Subject overview

Pupils who study the classical languages of Latin and Greek are uniquely able to gain direct access to the culture, history, literature and thought of civilisations which have inspired later generations.  

Pupils have the opportunity to begin learning Latin in Lower Grammar (although a co-curricular Latin club is available in Figures and Rudiments at St. Mary’s Hall). Greek is also introduced in a taster course for Lower Grammar and each language is available at GCSE, A level and IB. The languages are not easy, but Stonyhurst pupils have continually achieved excellent results: our pupils often enjoy the intellectual challenge! Pupils learn to read and appreciate original literature, engaging with cultures that have much in common with our own yet at the same time are very different.

Both languages help learners to develop skills and intellectual flexibility, which will be useful for a wide range of other subjects and careers: classicists are certainly not just found in academia, but in every industry, up to and including board level. Indeed, NASA sees the value of classical knowledge and training in understanding how to develop interfaces between humans and autonomous systems!

Classics pupils on a school trip


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