Classics at Dauntsey’s is the study of Latin and Classical Civilisation. In Latin, we study the language and literature of the Romans in Lower School, GCSE and A level; in Classical Civilisation we study the literature, history and culture of the Greeks and the Romans at GCSE and A level; at the moment Lower School pupils meet Greek in the Odyssey club.
Latin is studied by all the First Form along with three modern languages: they then choose two languages to study in the Second and Third form: we welcome any keen enthusiast! This year, GCSE candidates are studying, inter alia, the story of the doomed love affair between Dido and Aeneas; and A level pupils are investigating the depths that men will stoop to for the sake of power, in Tacitus’ Histories.
This year’s Classical Civilisation GCSE set are learning about the Greek and Roman approach to gods, Hercules, festivals and sacrifice, and the Mycenaean world of Homer and The Odyssey; while A level pupils learn about the world of the hero and Greek theatre and religion.
The Odyssey club is primarily aimed at Lower School pupils who follow Odysseus on his ten-year voyage to get home, meet some monsters, chart his course, read The Odyssey, draw some 2,500 year old vases and start to learn to write the Greek alphabet.
At Dauntsey's, we aim to support pupils’ learning through a range of extra-curricular events. GCSE and A level pupils attend lectures with the Salisbury Classical Association, and we have been keen members of the audience at the Cambridge Greek Play. The First Form are visited by an experimental author, Ben Kane, to discover Roman life and the army, trying out replica weapons and armour! The Second Form Latinists go to Fishbourne and trace the mosaics; the Third Form Latinists visit Bath to see the curse tablets and what a thermae was really like (and also to literally test the temperature of the water). On the Foreign trip front we have been quiet of late but are looking to get back in harness; in the past, we have visited Greece (2016), Rome (2015) and Sicily (2014).