Latin begins in Year 7 and continues into Year 8, where preparation takes place for Common Entrance or Common Scholarship.
There are two lessons per week and one prep.
The Cambridge Latin Course is used to introduce the children to the language without too much initial emphasis on conscious grammatical analysis. This enables them to appreciate the language as just that – a language and not simply a classroom exercise. Very quickly, a confidence in translating the stories develops. There is also a great deal of discovery about life in a Roman town, Pompeii, and Roman life in general.
As experience grows, there is an increasing introduction to grammatical structures, some of which the children will have spotted for themselves in their reading.
Latin Prep and Latin practice exercises are used to cover the syllabus for Common Entrance and Scholarship. These are supplemented with the study of Mythology and Civilisation, such as Roman Baths, Gladiators and Chariot Racing.
There are many reasons given for the study of Latin, utilitarian and intellectual.
Of course, Latin underpins the Romance Languages. A knowledge of Latin can be a tremendous boon when starting Spanish or Italian, for example. An understanding of the concept of inflection will assist when learning German.
Learning Latin can offer a priceless insight into the mechanics of language. Although very different from English, an appreciation of syntax and clause structure can provide a window to a greater understanding of one’s own language.
Learning techniques honed in the assimilation of grammar and vocabulary are valuable tools to be employed across the curriculum.
Western culture – art, architecture, music, literature and language – has been shaped to such a large extent by the Classical World. As part of a broad, rounded curriculum, it would be remiss not to provide our pupils with the opportunity to sample something of our heritage.
The overriding aim of the teaching of Latin at The Downs Malvern is to promote the Classics as a worthwhile and rewarding pursuit. We hope to foster an interest in a culture very different from our own, a love of words and language, and to provide a gateway to a vast body of wonderful literature.
Head of Latin - Kathryn LewisContact