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    Latin/Classical Greek & GCSE Classical Greek

    A Level in Latin/AS Classical Greek will enable learners to:

    • develop an appropriate level of competence in the language studied
    • acquire the language skills which enable learners to read literary texts, both prose and verse, in the original language
    • develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the literary, historical and cultural features of the ancient world
    • acquire the literary skills which enable learners to read ancient literature, both prose and verse, in its original language with appropriate attention to literary techniques, styles and genres
    • apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level which show direct engagement with original texts in the ancient language
    • make an informed personal response to the material studied
    • begin to develop a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally

    Students will be expected to study a range of authors’ work in order to develop a wider vocabulary and more complex understanding of syntax and accidence. This will enable them to translate unseen passages, and answer comprehension and grammar questions on an unseen prose passage.

    Over the course of the A/AS level, learners will have studied the works of at least four different authors in preparation for the Language and Literature examinations. In both the Prose and Verse Literature components students will be required to read additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.

    Our Latin and Greek students have the opportunity to form an integral part of our Sixth Form Classical Leaders team, helping to encourage younger students in their interest and achievement in Classics throughout the school, presenting assemblies, meeting and sourcing speakers, and exciting the school community about the Classical World.


    For A level Latin the prose unseen author is Livy, an epoch-defining author whose great work tells the ‘history’ of Rome from Romulus and Remus, via Hannibal’s elephants, up to civil war, Augustus and the foundation of the Roman Empire. His skill as a historian (or yarn-spinner?) made him a model for later writers throughout the centuries. The verse unseen author is the satirical and wickedly witty poet Ovid, whose works vary from advice on how to win a girlfriend, through a vast anthology of myths to his sad letters after his exile from Rome. Always clever and frequently quite racy, his poetry has entertained, influenced and informed for two thousand years. You will expand your ability to problem solve and apply your excellent grammatical knowledge in an array of different situations.

    The set texts we currently teach for literary study include:

    • Virgil’s Aeneid - arguably the most influential Latin text ever written
    • The cheeky and intellectually challenging love poetry of Ovid
    • Cicero’s powerful rhetoric, deeply embedded in the trials and tribulations of late Republican Rome
    • Tacitus’ historical work, exploring the lives and intrigues of the imperial families - which can read more like a modern soap-opera than history as we know it!
    • In future years we will also be exploring Catullus’ powerful neoteric love poems.


    There is no set unseen author. All authors presented in the unseen will be ‘adjusted’ to fit the style of Greek that students will have learnt throughout the year, so authors can be as diverse as historians, speechmakers and biographers.

    Our prose set text is The Symposium by Plato —a lighthearted but profound exploration of the nature of Love, from the perspective of seven different historical figures. All gathered at a traditional Athenian Greek drinking party, they each decide to take on question of ‘What is love?’ in their own way. We will read Aristophanes’ speech, in which he explains the true nature of our pursuit to find the perfect partner: our real ‘other half’. We will explore the language of the text and the social context of 5th century Athens, to gain a deep appreciation of Plato’s most charming work.

    The verse set text is from Book 1 of Homer’s Odyssey. In Book I, we meet Odysseus’s son as he despairs of the terrible difficulties he has faced with his father away at war. The goddess Athena soothes him and helps to make a plan to restore his status in the household and prepare the family for his father’s return. Homeric Greek differs from the Classical Greek you study for language at GCSE: the opportunity to read in a different dialect will deepen your understanding of Greek language and literature, giving an insight into the variety of ‘flavours’ of Greek which are available to explore.

    Entry Requirements: As stated in the Admission Policy

    Exam Board: OCR

    GCSE Classical Greek

    Sixth form students have the opportunity to take GCSE Classical Greek as an extracurricular class. In this two year course, you will study alongside Year 10 and 11 students. No prior knowledge of Greek is required.
    Year 1
    Students study ‘Greek to GCSE’ Book 1 by John Taylor. Students develop their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar through the translation of stories based upon history and myth and by completing language exercises. Students start to learn the GCSE vocabulary list.
    Year 2
    Students continue their study of Classical Greek using John Taylor’s ‘Greek to GCSE’ Book 2.  Students learn the GCSE vocabulary list and develop their knowledge of grammatical features through regular practice in translation and comprehension. 
    Students prepare for the prose and verse literature exams. They will study sections from Herodotus for the prose paper and from Homer for the verse paper. Students will translate the texts from Classical Greek into English and analyse the literary techniques used by each author.

    Entry Requirements: No special requirements