Latin

The Classics Department is part of the Languages Faculty, situated in the Library Block. Latin is a thriving subject with a strong take-up.

Universities and employers highly value this subject due to the way it develops analytical abilities, attention to detail and flexibility of approach. These skills are acquired through study of some of the greatest works of European literature and some of the most fascinating periods of history.

A former executive of BP once replied, when asked why the company recruited so many Classics students: “We find they sell more oil.”

Year 9

In Year 9, there are currently two mixed ability classes, each having two Latin lessons per week. The programme is an introduction to the grammar and other skills required for GCSE Latin, and it is designed to allow the pupils to begin reading genuine ancient Latin texts as soon as possible.

GCSE Latin

Exam Board: OCR

We follow the OCR GCSE course, which incorporates study of a range of ancient authors, plus modules on Roman society and culture.

The course has three parts, each of which is examined at the end of Year 11.

1. Language (50%) – The course focuses on developing a strong grasp of grammar, vocabulary, and translation. The exam paper consists of unseen comprehension, grammatical and translation exercises.

2. Verse Literature (25%) – The course focuses on understanding, translating and analysing the prescribed Roman poem(s). Skills developed are similar to those needed in English literature. The exam paper consists of translation and commentary on passages from the prescribed poem(s). The prescription will be from Virgil’s Aeneid.

3. Prose Literature (25%) – The course focuses on understanding, translating and analysing the prescribed Roman prose text(s). Skills developed are similar to those needed in English literature. The exam paper consists of translation and commentary on passages from the prescribed text(s). The selections are usually from various authors and explore a theme.

Or (in certain circumstances),

4. Literature and Culture (25%) – The course focuses on developing an understanding of the Roman world through contemporary sources in translation. It also develops the ability to be critical of those sources. There is no Latin in this section of the course.

The usual combination for the GCSE course at Gresham’s is to sit the Language and two Literature papers. However, in certain circumstances, the Head of Latin may decide at the end of the Year 10 course that a group would achieve more highly by sitting the Literature and Culture paper instead of the Prose Literature paper. This will depend on the relative strengths of the set and therefore may differ from year to year.

A level Latin

Exam Board: OCR

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Latin or equivalent

The course builds on the ability to translate and comprehend unseen Latin stories already acquired at GCSE.
Pupils have to get to grips with more complex syntax and accidence in order to be able to translate unabridged
Latin from both prose and verse authors. In addition, they have to study prescribed authors from two different
genres.

The course is assessed by:

  • Unseen translation exam (Livy and Ovid), 1 hour and 45 minutes (33% weighting)
  • Unseen comprehension exam from a different prose author, 1 hour and 15 minutes (17% weighting)
  • Prose set text exam on Tacitus ‘Annals’ Book IV, 2 hours (25% weighting)
  • Verse set text exam on Virgil ‘The Aeneid’ Book XII, 2 hours (25% weighting)
IB Latin B

Entry requirements: Grade A iGrade 6 in GCSE Latin or equivalent.

The course builds on the ability to translate and comprehend unseen Latin stories already acquired at GCSE.
Pupils have to get to grips with more complex syntax and accidences to be able to translate unabridged Latin
from both prose and verse authors, although they do have access to a dictionary in the examination to help them
with this task. In addition, they have to study prescribed authors from two different genres.

The course is assessed by:

  • Paper 1: short unseen passages to translate from two authors (45% weighting)
  • Paper 2: prose (history) and verse (epic poetry) literature (45% weighting)
  • IA Research Dossier – a collection of annotated source material on a topic of the pupil’s choice from the classical world/Latin language (10% weighting)

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GCSE

A level

BTEC

IB Diploma