Why choose Latin?

The key to a rich and influential literature and to a range of modern languages.

Through Latin you will gain access to a rich literature, giving rise to debate on Roman poetry, history, philosophy and culture. These are not seen in isolation, but are compared with modern literature, events and ideas.

By learning Latin you will gain:
  • linguistic skills, enhancing your understanding and use of English and other modern languages (especially French, Italian and Spanish). Over 50% of English words are derived from Latin.
  • skills of literary appreciation, helping you to understand and analyse texts in any language, including English
  • analytical and communication skills, enabling you to gather, analyse and present information in a form easily understood by others.
This is useful for both arts and science students and is essential for most jobs too. There are also opportunities for developing research and presentation skills.

“I really enjoy studying Latin as I find looking in detail at the structure of a language really fascinating and I like translating the stories which give a window onto Roman history.”
Lucie Drayton

Latin gives students the key to a rich and influential literature and to a range of modern languages. Historical context and Roman ideas and values are studied as part of the background to literature and language. You will learn to think logically and analytically about language and literature and you will develop a critical approach to ideas of Roman society and compare them with those current today.

There are trips to conferences and plays and, in some years, to Rome. The work is challenging but rewarding and many students have gone on to study classics at universities including Oxford. Latin A level is now offered by few state schools and colleges; it is a relatively rare qualification valued by universities and employers alike.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 or B in Latin (short course GCSE acceptable).

Awarding Body

OCR H443

Units of Study

Year 12

Latin - Language Component

You will translate from a range of authors.

Latin - Literature Component

You will learn one prose text (either Cicero, Pro Milone, 24-32, 34-35, 43-45 or Tacitus, Annals 16-30).
And one verse text (either Virgil, Aeneid Book VIII 86-279 and 558-584 or Ovid Amores 1.1 & 2.5, Propertius 1.1 and Tibullus 1.1).

Language - 50%
One translation from Latin into English
Comprehension questions on a Latin text.
Literature - 50%
One passage from the prose set texts
One passage from the verse set texts

You will have to translate a passage of the set text into English, answer comprehension questions, and answer two questions which focus on the analysis of literary techniques, characterisation, argument and literary meaning. Learners will also be required to write an extended response, which draws upon material from the set text.

Year 13

Latin - Language Component

You will translate and study texts written by a range of prose and verse authors.

Latin - Literature Component

You will study two Latin Prose Literature set texts in depth and two Latin Verse Literature set texts in depth; for both sections you will study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.

Examination Assessments
1. Unseen translation - 33%
2. Comprehension questions - 17%
3. Prose literature - 25%
Prose literature set texts authors: Cicero/Tacitus/Seneca.
4. Verse literature - 25%
Verse literature set texts authors: Virgil/Ovid/Propertius/Tibullus.