Having been established in 2013, Latin is now taught in each year group at Cokethorpe, including the Sixth Form. Rapid and effective development has seen the Department blossom, with the impressive growth in the uptake of, and success in, Latin presenting strong evidence of the potential for the subject to become a mainstay of the School’s curriculum.

The study of Classical subjects provides students with an opportunity to develop both a love for literature and an ability for analytical problem-solving. The study of these subjects can lead to Classical degrees, or those in related areas, such as Ancient History, Law, Philosophy, Archaeology and Anthropology, English Literature or Modern Foreign Languages. Degrees of this sort pave the way to a wide variety of careers, many of them apparently unconnected with the Classical World. Common career paths for Classicists include: Law, Finance, the Foreign Office, Business, Politics, Advertising and Technology.

First Form to Third Form

These years represent an arena for the steady and concerted introduction of Latin. While those in the First Form may be beginners in their study of this exacting discipline, the majority of Latin students are ready to embrace the challenge of GCSE Latin by the Third Form’s end. In their first two years of study, students enjoy the linguistic and cultural learning afforded by the Cambridge Latin Course, while the Third Form sees a transition to the more grammatically intensive ‘So You Really Want To Learn Latin?’ series.

At the end of the Second Form, pupils will have the opportunity to opt in to continued study in the following year. The introduction of this option has led to a more motivated and high-achieving Third Form cohort, and vastly increased GCSE uptake.

Pupils in the First and Second Forms enjoy three Latin lessons per fortnight and the majority of classwork is language-based. Those in the Third Form are allotted four lessons per fortnight. There is a deliberate emphasis on developing pupils’ understanding of Roman civilisation and culture and, as such, they will also undertake a series of research projects on topics over the course of the year, which are to be completed outside the classroom. The Department’s aim in introducing Latin in this way is to ensure a solid grounding in the language skills required for a successful transition to the Latin GCSE course, whilst also developing an appreciation of the cultural context to the pupils’ learning. 

Fourth Form to Fifth Form

Pupils are offered the opportunity to study for a Latin GCSE at the end of the Third Form. Pupils who opt to continue with their study of Latin will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of language on a deeper level and to hone their translation skills. They will also, as part of the OCR GCSE course, be introduced to excerpts of original Latin by authors such as Cicero, Livy, Pliny, Horace and Virgil. The study of Latin at GCSE level is, therefore, both literary and linguistic; students learn to practise literary criticism and to analyse poetic technique, as well as to translate accurately. Students who choose to study Latin at this level will have five Latin lessons per fortnight. 

Head of Classics: Mr P A R Goulding 

Trips, Activities and Extension 

Greek to GCSE AOB

As part of a dedicated AOB programme, the Department offers students in the Lower School the chance to get to grips with the language of Ancient Greece, with a view to taking the subject to GCSE and beyond. Ancient Greek complements the study of Latin absolutely, and offers the student an invaluable opportunity both to achieve success in a rigorous discipline, and to become immersed in a civilisation that begat our own in so many essential and inestimable ways.

Trip to Rome (Spring 2016)

For five days during the February half-term break, a group of GCSE and A-Level Classicists visited Rome and the sites of its immortal Roman heritage. From a visit to the towering magnificence of the Colosseum on the first morning, pupils took in the sights and sounds (and tastes) of all that the Eternal City has to offer.