GCSE | Latin

GCSE in Latin

The department

The Languages department at Leighton Park offers French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Latin. We have a team of eight dedicated and passionate teachers whose aim it is to instil a passion for languages in all our students. The language department’s goal is to produce students who recognize the need to understand another country’s language in order to fully appreciate their culture

There are numerous opportunities for students to put their language skills to the test. These include trips to European countries, trips to China and the chance to take part in Spanish, French or German study courses.


GCSE in Latin

Exam Board: OCR
Syllabus Code: J282

Why study Latin?

What possible advantage could there be to learning a language with at least two thousand years of history behind it? Classicists, from JK Rowling (Exeter University Classics) to Boris Johnson (Oxford Classics) to Tom Hiddleston (Cambridge Classics), invariably go on to varied careers taking with them huge a toolkit of transferable skills acquired during the study of this challenging language and fascinating culture.

On this course, students will learn command of the Latin language to reading competence in key classical texts. After two years’ study, they will have to sit a translation examination, which tests their grammatical knowledge and Latin-English skills. The minute attention to detail this skill command is an exercise in combatting your instincts about the meaning of a sentence and piecing it together with logic. This is a readily transferrable skill. Students will also have to be familiar with the set texts of one verse and one prose author and be prepared to translate and comment on sections we will have prepared together. This section of the exam demands pithy, attentive responses and forms life-long skills in clarity of expression.

We prepare for this by reading Latin as a class from Hans Ørberg’s ground-breaking textbook ‘Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata’. Over the course of a year, students read more than 4,000 lines of Latin, acquire more than 2,000 items of vocabulary, and learn to compose prose (English into Latin), understand how to comment on verse, and gain reading fluency in many basic level Classical texts. This prepares students for guided reading in the more advanced literature and allows for time to hone skills in close analysis required to write essays on these texts.


The OCR Latin GCSE is a highly regarded qualification in Classics. It comprises 3 examinations:

  1. Latin language (translation and grammar skills)
  2. Latin verse literature (translation and essays on studied literature from the Roman world)
  3. Latin prose literature (translations and essays on studied literature from the Roman world)


For more information please contact Sarah Hall (Temporary Head of MFL) at Leighton Park School.

Sarah Hall: Temporary Head of MFL

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