Classical Civilisation

Course specification: OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation (9-1) J199

Classical Civilisation is not only a fascinating subject but also a particularly valuable literary, historical and archaeological qualification because it combines a variety of topics and develops a range of important skills.

Classics GCSEThe Classical world forms the foundation of Western civilisation. The majority of European art, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, government, politics, law and language traces its roots to ancient Greece or Rome. Of course, students do not have to study all of these areas, but the relevance of Classical Civilisation to the world we live in is unquestionable.

A qualification in Classical Civilisation is evidence of a student’s ability to understand how people lived in ancient times and how to make comparisons with the present day. Students will demonstrate understanding of some of the best literature the world has ever produced. The qualification also provides evidence of a student’s ability to recall and understand historical and archaeological information and express herself clearly.

Students study two components:

  • Myth and Religion - this component includes study of the roles, symbols and depictions of the Greek and Roman gods, their festivals and temples, mythology and ancient beliefs in the Underworld
  • The Homeric World - this is focused on Homer’s Odyssey, and includes personal response to the characters and plots as well as analysis of themes such as fate, revenge and justice. It also includes study of real life in the Mycenean age through sites and artefacts.

Classics tripPrevious study of Latin or Greek is not necessary: everything in the course is studied in English. Students do not need to have studied Classical Civilisation in Year 9.

Classics Trip

The department regularly runs a (non-compulsory) trip to Italy or Greece which is a useful complement to the course and is always highly enjoyable.

Optional trip: Classics Trip to Greece or Italy, Years 9-13 (Greece) and Years 8-13 (Italy). Approximate cost: £700.