Classics"Following the example of men and women who loved, fought thought and lived 1000, 2000 or even 3000 years ago allows us to examine what it is to be human without a partisan knowledge of modern-day characters and politics."
– Bettany Hughes (historian).
In a specialist humanities school, classics occupies a special place! Classics is about the study of civilisation in all its forms – art, architecture, literature, politics, science, philosophy, technology...the list is endless!
At St Philip Howard, students have the opportunity to study Latin and/or Classical Civilisation from Year 7, through GCSE, right up to A level. Many students then choose to continue with the subject at university. The subject has proved very popular over the years, with many students expressing a passionate enthusiasm for it.
"Classics opens up a whole new world as it introduces you to a different language, a different time and a different culture."
– Year 9 student
What classics uniquely offers is the opportunity to examine and evaluate the two great civilisations of Greece and Rome, which were the foundation of western culture. In doing so, students develop a range of skills, from the basic literary skills of reading and writing to the interpretation and evaluation of evidence, within a framework which they find interesting and enjoyable. They are also helped to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, as the consideration of the values of these past civilisations encourages them to examine their own standards and values.
"Perhaps the single most important quality (in life)...is the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. I can think of no better way to learn these skills than by a study of classics."
– Sir Anthony Cleaver, former Chair of IBM & Head of UK Atomic Energy Authority
Outside of the classroom, fieldtrips to Hadrian´s Wall and Greece give our 6th Form students first hand experience of the great sites and monuments of the classical world, while many of our students regularly volunteer during their half term holidays to help at Fishbourne Roman Palace. Some 6th Form students have gone even further afield, following up their fieldtrip to Hadrian´s Wall by going back as volunteers on the archaeological dig at Vindolanda Roman Fort in their summer holidays.
"There is no subject which opens up a wider range of skills and pleasures than a knowledge of the Classics."
– Angela Lambert, journalist with the Independent
In conclusion, we would maintain that so many aspects of our everyday life, from our laws to our adverts, from technology to culture, from our language to those of our European neighbours are still so much influenced by the Classical world that some study of it is absolutely essential to our full appreciation of our own civilisation. Classics is above all the quintessential "European" subject, providing, as it does, the common roots and links between cultures across Europe.
"Both experience and observation convince me that the study of Classics forms an excellent basis for all sorts of careers."
– Sir Jeremy Morse, former chairman of Lloyds Bank