The Classics Department is a small, relatively new department with one full-time teacher (Mr J Kimber). Auxiliary forces are recruited from the Headmaster, Mr Lambert, who teaches some Sixth Form Latin and Greek, and Mrs Lambert has taught some Classical Civilisation.

Classics has a dedicated teaching room and an equally dedicated, select group of students. Latin started out as a lunchtime activity four years ago and from this group we now have three students taking A Level. In the last two years three students have gone on to study Classics at Oxford or Cambridge despite not having timetabled Latin lessons. There is an annual Classics trip to Italy or Greece, a flourishing lunchtime Greek club, a Classics Society, and this year sees the inaugural Greek play – Antigone – aimed at students from Years 7 to 10.

The Classics Department wants to ignite a spark of curiosity in students who are new to Classics, to kindle passion in those who are studying Latin or Greek, and to nurture the interest of more advanced students. We read some of the greatest literature ever written and we try to make sense of the modern world through a window to the past.

Lower School

Students may opt to study Latin in Year 9 instead of Computer Science. In 2017-18 this will be two lessons per week. We follow the So You Really Want to Learn Latin? course, which provides a rigorous grounding in grammar and an emphasis on English to Latin translation, and we read stories from the Disce Latinum course. We also study some poems by Catullus and look at certain aspects of Roman culture and society.

Middle School

Students study the OCR Latin GCSE (9-1) course. This combines a study of the Latin language and some prose and verse literature. In 2017-18 students will study poems by Horace, Martial and Ovid, and extracts of Pliny and Cicero.

In the last academic year 100% of students achieved an A* or an A grade at GCSE.

Sixth Form

Students study the OCR Latin A Level course. This combines a study of the Latin language and some prose and verse literature. In 2017-18 students will study poems by Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus, Book X of the Aeneid, and extracts of Cicero and Tacitus.

2017-18 sees our first cohort of timetabled Latin students sitting A Level exams.

What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?

In many ways the same that makes a good Dubai College student – follow your passion; be yourself; carpe diem.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?

Curiosity; passion; a love of learning for its own sake; self-confidence; independence; critical thinking; the pursuit of excellence, truth and beauty; to make connections between the Classical world and the modern.

In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?

It feels more like a community than a school. I have a strong sense that we are all (teachers, students, administration staff, parents, governors, maintenance staff, caretakers, bus drivers, gardeners…) on the same team working to achieve a shared objective.

Who or what inspires you?

A line of Virgil; Horace’s Odes; students who bring fire and intensity to their studies; the power of the human spirit in adversity; mountains; solitude.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

I was taught by Mary Beard (pretty much an A-list celebrity now!) at Cambridge. I taught Dubai College Headmaster, Mr Lambert, when he was 12! I have a New Zealand passport and a Mountain Leader qualification. I write comedy and once made tea for the New Zealand Prime Minister.

Mr J Kimber, Head of Classics

Meet the staff

Jim Kimber

Jim Kimber

Titles: Head of Classics

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