Curriculum Subjects


See our Classics Curriculum below at Bentley Wood for KS3, KS4 and KS5


Classics is the broadest subject studied at Bentley Wood; it encompasses language, literature, history, politics, drama, art, and philosophy. The Classics department intends to foster a deep love of learning in its students and to nurture a curious and proactive attitude towards gaining knowledge, reading and also learning about themselves. Students of Classics will become confident and independent learners, inquisitive listeners and able researchers.

Classics students at Bentley Wood will become well versed in diverse topics regarding the ancient world. They will become confident in analysing ancient sources and they will also become critical readers and thinkers.

There are three different subjects that come under ‘Classics’; Greek, Latin and Classical Civilisation. We offer the latter two at Bentley Wood, with Greek being taught currently through the Year 8 enrichment Classics Club.

KS4 | Latin

KS4 Latin

“Latin is exciting, it’s challenging, it introduces children to a whole range of worlds and literatures that are different from their own. So it’s mind-expanding and fun” Mary Beard.

Students of Latin will gain deep and broad understanding of the Latin language. They will gain strong knowledge of Latin vocabulary and its derivations, grammar and syntax. Latin students will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the history and culture of Ancient Rome and its provinces.

The following curriculum overview maps out how students build on their language skills to eventually use their learning to read and analyse real Roman literature and learn about the world in which Latin was spoken. As they move through the textbook in year 9, they learn about certain civilisation topics which the Latin stores are based on. In year 10 students focus on Roman civilisation topics which will be examined as part of the third paper. In year 11 they focus on the literature that has been specified for the second paper.

 Examining Board: Eduqas

Course Aims:

  • To provide learners with the skills to develop and use their knowledge of Latin vocabulary, grammar and syntax in order to understand and interpret straightforward Latin.
  • To develop learners’ knowledge of Latin literature through the study of original texts
  • To develop an understanding of the Roman World and its culture and values.
  • To develop critical, analytical and reflective skills to evaluate evidence from a range of texts and sources to encourage intellectual independence and enquiry.
  • To support learners’ understanding and deepen their knowledge of English and other languages and to encourage an appreciation of the Ancient World and its effects on modern life and culture.

Course Content:

Examining Board: Eduqas

Component 1


Section A:  1 hour 30 mins, 50% of qualification, 100 marks

Students are given an unseen passage to Latin to read, interpret and translate. Students use their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and syntax to translate a passage of Latin and to answer comprehension questions. Learners have to demonstrate their knowledge of Latin derivations and recognise elements of Latin accidence and syntax.

Section B 

Either: Translate a small number of simple sentences from English to Latin.
Or: Recognise a small number of grammatical and syntactical points in a short passage of Latin.

Component 2

Latin Literature and Sources: 1 hour 15 mins, 30% of qualification, 60 marks

A prescription of Latin literature, both prose and verse, on a theme together with prescribed ancient source materials on the same theme. A choice of one of two themes is offered. This is an open-book assessment.

Component 3 1 hour, 20% of qualification, 40 marks

Roman Civilisation

Students study sources (as before) on a chosen topic (e.g. Religion in the Roman World) and show knowledge of the Roman World through analysis of the material and evaluation of evidence from across the text.

 Classics enrichment:

  • Classics Society
  • Trips to Bath, St Albans, British Museum
  • Trip to Rome and Pompeii

Reading List:

Ancient literature:

  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • The Metamorphoses by Ovid

Modern Literature:

  • Mythos by Stephen Fry
  • Troy by Stephen Fry
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • Circe by Madeliene Miller
  • Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  • Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
  • The Olympians (graphic novel series) by George O’Connor
  • It’s all Greek to me by Charlotte Higgins
  • Veni Vidi Vici by Peter Jones

Key Stage 5 Progression

Students can go onto broaden their knowledge of the Roman civilisation topic by studying Classical Civilisation.

Careers Prospects

The need for attention to detail in the study of Latin and the critical and evaluative skills that are developed through literature and source-based learning means that students of Classics are well prepared for entering a large variety of careers, such as  law, medicine, politics, journalism, teaching, academia (Mary Beard, Edith Hall), writing C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling) broadcasting and curating. Students pursuing a career in medicine or law would benefit from studying Latin as much of the technical vocabulary is derived from the language.

KS5 | Classical Civilisation

KS5 Classical Civilisation

“Classics is at the heart of the Western  cultural enterprise” Mary Beard.

 Students will gain a rich knowledge of ancient literature through studying epic, theatre and historical sources. They will also gain an appreciation of material culture through studying ancient art and architecture.  Students are encouraged to think for themselves, to use textual evidence to support ideas, analyse the implications of the choices writer’s make, and to evaluate contextual significance.

We have created an ambitious and accessible curriculum that aims to do the following:

  • Enables progression for all students.
  • A sequenced curriculum with interleaved topics to allow continuous recall.
  • Frequent assessment to ensure that progress is made between key points in the course and that students are prepared to sit external exams.
  • Opportunities to conduct and share independent research.
  • A range of extra-curricular opportunities offered to broaden students’ experience of the ancient world and the world around them.

Course content

Examining Board: OCR

Students will study a combination of literature and material culture, learning to engage creatively and apply their knowledge of literary and source-based analysis in class discussions and formal writing. Students study three modules for the final A Level exam; ‘World of the Hero’, ‘Greek Theatre’ and ‘Love and Relationships’.

In year 12 students study ‘World of the Hero’ focusing on Homer’s Odyssey. They also read the tragedies Oedipus and the Bacchae and the comedy Frogs for ‘Greek Theatre’.

In year 13 students continue building on their knowledge of the Odyssey and focus on Virgil’s Aeneid. They look at Sappho, Seneca, Plato and Ovid for the ‘Love and Relationships’ module.

Methods of study

All assessment is through examination.

Books to purchase for the course:

  • Homer Odyssey – B003P9XDA2
  • Virgil Aeneid – 0140449329
  • Euripides Bacchae – 052165372X
  • Sophocles Oedipus Rex – 0140444254
  • Aristophanes Frogs – 0521172578
  • Seneca Letters – 9780140442106
  • Sappho Fragments – 0140455574

Career Progression:

Classics is such a multi-faceted subject that it prepares students for a variety of careers.  The study of Classics covers disciplines such as: literature, language, linguistics, politics, history, art, architecture, anthropology, literary criticism, law, rhetoric and philosophy.  The need for attention to detail in the study of the language and for critical and evaluative skills means that the student of Classics is well prepared for entering a large variety of careers, such as: law, politics, journalism, teaching, academia (Mary Beard, Edith Hall), writing (C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling), broadcasting, curating and many more.

Classics enrichment:

British Museum Trip
Theatre Trips
Archaeology, essay writing and audio-visual competitions

Reading List:

Ancient literature:

Medea by Euripides
Hippolytus by Euripides
Antigone by Sophocles
The Odyssey by Homer
The Iliad by Homer
The Histories by Herodotus
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
The Aeneid by Virgil
Metamorphoses by Ovid
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius

Modern Literature:

Mythos by Stephen Fry
Troy by Stephen Fry
Women and Power by Mary Beard
SPQR by Mary Beard
Helen of Troy by Bettany Hughes
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes
Circe by Madeliene Miller
The children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes
Song of Achilles by Madeliene Miller
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Ariadne by Jennifer Sant
Gods behaving badly by Marie Philips
Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins
Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin
Domina; the women who made imperial Rome by Guy De La Bodoyere