At present Latin is not taught as part of the academic programme, but comes under the Enrichment element of the school timetable. However, pupils who wish to pursue Latin academically can still do so and we offer an integrated programme to allow pupils to access Latin and Classics more generally at all levels.
In Year 7, pupils experience a short taster course entitled Classics For Fun Club. This aims to introduce pupils to the various areas covered by the term ‘Classics’ and focuses in on the great works of Homer using audio material produced by the CSCP (Cambridge Schools Classics Project) and on traditional Class. Civ. Those pupils who would like to opt into Classics For Fun in the Summer term can do so, and this activity includes some language work in Latin.
Years 8 & 9
In these years there are taster courses that focus on establishing the pupils’ understanding of core Latin grammar with a view to preparing them to be ready if they wish to sit a Latin literature paper in the summer of Year 11. The work is computer-based using the exceptional online interactive exercises provided by CSCP, which allows pupils to work at their own level and pace.
Years 10 & 11
In these years the pupils have an hour-long lesson each week that focuses on the texts set for the Level 2 Latin Literature papers set by the WJEC examination board. For example in the Narrative section we may study passages by Ovid about the story of Icarus and Pygmalion, and in the Themes section we may look at a series of short passages by such authors as Cicero, Pliny, Horace and Catullus, concerning books and writers.
The WJEC website says this about the course:
The WJEC Level 1 and 2 Certificates in Latin provide flexible and motivating courses. The Certificates are fully accredited and listed under Section 96 for funding and reporting in Performance Measures. Each certificate is graded A*- C at the relevant level and carries points consistent with GCSE.
What that means to you and me is that successful pupils will come away with the equivalent of a Latin GCSE, which is recognized as such by League tables and by University admissions. Pupils who wish to take the WJEC Level 2 Certificate will need to be dedicated to working outside of the class to support their studies and should think in terms of at least one hour a week working by themselves.
It is important to note that WJEC are in the process of reviewing their Latin courses so it is unclear at the moment what courses will be available after Summer 2017.
In Germany a Latin qualification (called the Latinum) is required by some universities for admission to certain courses. German pupils in this position may attend a weekly 40-minute Latinum class to allow them to meet the necessary requirements.
There is a designated Latin classroom, equipped with a whiteboard and projector, and there is access to an ICT suite. These resources complement a wide range of texts, a well-stocked Learning Resource Centre, and use of an excellent auditorium for films and presentations. The department also runs field trips to places of interest, including the Roman city of Chester nearby.