4s, civilisation work continues as part of the Latin programme. In U4 half the year group follow a programme of Classical Civilisation encompassing more detailed work on Greek and Roman myth and daily life and there is a full year group visit to Fishbourne Roman Palace. Classical Civilisation is a popular optional GCSE subject and girls can also pick up A Level Classical Civilisation in the Sixth Form.