Classics is the study of Latin, Greek and the ancient world and the study of all three is available to girls at Leweston. All girls at Leweston study Latin in Year 7, exploring the culture, literature and history of the ancient world. Academically challenging and therefore respected as qualifications, study of the classical world opens up a comprehensive range of disciplines to train the mind. On a practical level studying Latin and Greek gives pupils a clearer understanding of the grammar of English and other modern languages and enriches their own vocabulary, whilst a broader study of the classical world enables students to deepen their understanding of society, politics and culture in both the ancient and modern day. We also offer opportunities to explore Classics beyond the classroom, with a weekly Classics Club open to girls in years 7-9, annual Leweston Classics lectures delivered by visiting academics and a termly Classics Symposium for girls in years 10 and above, inviting students from both Leweston and local schools to speak to their peers on a topic of their choice.

Trips and Visits

At Leweston, Classics is valued as a fundamental subject and has consistently delivered very good results. The Classics Department not only provides a rich experience of the ancient world outside the classroom but also maintains the highest academic standards within it. Following the Cambridge Latin Course, we have visited the Roman Palace at Fishbourne (Chichester) and the baths at Aquae Sulis (Bath), and most recently have explored the art of glassmaking at Dartington Crystal in Devon and Stuart Wiltshire Glassmaking in Weymouth in line with the girls’ study of Alexandria and its role as a major trade destination.

At A level, we regularly attend lectures in London led by a range of scholars in the field, focussing in particular on the set texts studied at both Latin and Classical Civilisation A Level.

Travelling further afield, trips have been made to Pompeii, taking in the atmosphere of the ancient town and the archaeological sites on the Bay of Naples, and Rome with its wealth of sites of Classical interest. In the summer months, there is the opportunity for girls to be part of an archaeological dig in Silchester.

Years 7 - 9

All girls in Year 7 study Latin following the lives of Caecilius, Metella and Quintus in the Cambridge Latin Course. Girls are introduced systematically to Latin grammar and vocabulary as they explore the world of Pompeii in the weeks before the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

In Years 8 and 9 girls are able to study either Latin or Classical Civilisation, which may be offered in particular to those girls who are having difficulties with language work. In Classical Civilisation, the worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome are studied, with a special focus on mythology, the epic poems of Homer and Virgil, and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

In Latin, girls continue to follow the Cambridge Latin Course, working through Book 2, set in Britannia and Alexandria and Book 3, following the comical adventures of Roman soldiers Modestus and Strythio. Study of the language and acquisition of vocabulary are continued whilst also exploring the contextual background for the stories, giving an insight into the founding civilisation of the world.

Any girl entering the School in the course of Year 8 or 9 who has not learnt Latin previously may be assigned to the Classical Civilisation group unless she and her parents express a wish for her to take up Latin.

Latin GCSE

GCSE Latin is available to girls in Year 10 and benefits from the foundations of the language that have already been laid by the time the pupils reach this stage. In the final two years to GCSE, all parts of speech are studied and practised through translation and comprehension work, in addition to the exciting prospect of actually reading selections from Latin prose writers and poets in the original. All Leweston candidates in Latin are entered for the higher of the two available tiers for OCR GCSE Latin and the Classics Department is rightly proud of its outstanding results in recent years, achieving 100% A*-A in the 2012-2015 examination sessions.

Why should you do Latin? It helps with other languages, is very respected by universities and is a facilitating subject, with less facts to learn than you would think!

Maddie, Philly and Grace

Classics @ A Level

A Level Latin and Classical Civilisation are both available to girls in the Sixth Form and provide a fascinating insight into the ancient world. Both A levels provide an excellent foundation for further study at University, and, being facilitating subjects, work particularly well alongside both Humanities and Sciences at A Level. A study of Classics has always been regarded as excellent proof of intellectual achievement; distinguished classicist Boris Johnson is often quoted proclaiming “Learn Latin, Live Longer!” Classicists are to be found in banking and commerce, the Civil Service and local government, the law, politics, arts and the media.

At A Level, learning is taken beyond the classroom. Students regularly attend lecture days held by leading professors of Latin Literature in London, whilst the Classics Department also collaborates with the Sherborne schools, attending and hosting lecture events delivered by visiting academics. These events provide girls with experiences similar to that of being in University lectures, giving a taste of what lies ahead in the coming years and is also a fantastic opportunity to meet other Classics students and discuss the subject with them, an experience not to be underestimated in its value.

Latin A Level

Latin A level is an intellectually stimulating and invigorating subject. Developing the solid foundation built at GCSE, A Level Latin is an academically rigorous choice and highly respected by universities and employers alike. Attention to detail, accuracy and an appreciation of society and its history are a few of the benefits to be had from a study of Latin at A Level. At Leweston we offer the OCR A Level Latin course.

Latin at A Level explores a range of prose and verse literary texts, developing an understanding of the context and a discussion of the literary features, as well as an increasingly sound grasp of the workings of the language. The opportunity to read classical authors in greater depth at A Level is captivating; the works of Cicero and Ovid for example provide a thoughtful insight into the world of politics and love, drawing surprisingly common parallels with the modern world.

I have found Latin at A Level to be challenging but rewarding. It has given me the chance to study texts that were among the first novels in their original form and thus to understand the impact they have had on today’s culture! I would recommend this course to anyone studying English, History or a language – or even simply interested in the language of the Romans for its own sake.

Hebe, A Level student (Christ Church, Oxford 2012)

Classical Civilisation

An interest in literature and art is key for an enjoyment of Classical Civilisation at A Level, as we study sculpture, art, poetry and mythology. Modules range from Women in Athens and Rome, to Roman Architecture and Homer and Virgil’s epic poems. Girls will develop an analytical approach to classical sources, critically evaluating them and in doing so establishing a firm understanding of the Classical era. The modules available allow the girls to broaden and deepen their understanding of Classical civilizations, whilst forming their own personal responses to the Classical era.

Useful Links:

The Cambridge Latin Course:^top^home

Vocabulary Testers
Cambridge Latin Course:
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