Latin is an extremely useful GCSE because it is so highly valued by universities and employers. A qualification in Latin shows that students have very strong reasoning skills, a sound grasp of language and an understanding of our Classical heritage.

Above all, we believe that learning Latin should be interesting and fun. There are regular trips to Greece or Italy and we cook Roman food or sample a Roman dinner party menu. As well as demonstrating a keen academic interest, knowledge of Latin assists students in writing well in English and provides skills which aid in logic and learning modern languages with ease.

Anyone currently studying Latin in Year 9 should seriously consider the GCSE course. The main skills needed for the course are a good sense of language and an ability to learn.

There are three examination papers, all of which are taken at the end of Year 11.

Compulsory paper

The Language paper consists of comprehension and translation of Latin stories, with the option of either writing some short Latin sentences or answering questions on the language of the passage.

Optional papers

Any two of the following:

  • Literature and Culture: a study of Roman life through primary sources, all in English. The topics will be myths and beliefs, including the Roman gods, and the Romans in Britain.
  • Prose literature: a study of some selections of Latin historical literature. The selection includes the mysterious death of Germanicus and actions of an unscrupulous legacy hunter.
  • Verse literature: a study of some selections of Latin poetry, including a choice between an extract from Virgil’s Aeneid or poems on the theme of ‘passions and poisons’.

We consult the class about which of the optional papers they would like to prepare. Whatever their choice, a study of Roman life and reading Latin literature is included in the course. There is no coursework or controlled assessment.

Optional trip: Classics Trip to Greece or Italy. Years 9-13 (Greece) and Years 8-13 (Italy). Approximate cost: £700.