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Talk to me about the Latin GCSE!

(26 Posts)
NCPuffin Sat 09-Jun-18 15:51:22

I grew up abroad and did Latin and classical Greek at school. I would love to set up a Latin GCSE at my school (I currently teach English at KS 3 and 4 and sociology at KS 5). I've had a look at the OCR Latin paper, and I'm fairly confident I could teach it if I brushed up on my grammar and vocabulary. I haven't discussed my ideas with anyone in school yet, but I know there would be interest among the pupils and have a feeling the head would love the idea (school has a relatively deprived catchment and the head is keen to shake off its historically bad reputation).

I'd love to hear more from people who have experience of teaching it, or work in a school that has it on the curriculum, especially if it's not in the private sector.

noblegiraffe Sat 09-Jun-18 16:14:11

You’ve missed the boat if you want it on the timetable for September, but perhaps you could drum up interest by setting up an extra curricular club next year with the aim of having enough interest to create a GCSE class? Or with budget cuts, more likely have it run as an extra curricular club with the aim of entering GCSE.

NCPuffin Sat 09-Jun-18 16:35:51

@noblegiraffe: it was never going to happen next year, DC1 is due in Septembergrin I like the idea of an extracurricular class! Not sure that would be enough to prepare for GCSE though. Do you know how long/ many hours the course is?

Wearelocal Sat 09-Jun-18 16:38:38

Sorry haven't taught one, but did GCSE Latin at comp. and I loved it! Our course was half Roman history which made it come to life.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sat 09-Jun-18 17:43:01

Not Latin but when I was at school, the A level linguists were offered Italian GCSE as an addition. I think we maybe had 2 lessons a week and afaik, everybody used to get A or A*.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Sat 09-Jun-18 17:53:45

Worth checking out the WJEC qualification, I think - linked to Cambridge Latin Course and potentially more accessible if teaching GCSE from scratch in two years. It's bloody ages since I taught it though so am not a reliable guide. You'd need to check it's on the approved list for the EBACC qualifications to make sure the school would support it as an option.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Sat 09-Jun-18 17:55:40

Pretty much all GCSE courses are 120-140 hours but having taught GCSE from scratch previously you might struggle in a tight timetable - I had 3 hours a week and barely managed to cover the language content.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Sat 09-Jun-18 17:57:19

It would be very tough to run GCSE as a club, although the joy of that would be that it would be self-selecting students.

NCPuffin Sat 09-Jun-18 18:21:59

Some really useful advice here! I think Italian is out - I used to be reasonably fluent in that, but let it go rusty.

Elizabeth may I ask your background? Did you do classics at degree level? What is/ was your main subject?

Wearelocal Sat 09-Jun-18 18:22:48

Our Latin classes were taught by a mobile teacher who did 2 lessons a week in each comp.

ChurlishMay Sat 09-Jun-18 18:26:05

I’m a classics teacher. Pm me if you have questions - happy to answer smile

StruggsToFunc Sat 09-Jun-18 21:28:26

It’s highly unlikely that your HT will be able to find the space in the curriculum to offer it as a timetabled option. Are you the only person on the staff who could teach it? If you were to get pg again, go off sick, or leave, then they’d be absolutely stuffed.

I agree with pp that you would be best setting up an extra curricular club with a view to entering some for the GCSE, but don’t underestimate how much additional work this will create for you - especially returning to work as a new parent.

One other possibility - in our comp we have a small but very successful cohort each year who take GCSE Classical Civilisation. AQA have abolished their version since the 9-1 reforms but OCR are still offering it. It might be worth looking at in conjunction with members of the history department. There is a literature component which is studied in translation. For motivated, able students it would be much easier to teach from scratch or extra-curricular.

