Shrewsbury School

Latin and Greek A Level

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.


Head of Faculty: Mr P.G. Fitzgerald

Latin and Greek continue to provide a rigorous and highly stimulating education at this level and are universally respected as indicators that the student has worked hard to master a difficult, demanding, and complex subject.  They require attention to minute points of detail while also seeing the bigger picture of the ancient cultures whose ideas they express; they call for a sense of style and a feeling for literature.  Above all, they show us a world vastly different from our own and this ‘difference’ is what makes them supremely interesting and educational to the extent that this calls into question many of our own assumptions and beliefs.

OCR Latin and Greek are now both linear, to be studied over two years, with four examinations in each subject to be taken at the end of the Upper Sixth.

Latin

  1. Unseen Translation (1 hour 45 minutes; 33% of total A level). Candidates will translate two passages, one prose, the other verse, selected from the works of the Roman historian Livy and the poet Ovid. They are also required to scan two lines of verse.
  2. Prose Composition or Comprehension (1 hour 15 minutes; 17% of total A level). Candidates can choose either to answer factual, grammatical, and stylistic comprehension questions on a passage of prose, or translate a passage of English prose into Latin.
  3. Prose Literature (2 hours; 25% of total A level). Candidates study two Latin Prose Literature set texts in depth, from authors such as Cicero, Tacitus and Seneca. They also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken. This will be tested via a series of stylistic, factual and literary critique questions, as well as an ‘over-view’, essay-style question on the author.
  4. Verse Literature (2 hours; 25% of total A level). Candidates study two Latin Verse Literature set texts in depth, from authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Tibullus and Propertius. Learners also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.

Greek

  1. Unseen Translation (1 hour 45 minutes; 33% of total A level). Candidates will translate two passages, one prose, the other verse, selected from the works of the Greek historian Xenophon and the tragic poet Euripides. They are also required to scan two lines of verse.
  2. Prose Composition or Comprehension (1 hour 15 minutes; 17% of total A level). Candidates can choose either to answer factual, grammatical, and stylistic comprehension questions on a passage of prose, or translate a passage of English prose into Greek.
  3. Prose Literature (2 hours; 25% of total A level). Candidates study two Greek Prose Literature set texts in depth, from authors such as Thucydides, Plato and Xenophon. They also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken. This will be tested via a series of stylistic, factual and literary critique questions, as well as an ‘over-view’, essay-style question on the author.
  4. Verse Literature (2 hours; 25% of total A level). Candidates study two Greek Verse Literature set texts in depth, from authors such as Homer, Sophocles and Aristophanes. Learners also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.

Besides preparing for these examinations, pupils will also be encouraged to read widely in the literature of the ancient world and also to write a long essay to be entered for the prestigious national Gladstone Essay Competition – an exercise which is both a learning experience in itself and also preparation for higher-level study of the Classics at university.

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