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Classics & Latin

Two separate subjects are offered under the umbrella of ‘Classics’– Classical Civilisation and Latin.


All pupils at S. Anselm’s College study one classical subject in Year 9.  Latin is open to pupils who have achieved a good standard of Latin at Key Stage 3, i.e. a good pass at Common Entrance level 2, with level 3 being preferable.

For pupils who choose to study Latin, our aim is that they should develop a thorough knowledge and understanding which will enable them to translate from Latin with confidence and fluency, as well as appreciating the influence of this ancient language on the languages of the modern European world.

For pupils who choose to study Classical Civilisation, our aim is that they should gain an insight into the societies, culture and civilisations of the Greek and Roman worlds and appreciate the western world’s debt to these two ancient societies.


GCSE Latin

S. Anselm’s students have studied Latin to GCSE with considerable success over a number of years, both in the Prep School and the College.

The S. Anselm’s College Latin course leads to the new WJEC/Eduqas GCSE in Latin Language and Literature, which has a much wider focus than the previous Latin Language GCSE, exposing pupils to cultural as well as linguistic aspects of the Roman World.

The course prepares students for the study of Latin at AS, A level, IB or Pre-U, but it equally provides a coherent and useful basis for supporting the study of other subjects and professional disciplines.

There are three components to the GCSE course and its examinations:

· Latin language: comprehension and translation

· Latin literature and sources (themes): set texts, prose and verse with accompanying source material

· Latin literature (narratives): study of Latin texts (prose or verse) with a passage or passages of English to extend the storyline.

The above course has a much wider focus than the WJEC Latin Language exam which S. Anselm’s pupils have taken with considerable success in the past few years. The re-organisation of GCSE has caused the Latin Language exam to be discontinued.  The new course exposes pupils to cultural as well as linguistic aspects of the Roman World.


GCSE Classical Civilisations

The GCSE Classical Civilisations course aims to develop an interest in the Ancient World and try to relate it to our modern lives.  The course focuses on the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome.  It is a wide-ranging subject involving the study of art, literature, artefacts, archaeological sites and the ancient historical context.

The Exam Board is OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA).  The course code is J199.  Students will have a textbook for use throughout the two-year GCSE course, which is endorsed by OCR for delivering the GCSE exam. In addition, students will have a book of Prescribed Sources to accompany their learning.

The course comprises two sections. In Year 10, students will complete a Thematic Study of “Women in the Ancient World”.  In Year 11, pupils will study Literature and Culture with a focus on “War and Warfare”.

The course content for Women in the Ancient World in Year 10 is as follows:

  • Women of legend (e.g. Pandora, Helen of Troy)
  • Young women
  • Women in the home
  • “Improper” women
  • Women and religion
  • Women and power
  • Warrior women
  • Women to be feared.

The Year 11 course content for War and Warfare is as follows:

  • Culture: Athens and Sparta at war in the 5th Century BCE, Roman military in the Imperial Period and Romans at War.
  • Literature: Homer, Tyrtaeus, Horace and Virgil.

The study of Classical Civilisations develops vital skills such as essay writing, source analysis and how to structure an argument.  These complement skills developed in other subjects such as Geography and History.   It also demonstrates that students are good at thinking and evaluating, as well as developing an interest in people and cultures.