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Classical Civilisation 

Subject Overview: The purpose of studying Classical Civilisation is to develop an interest and lasting enthusiasm for the Classical world, to widen the students’ awareness of the continuing influence of the Greek and Roman cultures and to apply analytical and evaluative skills to both literature and archaeological remains. The Classical Civilisation Department develops student’s deeper understanding of the world and the people who live in it by studying the earliest of the Ancient European societies.  The lessons have been created to allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of the ancient world, to analyse relationships between a wide range of events, people, ideas and changes and between the features of past societies. This will help them succeed in examinations and will equip them with transferable skills that are vital for success in their future. Classical Civilisation is a highly prized and valued subject for Universities across the globe, as it creates independent, original, critical thinkers.

What we cover each year

Year 9: The aim of year 9 is to give students an opportunity to experience Classical Civlisation and all it has to offer for the very first time. Students study a wide range of different periods and topics. They begin with Greek Religion and Myth, followed by Greek Theatre and Art. The second half of the year they analyse the propaganda of Alexander the Great and the Roman Republic. Finally they complete a 1000 word project on Roman Britain in preparation for their GCSE coursework.

Year 10: This year begins with an in-depth study of Spartan culture: the role of men, women, education and war in an isolated and secluded society. Students will study ancient poetry and archaeological records to determine for themselves whether the Spartan society fulfilled the Ancient Greek idea of Eunomia, (good order). The second half of the year is spent learning about the City of Rome, its glory and its underbelly. From Emperors to slaves the students evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of a great cross-section of society. They will be required to write persuasively and at length on subjects such as the comparison between gladiatorial combat and modern sports.

Year 11: Students will complete their controlled assessment on Sophocles Antigone. This controlled assessment allows them to consider the role of the State in their lives and the lives of others. Students must critically analyse the play in the context of a male dominated 5th Century Athens, forcing them to decide if Antigone is really the feminist hero of the piece or if she is really a villain. The final unit is Homer’s Odyssey, in which students will need to read an epic poem and try to understand the role of fate, the gods and morality in the defining work of literature in Classical Civilisation.

Year 12: AS Unit CC2 (Entry Code F382): Homer's Odyssey and Society

This will be a study of the literary text the Odyssey and the historical context in which the epic poem was performed. Students will need to demonstrate an understanding of both the literary techniques used by the author and an understanding of the actions, events and characters in relation to the historical audience. Students must study Homer's Odyssey. Passages for the commentary questions will be selected from books 4–12, 18–22.

Year 12: 3.8 AS Unit CC4 (Entry Code F384): Greek Tragedy in its context

The principal focus of this unit is on literature, society and values. The unit is also concerned with history, philosophy and religion. Students should show an understanding of the physical appearance and the historical context of the Greek Theatre as well as an understanding the historical audience and society in which these plays were performed. The set texts will be: Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Antigone and Euripides' Medea and Electra.

Year 13: 3.20 A2 Unit CC10 (Entry Code F390): Virgil and the world of the hero

The principal focus of this unit is on literature, society and values. The unit is also concerned with history, politics and religion. Students must read the prescribed books selected from Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad. These books are: Aeneid: Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12. Iliad: Books 6, 18, 22 and 24.

Year 13: 3.19 A2 Unit CC9 (Entry Code F389): Comic Drama in the Ancient World

The principal focus of this unit is on literature. The unit is also concerned with history, politics and society and values. The set texts will be Aristophanes’ Clouds and Lysistrata and Plautus’ The Brothers Menaechmus and The Swaggering Soldier.


Enrichment: Theatre and museum trips are organised for each Key Stage, with the emphasis on enriching our students’ experiences and enabling them to experience at first-hand various cultural events, whether this be a performance of Antigone or the Alexander the Great exhibit at the British Museum. Residential trips include a tour of Greece, including the sites of Olympia, the Parthenon and Epidauros. Future trips aim to enrich students understanding of 


Teacher in charge: Mr R Hawkes