A Classical education has always been an important part of Rugby’s provision. Housed within a unique setting in the oldest part of the School, the Department occupies a suite of rooms which includes Dr Arnold’s original schoolroom, Upper Bench, and the very well stocked Arnold Library.
We are keen to emphasise the traditional values of language and literature as well as an understanding of the historical contexts in Latin and Greek, whilst also encouraging an appreciation of literature, history and culture in Classical Civilisation.
The Department runs a Classical Society - The Arnold Society - with visiting speakers (usually from top universities) once a term followed by drinks and dinner as well as less formal, school-centred meetings. Pupils are also encouraged to host the society themselves, speaking on any Classical topic that interests them.
Lower School pupils are invited to the Junior Arnold Society for events such as a balloon debate to find out the greatest hero of all (with the characters acted by teachers) and a variety of talks by older pupils and staff. There is usually a Classical offering at the Summer Arts Festival with ‘Dido and Aeneas’, ‘Oedipus’, ‘The Festival of Dionysus’ and ‘Horrible Histories’ produced over the last few years as well as a workshop on the Greek tragic chorus last year. We run an E Block trip to Italy every summer and an Upper School trip in October to a variety of places – recently Italy, Greece, Tunisia and Sicily. We also take regular trips to lectures, plays and museums closer to home.
We offer Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation throughout the school following the OCR examination syllabus in every subject except A Level Classical Civilisation for which we use AQA. Marshall House (year 7 and 8) use the Cambridge Latin Course and in the F Block we use material from a variety of different textbooks and our own resources.
We have our own GCSE Latin textbook for the E and D blocks which we supplement with Taylor and Seigel. In Greek we use Taylor and Wilding. A number of our pupils go on to read Classical courses at a variety of universities (Bristol, Durham, Exeter, KCL, Manchester to name just a few) and we have several Oxbridge candidates each year with a good success rate.
A. E. L. Thomson, M.A. (Head of Department)
T.J. Day, B.A., P.G.C.E.
S. Harris, B.A.
L.B.T. Houghton, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., F.S.A. Scot