Head of Department
Mrs I Peace
Latin is an enjoyable and challenging language which is a highly regarded academic subject. Learning Latin will aid students’ English vocabulary, as much of our language is derived from Latin, and also their grasp of English grammar. Working out the word order and detail in Latin sentences teaches the skills of analysis, attention to detail and precision which are extremely useful in a wide range of careers such as law, medicine, accountancy and engineering. Learning Latin also complements the learning of modern languages as there are many similarities between German and Latin grammar and much French and Spanish vocabulary derives from Latin. Studying Classical Civilisation gives students a fascinating insight into the origins of Western Civilisation, looking at the culture, history and literature in translation.
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
All students in Year 7 study ‘Classical Civilisation’, looking at various aspects of Greek civilisation, including the Greek gods and goddesses and Greek mythology, focussing on the stories of Heracles and Odysseus.
All students in Year 8 study Latin and it is an option in Year 9. They follow the Cambridge Latin Course; as well as learning vocabulary, English derivatives and about the language, they read stories in Latin. In Book 1, students learn about life in ancient Pompeii, looking at topics such as daily life, the theatre, gladiators, slavery and the baths before learning about the eruption of Mt Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii. In Book 2, students learn about life in Celtic Britain and the changes that the Roman invasion caused. Learning is enhanced by using the website that accompanies the text books and the interactive DVDs. In year 9, students also sit an Entry Level qualification (OCR exam board) in Latin, taking language tests and completing a cultural project.
Key Stage 4: GCSE
Students take two WJEC Level 2 Latin Certificates (equivalent level to GCSE): They all study Latin Core Language, and then have the option to take Roman Civilisation or Additional Language; this makes up one level 2 qualification. The linguistic material is presented against cultural topics as the stories are set in Roman Bath and then in Rome using the Cambridge Latin Course Books 3 and 4. Those opting to study civilisation will also look at a variety of sources from the Roman world on daily life, whereas those taking additional language will translate more challenging stories.
Latin Literature is the second qualification; students read and translate original Latin literature; they look at the literary style and techniques of the authors, so are gaining knowledge and skills which will be readily transferable to help with their English literature studies.
Classical Civilisation can also be offered at GCSE, subject to sufficient numbers; we follow the OCR syllabus for this.
Key Stage 5: A Level
Both Latin and Classical Civilisation are offered at A Level (OCR syllabus).
For Latin AS, students will translate Latin passages into English and also have the option to translate English sentences into Latin. For the literature, students will read Cicero and Ovid; the examination will test their knowledge of the text and discussion of the literary features used by the writers.
For Latin A2, students will answer questions and write an essay in English on a verse literature text and a prose literature text. They will translate Latin poetry into English and answer comprehension questions on the poetry; then they have the option to translate a Latin prose passage into English and answer comprehension questions or translate an English passage into Latin.
For Classical civilisation, there is a choice of units to study on the culture, history and literature of the ancient world, including Homer’s Odyssey and Greek tragedy for AS level and Virgil, Roman Britain or Greek art and architecture for A2 level. Texts are read in the English translation and the exams will consist of answering comprehension questions and writing essays on the topics studied.
Classical Greek may be studied for fun or towards a recognised qualification such as the EMACT Beginners’ Certificate or even the OCR Entry Level Certificate.
Trips and extra-curricular activities are organised such as visits to Bath or Chedworth Roman villa. A Roman display group, legion XIIII also visited Year 7 and 8 this summer. The sixth form have the opportunity to visit talks and lecture days relevant to their courses.