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Sixth Form (Ages 16-18)


The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.


Cogito, ergo sum - I think, therefore I am.

A Dictum coined by French philosopher René Descartes

Why Study Latin?

Far from being a dead language, Latin is very much alive in our day-to-day conversations. The Romans played a decisive role in the development of the civilised western world. The language and literature of Rome has had a seminal influence on the development of many languages, including English, and all who study Latin in the Sixth Form will gain further insight into our linguistic, literary and cultural heritage.

If you have enjoyed puzzling over translations at GCSE and grappling with the complexities of grammar, then you will know that at times you may find it hard, but it is incredibly satisfying when you get it right.

In addition to a facility with words, the Latin linguistic components require a clear, logical mind and a good memory, and success at the literary components depends on a sophisticated degree of literary critical skill combined with the ability to evaluate the historical and (sometimes) philosophical qualities of the ancient texts.


The World is Your Oyster

The A-level further develops GCSE language skills, 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.

For Prose Literature, you read sections of Cicero’s Pro Cluentio: Murder at Larinum, in which Cicero defends the young Cluentius who has been accused by his mother of poisoning his stepfather. For Verse Literature you study a range of poems written by Catullus, many of which are famous for his tortured love affair with the woman he calls “Lesbia” but we will also read many of his other works, in which he shows off his wit and skill as one of the most influential writers in the history of world literature.   

Over the two years, there are opportunities to translate work by other authors, such as Caesar, Livy and Catullus in order to prepare for the unseen elements of the exam. Work on grammar and syntax will continue so that by the end of two years, pupils will be able to read sections of texts in Latin independently.

Lessons in Ancient Greek are available, although usually as an additional subject off the normal timetable and by prior arrangement.

Lisa Cashmore

BA (Hons) - Swansea University
Head of Classics
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