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Classical things are omnipresent or ubiquitous if you prefer. The study of the language, culture, history et alia both Romanorum and  twn Aqhnaiwn provide the necessary rigor (also a Latin word) and enthusiasm (Greek) to broaden the mind of the modern learner and imbue them with true academic ideals – students of Classics at Bootham learn to love learning and every year a good number go on to study for Classical degrees, having gone per angusta ad augusta during their time at the school.

Classics students in Greece

The department’s principal aim is to encourage pupils to think critically and logically as well as appreciate the influence of ancient civilisations on modern day. To this we add the aim that they should be able to handle language and literature with clear understanding. We operate on three clear values: knowledge, skills and values:


  • To develop an understanding of the values of Greek and Roman civilisation by looking at linguistic, literary, historical, ethical, political, social, religious and artistic concepts.
  • To develop an awareness of similarities and differences between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
  • To develop a level of understanding of Latin so as to read Latin literature in its original form.
  • To encourage students to recognise links between Latin and Romance languages.


  • To analyse and evaluate critically different types of evidence from the ancient world.
  • To read Classical Latin with appreciation for the linguistic devises used and the genre of the writing.
  • To seek information in appropriate places and present it in an effective and communicative way.
  • To develop ICT skills both in presentation and research.


  • To encourage individual thought and reasoning.
  • To encourage a positive attitude to learning.
  • To develop a curiosity about the ancient world.
  • To foster a love of language and learning for learning’s sake.

Students study OCR Classics specification mixing two literature modules of Classical Civilisation with two modules of Roman History. At GCSE we currently study AQA Classical Civilisation and WJEC Level 2 Latin.

Classics students in Greece

Classics students in Greece

We believe that education happens outside of class too and in recent years the department has taken trips to Turkey (2010), Rome (2011, 2013), Greece (2012) and various sites of Roman Britain. There is another trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples planned for Spring 2014 for those studying GCSE Latin and Classical Civilisation. 


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Boy dressed as a Roman legionary


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Term Dates

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Girls in a dorm room
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