Aim of the course
Studying classical Greek requires students to become confident linguists as well as critical analysts of literature written in the language. During the course, students should expect to read texts by such authors as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus and Thucydides, and become immersed in the myth, history and culture of the Greek world.
In almost every case, those wishing to study classical Greek in the Sixth Form will need to have taken classical Greek at GCSE. Although many students will study Latin alongside classical Greek in the Sixth Form, it is quite possible to study classical Greek without Latin.
Students begin by reading a variety of texts to introduce them to the breadth of Greek literature. We look at works by a range of authors and there is an extensive programme of language teaching and vocabulary learning to help students become confident readers of Greek texts. Later in the year, students begin reading their set texts, which can be taken from authors such as Herodotus, Plato, Homer or Euripides. Formal language work continues throughout, preparing students for both unseen translation work and prose composition.
Classical Greek is offered as a single year AS level in the first instance, yet the full A level across the two years of Lower and Upper Sixth is certainly possible in certain circumstances, subject to demand. Please contact the Head of Classics for more information.
We encourage those studying classical Greek to read beyond the requirements of the exam specifications and to pursue their own interests. The classics department has its own extensive library and reading lists, in addition to the many classical works found in the school library. We have a collection of the Omnibus periodical aimed at those studying classical subjects in the Sixth Form.
Students participate in a number of trips, most notably to lectures in London given by subject specialists on the set texts and to plays performed in the ancient languages. The department also loves to take trips abroad – the last trip to Greece was in February 2020.
Students of classical Greek also have the chance to compete in essay competitions, as well as the annual Senior Reading Competition run by the local branch of the Classical Association. In addition, students have the opportunity to get involved with our student-led Classics society, Lyceum, as well as take part in our breakfast seminar group, CCC (Classics, Coffee and Croissants).
Two (AS level) written examinations at the end of the Lower Sixth, unless following the full A level course, where four written examinations are sat at the end of the Upper Sixth.