In England and Wales, four separate classical subjects are available for study at GCSE level:
A number of other qualifications are also available:
OCR Entry Level Latin: designed so that it can be co-taught alongside the GCSE (9-1) qualification. This qualification involves 100% internally-assessed tasks and tests. Many teachers choose Entry Level certificates for their students as a preparatory course in year 9, or as a stepping stone throughout years 9–11 to support their Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 learning.
WJEC Level 1 certificates in Latin Language or Latin Language and Roman Civilisation: these courses encourage the development of a range of skills related to the study of Latin language and, where desired, Roman civilisation. They provide learners with a flexible and motivating course of study which can be used as 'stepping stones', or as a complete alternative to GCSE. (Please note that the Level 2 certificates have now been withdrawn).
The introduction of classics at Key Stage 4 tends to be most successful when it builds on a firm foundation of classics at Key Stage 3. For example, we recommend that Latin is either part of the curriculum at Key Stage 3 or as an extra-curricular club before starting it as an option at Key Stage 4. Although classical civilisation and ancient history are often taken from scratch at Key Stage 4, the more opportunities students have to learn about the classical world in Key Stage 3, the more likely they are to opt for these subjects in Key Stage 4.
While it is possible for students to achieve a GCSE in Latin or Ancient Greek after only two years of study, in most schools this is not a realistic time frame. We recommend allocating at least three years (if not more) of regular teaching for those students who are working towards GCSE level classical languages from scratch.
A detailed bank of resources to support classics teaching at Key Stage 4 can be found here.