"But nobody actually speaks Latin, so why do we have to learn it?"
This is the most common question asked by those beginning to learn Latin. There is a multitude of reasons why the study of Latin is important - this quote, reputedly taken from a classroom blackboard in 1998, sums up my usual response:
"Latin is the first subject we do in life entirely for its own sake. A degree at university in Classics leads to almost any job in the world. It gives one a disinterestedness in the study of any subject. Disinterestedness is NOT being uninterested. Quite the opposite: it is a love of studying without any practical result intended - and it gives the soul a peace, an inner control, a quiet joy beyond words."
Through reading fantastic stories, which have graced the screenplay of many a Hollywood blockbuster, students of Latin are able to develop an understanding of grammar, literary style, politics, philosophy, and the discipline of a logical approach to textual analysis.
- When studying Latin at King's
- Pupils learn to achieve fluency in reading the Latin Language
- We visit sites and museums both within the UK and Europe
Lecturers from Universities such as Oxford and Exeter often visit to speak on a wide range of topics related to the Ancient World.
Latin in the Third Form
In the Third Form, pupils in 3A or B are offered the opportunity to study Latin, either as a beginner or as someone who has already been learning Latin for a year or more. During the year, all pupils follow “Latin to GCSE” by Henry Cullen and John Taylor, at a pace which allows them either to develop or consolidate their understanding of Latin. The course also offers the opportunity to study the story of The Aeneid by Virgil.
Latin at GCSE
Latin is a popular option at GCSE and there are usually a number who start studying Latin in Third form and continue through to GCSE. We follow the Edugas (WJEC) Latin GCSE syllabus, which allows for the development of translation and reading skills in Latin as well as an introduction to the literature of the Ancient World.
Latin at A Level
For those that continue the study of Latin beyond GCSE, the world of Ancient Literature really opens up. The A Level course develops language skills further but in reading the works of authors such as Cicero, Ovid, Horace and Catullus, students are really able to get to grips with the lives and ideas of those that lived in Rome 2,000 years ago. Results have been consistently strong with 100% A or A* grades since 2012.
Beyond A Level
Over the past few years a number of pupils from King’s have gone on to study Classical Subjects at Russell group universities, including Oxford, Durham and UCL.