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    Classics

    Studying Classics is not about burying your head in the past. Time and time again, Classics gives you new insight into the present – from politics to poetry.

    Mary Beard

    Department Overview

    A discovery of the ancient world through the study of language, literature, history, politics and culture.

    Staff

    Mrs N Midgley-Haste (Lead Teacher of Classics)
    Mrs Q Lavan

    Vision

    To create critical thinkers who can understand their own culture and language through an exploration of the ancient world.

    Intent

    Key Stage 3: Students at Dover Grammar School for Girls have the wonderful opportunity of studying Latin in Year 8, with an option to continue in Year 9 and at GCSE level.  The Latin curriculum in Year 8 has been developed though a sequence of lessons which create a foundation of grammar from which further work can develop.  Students learn how to become critical thinkers through the close examination of Latin grammar, from which they also develop analytical and problem-solving skills.  It is our intent that all students develop their understanding of their own language through a study of Latin vocabulary which also lends itself to cross-curricular links with French and other modern languages. 

    Cultural capital is obtained through a study of a variety of background topics which enhance the learner’s knowledge of the ancient world whilst encouraging them to think about how the Romans have influenced their own historical and cultural roots.  This linguistic groundwork is built upon in Year 9 through the mastering of longer sentences with additional clauses, the increased use of adjectives and an introduction to further grammatical features which need to be analysed, processed and applied accurately.

    Key Stage 4: In Year 10, students can study Latin at GCSE level following the EDUQAS specification. Language continues to be explored using the Cambridge Latin Course, building on the skills and knowledge developed in key stage three and offering the further challenge of reading “real” Latin texts by authors such as Virgil, Martial and Juvenal. These texts develop the depth of the students’ knowledge through the evaluation of the writers’ style, taking into consideration the sounds and position of words in a sentence as well as the authors’ nuances.  The background module on daily life invites the students to contextualise their understanding of the subject through an examination of housing, entertainment, and male and female roles in ancient society.  This allows for students to compare and contrast with their own modern society, offering a chance to reflect and empathise with other cultures.

    Key Stage 5: At sixth form, the department follows the OCR A Level in 'Classical Civilisation'.  This course includes a wide selection of modules which focus on the literature, history, politics, art, architecture and philosophy of the Greeks and Romans.  Students have the opportunity to critically analyse ancient texts in translation, including Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, and to explore modules in Greek Theatre and Greek Religion.  Such texts present deeper questions about man’s struggle against his world, religion and social expectations which allows our students to empathise, evaluate and reflect.  The module in theatre also invites the students to follow the psychological journey of tragic heroes whilst also gaining an understanding of the politics and serious contemporary issues that underpin Greek comedy.  The richness and depth of this course provides the skills and knowledge for a wide variety of career options at university level and beyond which should challenge and yet also excite our learners.

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