The Classics Department at Chigwell offers a wide range of courses and extra-curricular activities, and seeks to encourage all to learn as much as they can about the ancient world: its languages, literature & drama, history and philosophy.
As the ultimate cross-curricular subject, and the intellectual foundation of the modern world, Classics is everywhere you look, in our buildings, our politics, our arts and drama, and our language. At Chigwell we strive to make these connections visible.
All Chigwellians study classics in Years 7 and 8. In these years we run an innovative course in Latin, Roman Social History and General Classics, based on the Cambridge Latin Course – but with lots of extras; this culminates in the Classical Foundations Essay Prize Essay and a trip to Verulamium – Roman St Albans. Students study Book I of the Cambridge Latin Course, and a wide range of topics from mythology and ancient history, involving both factual learning and project work. Those who choose to continue Latin into Year 9 move onto Book II of the Cambridge Latin Course, where we take the story to Roman Britain and Egypt, including a study of ancient medicine and science, and the film Agora.
Chigwell students can choose Latin as their GCSE language. The course involves further language study, reading original Latin literature, and some Roman civilisation. Classical Greek is available at GCSE as an extra option ( ‘Gratin’) for the better Latinists.
In the Sixth Form, Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation are offered to A level. Latin and Greek involve more advanced study of language, and the development of the ability to translate more complicated language, as well as more extensive study of literature of different kinds, notably (in Latin) the political oratory of Cicero, and the elegiac poetry of Ovid and others.
In Classical Civilisation students study three topics. Firstly, the world of the hero – Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. These epics ask, and suggest answers to, the great questions of what it is to be a hero, what it is to be a citizen, and what it is to live in the shadow of death. Secondly, Greek theatre – comedy and tragedy. These amazing plays were written to teach as much as entertain, and still have their original force. Set texts are Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Euripides’ Bacchae and Aristophanes’ Frogs. Thirdly, Love & Relationships – a study of ancient societies, the ideas of Plato and Seneca, and the love poetry of Sappho and Ovid.
A high percentage of our Classical Sixth-formers go on to study the ancient world at university, including at Oxford and Cambridge, and we keep in good contact with our former students
At KS3 our Latin course is self-paced, allowing individual students to forge ahead in learning more advanced grammar and vocabulary.
At GCSE our ‘Gratin’ option, whereby students taking Latin can opt to take Classical Greek as well, is a well-established source of challenge for the most able ancient linguists.
We have an active Stott Classical Society, which organises many speaker visits, informal gatherings and theatre trips; we also frequently visit ancient sites – in recent years we have enjoyed coach tours of Greece and rail trips to Rome and Pompeii, and to Provence and Catalonia.