The Sixth Form
The Classics Department offers courses to A Level and beyond in Classics, Greek and Latin. Any combination of these three subjects may be taken together, and any one or two of them may be taken in conjunction with most other disciplines. Latin and/or Greek work especially well with such subjects as English, History, Mathematics, and Modern Languages. Classics complements particularly well such subjects as History, English, History of Art and Theatre Studies.
Classics (OCR H438)
The course, which offers great flexibility by allowing a selection from Ancient History and Classical Civilisation units, follows naturally from GCSE Classical Civilisation. It involves the study of major aspects of the society and culture of the ancient world. These include literary, historical and artistic topics of different areas and cultures, concentrating on plays, poems, artifacts and achievements that are the bedrock of western civilisation. The literature and sources studied in this course are read in translation, with no knowledge of Greek or Latin required, meaning that all can get to grips with inspiring works from genres such as epic and tragedy. To complement this course, tours of the major classical sites of Greece and Italy are arranged regularly, as well as visits to remains and museums closer to home. Classics is offered in blocks 3 and 4, allowing us to provide courses with different emphases that will enable boys to follow their personal enthusiasms. Boys who are considering opting for Classics should therefore consult with their teaching don and the Head of Department for advice about the most suitable route for them.
Greek (OCR H440) and Latin (OCR H439)
Greek and Latin Specifications
The specifications for Greek and Latin are evenly balanced between language work and the study of literature. The courses include the reading and appreciation of works of Greek or Latin literature, principally in the original, always studied in the context of the history and culture of Greece and Rome. The literature studied at AS consists of relatively short portions of prose and verse texts, which lead onto more advanced set text study at A2. At both AS and A2 there is translation from and into the relevant language. The specifications are designed both to provide courses which are complete in themselves and to give the appropriate basis for those who wish to go on and study the subjects at university.
All three subjects follow on from a relevant GCSE, though it would be possible to start Classics from scratch with a grounding provided by a GCSE in another classical subject (i.e. Latin or Greek). If a boy would like to start Classical Civilisation without a classical GCSE, a genuine and demonstrable interest in the classical world would be the paramount requirement.
After A level
There is a wide range of courses at university involving classical subjects. For Classics (i.e. Latin and Greek), Latin is still usually required; while Greek is not obligatory, it is obviously an advantage to have a qualification in the subject. There are also many popular and respected Ancient History and Classical Civilisation courses where no linguistic expertise is required and for which the OCR Classics A level is an excellent preparation; some concentrate on the classical world, but others range more widely through the Mediterranean and Middle East. Classics is, likewise, a useful starting point for courses in Archaeology. Classical subjects readily combine with a wide range of arts subjects. The most common combinations are Latin or Classics and Modern Languages, Classics and English, Ancient and Modern History, though other combinations are possible, particularly within modular courses. Classical subjects remain excellent preparation for studying non-school subjects at university such as Law, Oriental Studies or Philosophy. Radleians who go on to take a Classics related course at university (and a good number invariably do) can do this in the knowledge that graduates of this discipline are, according to a recent survey, regarded as the most employable, because they will have demonstrated adaptability and flexibility, qualities that are increasingly coveted by employers.