The study of Latin at Kingswood provides a thorough grounding in the vocabulary and the grammatical and syntactical concepts of the language which developed into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian, as well as over half of the words in the English language. Once a degree of mastery of the language has been reached, students are able to read the works of authors who have influenced the thoughts and works of European writers for the last two thousand years. This challenging material is delivered in the context of the history of the Ancient World as we consider aspects such as slavery, armed conflict, and different beliefs about life after death. The study of Latin has traditionally been seen as a rigorous and demanding discipline and it certainly does 'train the mind'; however, the course is accessible to diligent students of all abilities.
The majority of Kingswood students study Latin for at least one year and, as well as the obvious benefits that this has for their future studies in Modern Languages, History, Religious Studies and English, it gives them a more general academic confidence: they know that if they persevere they can understand concepts which may have eluded them initially. While the logical, problem-solving aspect of the subject and the demands on a learner's memory do exercise and train the mind, it is the human part of our studies which touches us most. Cicero for the political animals, Ovid for crafty amusement, Caesar for the tactics of conquest, Catullus for the broken-hearted and Virgil for every human experience and emotion: reading Latin gives us access to their timeless wisdom. Sometimes '...you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.' (Alan Bennett 'The History Boys')
You can view the details of our A Level course in the Sixth Form Academic Programme 2018-2020.
You can view details of our GCSE course in the Kingswood GCSE courses 2016-2017 curriculum booklet.