The King's (The Cathedral) School


Classics is the study of both the Greek and Roman worlds between 1200BC and 500AD. Within Classics there are 4 distinct subject areas: Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Greek and Latin. At The King’s (The Cathedral) School we study Classical Civilisation and Latin.

'ad astra per humanitatem ac linguam, cum arte et labore (atque cum Caecilio in horto)'

We believe it is important to use a wide variety of approaches to learning Classical subjects and include a wide range of different types of learning activities. These include creative, dramatic and imaginative tasks as well as written, analytical and reading tasks. The subject also develops a wide range of skills through the study of the language, history and culture of the Greeks and Romans and the study of their literature and the artefacts they created.


In Year 7 pupils are given a taster lesson of Latin and a taster lesson of German in order to make an informed choice as to which they would like to study in Years 8 and 9.

Year 8

Those pupils who opt to do Latin begin studying the Cambridge Latin Course Book 1. This book is set in Pompeii in 79AD and follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of Caecilius, Metella and their household. The book covers the basics of the Latin language and introduces civilisation topics like baths, theatre, gladiators and houses.

Year 9

Pupils complete their study of Book 1 with a study of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and its impact on Caecilius and his family.  They then move on to Book 2 which is set in Roman Britain and then Roman Alexandria.  They will cover topics about farming and slavery in Roman Britain as well as the Conquest and Invasion and the key figures of the first century AD.

Every other year pupils are given the chance to go to either Italy or Greece and we usually aim to take a trip to sites or museums in Britain.


Those pupils who have studied Latin in Years 8 and 9 have the opportunity to continue to study it in Years 10 and 11 as their compulsory Language Option. It is currently offered in two option columns.

We currently prepare students to sit exams for the Eduqas GCSE qualification in Latin.

There are three components of study: Latin Language, Latin Literature and Roman Civilisation. We continue to use the Cambridge Latin Course and continue up to Book 5.  Currently we are studying A Day at the Races as our Literature study and the the Roman Civilisation component covers Leisure and Entertainment.

When appropriate, and possible, we aim to take pupils on a day trip to support their study of Roman Civilisation. They are also eligible to go on the biennial trip to either Greece or Italy.


We offer A Level Classical Civilisation to any students who are interested – there is no requirement to have studied a Classical subject beforehand. In Year 13 we are currently completing the final year of the legacy OCR A Level Specification, covering Virgil and the World of the Hero, and Greek Art and Architecture.

From September 2017 we will be following the new OCR specification, and studying three components:

  • Classical Epic – this will include a study of The Iliad by Homer which details a period in the tenth year of the Trojan War where Achilles and Hektor meet in a fateful battle.  It also entails studying The Aeneid by Virgil which tells the story of Aeneas, a Trojan leader, who is given the task of heading to Italy to found the Roman people.  Both are stories of adventure and heroism, glory and tragedy.
  • Greek Theatre – this will encompass the study of three plays, Oedipus the King, The Bacchae and The Frogs.  In addition to this students will study the historical and social context of performance and analyse artistic representations of theatrical performance from the Ancient world.
  • Greek Religion – in this component students will learn about the development of Greek religious beliefs and ideas as well as the philosophical arguments that challenged these beliefs. In addition to this they will also study the religious rites and practices and the places of worship that the Greeks built.

We aim to take students to see at least one Greek play and visit the British Museum.

Every two years there is the opportunity for students in Years 10 to 13 to go to either Greece or Italy for a week.

Department Staff

Ms Anna Karsten (AMK): Head of Classics Department
Mrs Katy Hopkins (KRH): Teacher of Classics - position currently covered by Mr Tom Foster (TJF)