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Latin A Level *Fees Payable* at Benenden School *Fees Payable*

Course description

Latin A Level provides a valuable blend of skills that, as well as being of great benefit in their own right, enhance and complement skills used and developed in many other subject areas, whether languages, humanities, maths or science. The course offers a combination of linguistic expertise and literary criticism that develops critical sensitivity, logic and analysis, clarity and precision in both interpretation and communication, and emotional intelligence.

Latin A Level also continues to give pupils the opportunity to read unadapted literature in a language other than English, to a very high academic level. 

Entry requirements

GCSE Latin, ideally at A or A*


The course follows much the same outline as GCSE, so should be very familiar. Half of the assessment is language, and half is through examination of set literature. The entire A Level is examined at the end of the two years. There is no coursework.


Paper 1

Unseen Translation

Translation of two passages of unseen Latin, one prose and one verse. The verse passage will be from the poetry of Ovid, the most gifted of the Roman poets and capable of low comedy to high tragedy, writing mostly on love and mythology

Weighting:  33%


Paper 2 

Comprehension or prose composition 

Either answering questions on a piece of unseen Latin prose from the letters of Pliny the Younger, which give a detailed insight into the social and political life of the Roman Empire, from matters of state to ethical dilemmas to mischievous gossip.

Or translating a passage of unseen English into Latin. 

Weighting:  17%


Paper 3

Prose literature

Questions on set prose literature. In the first year of the course the text will be Cicero’s Pro Milone, a defence speech in a murder trial, where Cicero’s client is accused of hiring a gang to assassinate a political opponent; Cicero’s text is part detective work, part courtroom drama.

In the second year girls will be able to choose whether to explore this text further, or read instead a section of Tacitus’ Annals exploring the controversial transition between the emperors Augustus and Tiberius.

Weighting:  25%


Paper 4

Verse Literature 

Questions on set verse literature. In the first year of the course the text will be selections of Roman love elegy by the poets Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus, ranging from the serious and passionate to the trivial and humorous.

In the second year girls will be able to choose whether to explore these poets further, or read instead a section of Virgil’s Aeneid, familiar from GCSE, or Ovid’s Heroides, in which he imagines mythological heroines writing letters to the heroes who have wronged them.

Weighting:  25%

Future opportunities

The intellectual discipline which you acquire in this course combines well with a wide range of other subjects, especially English, history, modern languages, mathematics and the sciences. The rigour required is valued highly by universities and employers and thus can be of significant value to students striving for places in highly competitive fields, at university or afterwards.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Benenden School *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 05 December 2016
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