et quasi cursores vitai lampada tradunt
And like runners, they pass on the torch of life.
The motto of Oakham School, a line from the Roman poet Lucretius (De rerum natura 2.79)
Classics has a long history at Oakham - Latin and Greek have been taught at Oakham School continuously for over four hundred years - but Classics remains intensely relevant to the modern world.
Classics is interdisciplinary by nature, and pupils are encouraged to make links between other subjects and with their wider knowledge and interests, to illuminate the present through engaging with the past.
In Classics we offer three subjects: Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilisation.
The study of Latin brings many benefits for pupils’ everyday lives and educational development. It enables pupils to develop their vocabulary, both in English and other languages which derive words from Latin; to learn how to express themselves lucidly and effectively; to respond critically to information; to learn analytical skills through studying a logical grammar; and to engage with some of the finest literature ever written, which still holds the power to move us so many centuries later.
Latin is studied by all pupils in Forms 1 and 2, and may be chosen for study in Form 3, then subsequently at GCSE, A Level or IB.
Greek offers the same benefits as Latin, and pupils will immediately see opportunities for utilising their expanded knowledge of (often technical and scientific) vocabulary, whilst learning to read the works of the creators of democracy, philosophy and the Western artistic tradition in their own words, as they composed them, two and a half millennia ago.
Greek may be chosen for study in Form 4 at GCSE, and continued for A Level or IB.
Whether it is reading how Odysseus escaped the murderous Cyclops or how 300 soldiers held off an ancient superpower, Classical Civilisation offers pupils the opportunity to interact with some of the most fascinating and intriguing aspects of the ancient world. Myths, art, drama, archaeology and history all play a part in this wide-ranging subject.
Classical Civilisation may be chosen at GCSE without any prior study, and no Latin or Greek is involved. It may also be taken up as a new subject at A Level without prior study.
Our results are extremely good, and pupils are aided to achieve the best results for them as individuals. A steady number of our former students progress to University study at Oxbridge and other top universities.
Before arriving at Oakham, I taught Classics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. I’ve previously worked in Museums Outreach where I took materials and activities into schools in disadvantaged areas which were unable to make visits into the museum itself. I’ve also catalogued holdings of ancient coinage and terracotta temple offerings for several different institutions. I’ve studied at the Universities of Nottingham and Cambridge. In my spare time I enjoy woodwork and learning languages.