It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
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 that 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.
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 ICT.
We make good use of Google Classroom as a repository for lesson materials and revision aids.
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 one-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.
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 presents exciting opportunities for all students to get involved with acting, backstage and front of house.
Grouping within Ancient Civilisation and Latin is mixed-ability in all year groups.
Katharine Rowe has been Head of the Classics Department at Hitchin Girls’ School for 15 years. She teaches Ancient Civilization, Ancient Greek, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation and Latin at all Key Stages.
Becky Coe has been a Teacher of Classics at Hitchin Girls’ School for 16 years. She teaches Ancient Civilization, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation and Latin at all Key Stages.
Key Stage 3 Ancient Civilisation
The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Years 7- 9 in Ancient Civilisation 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 ongoing comparison of ancient and modern societal practices and attitudes.
Ancient Civilisation and Latin are both offered throughout Key Stage 3.
Year 7 Ancient Civilisation:
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 Civilisation as one of their two Year 8 Options, they will also study a number of other ancient cultures.
Year 8 Ancient Civilisation:
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 the Persians; 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 Civilisation:
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 conquests, including the province of Britannia. Finally, we cover the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire.
Key Stage 3 Latin
The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Years 7- 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 ongoing 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 Caecilius and his 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 study Roman Britain, the Celts and Roman Egypt as part of this course.
Key Stage 4 Ancient History
The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Years 10-11 in Ancient History are:
- To help learners develop their understanding of the ancient world and the legacy of the ancient world in today’s society.
- To engage learners, develop a desire to continue learning about Ancient History and foster a lifelong enthusiasm for the ancient world.
Students can choose to take 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 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 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 within 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 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’s The Golden Ass. (Click here for the OCR Specification)
More details, useful links and information about our teaching can be found on our HGS Classics website