Head of Faculty: Mr P.G. Fitzgerald
How we think, how we write, how we build, how we travel, and even how we relax; these are the intellectual, cultural and practical legacies bequeathed us by the Classical World. The study of the ancient works of Greek and Roman authors whose themes, theories and values still resonate today, 2000 years after they were written, serves to remind us of the intrinsic value of a Classical education.
Shrewsbury School pupils have the opportunity to study both Latin and Classical Greek ab initio up to Oxbridge entrance level during their time at the school – as well as the chance to take Ancient History and Classical Civilisation.
All pupils take Latin (and may choose to take Greek too) in their first year and many of them opt to continue one or both for GCSE. Shrewsbury is one of a just a handful of schools to offer Ancient History at GCSE – with its mixture of battles, bloodshed and politics – for those who prefer studying the ancient world to ancient languages.
Once in the Sixth Form, pupils can take Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation to A level. All three subjects are now linear, with examinations taken after two years, at the end of the Upper Sixth.
Over the years, Shrewsbury has produced significant numbers of students reading for the Classics Tripos at Cambridge or Greats at Oxford; in the past few years, boys and girls have gone up to Christ Church, Merton, Trinity and New College, Oxford, and Corpus Christi Cambridge, with many going on to win university prizes. Nowadays we also see many reading the newer courses at Oxbridge in Ancient and Modern History, or Classics and English. Many of these candidates have early on shown their classical potential by entering – and winning - the big national essay competitions; in recent years we have had success in the national Gladstone Prize – the UK's premier essay prize in Classics.
Outside the classroom, the faculty runs a Classics trip to either Greece or Italy in alternate years. The Classical Society invites outside speakers to address pupils, usually once a term; the Faculty recently put on a production of Euripides’ Medea (see photo gallery); and pupils can elect to attend Bryanston for the two-week annual Greek Summer School.