Latin & Classical Civilisation

To study Classics is to study the ancient Greek and Roman worlds but not simply for their own sake but rather to enrich our understanding of both our own culture and its language.

All boys begin Latin from year 7. We start by using the Cambridge Latin Course (CLC). The story follows the lives of a family living in Pompeii in the year of its eruption, the places they visit and the characters they encounter. The structure of the language itself flows from the stories. The boys have one period of Latin per week. Boys continue to take the CLC through Years 8 and 9 with the aim to complete book 2 by the end of Year 9.


Latin is offered as an extracurricular subject at GCSE. The course will run as an additional subject to the existing core and option subjects and will be taken in Years 10 and 11. The course will take place at BWS once a week during one lunchtime and a further hour after school, the exact days will depend on whole-school timetabling. There will also be approximately one hour of homework each week in Year 10. As Latin will be an extra subject, the workload should not be underestimated and students will need to be organised and self-motivated. It is expected also that students are coping well with Year 9 Latin and demonstrate a good grasp of the Year 9 grammar and vocabulary in the end of year exam.

Latin will be taught by Mr. Owen, Head of Classics and he will follow the OCR specification. Numbers in the class will possibly have to be limited. Because we are offering this on an extra-curricular basis, we will also request that parents make a contribution to cover the cost of tuition, textbooks and photocopying. The contribution requested for Latin for the next academic year will be in the region of £215 which is due in September and will be made available online via No pupil will be barred from taking Latin GCSE on account of non-payment, but if total payments do not cover the cost, then the course may have to be cancelled.

There will be an opportunity for interested students and their parents to come and speak with Mr. Owen about the course usually at the parents’ meeting in year 9.

Students wishing to take the Latin GCSE Course will be required to complete a Form of Acceptance and return it to Finance Office, Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Exeter Street, Salisbury, SP1 2ED. The statements set out the commitment required from boys taking the Latin GCSE course and parents of those boys over the duration of the two-year course. Students must agree to attend the Latin GCSE lunchtime and twilight sessions after school at BWS and commit to attending each week for an hour and a half. Students must also agree to doing approximately one hour of homework each week and taking the exam at the end of the two year course.