Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation GCSE

Latin

Year 9

Pupils who began Latin in Years 7 and 8 are strongly encouraged to continue in Year 9; especially if they are enjoying it. It will continue to give them a great breadth of education. If a pupil doesn’t continue in year 9, they will not be able to choose Latin for GCSE, as too much material is covered in this year. New entrants may join the course and learn from scratch if they can show that they will be able to cope with it. Please do contact Mrs Milne (rem@blundells.org) if you have any questions about this. BathIn year 9 we spend time consolidating the language work covered in years 7 & 8. This enables pupils from other schools joining us in year 9, to settle in and for us to commence the foray into the new grammar and vocabulary we need to cover in year 9. We continue with our lively and creative approach to teaching Latin, surprising pupils with how much Latin they already know and how much exists all around us. We continue to use a mixture of ‘So you really want to learn Latin’ and our own created materials to continue to foster enjoyment of the Latin Language. We continue to base our translations and comprehensions around stories from the world of mythology. Towards the end of year 9, our focus moves to the wider Roman world and we take an opportunity to investigate the Romans in Britain and focus on the town of Bath, taking an annual trip in the last week of the summer term.

The logical, code-cracking nature of Latin continues to provide pupils with key skills in learning. ‘Latin is having the edge’. For those learning the modern Romance languages, Latin is the root of these languages and so will help a great deal, both in terms of grammar and vocabulary. Even in year 9, Latin can be a real linchpin to pupils’ education. Not only are there the linguistic links, but Latin provides root words for the sciences; it is the language of law, government, logic and theology; finally it is about making connections. Latin is like the glue or Velcro of education: it helps connect everything.

We hope that most who opt for Latin at this stage will want to continue to GCSE in Year 10.

Temple pediment
Temple pediment

Hot spring
Hot spring

Years 10 and 11

In years 9 & 10, we complete all grammatical knowledge needed for GCSE and go on to study the set texts up to the end of year 11. Our approach to language goes beyond the basic communication skills now seen as the main aim in other subjects. We study what the Greeks and Romans themselves wrote to find out more about how the languages work, and just how much they have influenced how we think, speak and behave today. The need for accurate understanding teaches a precision of thought and expression which students find of great value in many fields, from media and communications through to the law and even computer programming. Language is seen not just as a useful life skill, but as the means through which everything of intellectual and cultural value is discussed.

Why study Latin (or Greek)?

  • It is an immensely rewarding course which will suit someone who enjoys the language itself and has an interest in the classical world.
  • It is a fantastic aid to studying modern languages, sciences and English in particular.
  • Having Latin on a CV or UCAS form will really impress admissions tutors and prospective employers.
  • We study the grammar and vocabulary needed for GCSE and also learn about Roman society, culture and history.
  • A qualification in Latin at GCSE is evidence of clarity of mind valued in all walks of life. Employers hold Classicists in high regard, because of their ability to think logically, and their well-developed communications skills.
  • Gaining a good grade in Latin at GCSE is viewed as excellent proof of a student’s academic and intellectual abilities.

The ruins of Pompeii
Vesuvius looms over the ruins of Pompeii

Examination Board: Eduqas Latin GCSE (9–1) (WJEC)

What is studied for WJEC Latin GCSE?

This qualification comprises 3 papers, all taken at the end of Year 11.

 Paper 1 (50% of qualification) 1hr 30; Paper 2 (30% of qualification) 1hr 15; Paper 3 (20% of qualification) 1 hr.

Paper 1: Latin Language: testing translation and comprehension skills of an unseen passage. For this there is a defined vocab list which is tested throughout years 10 and 11. We also prepare students for the basic English into Latin question, for which there is a defined list of 100 words to know.

Paper 2: Latin Literature and Sources (Themes paper): we study together some Latin literature, based around a theme (e.g. Chariot racing), together with prescribed ancient source materials along the same theme.

Paper 3: Latin Literature (Narratives paper): we study together a prescription of lines of Latin literature forming a narrative (either a historical story or a mythological story).

Roman chariots at the Colosseum

Beyond GCSE

A good pass in Latin is highly regarded by University admission tutors as evidence of a worthwhile candidate in many Arts faculties. The Sixth Form Guide gives a fuller appreciation of prospects for Classical students at A level and university, where Classical facilities are actively seeking students of a good standard.

To Sum Up

We feel strongly that the GCSE programme itself provides a useful introduction to the subtleties of language as well as an awareness of the common European heritage which is likely to be an ever more important issue for us all in the 21st century.

