The NLCS Classics Department is a thriving department at the heart of the academic life of the school, with over seventy students currently studying a Classical subject in the sixth-form and students from every year in the school involved in our extra-curricular activities. The department consists of 8 full-time members of staff, all of whom may teach Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation, covering an extensive range of subject specialisms.
The Classics Department gives students a sense of the inherent interest of the Roman and Greek world, and its great influence over succeeding eras. By studying classics, the students also gain help with many other academic disciplines. For example, study of the Latin grammar equips students superbly for study of modern foreign languages, promotes logical thought and problem-solving and requires precision. On the other hand, the opportunity to study Greek and Roman civilisation from a distance stimulates vital consideration of social, political and cultural values, encouraging healthy comparison with modern life and opening a wealth of avenues for exploration.
Latin is studied by all girls in Years 7-9, and is then offered at GCSE, where Greek is also available as a two year ab initio course. In the Sixth Form both languages are offered via International Baccalaureate and A Level routes, and Classical Civilisation is also available at A level.
Each year a number of girls apply to read Classics at university, either as a straight Classics course or as part of dual honours e.g. Classics and English or Classics and Modern Foreign Languages.
A full programme of extra-curricular events is organised for students to complement their academic programmes and encourage further exploration of the Classical World. Trips to sites and museums in Britain, plus an annual trip overseas augment the girls study. The Sixth Form is particularly rich in opportunities, including lecture days, trips to see productions of Classical plays, producing an annual Aristophanic comedy in English, visits to NLCS by academics, involvement in symposia with students from Eton and Whitgift School, and visits to Oxford or Cambridge.
The annual Classics Symposium, combining two guest speakers with a grand Greek dinner for Classics students in Years 11-13 is a firm favourite amongst staff and pupils alike. The Classical Society, run by Sixth Form girls, invites outside speakers to the school and also runs the Middle School Classics Club. The Society has also launched a newsletter/journal for other students, now entitled nuntius.
Students have enjoyed considerable success in national competitions such as the Jowett Sendelar Essay Competition (Years 7-9), the St John’s College Oxford Classics Essay Competition and the International CICERO Latin translation competition.
Members of the department are also involved in outreach programmes within the wider community, including a very successful and popular Minimus club at a local state primary school, run by NLCS sixth-former Classicists, and a GCSE-Latin link with a local comprehensive.