Katherine Barker 

    Head of Classics (Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation)

    Katherine joined Hurst in 2014 having spent time teaching in York, Cambridge and Oxford. She studied Literae Humaniores at Oxford and gained her PGCE from Cambridge. She currently oversees the Classics provision for pupils from Year 3 to Upper Sixth, and spends time reading about and following new developments and research in teaching. Katherine absolutely loves Classics, tweeting regularly about school events and articles from further afield. Her interests are wide ranging, but she is most excited by the literature and stories of the Greeks and Romans and any new discovery at Vindolanda. Katherine also loves the countryside and helps run the Duke of Edinburgh and Triathlon programmes.


    The classical world is vibrant, colourful, challenging and very much alive as a result of new research and discoveries made on a regular basis.

    At the heart of our Classics department is an enthusiastic love of Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation and our aim is to make the ancient world accessible to students. Ancient ideas about philosophy, politics, religion, history, maths, science, anatomy and art form the bedrock of so much about Western understanding of the world around us; by tapping into that world we learn as much about ourselves as we do about mankind in general. The rigorous and challenging study of the Classical languages gives students the chance to understand the workings of our own and other modern languages. This is in addition to the benefits and pleasures of being able to read for oneself, without translation, some of the classics of Western literature in the original language.

    We understand that the love of a subject has as much to do with what students do outside the classroom as it does within the classroom. Therefore we make full and unashamed use of any time we can give to students' experiences of the Romans and Greeks that extend and develop their learning, such as film nights, visiting speakers, HSU (Highly Selective Universities) programme of talks and research for those interested in Classics at university, plus a number of trips to the British Museum and Cambridge Literature Conference, for example.


    At A-level we offer courses in Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek and Latin, following the OCR specifications.

    Classical Civilisation investigates the World of Ancient Greece and Rome through its literature, art and architecture. The joy of this subject is that it is a new way of looking at the world.

    Greek in the Sixth Form is a rare beast in many schools, and we are proud at Hurst to have fielded several excellent candidates over the past few years. As with Latin, it commands huge respect in all higher education organisations and both subjects are superbly set to create an inquiring, knowledgeable, hard-thinking, open-minded, balanced, and reflective student. With their linguistic, cultural, historical, and philosophical elements they are both enthralling and diverse subjects with a huge amount to offer.

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