What will I learn?
Study of Latin at Sixth Form level allows you to gain a truly classical experience, as the course incorporates the study of both language and literary components. You will be able to seize upon an excellent opportunity to develop your linguistic skills through the study of original passages in Latin, as well as developing your literary understanding whilst you read the set texts. As you analyse the literature, you will build upon the knowledge that you gained at GCSE level and indulge yourself in in-depth exploration of the social and historical contexts of the books and will familiarise yourself superbly well with the nuances of a particular author’s expression. Due to the varied and wider span of the syllabus from that of GCSE, you will find yourself engaging in deeper discussion on topics, such as Roman society’s impact on literature, and enjoying the opportunities presented to you to heighten your linguistic precision; you will also have the option to refine the art of prose composition from English to Latin. The format of seminar style lessons at Sixth Form level naturally lends itself to widening your learning experience within smaller groups and with more scope for expression of ideas.
Due to the fact that the A Level Latin course aims to develop your linguistic and literary skills, as well as opening up awareness of the social context of the set books, the authors’ lives and the social and historical backgrounds to the texts, you are required to tap into your capacity to think analytically with an objective stance, but also to engage in philosophical thought from a subjective point of view. Successful approaches to the language tasks demand high levels of accuracy in application and precision of thought, whereas gaining an acute insight into the literature will be channeled through your ability to appreciate the texts by virtue of your literary knowledge and empathetic nature. You will approach the course using evaluative techniques and will have excellent opportunities to fine-tune your knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary which pervade Latin and English linguistics. Indeed, Latin at A Level standard heightens powers of analysis and appreciation; skills which are invaluable for future study and professional life. The fact that the language and literature components are weighted equally gives you the benefit of having a clear overview from the outset as to how to organise your time within your Latin studies.
Who should take Latin A Level?
If you have enjoyed your study of GCSE Latin, having the chance to take forward your Classical studies into the Sixth Form will prove to be a most rewarding academic experience. If you are aspiring to high level educational pursuits at university, it is beyond doubt that Latin gives you the edge in terms of critical thinking and empathetic appreciation techniques. The essence and the purity of Classical study throughout the Latin A Level will stand you in excellent stead, whether you are aspiring to a profession that encompasses the humanities, arts or science, albeit in research or as a people-contact career. If you are aspiring to high level educational pursuits at university, it is beyond doubt that Latin gives you the edge in terms of critical thinking and empathetic appreciation techniques. The essence and the purity of Classical study throughout the Latin A Level will stand you in excellent stead, whether you are aspiring to a profession that encompasses the humanities, arts or science, albeit in research or as a people-contact career. If you wish to secure an impeccable command of the English language so that you can present yourself in the written and spoken word with perfection, then Latin A Level will furnish you with the capacity to do this. Anyone who has studied the subject at GCSE and has a genuine drive to explore the roots of literature and language will be drawn naturally towards the study of Latin at Sixth Form level.
What other subjects go well with Latin A Level?
Latin is a discipline that complements the study of any other subject. The approach to the linguistic elements is scientific in itself and, thus, the high level analytical skills that you develop will serve you well in your study of Mathematics and other Sciences. If English Language is a subject with which you wish to continue, you will continually draw from your Latin experiences to enhance your overall academic development. Exploration of the literature will allow you to stretch your powers of thinking, as you consider your reaction to the writing and the authors’ expressions; the immensely fine insight that you will gain of literary techniques that have been employed by writers, dating from Classical times throughout the ages, will be invaluable within your study of English Literature. It is widely acknowledged that Classicists are highly developed thinkers and are academically skilled across the span of logical thought to philosophical pursuits; thus Latin is an ideal subject to study alongside any of the Science and Humanity subjects.
The A Level consists of four papers testing translation skills of unseen passages (H443/01), prose composition or comprehension (H443/02), prose literature (H443/03), and verse literature (H443/04). Knowledge of vocabulary will be built up through the study of Latin passages and your understanding of the syntax and accidence will be developed through the work based upon the OCR specifications. Thus, the aim is to heighten linguistic prowess, through the exploration of grammar and vocabulary, along with English derivatives, as well as heightening literary and analytical skills through reading the set books.
Beyond the classroom
Latin is a solid foundation for university study and for professional life. The linguistic acumen that is developed to an extremely high level is a vital asset in the world at large; command of language and the ability to analyse material are, of course, key facets of being successful in careers. The subject is a discipline that encompasses language and literature together with social and political history and, thus, heightens appreciation of the lives, emotions and aspirations of the ancient Romans and provokes comparison with aspects of modern day culture. The broad scope of investigation within the course will furnish you with essential academic life skills and an awareness of the legacy that Classics has bequeathed to the arts and philosophical thinking. '(Latin) is the key to the vocabulary and structure of (many) languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of the sciences and to the literature of the Mediterranean civilisation', Dorothy Sayers, University of Oxford (1947). Latinists from King’s High have gone on to read a wide scope of subjects at Higher Education level, ranging from Medicine and Psychology to English, Modern Foreign Languages and, of course, Classics and Linguistics; which shows that a classical education is a learning experience that certainly adds an edge to your individual profile and prepares you for a wide range of academic and career paths.
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"The study of Latin heightens your appreciation of literature; Classical literature opens your mind to the technical finesse of the Roman authors. Skills of analysis are sharpened repeatedly when tackling Latin poetry and prose, and these skills are obviously transferable to other languages."
"The depth of thought in studying Latin at A Level truly enhances the study of literature in other languages."
"Having a Latin background has been immensely helpful with the study of the History of Art and opens your mind to the influence that Classical art has had on artists over the past 2000 years.' 'The Latin language is so keenly formulated that, when tackling the passages, your powers of logic are sharpened and your knowledge of the intricacies of grammar are heightened to such an extent that an excellent understanding of grammar can be achieved." Current Sixth Formers