Latin and Classical Civilisation

Latin is a wonderfully challenging and intellectually stimulating language to learn. It helps one to learn other languages like Italian and Spanish and it improves one’s English immeasurably (because most English words come from Latin). The study of Latin also involves learning about Roman everyday life and the pupils gain a great insight into their fascinating culture.


Classical Civilisation involves the study of the lives and works of the Romans and the Ancient Greeks but requires no knowledge of Latin or Ancient Greek. This subject demands analytical skills, breadth of view, sympathy for other cultures and the capacity to construct rigorous arguments from evidence.



Year 7 & 9 

All girls study the Latin language in Years 7-9 using the celebrated Cambridge Latin Course. We follow the adventures of Caecilius and his family in the city of Pompeii in AD79 – a dangerous time to be alive!

In Year 9, selected pupils are also offered the opportunity to study Classical Civilisation for the first time.



Pupils can opt to continue their studies at GCSE level in Years 10-11 in both Latin and Classical Civilisation.

In Latin, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of the Latin language. Topics of study include the City of Rome; the role of women in Roman society; the invasion of Britain; and the emperors.

Girls also study short stories, poems and myths in their original language. Latin is the only foreign language GCSE (except Greek) in which girls do this. The writers we study include Ovid who was Shakespeare’s favourite writer.


Classical Civilisation  is made up of 4 units: City Life in the Classical World – Athens; Epic and Myth – Homer’s “Odyssey”; Community Life in the Classical World – Pompeii; and Culture and Society in the Classical World (where we study the play Antigone by the Greek tragic writer Sophocles).