The Classics department at Summer Fields aims to
- Promote a firm grasp of the Latin and (where appropriate) Greek languages
- Encourage logical thought and an analytical approach to language generally
- Encourage an interest in the roots of English and other languages
- Foster an awareness of the Classical World
- Encourage an interest and awareness of other cultures and to develop a sensitivity towards them
Latin is taught at Summer Fields from Year 5. All boys study Latin in their usual form groups. By the end of Year 8, all boys sit either Common Entrance or a paper set by their senior school, according to their ability. These might be Winchester Entrance papers or a scholarship paper. Some of these scholarship papers are very demanding, often being of a level close to GCSE or occasionally beyond. In order to prepare for these different exams, boys follow the Common Entrance syllabus and then those taking scholarships move into the more complicated grammar need for scholarship.
Greek is introduced to all boys in Year 7. Again, the aim is to prepare for either Common Entrance or scholarship papers at the end of Year 8. Greek provides its own challenges beyond Latin but nearly all boys are able to reach at least Common Entrance Level 1.
Classical Civilisation has been introduced to some boys who have found Greek to be beyond them. The Common Entrance syllabus affords an opportunity to study elements of the Graeco-Roman world without the need to study the language.
An understanding of the cultural background is fostered through the stories of early Rome and myths of Greece, which are explored in translation passages in the course books. These inevitably lead to discussion of myth and also to the cultures of 5th Century Athens and the late Roman Republic and early empire. Trips have been organised to the Ashmolean, Verulamium and Chedworth Roman Villa.
In the last few years, many of our scholars to senior schools have excelled in the Classics and awards such as the Dino Leventis (Harrow) and Annah Shaw (Eton) scholarships have been won.