AS/A LATIN

Awarding Body:OCRCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at Grades A*-C including English and Maths plus at least Grade B or higher in Latin GCSE.

Course Content

Unit L1: Latin Language

In this unit, students will be looking to increase their familiarity with, and confidence in, the Latin language. In particular they will cover a range of more complex sentence constructions than experienced at GCSE, together with a wider vocabulary. The exam will comprise two questions:

• Translating from Latin into English a passage taken from a mainstream Roman prose author which the examiner would not have expected you to have seen before – this is what everybody but the exam board calls an ‘unseen’. It will be just like the unseen in the GCSE paper, only a bit harder!

• Then…..either translating from English into Latin a shorter passage taken from one of Cicero’s speeches; or translating five sentences from English into Latin – although, we would hope to cover enough material to enable you to consider this option in your exam should you wish, pretty well all students opt for the unseen route.

Unit L2: Latin Verse and Prose Literature
In this unit students will study two Latin texts:

• Cicero: de imperio 27-45 – part of Cicero’s powerful speech supporting the appointment of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (or Pompey to us) to supreme commander of the Roman forces in the Mediterranean. In addition to covering what the Latin means (and, just as important, how it comes to mean it), students will also be looking at its historical and political context - in short, who was Pompey and how did he come to be the beneficiary of Cicero’s support.

• Ovid: Metamorphoses III.511-733 – an extended extract from Ovid’s sublime re-workings of Greek myth, our set text will focus on Pentheus whose opposition to the young god, Bacchus, led to his own grisly downfall. Again you will study what the Latin means (and how) as well as what makes this some of the greatest poetry in the Latin language.

The exam will comprise two questions, each comprising a passage or passages from each author studied and a series of sub-questions based thereon, including a short essay.

Students studying AS Latin (and not Classical Civilisation) have the option of continuing Latin to A2 or switching to the A2 units in Classical Civilisation. Students taking this latter option would be working towards a full A level which would be called ‘Classics’.

A2 Level
Students continuing the subject at A2 will study a further two units.

Unit L3: Latin Verse

This unit would comprise a detailed study of a verse set text. The A2 verse texts for 2016 have still to be announced, but will almost certainly include something from Virgil’s Aeneid. Our current students are working on lines 1-299 of Book 4 of Virgil's Aeneid (plus the rest in translation), namely the tragic tale of Dido and Aeneas.

Their exam will comprise two questions:

• Section A: To write a critical appreciation of 20-25 line passage taken from the set text, together with a short essay based on Book 4 as a whole.

• Section B: A series of translation, comprehension and stylistic appreciation questions based on a passage taken from Ovid, including two lines of scansion.

Unit L4: Latin Prose

This unit would be just like Unit L3 … but instead of ‘verse’ read ‘prose’. Again the A2 prose texts for study from September 2015 have still to be confirmed. Our current A2 students are working on part of Tacitus Annals 15 which covers part of the career of the infamous Nero, whilst the unseen in Section B will be taken from Livy.

Methods of Teaching

Students will work as a class, in small groups and individually. The “Language” aspects of the course will mainly be delivered, particularly at first, using a didactic approach – in short, we will look to explain how the language works, not just what particular words mean. Increasingly as they become confident in the language, students will be helped to produce their own translations of “unseen” passages, whilst there should also be some scope for translating English into Latin. The “Literature” aspects will comprise a mixture of didactic to ensure students understand the texts, but also teacher-led discussion of them as pieces of literature rather than as a chunk of a foreign language for translation. Here students will be actively encouraged to offer their own personal responses to the material. We place great emphasis on students’ taking responsibility for their own workload.

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

Latin is not the easiest subject a student can choose in that there aren’t too many convenient short cuts. It does require a good power of recall and loads of discipline as grammar and vocabulary are committed to memory. There will be regular exercises to test this – think Hermione Granger! Further, students will practice the type of questions they will face in each of the units; where appropriate, such questions will be assessed according to the guidelines laid down by A level subject examiners.

Financial Implications

Each student will be provided with essential reading material to support their study, either on paper or by way of the subject intranet. We also hope to be able to lend students essential grammar books and lexicons for use whilst on the course. In addition to their own materials for note-taking, tackling unseens and essay writing, students will be expected to provide their own copies of the set texts (plus they may wish to acquire translations of the whole work) – these are not always the cheapest, although we will aim to use “value for money” editions, designed specifically to be particularly student friendly. Students looking to extend their reading in the subject will be welcome to borrow through College a range of texts and commentaries. Subject to their taking place, students of Latin would be invited to join the Classical Civilisation trips to Italy or Greece – these would be of particular interest to students looking to take a Classics oriented course at university. Such trips cost in the region of £750-£775. The college has a Student Support Fund which is available to help students in financial difficulty.

Career Progression

Latin is widely accepted (and in many cases positively admired) for university entrance whether or not students continue their studies in it or related subjects. Further, studying the subject at AS only is no longer a bar to studying a full Classics degree at any university in the UK offering a Classics course. Whilst there are few, if any, careers which will enable students to make direct use of their Latin, the skills and disciplines needed to succeed in the subject are widely admired by a diverse range of potential employers.

Examination Results

The latest set of examination results for this subject are shown below. A summary of the college's results for this year is also available on this site.

A2 Latin
GradesEntries A* A B C D E U X
Number11 0 4 5 1 0 0 1 0
Percentage 0.0 36.4 45.5 9.1 0.0 0.0 9.1 0.0
A*
A
B
C
D
E
U
X
%
AS Latin
GradesEntries A B C D E U X
Number9 2 2 2 2 0 1 0
Percentage 22.2 22.2 22.2 22.2 0.0 11.1 0.0
A
B
C
D
E
U
X
%

Examination Results 2011

The latest set of examination results for this subject are shown below. A summary of the college's results for this year is also available on this site.

A2 Latin

Total Entries: 11

GradeNumberPercentage
A*00.0
A436.4
B545.5
C19.1
D00.0
E00.0
U19.1
X00.0
AS Latin

Total Entries: 9

GradeNumberPercentage
A222.2
B222.2
C222.2
D222.2
E00.0
U111.1
X00.0

Apply Online