NCPuffin Sat 09-Jun-18 22:29:07

Struggling I understand what you're saying. Offering it as an extra curricular activity I think is the best way to go, that hadn't occurred to me until this thread. I think I probably am the only one who could teach it. Mind you, that also applies to A level sociology - I have a colleague now but she's not a sociologist and I was supposed to be delivering the whole course on my own next year oops. It would be a risk for the school, but to be brutally honest, that's not my problem, in the sense that it won't stop me from trying to set this up. Hope that doesn't sound too horrible smile

NCPuffin Sat 09-Jun-18 22:30:21

I'm afraid I have no interest in teaching classical civilisation without the language component - I'm a grammar freak. Love my literature too though!

bellanotte22 Sat 09-Jun-18 22:32:20

OCR Latin from scratch in 2 years would be pretty tricky I'd think without devoting a lot of hours to it.

Buxbaum Sat 09-Jun-18 22:55:06

Agree with pp - I’d suggest an extra curricular Latin club, open to all year groups, and starting off with book 1 of the Cambridge Latin course. You’ll be able to identify pretty quickly who has a flair and an interest, but assuming that you can run approx an hour a week you’re probably looking at 2-3 years before they would be ready for GCSE entry. If your school runs any timetabled enrichment or immersion days then you might be able to pick up some more time there.

Cambridge School Classics Project is really good for advice and support. You’ll need some funding for resources and they offer some grants. It sounds like your school is exactly the kind they’d be keen to support.

C0untDucku1a Sat 09-Jun-18 22:58:28

I teach in a comprehensive school that offers latin from year 7 to the two top sets only. It is compulsory for them year 7-9. Then gcse latin for those that choose it. We offer classics in year 12 and 13.

The lower sets are timetables for ‘literacy’ at the same time.

Piggywaspushed Sun 10-Jun-18 07:20:24

There are highly supportive networks of classics and Latin teachers across state schools. My school is one of the 'flagships' of this movement. Lots of the schools are active on Twitter, too.

PM me if you want details of my head of classics : I am sure he would give you lots of advice. It is now a v popular option subject at our school.

I introduced a new GCSE from scratch last year : it's hard work but rewarding!

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Sun 10-Jun-18 10:01:36

NCPuffin I did a classics degree then an English PGCE and got a job as an English teacher in a comp. Latin was already an option so they asked me to pick it up when the teacher retired - I was a Greekist so my Latin was frankly ropey at that point! Lots and lots of prep...

The timetable time was shaved to the minimum over a few years and eventually had to shelve the subject when we didn't get the numbers for a from-scratch GCSE class, having closed down the KS3 element. I enjoyed teaching it and always had one or two pupils who passionately loved it and went on to follow it as an academic/career path but equally, some pupils who picked it because they liked me but ended up hating the subject and struggling because it is a big beast as far as learned content is concerned.

NCPuffin Tue 12-Jun-18 22:10:45

Update: I had a chat with someone from the teaching and learning team, who agreed with setting it up as an extracurricular activity and suggested discussing it with SLT sooner rather than later. Met with deputy head today, who just stared at me as I went through my story, paused and said "I think it's a great idea! I'm sure I can find some money for books!"grin

I am very excited! Thank you all so much for your tips! I will do more research over summer into exam boards and funding etc. In the meantime, can you recommend me a book to brush up on my grammar and vocabulary? I trust it'll come back to me soonsmile

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Jun-18 22:16:14

Oh well done, how exciting! Start eyeing up the kids you want to attend too and put the idea in their heads.

Good luck!

educatingarti Tue 12-Jun-18 22:16:40

Caecelius est pater.
Metella est mater.
Quintus est filius.
Cerberus est canis.

educatingarti Tue 12-Jun-18 22:18:08

That is all I can remember from 40 years ago!

Oh and
amor omnia vincit

NCPuffin Tue 12-Jun-18 22:21:35

That's English Latingrin I learnt Marcus in horto eat/ Marcus et Cornelia in horto sunt. The book was called Redde Rationes and my school had been using it for so long that several kids had parents who'd learnt Latin using the same booksgrin

I am going to pitch my idea to my fanclub 7.1 soon, before they get to cool for itsmile

NCPuffin Tue 12-Jun-18 22:25:16

Odi et amo
Quare I'd faciam
Fortasse requiris?
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior

Beautiful! Had to look it up to check the grammar, but I remember it making such an impression on me!

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