The Classics courses offered at Mill Hill are taught in order to fire pupils’ imagination through the study of the cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whilst at the same time developing high-level communication skills, as well as an appreciation of the impact these cultures still have on the modern world.
Pupils who have performed well in the Latin Common Entrance/ Mill Hill examination are invited to continue their study of Latin in the Fourth Form, and are prepared for the GCSE course through the use of the Cambridge Latin Course. This enables students to show the academic rigour required to analyse the language successfully but also has importance placed on putting the linguistic material in the context of the culture. For those that continue their study into the Sixth Form, cumulative understanding of the language is balanced by a variety of set texts: an historical author (Tacitus/ Livy) and a verse author (Ovid) for AS Level; a prose author (Cicero) and an epic verse author (Virgil) for A2.
Classical Civilisation is offered as an option subject at GCSE, AS and A Level. All pupils in the Fourth Form are currently given a four week introductory survey in order to highlight some of the topics or issues which the subject has to offer before making their GCSE option choices. The beauty of the subject is its breadth and its topic-based approach which means that there is no requirement for Sixth Form students to have studied the subject at GCSE. At GCSE, pupils can expect to delve into the world of City Life in Rome, explore the destruction and lifestyle of the residents of Pompeii, as well as reading extracts from Homer’s Odyssey in order to gain an understanding of the importance of story-telling in society ancient and modern. At A Level the syllabus continues to maintain the balance between literature and society with analysis of the origins of drama in both tragedy (via specified tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) and comedy (via the plays of Aristophanes, Menander and Plautus), a survey of Greek and Roman epic literature and an introduction to Greek art and architecture through temples, sculpture and vase-painting.
Classical Greek is also offered (off-timetable) to pupils who are interested. This has been of particular benefit to those students who are keen to study Classics at university.
At every stage in any Classical subject there is the opportunity for pupils to engage with a wide range of primary source materials, comment on them, and then use this as the platform to express a cogently argued personal opinion. These are important and transferable skills which are encouraged in the Sixth Form by the seminar-like feel of the relatively small class sizes. For any further details please feel free to contact the Head of Department, Andrew Homer by email at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org