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Latin A Level at The Henrietta Barnett School

Course description

The A level course comprises the study of the language and literature of the Roman world. Alongside the development of reading fluency in Latin, students also gain a greater insight into Roman history, society and thought.

Literature work is based on the discussion and analysis of the set texts. Students learn how to write commentaries on passages of Latin, explaining interesting features of the author’s style of writing. Classwork revolves around discussion, debate and articulation of one’s own interpretation of a text.

Language work involves extending one’s knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary acquired at GCSE. In order to develop reading fluency, students read a wide range of Latin texts, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of Roman mythology, history and philosophy, with a particular focus on Livy and Ovid.

For students of Latin in the Sixth Form there are opportunities to run Classics Society, which hosts visiting lecturers, edit the school Classics Magazine, and run enrichment activities for KS3 and 4. There is a Sixth Form Classics trip to Greece, where we visit some of the most spectacular ancient sites in the Mediterranean, including Delphi, Olympia, Mycenae and Athens. There are also theatre trips, linguistic and cultural competitions (such as the international CICERO competition, and the Linguistics Olympiad), and lecture days.


Course content

The literature studied covers a wide range of genres, such as epic poetry, love poetry, history, legal speeches, and philosophy. Set texts read in Year 12 include the extracts of Virgil’s masterpiece, the Aeneid, detailing the Trojan hero’s struggle to reach Italy and establish the Roman race. Students also read extracts of Cicero’s speech speeches condemning Mark Antony, the Philippics.

Entry requirements

For all applicants, both internal and external, the minimum requirement is: (a) At least six grades 7 or above at GCSE (grade A or above in unreformed GCSEs) (b) At least a grade 6 in English Language and Mathematics, if these subjects are not being taken in the Sixth Form. (c) At least grade 7 (grade A or above in unreformed GCSEs) at GCSE in the subjects to be studied at A Level. For Further Mathematics an 8 or 9 (A* in the unreformed GCSE). sFor subjects not previously studied at GCSE, a grade 7 or above (grade A or above in unreformed GCSEs) in an equivalent subject will be required (please see the Sixth Form Information Booklet).


The A Level course is assessed by four written examination papers, two for language and two for literature.

Future opportunities

The study of Latin at a high level is seen by employers as providing many desirable skills, especially the ability to problem-solve and argue a case effectively. It is also useful preparation for the study of medicine, and complements the sciences as well as the arts.

Classicists are highly desired by employers and can enter a range of professions, including law, politics, the civil service, publishing, banking, and academia.

Further information

To find out more about this course / qualification please contact us, or you can ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Henrietta Barnett School directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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    • By Public Transport

      The nearest Tube Station is Golders Green Station and is approximately a 15 minute walk. Golders Green Station is on the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line.

      By Road

      The school is located in the Hampstead Garden Suburb and is a few minutes drive from the A1 or A406.