What is Classics?
Classics is the study of the language, culture and history of the Greek and Roman civilisations. At Bolton School, Classics is an integral part of the curriculum, and we are proud of the fact that the Classical world is open to all. All boys study Latin in Years 7 and 8, and either Latin or Classical Civilisation in Year 9. Latin, Classical Civilisation, and Classical Greek are all options at GCSE and A level. Classics provides pupils with opportunities to develop knowledge, insight and skills in three main areas: language, cultural background, and literature. These areas complement each other and are often taught in a multi-disciplinary way. They also complement other related subjects such as History, English, and Modern Languages.
The Classics courses offered at both GCSE and A level aim to provide pupils with a strong foundation for the study of classical subjects beyond the age of 18, as well as providing pupils with a linguistic, literary, and cultural foundation as part of their general education.
Standards are high, with students regularly achieving full marks in public examination units. Many of our pupils continue to Oxford, Cambridge and other prestigious universities, both in this country and overseas, to read Classical subjects.
Classics outside the classroom
There are many ways in which a Bolton School boy can engage with the Greeks and Romans. He comes into direct contact with the Classical world on a wide-ranging programme of trips and visits.
Art and the written word are excellent resources for learning about the ancient world, but the physical remains left by the Greeks and Romans often provoke the strongest reactions from students of the Classics. Past pupils have often commented that a Classical trip or visit was a highlight of their time at school.
The Year 8 trip to Hadrian's Wall informs their study of the military occupation of Britain; and numerous trips to Classical plays, both locally and in London, bring Greek Tragedy and Comedy to life.
Despite a range of other museum and theatre trips on a classical theme, including a regular Sixth Form trip to the British Museum, the undoubted highlight for many pupils is the Middle School Italy trip, which takes place every two years and is open to boys studying classical subjects in Years 10 and 11. In recent years, the trip has taken in the key Classical sites of Rome and the Bay of Naples, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the preserved Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the Greek temples of Paestum.
Junior and Senior Classics Clubs, run at lunch time, also provide a forum for engaging with the subject beyond the classroom, while the Classics Mentoring Scheme allows boys to gain additional support in their academic study from older pupils. Boys enter a range of regional and national Classics competitions, in which they regularly achieve notable successes, and produce their own Classical magazine, ‘The Hoplite’; eminent and lively speakers regularly come to school to address the boys on classical subjects (recently, these have included the broadcaster Natalie Haynes and the classicist John Taylor); and the Department runs a prestigious national Classics essay-writing competition.
Head of Department:
Dr J E Reeson, BA, MSt, PhD
Members of the Department:
A E Jackson, BA
Miss C A Worth, BA, MA
Miss K S Wrathmell, BA, MA