OxLAT Oxford Latin Teaching Scheme


"During my time at state school, I participated in the OXLAT GCSE Latin scheme which is organised by the Oxford Classics Faculty, and this is what developed my initial interest in the Latin language into a desire to study for a degree in Classics." Anna, second year Classics (IIA)


Latin GCSE for State School Students

Thanks to a generous grant from the Stonehouse Educational Foundation the Faculty is able to offer students in Years 9 and 10 (13–15 year olds) attending state schools in the Oxfordshire area that have no Latin provision free tuition in Latin language and literature ab initio through to GCSE.

Lessons take place on Saturday mornings in the Faculty building and are taught by two professional Latin teachers, Charlotte Causer and Elena Vacca, overseen and supported by the scheme co-ordinator, Emma Searle.

The scheme replicates the teaching that students would experience were they taking the subject as a GCSE option at school: lessons are scheduled during Oxfordshire schools’ term times, so it is possible to provide students with a routine and learning structure that is similar to that which they experience at school, albeit more intensive; they are expected to consolidate their learning in class with appropriate study time at home each week, aided by internet learning tools. Homework is roughly the same as one would expect for any KS3 and then GCSE subject. 

‘It’s a long way to come, but it’s really fun to learn the language,’ says Tilly, 14, from Marlow. Learning Latin has had an impact on her broader school performance. ‘I can relate what we learn in Latin to French and Spanish,’ says Tilly. ‘Without this scheme I might have struggled more with those languages – and I would’ve had a very boring Saturday!’

For more information about the initiative, see the following articles:

Giving State School Pupils Access to Latin Classes

Classics Faculty Celebrates Excellent Outcome from OxLat Teaching Scheme

Dates and Applications

The course lasts two years and there is a new intake every other year.

Pupils start in either Y9 or Y10, so everyone gets a chance to do it before the end of Y11. 

The 2019-2021 cohort will sit the GCSE exam in May/June 2021.

Recruitment and applications for the 2021-2023 cohort are taking place NOW! Contact scheme co-ordinator, Emma Searle if you are interested.

Coronavirus Update

OxLat teaching has been moved entirely online and students are progressing well.

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Why bother learning a ‘dead’ language?


Previous Results 

  • 68 % of students who studied for a GCSE with us in 2015-2017 gained A* grades (equivalent of 8/9). 100% of students passed (C or higher).
  • 75% enjoyed learning Latin enough to continue onto the OxLAT Advanced Programme in Classics and the Ancient World.
  • 10 have applied or are thinking of applying for related subjects at degree level.


There is no oral speaking exam: assessment is entirely via written examination.

This written examination is comprised of three parts:

  • Language (50% of the overall grade)
  • Prose Literature (25%)
  • Verse Literature (25%)

For the Verse Literature component we will be reading and analysing extracts from three works by Roman poets which explore the theme of poison and passion: Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Heroides, and Catullus’ Carmina.

For the Prose Literature component we will be reading and analysing extracts from a variety of Latin texts (private letters, defence speeches, how-to guides for Roman politics and historical accounts) which discuss political and social topics. From political intrigues, accusations of assassination via poisoning and witchcraft, to personae non gratae (individuals who are considered personally unacceptable or unwelcome) and the reasons why they are criticised by particular authors. These include Tacitus’ Annales, Cicero’s De Officiis and Pro Caelio, Pliny’s Epistulae, and Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae.

For both the prose and verse literature we will select, analyse and evaluate evidence to draw informed conclusions from the literature studied to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the historical, literary and cultural context of a text.
  • identify and appreciate its literary form and impact on the reader.
  • develop and apply critical, analytical and reflective skills to evaluate evidence from a range of sources.

More information can be found on the OCR website: www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/latin-j282-from-2016/