Latin and Ancient Greek are not in the least dead at Oxford High. Our department offers a colourful and vigorous introduction to the Classical world encompassing both language and culture, reinforcing both with lectures, visits and performances.
Every girl in the school learns Latin from Year 7, and has the opportunity to make innumerable discoveries: the logic of Latin grammar, the truth about the last day of Pompeii, the story of Achilles and Troy and the Wooden Horse (timeo Danaos et dona ferentes), the upbringing and inspiration of the poets Horace and Vergil, why the Romans loved to imitate the Greeks, how the Roman army machine conquered the known world (including Britain) and of course how Latin feeds into the English and romance languages. By the end of Year 9 students will have encountered all of these topics and more, thinking about the foundation which the classical world has given to Western thought and science. Latin GCSE is an option chosen by many girls since they perceive it as both interesting in itself and also excellent as a foundation for numerous courses of study.
If girls want to discover about the language and culture of Homer, Plato, Sophocles and Herodotus they may choose to study Ancient Greek in Year 9, choosing again after one year if they wish to study the subject for GCSE. To study Greek is to become part of a group of enthusiasts: the number is small but the rewards of this fascinating subject are great.
In the Sixth Form we offer full Latin and Greek AS and A2 Level for (usually) a small but well-motivated cohort, and several of these students will go on to study Classical subjects at university.