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Latin is a logical, structured and disciplined language which underpins a multitude of modern foreign languages.  Seen as a highly academic subject, it encourages both critical thinking and problem solving, whilst boosting literacy and enabling students to gain a deeper understanding of their own grammar and vocabulary.

Although Latin is not offered in many schools, we are very proud to offer the GCSE course at the Langton as it provides a challenging and rigorous experience which will enable our students to stand out from the crowd.  Only students who have studied Latin in Year 9 will be able to enrol on this course, and as a result GCSE class sizes tend to be smaller than average which is clearly beneficial to the students.

What will I learn?

Our aim is to bring Latin to life and to prove its relevance to modern society through both the language and its cultural and historical context.  We will continue with the Cambridge Latin Course in Year 10, exploring the sites of Aquae Sulis (Bath) and Rome through the context of the stories.  Alongside the rigour of the language, we will also start the Roman Civilisation component which is taught entirely in English and examines various topics on daily life such as Roman Sport and Leisure, Family life and the City of Rome. These topics provide an interesting and exciting insight into what life was like in Rome and create wonderful opportunities for debate and a comparison with modern culture.

Students will be given a vocabulary course booklet and will have regular vocabulary tests throughout Year 10 and 11 to ensure they know these words before their final examinations.  Many of the words studied in Key Stage 3 are on this list so students will already have a head start on their GCSE vocabulary.

In Year 11, we will introduce the set texts of component 2 which are extracts from real Roman authors such as Catullus, Ovid and Cicero, based on a common theme.  Here the students will not only piece together the translations but will also develop an appreciation of the authors’ style of writing through an in-depth analysis of the texts.

How will I be assessed?

There are three examinations for Latin at GCSE level:

  • Latin Language is worth 50% of the qualification and lasts 1 hour 30 minutes. The exam consists of short comprehension questions based on an unseen text and a passage of translation from Latin to English. There is also a choice of either translating a number of short sentences from English to Latin or answering some grammar questions about a short Latin passage.
  • Latin Literature and Sources is worth 30% of the qualification and lasts 1 hour 15 minutes. This exam consists of a range of comprehension questions based on texts previously studied in class. It is an open-book assessment and students are expected to analyse the style of the writer as well as translate the passages. There is a final essay (written in English) which is usually based on an over-arching theme of these set texts.
  • Roman Civilisation is worth 20% of the qualification and lasts 1 hour. This component consists of a range of comprehension questions based on sources, and a variety of longer written tasks including one essay. All answers are written in English.

What skills will I develop?

Latin is a great subject to develop a number of transferrable skills for further education, work and life. The logical nature of this subject encourages critical thinking and problem solving, whilst written responses will require students to be both analytical and persuasive.  Latin complements many other subjects including English, modern foreign languages and history. 

Careers with Latin?

Studying Latin can open the door to an array of career paths that require use of language. It is an ideal complement to a range of subjects where formal terminology is used such as law and medicine, and can support other careers in politics, history, journalism and teaching.