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Ancient Greek

We offer Ancient Greek at both GCSE (OCR) and A Level (OCR). GCSE Greek in Years 10 and 11 is taught as part of the GCSE timetabled curriculum; however, additional lessons are likely to take place in lunchtime teaching slots.

If you are interested in starting GCSE Greek in year 10 to do an accelerated GCSE course, please contact Mrs Milne (rem@blundells.org) as soon as possible in year 9 to express an interest.

Why study Greek?

  • It is an immensely rewarding course which will suit someone who enjoys the language itself and has an interest in the classical world.
  • It is a fantastic aid to studying modern languages, sciences and English in particular.
  • Having Greek on a CV or UCAS form will really impress admissions tutors and prospective employers.
  • We study the grammar and vocabulary needed for GCSE and also learn about Greek society, culture and history.
  • A qualification in Greek at GCSE is evidence of clarity of mind valued in all walks of life. Employers hold Classicists in high regard, because of their ability to think logically, and their well-developed communications skills.

Examination Board: OCR

What is studied for Greek GCSE?

Greek archerThis qualification comprises 3 papers, all taken at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1 (50% of qualification) 1hr 30; Paper 2 (25% of qualification) 1 hour; Paper 3 (25% of qualification) 1 hr.

Paper 1: Greek Language: testing translation and comprehension skills of an unseen passage. For this there is a defined vocab list which is tested throughout years 10 and 11.

Paper 2: Greek Prose Literature: we study together some Greek literature written by the historian Herodotus and biographer Plutarch.

Paper 3: Greek Verse Literature: we study together selected lines of Homer’s Odyssey, book 6 and selected scenes from Euripdes’ tragedy Alcestis.

Athens - the Parthanon

Beyond GCSE

A good pass in Greek is highly regarded by University admission tutors as evidence of a worthwhile candidate in many Arts faculties. The Sixth Form Guide gives a fuller appreciation of prospects for Classical students at A level and university, where Classical facilities are actively seeking students of a good standard.

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Classical Civilisation

What is it and why should I study it at GCSE?

Aims

  • Classical Civilisation focuses on the civilisations of Greece and Rome, and is a wide ranging subject involving the study of literature, art, artefacts, archaeological sites, and the ancient historical context.
  • You don’t need to know any ancient languages, all the texts are in translation, and it doesn’t matter if you haven’t studied the Greeks and Romans since primary school; all you need is an interest in the Ancient World and its cultures.
  • Classical Civilisation is just as useful as other humanities subjects.
  • This subject gives you really good skills such as essay writing and source analysis, and teaches you how to structure a good argument. It shows you are good at thinking and evaluating.
  • If you are planning to go on to Sixth Form then Classical Civilisation GCSE is great preparation for A Levels in a wide variety of subjects.
  • If you want to go on to do vocational courses at sixth form, or go straight into the working world after your GCSEs, Classical Civilisation gives you a really wide range of knowledge and skills that you can use. Employers will be able to see that you are someone with broad interests who can communicate their ideas well.

The Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum in Rome

Examination Board: OCR

Entrance requirements

No previous knowledge or experience is required. All texts are studied in English.

You do not need to know any Latin or Greek.

One of the best things about Classical Civilisation is how many different things there are to study.

Classical Civilisation lets you do a bit of everything whilst studying two of the most important civilisations of the Western world.

Also, who wouldn’t want to know...

  • Whether or not the Trojan War actually happened?
  • What Romans did in the bath?
  • Where Odysseus was all those years?
  • How it felt to be on the front line of an ancient battle?
  • How to insult your ex like a Roman?
  • What the Romans did with the sacred chickens?
  • How rude the Greeks were about their politicians?

Course Content

Over two years we study:

Warfare   Religion

War and Warfare: 90 minute exam; 50% of the course

War and warfare in the classical world holds an endless and compelling fascination. This module covers both Greek and Roman civilisation, focusing on Athens and Sparta in the 5th century BC, and on Rome in the Imperial period. You will also study the military systems and tactics of each society, and examine the interplay between war, politics and society. You will also study key battles, not only what happened, but why, and how this impacted on the societies involved.

Myth and Religion: 90 minute exam; 50% of the course

How well do you know your mythology, gods and monsters?

With this exciting new module, explore the religion and mythology of the Greeks and the Romans.

