The Classics department consists of 2 subjects, Latin and Greek. Latin takes up the bulk of the department as it is taught in the curriculum; Greek is not taught at present although I am hopeful it will be reintroduced in the near future.
As of 2012, the department has increased by one and it is great to welcome Alex Moseley. She teaches a Year 5 class in the Michaelmas term and then 5.2 when the year is setted in the Lent and Summer terms.
All but a few study Latin. Occasionally extra English or other help is required and this may take place instead of Latin. For the vast majority of children it is good for them to have a go, as it can be beneficial in other areas of the curriculum.
The syllabus followed is that of Ab Initio – the ISEB Common Entrance Book. There are 3 books covering Levels 1, 2 and 3 CE. Level 3 is almost entirely of Scholarship standard for the vast majority of senior schools.
The structure is as follows:
2 lessons a week
As mentioned above, Year 5 is taught as classes initially (i.e. 5M and 5P). These are, therefore, mixed ability classes. Then they are setted for the Lent term, after a departmental meeting, taking into account an assessment I give them at the end of the Michaelmas term.
There are advantages in keeping them in mixed ability classes, but on balance it is important to set them, primarily because the potential scholars need to get as far ahead as possible, but also so the basics can be covered with those who find the going harder.
3 lessons a week.
By the end of Year 6, I would expect set 1 to have completed Ab Initio Book 1. I would expect set 2 to have reached half way.
The pace is inevitably much quicker for set 1, as they are on the fast track to Scholarship. Set 2 will have 1 lesson a week devoted to what I call ‘background’, in other words Greek mythology, the city of Rome etc. This is approximately 15% of the Common Entrance syllabus.
There are regular vocabulary and grammar tests for each set from now on.
4 lessons a week
This is a continuation of Year 6 work. I would expect set 1 to have completed Book 2 and set 2 to have completed Book 1.
4 lessons a week (5 for the Scholars)
This is a continuation of Year 7 work. Set 1 will be studying Level 3/Scholarship work as well as looking at past papers for their respective schools. Set 2 will consolidate their knowledge of Level 1 or will move onto Level 2 work, with CE past papers liberally strewn in their way.