Curriculum – Classics

Curriculum – Classics

Classics

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Classics at Southend High School for Girls gives students the opportunity to study a subject that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It will enhance their understanding of both the outside world and the world within, giving them a grounding of the foundations of western civilization and allowing them to explore the nuances of the human condition. Classics is the ultimate cross-curricular subject, comprising literature, languages, history, art, architecture, religion, mythology, philosophy and politics. This will enable students to grasp the links between their national curriculum subjects in a way not available to their peers elsewhere. The study of Classics will enable students to develop their ability to construct and evaluate arguments, analyse texts and artworks, argue their point of view both in debate and in essays and encounter new grammatical structures. In addition, it will enhance their vocabulary and develop their cultural literacy, allowing them to understand works of modern literature and scientific vocabulary that would otherwise be obscure. By the end of Year 9, students will have developed a core knowledge of the ancient world and the Latin language, and be able to read and understand ancient texts, construct arguments and debate their peers with increasing confidence. By the end of Year 13, students will be able to read and analyse complex ancient texts, construct logical arguments, produce elegantly written essays and debate their peers with confidence and style. Ultimately SHSG Classics students will become eloquent and culturally literate citizens of the world with an appreciation of the roots of western civilization and the confidence and intellectual apparatus to approach it in their own way.

What does it feel like to be a student in the Classics Department?

Studying Classics at Southend High School for Girls is challenging and exciting. You will be expected to be curious both about the big questions such as the nature of society and the meaning of life and about the everyday nuances of human behaviour. You will be taught to analyse complex ancient texts, evaluate new and unfamiliar arguments and express your ideas with confidence and style, both on paper and in debate with your peers. At Key Stage 3 you will be taught the basics of the Latin language, both in terms of vocabulary and grammar. At Key Stage 5 you will be expected to support your studies by reading works of classical literature and modern academic scholarship outside the classroom and building up your own body of notes. By the end of your studies of Classics you will have acquired the ability to analyse difficult texts, construct logical arguments and express your views with eloquence and confidence.

Journey

Classics Curriculum

At Southend High School for Girls, we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the required National Curriculum subjects. The SHSG Classical Studies curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a level that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

This is a brand new subject for students as has been designed as such.

The Classical Studies curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication)  speeches, performances, presentations

Year 7 – 9

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of a Grammar school which includes challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our school curriculum. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive. This subject has one lesson a fortnight in a Year 7 timetable.

Year 7

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Introduction to Ancient Greek and Greek Civilisation

Assessment

  • Short Knowledge tests
  • Assessed debate

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Introduction to Latin and Roman Civilisation

Assessment

  • Short knowledge test
  • Assessed debate

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Introduction to Philosophy

Assessment

  • Project on concept of a utopia.

Year 8

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Ancient Greek and Greek Civilisation

Assessment

  • Short knowledge tests
  • Assessed debate

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Latin and Roman Civilisation

Assessment

  • Short knowledge test
  • Assessed debate

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Greek mythology

Assessment

  • Debates and presentations around Myths and Legends.

Year 9

This subject is not taught in Year 9

Recommended reading in Classical Studies for Lower School (Years 7 – 8)

  • Review key terms from lessons regularly.
  • Revise Latin and Greek vocabulary from lessons.

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 7 – 8)

  • We will be following the Cambridge Latin course which has an excellent website and additional information and games. Cambridge School Classics project is the name of this website.

English-specific language to master in Lower School (Years 7 – 8)

  • All required technical terminology can be found in the students’ books.
  • Key concepts to understand for ancient language structure, use and the rules of grammar, basic philosophy concepts, everyday life in ancient civilisations and their societal structures as well as myths and legends.

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum. The SHSG Classics curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in Classics that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The Classics curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) PLEE paragraphs, essays, debating

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year KS4 Classics ready to study in Year 12

N/A

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 12-13 if applicable?
We have covered the whole of the Year 12 syllabus and student comprehension of key concepts is good. In some cases, however, student writing speed and revision technique lags behind where it normally would be at this time of year. We are teaching a weekly exam skills lesson as part of the timetabled sequence of lessons to address this. Students will be writing timed exam style answers from memory at least once a fortnight.

Year 12

Term 1

Introduction to Ancient Greece

World of the Hero

  • The Odyssey

Invention of the Barbarian

  • Greek Identity & Unity
  • Mythical Barbarians

Assessment

  • Summative assessment (The Odyssey stimulus question, Herodotus stimulus question)
  • See assessment policy for formative assessments

Term 2

World of the Hero

  • The Odyssey

Invention of the Barbarian

  • Historical Barbarians
  • The Reality of Persia

Assessment

  • Summative assessment (Odysseus essay)
  • Summative assessment (Herodotus & Aeschylus essay)
  • See assessment policy for formative assessments

Term 3

Introduction to Ancient Rome

World of the Hero

  • Revision
  • The Aeneid

Invention of the Barbarian

  • Revision

Politics of the Late Republic

  • The Roman State

Assessment

  • PPE
  • See assessment policy for formative assessments

Year 13

Term 1

World of the Hero

  • The Aeneid

Politics of the Late Republic

  • Cato
  • Caesar

Assessment

  • September Assessment on Invention of the Barbarian
  • Essays on The Aeneid and Cato

Term 2

World of the Hero

  • The Aeneid
  • Revision

Politics of the Late Republic

  • Cicero
  • Revision

Assessment

  • PPE on World of the Hero
  • In-class PPE (one on Invention of the Barbarian, one on Politics of the Late Republic)
  • See assessment policy for formative assessments

Term 3

  • Revision

Assessment

  • A level exams
  • See assessment policy for formative assessments

Achieving outstanding outcomes in Classics – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school GCSE curriculum

To achieve to the highest level at A Level Classics, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good range of relevant and accurate knowledge and understanding, including specific detail, of literature and visual/material culture from the classical world, including how these sources reflect their cultural contexts
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of a range of possible interpretations
  • Engage in perceptive analysis, sensitive interpretation and critical evaluation of literature and visual material culture with reference to its historical, literary and artistic context
  • Effectively use a range of evidence to construct coherent and reasoned arguments
  • Show understanding through analysis and explanation and reach substantiated and mostly sustained judgements about key concepts

Recommended reading in Classics for VI Form (Years 12-13)

  • See the KS5 Classics reading list

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for VI Form (Years 12-13)

  • Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics
  • Omnibus Magazine

History-specific language to master in VI Form (Years 12-13)

  • Key words are highlighted during lessons and as appropriate written down and defined by students.
  • Language of dialectic: analyse / evaluate
  • Evaluative language is modelled and taught