Classics is the study of the cultures and languages of ancient Greece and Rome. At DHSB every boy in years 7 and 8 takes Classical Civilisation in which he investigates per se ancient Greek and Roman life from the Minoans and Mycenaeans, via Athens and Sparta to Boudicca’s revolt against Roman oppression. Boys also study introductory Latin for two terms
This is not just an ad hoc course however; he also develops essential literacy abilities by exploring the Latin language (perhaps ad nauseam) through the medium of English as well as ‘learning to learn’ (discemus discendo) skills which will underpin and enhance his chosen modern foreign language(s). From Year 9 boys can specialise in Classical Civilisation focusing on Greek and Roman Myth, Religion and warfare and/or Latin language and literature. Latin and Greek and Roman Ancient History are studied at A level. Classical Greek is available in a lunchtime club
One could argue that there is no practical reason for studying Classics, but this is just propaganda. True, you won’t come away with the practical ability to mix chemicals safely, design a boat, or understand the workings of the human body, but you will be able to analyse complex information and relate it to the modern world, ergo assessing the duplicities and strategies of political leaders and governments et cetera.
The Classical Civilisation GCSEs and GCEs include a range of original sources and themes – exempli gratia being art, architecture, literature, history, philosophy – which can all be used to develop understanding of today’s multicultural society. A GCSE/GCE in Latin demonstrates, ipso facto, intellectual tenacity (per ardua ad astra) and nuance (sic) as well as allowing you to show off your linguistic and analytical skills –essential for any curriculum vitae.