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Classical Civilisation (Classics) Curriculum

"Our lives are infinitely richer if we take a little time to look at what the Greeks and Romans have given us: each time we discuss politics or law, religion or philosophy, art or culture, we’re continuing a conversation which began millennia ago.  So why not go back to the beginning?"

NATALIE HAYNES – author of The Ancient Guide to Modern Life

Why study Classical Civilisation (Classics) at A Level?

The first and most important reason is because it’s a fascinating subject, with a huge breadth of subject matter whose influence is very much still felt today. You will study the first pieces of Western Literature filled with Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Monsters. You will consider the very beginnings of our civilisation. You will read gruesome tales of suicide, infanticide and mass murder. You will learn about the very earliest political system that still influences political systems today, you will learn about the place of oratory in political life.  This is a subject that combines many other subjects. By studying an entire civilisation rather than focusing just on literature or history, you will get a great insight into how literature, religion, history, politics, art, architecture and philosophy inform each other. This will give you a richer appreciation of each.

It is also a very useful subject. Like History, Classical Civilisation/Classics offers an important insight into where we come from and why modern society is the way it is. Like RS, Classical Civilisation/Classics  raises vital questions about matters that we take for granted by comparison to very different societies. Like English, it develops one’s appreciation of literature and one’s use of the language.  As an essay subject, Classical Civilisation/Classics trains students to collect a diverse range of information and to synthesise this information into clear, concise arguments. In learning about the ancients, you will develop more familiarity with many of the references to the Classical world which abound in English (and European) literature.


The recommended text for this course is the Penguin edition of The Odyssey translated by E V Rieu. You can buy a copy or get it for free online here, or we can lend you a copy. 


Classical Civilisation A Level KS5 Curriculum Map 

The Classical Civilisation exam board is OCR.

Contact the Classics Department

Classics is part of the Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) department, along with Philosophy and Religious Studies. The Head of PRE is Mr Aldridge.

Mr S Aldridge

Head of Dept
Ms J Arrowsmith Classics Teacher

Ms C Coles

Classics Teacher