The study of Classical languages and Literature at Gordonstoun aims to develop a high level of linguistic skill and literary awareness. It hopes to inspire a genuine interest in the ancient world and provide aspiring International Citizens with the sense of perspective that allows them to deal with an ever-changing world.
This is available without extra charge out of class time, both to beginners and the experienced, using Wilding’s Greek for Beginners. Progress is very carefully tailored to suit the needs of individual students.
Students can decide to continue with or begin Latin in Year 9. The course used is the Cambridge Latin Course. Students who take Common Entrance or Scholarship Latin begin at Book III; others start at the most appropriate Book. Beginners are welcome in Year 9 and have achieved subsequent success at both GCSE and Advanced Level. Emphasis is placed on reading and comprehension throughout, and linguistic skills are mainly practised through the exercise of translation. A varied background course in Literature in translation and Roman Civilisation is provided.
The course aims to combine a systematic training in the basics of the Latin language with the appreciation of Roman literature and culture. The emphasis is firmly placed on the reading and understanding of Latin texts. The course book followed is the Cambridge Latin Course, and part of Cambridge Latin Anthology and the OCR Anthology for GCSE forms the set text. The reading of Latin texts in the original is a valuable and enjoyable experience.
The examination comes in the following parts:
Language (50%) This is assessed by means of comprehension of a passage on a Mythological or Domestic Theme (10%), the translation of three easy English Sentences into Latin (5%) and comprehension and translation of passages on a Historical Theme (35%).
Verse Literature (25%) A selection from the Cambridge Latin Anthology for GCSE is studied which includes poems by Horace Ovid and others about spring, and town and country life.
Prose Literature (25%) The present text is from the Cambridge Latin Anthology, where students read accounts of the life of the Druids, and of Boudica’s rebellion.
The course aims to combine a systematic training in the basics of the Greek language with the appreciation of Greek literature and culture. Teaching is outside the timetable, and progress is closely tailored to the individual student’s needs. The examination for full GCSE is as follows:
Language (50%) This is assessed by means of comprehension of a passage on a Mythological or Domestic Theme (10%), the translation of three easy English Sentences into Classical Greek (5%) and comprehension and translation of passages on a Historical Theme (35%).
Verse Literature (25%) A book of Homer’s Odyssey is studied, about 130 lines of which are read in Greek and the rest in English. The current book recounts the arrival of Odysseus at the land of the Phaeacians, and his meeting with Princess Nausicaa.
Prose Literature (25%) The present text is from the writings of Herodotus, dealing with two stories about the Lydian King Croesus, famed for his riches.
A LEVEL Latin (OCR)
The aim of the course is to give students an appreciation of Roman culture and thought through the study of Latin language and literature. An attempt is made to keep to the more interesting authors and books. Half of the course is devoted to methodical instruction in Latin language. The other half is devoted to the study of set texts drawn from Latin literature. Latin is scheduled for reform starting in 2016, so AS no longer will towards the final A2 Grade, but the texts have been dovetailed to make for sensible progression.
Prose and Verse Literature (50%) Students study two texts drawn from the greats of Latin Literature. This allows for a fresh and distinctive study of texts in a language other than English, and a close study of how authors use language and literary technique.
The authors studied are to be:
Cicero: Pro Milone; Cicero mounts a spirited defence in court of one of his favourite thugs.
Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius: A study of works from ancient Rome’s leading love poets.
Language (50%) Students translate a straightforward unseen passage of Latin into English, and then show linguistic knowledge through answering a comprehension exercise on a second Latin Text. Both passages are defined by set vocabulary list studied over the course of the year.
Unseen Translation (33%) Candidates will translate straightforward passages of Livy and Ovid from Latin into English, and scan two lines of verse.
Prose Composition (17%) Candidates will translate a straightforward piece of English into Latin.
Prose Literature (25%) This study builds on the Pro Milone Set Text studied at AS by the reading of further parts of the same speech, or a contrasting text, as preferred.
Verse Literature (25%) This study builds on the Love Poetry Set Text studied at AS by the reading of further love poems, or a contrasting text, as preferred.
This course follows the same pattern as the Latin Course, with a similar balance between the study of language and literature. Authors studied include Homer, Xenophon, Plato and Sophocles. This course is offered outside the normal timetable by arrangement with the Head of Classics.