Common Time 2019


Winchester Classics
Winchester Herodotus
Winchester Herodotus

Winchester has a long and unbroken history of excellence in classical studies. This we retain today in the teaching of Greek and Latin, aiming both to maintain the traditional linguistic rigour of our subjects, and at the same time to offer stimulating and accessible courses which we hope will give our pupils a lifelong interest in and curiosity about the ancient past.

Lower School

All boys study Latin for their first three years, and take IGCSE or GCSE at the end of that time. About thirty boys each year are beginners. Both IGCSE and GCSE involve the study of small portions of the great works of Roman literature in the original language, backed up by the development of linguistic skills which are tested in the examination by comprehension and translation exercises. Some boys also make a detailed study of various aspects of Roman daily life.

Up to thirty boys a year choose Greek in the Lower School. We cater both for those who have studied the language before, and for those with no previous experience. GCSE Greek involves the same skills as the equivalent Latin examination.

Upper School

We offer Cambridge Pre-U courses in Greek and Latin. We aim to provide as broad as possible an education in classical literature, culminating in the study of two set books in each language, with reference to  topics from the Greek and Roman past, each of them set in a general historical context. The department regularly sends boys on to read for degrees in classical subjects at Oxford, Cambridge and other major universities.

Beyond the Classroom

Winchester is richly endowed with classical prizes: each year boys compete, in the Upper School, for the prestigious Goddard Scholarship, the Queen's Gold and Silver Medals for Latin Composition and Latin Speech, and the Ross Homer Prize; and in the Lower School for the Morse Prizes for Latin Translation and Latin Reading.

The Classical Society meets several times a year. Speakers from other schools and universities address boys on a variety of topics of classical interest. There is usually an overseas Classics trip to Greece, Italy or Turkey in the Easter holiday. There are also occasional theatre trips and museum visits.

Greek Vases

Among the department's teaching resources is a collection of some eighty Greek vases, largely assembled in the 1890s to form part of a museum that was built to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the College's foundation. The collection includes examples from most of the major styles of Greek Pottery.

Some of the Greek vases in the Winchester College collection.