Richard Hunter, Ed Church, Peter Blair, Simon Pinder, Chris Pitchford, Alasdair McWhirter and Catherine Vincent.
Haileybury has a long and distinguished tradition in Classics and the subject continues to thrive both here and across the wider academic world. Classics is the study of ancient Greek and Roman civilisation, their languages, literature, art, archaeology, history, philosophy and culture. It is the original inter-disciplinary subject, offering an insight into the life and thought of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their continuing influence on modern society. While we aim to retain the academic rigour customarily associated with the teaching of Classics, our courses of study are also designed to be accessible, imaginative and thought-provoking.
Haileybury offers three Classics courses which are taught from Year 9 right up to A2 or IB level: Classical Greek, Latin and Classical Civilisation. Several pupils each year go on to read Classical subjects at Oxford or Cambridge and at other major universities.
Latin is compulsory in the Lower School; otherwise, Classical subjects are entirely optional throughout the School. Increasing numbers of our pupils are choosing to study them for the following reasons:
The Classics Department occupies three large, well-equipped classrooms in the Form Room block at the heart of the School and is looking to expand beyond these. Full use is made of modern technology, including interactive whiteboards and data projectors as well as the nearby computer suite. There is an extensive departmental library (containing videos, CDs and DVDs alongside reference works) which supplements the excellent and comprehensive collection of Classics books in the main school library. We have also inherited an unusual assortment of ancient artefacts (vases, glassware and statuettes), some as many as 3 500 years old, and in recent years we have begun to assemble a collection of replica legionary and gladiatorial armour and weaponry.
In Years 7 and 8, all Lower School pupils study Latin, using the Cambridge Latin Course and its associated website to develop translation skills along with an understanding of the ancient Roman world and its relevance to our own. In Year 9, there are two further Classical options to consider: Classical Civilisation and Classical Greek. Classical Civilisation offers an overview of the most significant highlights of Greek and Roman civilisation and mythology without any linguistic content, whilst Classical Greek provides an introduction into the language and important aspects of its historical and intellectual background. As pupils move through the School, towards GCSE and A2 or IB, they are exposed in more depth to the cultures of these ancient civilisations and to a selection of the works of such literary greats as Homer, Virgil, Cicero and Ovid.
Beyond the classroom, we run trips of all kinds both within the UK and abroad, often in combination with other Departments. At the moment regular fixtures in the calendar are tours to Rome and to Greece in alternate years. Classicists of all ages also head to London theatres once or twice a year to see productions related to their studies. We are fortunate in being able to take advantage of the proximity of Cambridge University's world-leading Classics Faculty by visiting its museums and conferences and by inviting its members to address our pupils.
The Classical Society meets regularly and presents talks and activities led by our own pupils as well as by visiting speakers on an array of themes relating to the ancient world. The Symposium discussion group, attended by Sixth Formers invited from all the academic disciplines, convenes twice a term to consider issues significant both in antiquity and today. We also work closely with other schools and with Legio XIIII, a Roman re-enactment group based in Hertford.