Students follow the OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation specification. The course has been designed to provide students with a broad, coherent and rewarding study of the culture of the classical world.

It offers learners the opportunity to acquire an understanding of their social, historical and cultural contexts. Classical Civilisation is a fascinating subject to study for a GCSE qualification and has enormous benefits to students. Without a shadow of a doubt, classical mythology has been the foundation of modern art and literature; the plays of the great Greek tragedians, the epics of Homer, Virgil, Ovid are constantly reworked in theatre, in music and cinema not only in Britain but across the world. It encourages cultural insight as the Greeks and the Romans are so different and so like us. Thus, it offers the opportunity for deeper reflection not only about one’s own self, one’s own views and one’s own beliefs but also about the lives of others.

Studying Classical Civilisation urges one to rethink, to question and to challenge assumptions, biases, stereotypical ideas and beliefs about modern society and modern cultures.

It enhances cultural appreciation of different civilisations and cultures, and in this way cultivates a sense of understanding the ‘other’. It teaches the foundations of philosophy, politics, history. It teaches the darkest and the most wonderful moments of human stories; their magnificent achievements and their total disasters. Cicero, Augustus Octavian, Pericles, Alexander the Great, Plato, Aristotle just to name few of these fascinating historical figures that changed the landscape of their own world and influenced western thought and society. It hones analytical skills and the ability to synthesise and compare sources and critically evaluate them. These transferable skills are greatly valued by future employers. Finally, it is fun!


At Eltham College, we aim to provide all students with a basic education in Latin and Classics, whether they choose to continue with the subject to GCSE and beyond or not. By studying Latin, students learn about how languages develop, exploring relationships between this ancient language and many modern languages. We also study the history of the Classical world through ancient literature, art and archaeology


All students start Latin as a compulsory subject with the option to continue at the end of Years 7, 9 and 11. Lessons are varied; from basic grammar and vocabulary, to discussions about Vesuvius, Roman Britain and The Trojan War.

Year 7

Students are introduced to Latin sentence structure and basic grammar. The stories are set in Pompeii before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD.

Year 8

Students continue with Latin grammar and vocabulary, alongside developing an understanding of Roman Britain and Celtic religion.

Year 9

Students who opt to continue with Latin develop their grammar and vocabulary with more complex translations and comprehensions. We also begin to discuss The Trojan War and classical mythology.


At GCSE, we follow the OCR curriculum alongside John Taylor’s new ‘Latin to GCSE’ course. Students are examined on language (translation and comprehension) and literature (a variety of prose and verse authors).


Trips, Activities and Clubs

The Classics Department recognises the importance of seeing Classics ‘in action’, whether that be by visiting museums and galleries to discuss and handle ancient artefacts or taking trips to ancient sites such as Bath, Hadrian’s Wall, Rome and Pompeii.

Recent and future trips include:

  • The National Gallery and Museum of London with Year 7
  • The Roman Galleries at the British Museum with Year 8
  • Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda with Year 8
  • Cambridge Greek Play with Years 11 and 12
  • Rome and Pompeii with Years 10 and 11
  • The Cambridge Classics Faculty with Years 10, 11 and 12

 We also offer Ancient Greek for Beginners as an optional club.

  • Dr E Michalopoulou BA, MA, PhD (Head of Classics)
  • Mr J Barnes MA
  • Ms M Cogni


School News

The latest leg of the Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition concluded on Wednesday with an impressive showcase of mathematical skills at St Dunstan’s College.
Last evening marked a significant milestone for the Eltham College Hans Woyda Team as they took the stage for their eagerly anticipated second league match of the academic year.
For our first ‘Meet The Teacher’ interview this academic year, we are diving into the world of mathematics to introduce André Astbury-Palmer, our new Maths Teacher at Eltham College.
Our Head of Junior School at Eltham College, Vikki Meier, shares her insights on the important decision of choosing the right school for your child.
On Sunday, our Chess team travelled to Eton to participate in the National Schools Rapid Play competition.