You will study myths regarding the gods and heroes who founded Athens and Rome; the importance of Heracles; the role of the underworld. Then you will look at temples, sacrifice, festivals and the idea of life after death.

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Recommended ‘Classically Themed’ Reading for year 9

Author Title Information
Lindsay Clarke The War at Troy The Return from Troy A novel of ancient history, about the Trojan War. About the homecoming of Greek leaders who fought in the Trojan War.
Lindsay Davis The Course of Honour
The Falco series:
The Silver Pigs
Shadows in Bronze
Venus in Copper
The Iron Hand of Mars
Poseidon's Gold
Last Act in Palmyra
Time to Depart
A Dying Light in Corduba
Three Hands in the Fountain
Two for the Lions
One Virgin Too Many
Ode to a Banker
A Body in the Bath House
The Jupiter Myth
The Accusers
Scandal Takes a Holiday
See Delphi and Die
Saturnalia
Alexandria
Nemesis
A stand-alone novel about Emperor Vespasian's mistress Aspiring eques, Falco solves mysteries and murders in ancient Rome and around the Empire
Margaret Doody Aristotle Detective
Aristotle and Poetic Justice
Aristotle and the Secrets of Life
Poison in Athens
Mysteries of Eleusis
Aristotle solves crimes and mysteries in ancient Athens
Robert Graves I, Claudius  
Robert Harris Pompeii
Imperium
Lustrum
 
Tom Holland Rubicon
Persian Fire
The Poison in the Blood
 
Caroline Lawrence The Thieves Of Ostia
The Secrets Of Vesuvius
The Pirates Of Pompeii
The Assassins Of Rome
The Dolphins Of Laurentum
The Twelve Tasks Of Flavia Gemina
The Enemies Of Jupiter
The Gladiators From Capua
The Colossus Of Rhodes
The Fugitive From Corinth
The Sirens Of Surrentum
The Charioteer Of Delphi
The Slave-Girl From Jerusalem
The Beggar Of Volubilis
The Scribes From Alexandria
The Prophet From Ephesus
The Man From Pomegranate Street
The Roman Mysteries series which follow the adventures of Roman children.
Geraldine McCaughrean Odysseus
Perseus
Heracles
The Orchard Book Of Myths
 
Mary Renault The King Must Die Historical novels based on the legend of Theseus from Greek mythology.
Rick Riordan Percy Jackson:
And the Lightning Thief
And the Sea of Monsters
And the Titan’s Curse
And the Battle of the Labyrinth
And The Last Olympian
Heroes of Olympus:
The Lost Hero
The Greek Gods are alive and kicking in the 21st century. Percy Jackson discovers that he is the son of Poseidon and...
Steven Saylor
Years 9 - 13
Roman Blood
Arms of Nemesis
Catilina’s Riddle
The Venus Throw
A Murder on the Appian Way
Rubicon
Last Seen in Massilia
A Mist of Prophecies
The Judgment of Caesar
The Triumph of Caesar
The House of the Vestals
A Gladiator Dies Only Once
Gordianus the Finder investigates cases in Ancient Rome
Simon Scarrow
Years 9 -13
Under the Eagle
The Eagle’s Conquest
When the Eagle Hunts
The Eagle and the Wolves
The Eagle’s Prey
The Eagle’s Prophecy
Eagle in the Sand
Centurion
The Gladiator
The Legion
Gladiator: Fight for Freedom
adventure stories, mostly set in Roman-occupied Britain
Rosemary Sutcliffe Eagle of the Ninth
The Silver Branch
The Lantern Bearers
Song for a Dark Queen
Black Ships before Troy
The Wanderings of Odysseus
Historical fiction
David Wishart
Years 9 - 13
Ovid (1995)
Germanicus (1997)
The Lydian Baker (1998)
Sejanus (1998)
Old Bones (2000)
Last Rites (2001)
White Murder (2002)
A Vote for Murder (2003)
Parthian Shot (2004)
Food for the Fishes (2005)
In at the death (2007)
Illegally Dead (2008)
Bodies Politic (2010)
Marcus Valerius Corvinus, son-in-law of the poet Ovid, travels round the empire solving crimes

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Recommended ‘Classically Themed’ Reading for year 10 and 11

