At this year’s Gloucestershire Latin Reading Competition, Fifth Former Max Thomas performed outstandingly well to win second place. Held at the Parabola Arts Centre at the end of February, Max recited a passage from Book 1 of Virgil’s Aeneid (this year’s GCSE verse set text) with great expertise. The intermediate category in which Max was competing was strongly contested with 16 otherparticipants from Cheltenham College, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Malvern St James. The contest was adjudicated by Dr John Godwin, Head of Classics at Shrewsbury school and an authority on the poet Catullus, who was looking for accurate pronunciation and good meter.

In recent years Dean Close has been able to boast an outstanding record in this competition. Head of Classics, Jon Allen, said: “Verse reading is technically very demanding: one needs to adhere to the meter, pronounce vowel quantities correctly and, if that were not enough, to communicate the sense of the passage to one’s audience. Dean Close enjoys a proud record of success in this competition and Max has done extremely well.”

The Department achieves consistently excellent academic results. Summer 2016 saw 70 entries in classical subjects from GCSE to A Level. Around a quarter of the GCSE year group took Latin and/or Greek with over 80% achieving A*/A, and at A Level 100% of grades were A*/A.

Dean Close is a huge advocate of Classical Studies. There is a very compelling reason why employers value Classicists – through the study of Latin and Greek, Classics graduates acquire a multiplicity of skills, literary, linguistic, historical and philosophical. The ability to communicate precisely, to argue one’s case convincingly and to analyse and evaluate are all skills that are in great demand and whichthe discipline of a Classics degreeinculcates.

Listen to Max’s recital here >>>