GCSE Classical Greek 2018-04-06T11:02:22+00:00

GCSE Classical Greek

OCR GCSE in Classical Greek

Why study Classical Greek?

This course is exciting and inspiring as it readily captures the imagination with its unfamiliar alphabet, expressive use of words, and with its insight into a fascinating culture. The ancient Greeks have had a profound influence on our civilization in forging the key political, philosophical and aesthetical concepts of Western society (and coining the vocabulary to describe them) – from democracy to sculpture and architecture, from history to the Olympic Games and the Theatre, from philosophy to the ideal of physical and moral beauty. Studying Greek gives you the opportunity to experience elements of the culture, language and social and political life of the Greek civilisation first hand as you read the works of timeless authors such as Homer, Euripides, Herodotus, and Plato in their original language.

Classical Greek is a very highly respected academic subject and, though thought of as ‘not for the faint hearted’, it is still accessible to many. Undoubtedly offering perhaps the ultimate training for the brain, Greek embodies many of the same skills developed by the study of Latin, whilst also presenting a fresh challenge to the most aspirational and committed pupils:

  • It develops a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally.
  • It hones the students’ understanding of English and ability to cope with a wide variety of modern languages.
  • It encourages clear and effective written communication.
  • Being less rigidly structured than Latin, it enhances the learner’s capacity for lateral, as well as logical thinking.
  • Its study results in an effective problem solving mind-set.
  • It broadens one’s English vocabulary – many scientific, technical and academic words have Greek as well as Latin roots.

This GCSE directly complements subjects such as Latin, Modern Languages, History, English Literature, Drama and Religious Studies, although many keen scientists have also found the language aspects in particular both stimulating and rewarding. In addition, admissions tutors and employers often comment that a good grade at Classical Greek GCSE suggests a powerful, inquisitive and disciplined mind.

Course details

This course is taught over two years. Students beginning this course need not have studied Latin. However, an interest in, and aptitude for, language is an important requirement. A student who is coping well with Latin will find Greek surprisingly easy as the linguistic structure is very close to Latin’s.
Following the course book ‘Greek to GCSE’, students quickly pick up the rudiments of the language, and are soon reading adapted versions of ancient texts and stories, such as the adventures of Odysseus and of Alexander the Great, and the parables of Aesop. Such passages serve both as a training-ground for new points of language and as a bridge towards the prescribed texts – excerpts from authors such as Homer and Herodotus, studied in class as works of literature.

Topic Assessment Proportion of GCSE
Language

Learners study texts and stories in Classical Greek to build knowledge and understanding of Classical Greek vocabulary, accidence and syntax.

Language
100 marks
1 hour 30 minutes
Written paper
50%
Prose or Verse Literature

Learners study Classical Greek set texts and answer questions in English on aspects of content and analyse, evaluate and respond to the ancient literature they have studied.

Prose or Verse Literature
50 marks
1 hour paper
Written paper
25%
Literature and Culture

Learners study two topics on Greek Civilisation and Culture and answer questions in English on aspects of content, culture, social practices and values.

Literature and Culture
50 marks
1 hour paper
Written paper
25%