Author Title Description
Historical Fiction: Greek Epic/Trojan War
Margaret Atwood The Penelopiad A literary novel about the experiences of Odysseus' wife, Penelope, while he was away fighting the Trojan War and voyaging home.
Elizabeth Cook Achilles A literary novel about Achilles, the heroic Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan War
Margaret George Helen of Troy Historical Fiction about the woman at the centre of the Trojan War.
Colleen McCullough The Song of Troy Historical fiction
Valerio Massimo Manfredi The Talisman of Troy About a survivor of the Trojan War who journeys to Italy with a mother-goddess figure; based on legends about the Trojan War.Car
Caroline Lawrence The Night Raid A novella based on Virgil Aeneid IX – Nisus and Euryalus story
Ancient Greek History
William Golding The Double Tongue (2005) About a woman who becomes a Delphic oracle
Valerio Massimo Manfredi   The Spartan About two brothers, one raised in the Spartan warrior tradition, the other in a family of Helot slaves.
Child of a Dream
Sands of Ammon
Ends of the Earth
About Alexander the Great
The Lost Army About Xenophon's mistress, who accompanied his army of ten thousand Greek mercenaries in 410 B.C. in their effort to take the throne of Persia for Cyrus the Younger.
Steven Pressfield Tides of War A novel of warfare about the Athenian general Alcibiades.
Gates of Fire A novel of warfare about the Spartan defence at Thermopylae.
The Virtues of War
The Afghan Campaign
Novels of warfare about Alexander the Great
Greek Mythology Novels
C.S. Lewis Till We Have Faces A literary retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, set in a fictional kingdom.
Steven Pressfield Last of the Amazons A novel of warfare based on the legend of Theseus and the Amazons from Greek mythology.
Roman Political/Historical Novels
Jesse Browner The Uncertain Hour about the last banquet of a Roman aristocrat who, having offended Emperor Nero, is planning his suicide and takes the opportunity to enjoy his friends and reflect on his career
Paul Doherty Domina A sympathetic novel about Agrippina the Younger, the wife of Emperor Claudius and mother of Nero.
Robert Graves I Claudius A novel of ancient Rome about Emperor Claudius; the television mini-series of the same name was based on this novel.
Claudius the God the sequel to I, Claudius
Robert Harris Imperium about Cicero's rise to political power in ancient Rome
Robert Harris Lustrum about Cicero's year as consul in 63 B.C., as Julius Caesar plots to gain power and Cicero wonders whether he can justify using illegal methods in order to save the Roman Republic
Tom Holt A Song for Nero a thriller exploring the possibility that Nero survived beyond the date he was believed to have died
Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome about Julius Caesar as a youth, when he chooses the losing side in the struggle between Marius and Sulla to control Rome
The Death of Kings about the dangers Caesar faced during his rise to power, including capture by Mediterranean pirates and the slave rebellion of Spartacus
The Field of Swords about the friendship and rivalry between Caesar and Brutus as Caesar moves toward the fateful decision to cross the Rubicon and make war in Rome
The Gods of War about Caesar and the civil war he pursued in order to unseat Pompey as dictator of Rome
Allan Massie Augustus about the first emperor of Rome
Tiberius about Augustus' successor as emperor of Rome
Caesar about the rise of Julius Caesar; #3 in the author's Imperial series
Antony about Mark Antony, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar, and his struggle with Octavian for leadership in Rome after Caesar's death
Caligula A sympathetic portrayal of one of the most emotionally disturbed Roman emperors.
Nero’s Heirs about the "year of the three emperors" after the death of Nero

Colleen McCullough
First Man in Rome , a novel of ancient history, about the Roman consul Gaius Marius
The Grass Crown a novel of ancient history, about the Roman dictator Sulla
Fortune’s Favourites a novel of ancient history, about the later years of Sulla
Caesar’s Women novel of ancient history, about the rise of Julius Caesar
Caesar a novel of ancient history, about the mature Julius Caesar
The October Horse a novel of ancient history, about Caesar and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra a novel of ancient history, about Antony and Cleopatra
Steven Saylor Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome a sweep-of-history novel about ancient Rome from its earliest founding as a settlement on the banks of the Tiber into the time of Caesar Augustus
Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome a sweep-of-history novel about ancient Rome from 14 A.D., the end of Caesar Augustus's reign to the death of Hadrian in 141 A.D.
Roman Cultural/Historical Novels
Arthur Koestler The Gladiators About the slave revolt led by Spartacus
Carthaginian Historical novels
Ross Leckie Hannibal About Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who invaded Rome
Scipio A novel of ancient history, about the life of the Roman general who defeated Hannibal
Carthage About the destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War