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Classics

'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.' Aristotle 

'Our vision is to provide a curriculum that is both inclusive and challenging. We aim to be innovative and effective in our teaching, through lessons which are engaging and creative. We strive to maintain the high profile of Classical subjects within the school and to make an impact on the wider community.'

Teaching Styles

The teaching of Classics takes place in a safe and disciplined environment: high standards of behaviour are expected, and at the same time students are rewarded for their efforts.The Classics department respects the needs of all learners and adopts a wide variety of approaches to suit individual styles including whole class discussion, group work, drama, art and using Information and Communications Technology. 

We make keen use of Google Classroom as a respiratory for lesson materials and revision aids.

Homework

Homework is set on a regular basis in line with the school Homework Policy.

In Year 7, students are set three pieces of assessed homework over the carousel course. 

In Years 8 and 9, students receive up to one piece of 30 minute homework every fortnight. This may involve imaginative writing, reading stories, acquisition of vocabulary and investigative research.

In Years 10 and 11, students receive up to one piece of 1 hour homework every fortnight. All work set is closely linked to the GCSE exam specification.

In Years 12 and 13, homework is set as required. All work set is closely linked to the A-Level exam specification.

Extra Curricular

We have a Junior Classics Society (run by Sixth formers and teachers) for students in Years 7 and 8. The emphasis is on hands-on fun! 

After school Classical Greek is available from Year 7 onwards. Greek Club is an opportunity for students to become a Friend of the Frog by reading, acting and drawing with the textbook Basil Batrakhos. There is an opportunity to gain accredited qualifications in Classical Greek.

From Year 10 onwards, students are invited to visit both Italy and Greece. We explore all the key sites and experience the local culture and cuisine. 

Every year the Senior Classics Society directs an ancient play. The Sixth Form students present exciting opportunities for all students to get involved with: acting, backstage and front of house. 

Grouping

Grouping within Ancient Civilisation and Latin is mixed ability in all year groups.

Staff Members

Katharine Rowe has been Head of the Classics Department at Hitchin Girls’ School for 15 years. She teaches Ancient Civilizations, Ancient Greek, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation and Latin at all Key Stages. katharine.rowe@hgs.herts.sch.uk

Becky Coe has been a Teacher of Classics at Hitchin Girls’ School for 16 years. She teaches Ancient Civilizations, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation and Latin at all Key Stages. 

Ben George has been a Teacher of Classics at Hitchin Girls’ School for a number of years. He teaches Ancient Civilizations, Ancient Greek, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation and Latin at all Key Stages.

Key Stage 3 / Years 7-9/ Ancient Civilisation 

The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Y7- 9 in Ancient Civilisations are:

  • To introduce students to the daily life and belief systems of a range of ancient cultures, whilst instilling a sense of self-knowledge through an on-going comparison of ancient and modern societal practices and attitudes. 

Ancient Civilisations and Latin are both offered throughout Key Stage 3/Years 7-9.

Year 7 Ancient Civilisations:

We introduce students to ancient Greece and the world of the hero via a taster course which lasts just over half a term (approximately 12 lessons).  We study the War with Troy (Homer’s Iliad) via story-telling and a variety of activities.  If students choose to continue with Ancient Civilisations as one of their two Year 8 options, they will also study a number of other ancient cultures.

Year 8 Ancient Civilisations:

We study four ancient cultures over the year – the Persians, Egyptians, Minoans and Greeks.  We look at the development of early civilisation and the conflict between the Greeks and Perisans, the daily life and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, and the art, architecture and mythology of ancient Crete.  We revisit the world of the Greek hero with the story of the Return from Troy (Homer’s Odyssey).

Year 9 Ancient Civilisations:

We focus on ancient Rome , beginning with its mythical origins and the establishment of the seven kings.  We explore key elements and personalities of Republican Rome and move on to the Roman Empire, focusing on important emperors and Roman conquests, including the province of Britannia.  Finally we cover the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire.

Click here for a detailed curriculum map for Key Stage 3 Ancient Civilisations

Key Stage 3 / Years 7-9/ Latin 

The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Y7- 9 in Latin are:

  • To introduce students to the language and life of the ancient Romans, whilst instilling a sense of self-knowledge through an on-going comparison of ancient and modern societal practices and attitudes.

Year 7 Latin:

We introduce students to the Cambridge Latin Course via a taster course which lasts approximately 12 lessons.  We meet the family and learn about daily life in the town of Pompeii.  Students also learn about the links between Latin and English, and other modern languages.

Year 8 Latin:

Students continue to follow the Cambridge Latin Course and complete Book 1 in Year 8. We study the basics of the Latin language through stories set in Pompeii . We also learn about life in the town and the eruption that preserved it.

Year 9 Latin: 

We continue to use the Cambridge Latin Course, moving on to Book 2 and more advanced language skills. We will study Roman Britain, the Celts and Roman Egypt as part of this work.

Click here for a detailed curriculum map for Key Stage 3 Latin

Key Stage 4 / Years 10-11/ ANCIENT HISTORY 

Students can choose to study a GCSE in Ancient History where we cover Greek, Roman, and Persian history. (click here for the OCR Specification)

The modules we are currently teaching are ‘The Persian Empire, 559–465 BC’, ‘Alexander the Great, 356–323 BC’, ‘Cleopatra: Rome and Egypt, 69–30 BC’, and ‘The foundations of Rome: from kingship to republic, 753–440 BC’.

Students can take GCSE Ancient History without having studied it at KS3.

Key Stage 4/years 10-11/Latin 

Students can also choose a GCSE in Latin which combines Language, Background work and studies in original Latin Literature. (click here for the Eduqas Specification)

The modules we are currently teaching are ‘Latin Language’, ‘Latin Literature and Sources (Themes), and ‘Latin Literature (Narratives)’ or ‘Roman Civilisation’.

Key Stage 5 / Year 12-13 / CLASSICAL CIVILISATION 

We currently offer A-level Classical Civilisation which comprises ‘The world of the hero’, ‘Culture and the arts’ and ‘Beliefs and ideas’.  Classes are taught between the department, with each teacher focusing on their areas of expertise. A high proportion of our students go on to read Classics at University. (click here for the OCR Specification)

Key Stage 5 / Year 12-13 / Latin 

We offer A level Latin, covering advanced language skills and translation along with studies in a wide range of literature including Virgil's Aeneid, Horace’s Satires, and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass. (click here for the OCR Specification)

 More details, useful links and information about our teaching can be found at our HGS Classics Website: (click here)