Welcome to the Classics Department

salvete parentes et studentes!

Latin and Ancient Greek might be called dead languages but they are alive and thriving at Chatham Grammar School for Girls! “Classics” is the study of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome in the original languages of Greek and Latin as well as material translated into English.

Year 7 to 9

All students study Latin – the language of the Romans. Learning Latin increases the students’ awareness and understanding of how languages work and encourages them to make links between Latin and modern languages such as English, French and Spanish.

Further to their language study, students explore aspects of Roman culture including human rights, daily life, entertainment and history. Study of Roman culture allows students to explore the roots of British society and make comparisons between ancient and modern moral values. In Year 9 we also have a series of Classical Civilisation lessons focussing on Homer’s Odyssey and Greek Art and Architecture.

In Year 8 all students have the opportunity to visit Verulamium Museum in St Albans and Welwyn Roman Baths where they view Roman sites in Britain and get inspiration for project work on a Roman villa and Bathing complex.


GCSE Latin (OCR)

This course offers you the opportunity to study elements of the language, literature and culture of the Roman world. It assesses your linguistic knowledge, your understanding and appreciation of literature in the original language, and your analysis, evaluation and response to evidence of Roman civilisation.  There will also be a trip to Italy so that you can view the ancient sites in their cultural setting.

A Language module (50% of the course) develops your knowledge of Latin vocabulary and linguistic structures through reading and studying texts and stories in Latin. You will demonstrate your linguistic competence through the translation and comprehension of unseen Latin passages and recognising, analysing and explaining accidence and syntax.

A Prose Literature module (25% of the course) introduces you to Roman writers and asks you to translate sections, answer short comprehension questions and comment on plot, character, themes and literary techniques. You will demonstrate your ability to analyse, evaluate and respond to ancient literature.

A Literature and Culture module (25% of the course) introduces you to key features of Roman society and daily life. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of Roman civilisation and culture through the study of ancient literature and other ancient source material. You will demonstrate your ability to understand, respond to and evaluate sources as evidence for the ancient world, compare and contrast ideals, values and social practices from the ancient and modern worlds.


GCSE Latin will enable you to:


  • Develop an appropriate level of competence in the Latin language.

  • Develop a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally.

  • Develop and apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level.

  • Make an informed, personal response to the material studied.

  • Acquire, through studying a range of appropriate sources, knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of the classical world.

  • Develop an awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times and of the similarities and differences between the classical world and later times.



Written Examination (100%)

Course Structure

The course consists of 3 units:

J282/01: Language

J282/03: Prose Literature B

J282/06: Literature and Culture