Latin inc. Classical Greek GCSE Exam Information

GCSE Latin


GCSE Latin allows you to study both the language and literature of the Romans.  Following the Cambridge Latin Course through to Book III, you will learn about life and leisure in the Roman Empire – how people lived, how they spent free time, what ideas they originated. In addition to this, you will read and translate stories taken from original Roman writers to give you a detailed picture of what life was really like in the first century A.D.  The focus on language continues, but the works of authors such as Tacitus and Caesar, as well as poets like Virgil and Ovid are also studied in their orginal Latin.

Course Content

In Year 10, you read the stories in Book III of the Cambridge Latin Course, set in Roman Britain (Chester and Bath). We then follow a bespoke course based partly on ‘Latin to GCSE’ (Cullen/Taylor) and ‘Essential GCSE Latin’ (Taylor). By the end of the year you will have mastered most of the linguistic skills needed for the GCSE examination and covered the prescribed vocabulary list.

In Year 11, a selection of Prose and Verse authors is studied. You are given plenty of practice in both translation from Latin into English, and the comprehension skills needed for the GCSE Latin Language paper. There will also be a chance to study the primary source material for the Literature and Culture paper. This will be done by studying inscriptions, artefacts and archaeological evidence, and literature studied in English.

Skills and Application

Studying Latin to GCSE level will allow you to learn how to read and understand Latin from Roman authors.  You will learn to use your grammatical skills to decipher complex sentences and your knowledge of vocabulary will increase. The subject fosters excellent attention to detail and a logical approach to problem solving. In addition to your language skills, you will develop skills of analysis and evaluation by studying texts, and you will increase your ability to respond to the work of ancient authors.


There is no Controlled Assessment in GCSE Latin. Assessment is by examination only at the end of Year 11. You have three components (examination papers).

You must complete the Latin Language paper (50% of the total marks) which requires you to translate a passage of Latin and answer comprehension questions from a story based on a Roman story from mythology or history.

You must also choose to do two of the following three options:

  • Prose Literature – (25% of the total marks)
  • Verse Literature – (25% of the total marks)
  • Literature and Culture – (25% of the total marks)

It is usual for the two literature papers to be taught.

Exam Board: OCR

GCSE Classical Greek

Classical Greek may also be continued in Year 10 and Year 11 as a twilight subject, i.e. after school or at lunchtimes. The course leads up to GCSE and is very similar in format to Latin GCSE.

Exam Board: OCR