Latin (1)

Introducing Latin

The top two sets of Year 9 study Latin and then have the opportunity to study it for GCSE and A-level.

Pupils who enjoy and flourish at GCSE Latin will be well placed to succeed at A Level, where smaller class sizes enable a tutorial-style approach to learning. The greater depth in which the set texts are studied gives pupils the opportunity to immerse themselves in issues of history, philosophy and culture.

The vast majority of Latin pupils in recent years have gone on to achieve at least an A grade at A-Level. Many have also chosen to continue their study of Classics at university, including at Oxbridge.

Description of the Course

Year 9

The department advocates an independent-learning approach to the study of the Latin language, meaning that there are no set targets for termly progress. This is due to the fact that 9A is made up of those who have studied Latin before and 9B are all beginners. The bare minimum for a pupil wishing to continue Latin at GCSE level is the completion of the first four chapters of Book One of the course (Latin to GCSE) by the end of the year, but a large number will have got to the end of Book One.

The content of the Latin course is essentially a mixture of basic accidence, vocabulary and syntax acquisition, with emphasis placed on the importance of translation both from and into the target language. Pupils will also cover the GCSE Literature and Culture module, incorporating elements such as Roman Entertainment and Roman Britain; this means that they will already have completed a quarter of the GCSE course by the end of Year 9.

GCSE Level y10-11

Examination Board          OCR

Web address:          

Specification                      Latin (9-1) J282

Assessment:                      Three written papers

Candidates work towards assessment in a combination of language and literature, completing the language syllabus in Year 10 as well as starting the literature. In Year 11, they complete the literature element and revise the language.

Language: tests ability in unseen translation and comprehension of Latin prose, as well as derivations and basic grammar questions.

Verse Literature: tests knowledge, appreciation and understanding of a verse set text, currently selections from the Aeneid, Virgil’s epic masterpiece.

Literature and Culture: This will be a combination of two of the following (dependent on OCR’s prescription for that year): Entertainment, Myths and Beliefs, The Romans in Britain

A Level y12-13

Examination Board          OCR

Web address:          

Specification:                     A-Level (H443)

Lower Sixth

Language: The Lower Sixth course forms a suitable bridge from GCSE. Teachers should aim to complete Latin Beyond GCSE Chapters 1-3.

Literature: Pupils will be familiar with the Aeneid from GCSE and so it is recommended that teachers start with the verse literature. They should aim to complete the whole verse literature prescription so that the Year 12 end of year exams serve as a mock for this paper.

Upper Sixth

The A-Level papers provide scope for greater depth of study of literature and language. The unseen paper allows pupils the opportunity to read a large amount of unadapted poetry and prose from a range of authors, whilst strong linguists will relish the challenge of prose composition. Set text analysis requires the writing of full-length commentaries and essays. There are a number of texts on offer from the likes of Tacitus, Virgil and Ovid.