At St Mary’s all of our students have the opportunity to discover the legacy of the Classical world. Although rigorous at times, the lessons are fun and aim to encourage the students to think critically about how the Classical world has influenced the modern-day world in terms of language, literature, art and architecture.


The aims of the course are to encourage the students to:

  • Actively engage in the process of enquiry into the classical world so that they develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of the classical world
  • Develop awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times
  • Develop and apply analytical and evaluative skills
  • Make an informed, personal response to the material studied
Year 7

Latin is introduced in a lively way through the highly-regarded Cambridge Latin Course. The aim in Year 7 is to teach comprehension of the Latin Language for reading purposes. The students quickly learn to translate simple Latin passages with confidence and meet basic Latin grammar. The students often comment that learning Latin helps them to improve their English vocabulary.

Year 8

In Year 8 we continue with the Cambridge Latin Course, which builds students' reading skills and vocabulary through exposure to Latin. All students sit an Entry Level Latin exam (OCR) at the end of Year 8.

ICT is used to support learning - the girls especially enjoy using the Cambridge Latin Course website.

Cambridge Latin Course

Year 9

Year 9 students follow a shortened Classical Studies course with units of work on Greek literature including Homer’s 'Odyssey', Everyday Life in the Ancient World and a look at Greek pottery.

We really enjoy Classics; we learn about cultural differences and gain great skills in examining and reading into things. Learning Latin is very helpful when we revise for other languages as a lot of the grammar is the same and other languages are based on Latin.

Year 9 pupil



Classical Civiliation is an optional subject at GCSE. The course followed is OCR J199.

Also on offer as a GCSE option is Latin - WJEC Eduqas.

For more information about the current GCSE syllabus, please download the latest St Mary's GCSE Options Guide:


The Classics department has arranged trips to London to see productions of relevant works of literature as well as visits to places of interest to classicists, including Pompeii, Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre, Colchester Castle and, of course, The British Museum.

classics staff
Head of Classics Mrs Angela Bush BEd (Hons)

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