Since September 2018 the Latin Department has introduced an updated focus for the Classical Studies component of the subject. Alongside the Greek myths and tales of Troy and the Odyssey, the pupils now have the opportunity to explore the lives of the people of the ancient world; from the mundane day to day living to the decisions affecting the whole empire to the earth shattering events at Pompeii.

The pupils study original texts of authors such as Pliny and Juvenal to learn about the lives, thoughts and feelings of people living 2,000 years ago. Pliny’s letters give us not only an insight into the daily routine and communications, but also of the pressures and the decisions taken by someone posted as a governor to a far off province in the Roman Empire.

Through this study we learn about democracy and governance and how it works in our modern world. We also learn about society, inequality, justice and literature.

This new approach has enthused and invigorated the pupils. They love the opportunity to learn, discover and be creative.

As some of our older pupils have said:

“The stories are great, but the new topics really teach you something about the world.”

“I love learning more about how the world used to work, and how it works now.”

“So much has changed in the last 2,000 years, but people are basically the same.”