Latin – H443 (OCR) and Classical Greek – H444 (OCR)
The study of Latin and Classical Greek at A Level represents the chance for our students to pursue a uniquely rigorous and stimulating education. Success in one or both subjects at this level reveals mastery of disciplines demanding, complex, and enthralling, and shows that a student can, at the same time, attend to points of minute literary and linguistic detail while appreciating fully the macrocosm of the ancient cultures that gave them expression.
The skills examined at A Level are founded on those developed at GCSE, as students deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Latin and Greek languages, and expand the scope of their literary exploration. The courses encourage students to be intellectually ambitious, to hone their forensic analysis of language, and to handle discussion of love, war, politics, and philosophy with the flair and perspicacity that will mark them out as outstanding candidates for higher education.
Both Latin and Classical Greek A Levels are examined at the end of Year 13 through four papers, each assessing a particular skill. Throughout Years 12 and 13, teaching is geared towards developing and perfecting these skills.
- Unseen Translation
In Year 12, we use the Beyond GCSE courses to hone students’ translation skills. In Year 13, Latin students focus on the translation of Livy and Ovid, the two authors whose work is used in the A Level examination. Similarly, Greek students in Year 13 will focus on the works of Xenephon and Euripides.
- Prose Composition
Throughout Years 12 and 13, students will learn how to compose sophisticated prose in Latin and/or Greek.
- Prose Literature
Students study two Prose Literature set texts in depth, from authors such as Cicero and Tacitus in Latin, and Herodotus and Plato in Greek. They also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.
- Verse Literature
Similar to the above, students study two verse texts from Roman authors such as Virgil, Ovid, and Catullus, and from the Greek tragedians Sophocles and Euripides.
Co-Curricular Opportunities and Trips
Affording students the chance to engage with Classics beyond the confines of the A Level curriculum is of immeasurable importance. To this end, the Classics Society, supported by our prefects, provides an arena for all interested New Hall students to discover, discuss, debate, and even enjoy cinema focussed on a wide range of ideas, times, places, and people. We run regular trips to Italy and Greece, and we have enjoyed frequent visits to the theatre, including a recent performance of Antigone at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and KCL’s Greek play, The Plague at Thebes.
We also run a program dedicated to helping students to prepare for Oxbridge application. Several Sixth Form students have also enjoyed attendance at the Bryanston Greek Summer School.
What students say
“One of the best things to study is Classics because it is a journey through the past. I like studying the classics because you can learn not just about the literature and the languages, but also about the excitement of piecing together a translation and discovering the ending to a story.“- Wendy, Year 13
“If you are a language lover like me, you will definitely enjoy Classics. After learning Classical languages for several years, I can confidently say they made me feel ready for conquering European languages with no fear. Besides, Classical literature proved to be an amazing opportunity for me to challenge my imagination and create my own interpretations.” – Barbara, Year 13
Head of Classics: Mr P. Goulding [email protected]