At Ratcliffe, we offer both Latin and Classical Civilisation. Whilst Latin is studied from as early as Year 5, we have only just introduced Classical Civilisation as a discrete subject, at both Year 9 and GCSE level.

In the Senior School, Latin is now taken by a set whose members have chosen it at the end of Year 6. At the end of Year 7, pupils may carry on with Latin until the end of Year 9.  In Year 10, pupils may continue Latin to GCSE. The few who study Latin at A level never regret it.

Latin is taught in a dedicated room, equipped with interactive whiteboard and its own specific library; Classical Civilisation is taught – for the most part – in the History department.

Classical Civilisation is taken by almost every pupil in Year 9, in four unstreamed sets. Emphasis here is on a good grounding in the culture of ancient Greece and Rome, but also on an entertaining tour d’horizon of the wonders of the ancient world and how they lead, invariably, to aspects of our own. In Year 10, pupils are introduced to two specific aspects of the ancient world, which will lead to two further topics in Year 11, including a controlled assessment on Roman Britain.

The department consists of one full-time and one part-time, experienced members of staff.

The department offers a variety of study trips, which include visits to local or national sites, as well as the occasional foreign expedition.

Numbers from GCSE on are invariably small; this, of course, facilitates a good staff-student relationship, which is matured and deepened at A level.

Academic Programme (Latin)

Year 7:
Pupils study four periods of Latin per fortnight.  Classes are taught in sets. Pupils work from the Cambridge Latin Course (CLC) series of textbooks. We aim to cover most of the first volume.

Year 8:
Pupils study four periods of Latin per fortnight, in one set. We aim to finish CLC Book One and cover most of CLC Book Two.

Year 9:
Pupils study four periods of Latin per fortnight. In this year, we will finish CLC Book Two and cover most of CLC Book Three.

Years 10 and 11:
Pupils study six periods a fortnight. When CLC Book Three is completed, we move on to a variety of different textbooks, to consolidate grammatical knowledge. We then introduce work involving past papers and, in the third term of Year 10, we start the set texts which form the basis of half the GCSE examination.

Years 12 and 13:
Latin is offered at both AS and A2 level (until 2017), as part of the OCR Classics suite (which also allows one or more of four topics to be taken in ancient civilization or Classical history). Texts in prose and in verse are studied, two in each year, along with unseen Latin passages for translation in Year 12 and, in addition, for commentary and evaluation in Year 13. This is a subject which is notably demanding, academically.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The department offers a Greek club, which covers ancient Greek language and culture. We intend to run a trip to Hadrian’s Wall this year. There are also plans to visit the Classical sites in Greece or Italy.


Mr T Walsh, Head of Classics –

Mrs F Lodder, teacher of history and Classical Civilisation -