The A Level Latin course builds on the language and grammar learnt at GCSE.
Students will be introduced to more complex grammatical constructions and more advanced vocabulary, and will begin to read unabridged Latin texts from authors such as Ovid, Tacitus and Cicero. Students will be encouraged to be more analytical and critical in their appreciation of Latin texts, combining their knowledge of Classical history and culture with their language skills.
In both Lower and Upper Sixth, the course is broken into two segments. The language side of the course involves reading texts from a variety of authors, translating and analysing in preparation for the exam. This part of the exam comprises an unseen passage for translation, and then an option of either a second translation with comprehension questions, or composition of a passage from English into Latin. The language section of the exam is worth 50% of the overall qualification.
In addition to this, students study a variety of set texts for the literature half of the course, both prose and verse. Currently the prose set text is Cicero’s Philippics 2 and the verse set text is Virgil’s Aeneid 11. Throughout the year, students will read these texts together, analysing them within their socio-political contexts and discussing literary techniques and writing styles. The literature section of the exam is worth 50% of the overall qualification.
Students are expected to develop their own personal responses to the texts and be able to critique them accordingly.
Students who have enjoyed the GCSE course should consider further Latin study in the Sixth Form. It is a challenging but very highly regarded A Level, well received by the top universities.
Classes are usually small, which means focused teaching tailored to each student’s particular needs.