Latin is the basis of all the Romance languages such as Italian, French, and Spanish. The Romans took Britain by storm and brute force, subduing all those before them. Despite the Britons’ reluctance to bear the yoke of Roman domination, the Roman language, at very least, ground its way into our very psyche, the upshot of which is that about 65% of our day to day words are directly derived from Latin, including all the months of the year, medical terminology and law, to name but a few. Our military leaders still study Roman and Greek treatises on tactics and strategy. It is very simple in terms of grammar and syntax –no accents, tittles, umlauts, definite and indefinite articles; all the things that drive many children to despair. Looking at the language structure, conjugations and tenses further reinforces language study in English and French.
At St Michael’s we follow the Common Entrance Syllabus and offer Latin as a fully integrated course. Starting in Year 6 our studies include the Roman household, domestic arrangements and daily routines, the business of the forum and the theatre. Your child will delight in finding modern derivations of ancient words, and enjoy the structured discipline of analysing language, translating stories with ease and a sense of fulfilment as enjoying learning about the culture and history of the Romans who lived and died in Pompeii. We use the Cambridge Latin e-resource and website, with videos, online grammar games, vocabulary testers and fun activities.
The course in Years 7 & 8 follows the ISEB Level 1 and Level 2 schemes of work and principally uses the ISEB Latin Course by Bob Bass. In addition to learning a sophisticated range of Latin vocabulary and grammatical rules, pupils study cultural, historical topics as well as myths and legends for the CE exam
Students wishing to offer Scholarship Latin for their Senior School will be coached towards that exam. Students offering this option will be expected to work hard and learn a good deal of extra grammar and vocabulary, retain it well and enjoy the process.
In the summer term we take a trip out to the wonderful Lullingstone Roman villa, one of the most outstanding Roman villas left in Britain. The spectacular mosaics and heated bath-suite installed by the series of wealthy owners give such a clear idea of how the Romans lived. Our children have great fun trying on the Roman costumes and playing traditional board games from Roman times!