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GCSE students can choose to continue with Latin as an optional subject; in addition, a two-year accelerated course in Classical Greek is available as an option. Students who are keen to study an ancient language may choose either Latin, or Greek, or both.

Classical Greek GCSE

OCR J292, 9-1

This course is a two year accelerated course: no prior knowledge of Greek is required, and by the end of the course you will have GCSE standard language skills and you will have read some original Classical Greek literature.

The course is fast-paced, and if you are keen for a stimulating challenge then this could be the course for you. 

Course content

In Year 10 you will work mainly on your knowledge of Classical Greek vocabulary and grammar. Greek is a fascinating language, and - through studying it - you will come across concepts which you may not yet have thought about, and you will practise using codes and information in a logical and accurate way. You will practise translating from Greek into English and from English into Greek, and throughout this year you will improve your understanding of the structures of language. You will work to a programme of regular learning and consolidation tests: the aim is to build a confident and accurate grasp of the language. 

In Year 11 you will start to read original Greek texts. These will include an extract from one of Homer’s great epic poems: these date from 3000 years ago and are the oldest existing Western literature. In addition to this you will read an extract from a prose text; this could be a law court speech or an extract from Ancient History, and through this study you will gain direct access to the remarkable world of Classical Greece. 

The GCSE syllabus is equally divided between language work and the study of original texts. For the language papers you will be expected to translate from Greek into English and to be able to answer some grammatical questions about the passage you are translating. The literature papers will test your knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the texts you have studied in class. 

There is no coursework.

Latin GCSE

OCR J282, 9-1

GCSE Latin is an exciting progression from the work you are doing in Year 9.  The GCSE course will help you sharpen and deepen your understanding of grammatical structures and rules, and it will also give you the opportunity to read extracts from original Latin texts, which are ranked among some of the greatest Western literature ever written.

course content 

In Year 10, translation work is the main focus, and you will work on increasingly complex Latin sentences and constructions. As you develop your understanding of Latin, you will also improve your understanding of English and of the structures of language in general: you will learn to think about how we build sentences and the options that are available for expressing ideas in different ways. A programme of regular learning and consolidation tests will help you build confidence and accuracy with which you approach translation work.

In Year 11 you will start to read some original Latin texts: these are likely to include an extract from Virgil’s great epic poem - The Aeneid - and you can expect to engage with interesting questions arising from this poem, such as the role of an individual within a society, or how best to handle our emotions. You will improve your ability to identify nuance within a written text and your appreciation of poetic styles. You will study a prose text too - such as extracts from letters written by Pliny.  


The GCSE syllabus is equally divided between language work and the study of original texts/materials. For the language papers you will be expected to translate from Latin into English and to be able to answer some grammatical questions about the passage you are translating. The literature papers will test your knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the texts you have studied in class.

There is no coursework. 

Latin as an add-on

Students who opt to study Classical Greek will also have the option of continuing with Latin as a compressed two period a week course. This course will prepare for the OCR GCSE in Latin at the end of Y11, but it will make use of the overlap between Greek and Latin in order to cover the ground in half the usual teaching time. Students who opt for Latin as an add-on will be studying it in addition to the usual maximum of 10 GCSEs: as such, the add-on option is only for those students who are confident that they can manage an increased work-load, and whose work in Latin in Y9 has been strong enough to make it possible for them to manage a fast-paced course in Y10 and Y11.