A Level Latin (Reformed 2016)

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Latin is a fascinating, challenging combination of the strictly logical and the poetic and creative. It is a very different language from English, and mastery requires precision, thorough understanding of its principles, and a very careful eye for detail. But the literature we will study is full of colourful tales from myth and history written by talented and witty authors, and students will not only read them but form and discuss their own opinions.

Although AS/A Level Latin is difficult, no previous knowledge of the language is necessary, and any combination of subjects can pair very well with Latin. Students of Classical Civilisation, History, English Language, Literature, or modern languages will all find aspects of the Latin syllabus both familiar and refreshingly different. Latin is also an excellent option for science students looking to broaden their subject portfolio – Latin has been called ‘the Mathematics of the Humanities,’ due to both its precise structure and its influence on so much of Western culture.

Due to its difficulty and the skills it requires and helps to develop, Latin is highly valued by both universities and employers in any field.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS Level study

AS Latin is a demanding course requiring students to develop a strong understanding of Latin grammar, syntax, accidence and vocabulary in a short time, alongside study of the prose and verse set texts, and students must therefore be aware that they will need to work extremely hard. Vocabulary and understanding of the language will be tested regularly to reinforce learning and identify areas which would benefit from additional practice. Regular practice of both translation and essay-writing will develop the skills necessary to approach these questions confidently in the exams.

AS Specification Number OCR H043

Component 01 – Language
1 hour 30 mins written paper, 80 marks – 50% of total AS

In this component, students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Latin by translating one passage of unseen prose into English, and by answering a series of translation, grammar and comprehension questions.

Component 02 – Literature
2 hour written paper, 80 marks – 50% of total AS

This component will test a student’s understanding and analysis of Latin poetry and prose literature. The exam will include translation of passages of the set text into English, answering comprehension questions, and answering essay questions commenting on the style, meaning, content and context of the set text passages.

The prescribed prose text will be sections of the famous orator Cicero’s speech Pro Milone, in defence of the accused murderer Milo. The prescribed verse text will be sections of book 8 of Virgil’s Aeneid, the patriotic epic retelling the mythic foundation of Rome.

 

Reading list

AuthorTitle
Cicero Pro Milone: A Selection
Virgil Aeneid VIII: A Selection

A Level

MPW approach to A Level study

A Level Latin tests and develops the same skills as the AS course, but requires a more comprehensive knowledge of grammar, syntax and accidence, and a larger vocabulary. A wider range of prescribed literature will be studied, and more in-depth knowledge of the context in which these texts were written will be required. As with the AS course, learning and understanding will continually be tested and reinforced, and students should expect to be challenged throughout.

A Level Specification - OCR H443

Component 01 – Unseen Translation
1 hour 45 mins written paper, 100 marks – 33% of total A Level

In this component, students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Latin by translating one passage of unseen prose and one passage of unseen verse into English.

The unseen prose passage will be from the Roman historian Livy’s account of Rome’s early history. The unseen verse passage will be from Ovid, one of Rome’s quirkiest and most creative poets.

Component 02 – Prose Composition or Comprehension
1 hour 15 mins written paper, 50 marks – 17% of total A Level

In this component, students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Latin by answering a series of translation, grammar and comprehension questions based on a passage of unseen Latin.

Component 03 – Prose Literature
2 hour written paper, 75 marks – 25% of total A Level

This component tests a student’s understanding and analysis of Latin prose literature. The exam will include translation of passages of the prescribed text into English, answering comprehension questions, and answering essay questions commenting on the style, meaning, content and context of the set text passages.

The prescribed prose texts will be several sections of the famous orator Cicero’s speech Pro Milone, in defence of the accused murderer Milo.

Component 04 – Verse Literature
2 hour written paper, 75 marks – 25% of total A Level

This component tests a student’s understanding and analysis of Latin poetry. The exam will include translation of passages of the prescribed text into English, answering comprehension questions, and answering essay questions commenting on the style, meaning, content and context of the prescribed passages.

The prescribed verse texts will be sections of book 8 of Virgil’s Aeneid, the patriotic epic retelling the mythic foundation of Rome; and sections of Ovid’s Heroides, imaginative letters from the heroines of Greek myth to the men who wronged them.

 

Reading list

AuthorTitle
Cicero Pro Milone: A Selection
Virgil Aeneid VIII: A Selection
Ovid Heroides: A Selection

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.