Here at Runnymede we understand the importance of learning from the past, and our Classics Department leads the conversation with its study of the Greek and Roman eras as well as the Latin language. Our dedicated staff share their passion for the subject and at every turn highlight its relevance. We owe so much to these civilisations, with ancient ideas of philosophy, politics, maths and art forming the basis for our modern societies.

Through the study of Classics our pupils get a privileged chance to not only learn the language that set the bedrock of our Modern Romance languages but also the everyday life of the Roman and Greek times. To really spark our student’s imagination, we take them to some of the most famous archeological sites in the world. The Year 7 trip to Mérida brings to life many of the different aspects of Roman life studied over the previous three terms. Apart from seeing the amazing public buildings such as the theatre, amphitheatre and the longest surviving Roman bridge, which are perhaps more obvious, the Year 7 pupils go round Roman houses and they also learn about day-to-day life in the Museum of Roman Art seeing such things as brooches, mirrors and lamps.

Even more popular is the Year 10 trip to Pompeii, Herculaneum and other sites in the Bay of Naples, including the top of Mount Vesuvius and the villa of the Emperor Tiberius high on a cliff in Capri. After years of learning about Caecilius and other residents of Pompeii, our students find themselves barely believing that they are walking along the same streets as their ancient heroes.

Another landmark of our Classics Department is the Latin play. Every year our Year 9s put on their togas and perform an ancient drama. Dances, live music and spectacular acting light up what is always remembered as one of the best nights in the school year.

Those who choose to continue with Latin for IGCSE and A-level delve more deeply into certain aspects of the Roman world. The literature read in Years 11, 12 and 13 is an engaging mixture of prose and poetry, of fiction and real life. Cicero features strongly, as does Ovid’s love poetry and Virgil’s patriotic texts.

We offer Art GCSE and A-level.