The Dragon has a flourishing department (of nine classicists) with an excellent scholarship and Common Entrance record in both Latin and Greek. This is the largest department of its kind amongst prep schools and is thus able to attract specialist Classicists.
The department works hard to keep Classics at the forefront of the curriculum within the school and this involves not only providing a rigorous approach to teaching the subject, but also maintaining a realistic, innovative and up to date awareness of how to enthuse modern children of all abilities.
The children start to learn Latin in their form groups in Year 5 and follow our own Beginners' Booklet which has been refined through many years of introducing Dragons to Latin. From Year 6 onwards Latin is setted in accordance with the child's performance over their first year, and in subsequent Unit Tests and exams. Progress is made at a pace that suits the individual child. The Department has also written the 'Improvers' Booklet' specifically aimed at Year 6 children, which means that the Dragon now effectively has a two-book course to take a pupil from complete beginner to Common Entrance Level 1.
In Year 7 and 8 children use the Galore Park Latin Prep series in preparation for Common Entrance and Scholarship, supplemented by more of our home grown resources containing the complex grammar and syntax required for many senior school Scholarship papers. The pupils are also great fans of pelman cards, dice games, Latin Bingo, and various online quizzes; all aimed at different learning styles, and of course to keep the subject great fun!
Greek can be taken as a timetabled subject in Year 7 and 8. It is offered to those in the top two language sets (with Spanish or German offered as alternatives). These children move very quickly through the basics and will sit Scholarship or Common Entrance papers at the end of their two years. For these fifty or so children, we have written our own tailor-made Greek course. A trip every year to see a Greek play at the Oxford Playhouse is always popular. Sometimes it’s actually performed in ancient Greek!