Classics | Independent Senior Education | Mill Hill School

Classics

The Classics courses taught at Mill Hill try to fire students’ imagination through the study of the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, whilst at the same time developing high-level communication skills, in addition to an appreciation of the impact these cultures still have on the modern world.

Pupils who have scored highly at their previous schools or at Mill Hill Latin examinations are invited to continue their study of Latin in the Fourth Form, via John Taylor’s ‘Latin to GCSE I’. This gives pupils the academic rigour required to analyse Latin language successfully, but also puts this linguistic material in the context of the culture. Classical Greek is also offered (as ‘Gratin’) to pupils who are interested.

For those who continue their study of Latin into the Sixth Form, cumulative understanding of the language is balanced by a variety of set texts which change on a bi-annual basis. It is also hoped that Latin continues to be available as a stand-alone (discrete) AS Level, in addition to a full A level option.

Classical Civilisation, and potentially Ancient History, are offered as options at GCSE and A Level. There is no requirement for Sixth Form pupils to have had prior study of these subjects. In GCSE, pupils can expect to delve into the Homeric world (Odyssey & Mycenaean civilisation), Myth & religion in the ancient world, or Women in ancient society. At A Level the syllabus continues to maintain the balance between literature and society with analysis of the origins of drama in both tragedy and comedy, Democracy and the Athenians, as well as a survey of the hero, particularly Heracles, in Greek and Roman epic literature, sculpture and buildings.

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 small class sizes.