We live in an age where the relevance of Classics should not be underestimated and this for a variety of reasons:
- Latin and Greek remain the common roots of many European languages and a sound knowledge of their extensive vocabulary provides our children with a bank of words almost identical to those in many other languages, thus facilitating their learning of them from an early age.
- Pupils are taught a variety of grammatical concepts and structures which greatly advance their understanding of language composition, in particular their own, as well as the many other languages they study.
- Latin has been proven to further enhance the English vocabulary and spelling of pupils. We aim to put an emphasis upon etymology and its derivations into other languages throughout all our year groups.
- It enables pupils to explore cultures and civilisations outside their own, as well as to appreciate the influence they have had on countries throughout the world.
- The grammatical structure of Latin means that pupils gain excellent puzzle-solving skills from working to piece the language together, along with the great sense of fun and achievement that comes from working on and solving tricky problems.
ORGANISATION OF CLASSICS TEACHING AT ST HUGH’S
Classics is a compulsory subject here at St Hugh’s where pupils embark upon the language as early as Year 5 with two forty minute lessons a week. From Year 7, this increases to three forty minute lessons each week.
In Year 5, pupils learn Latin in three mixed ability forms.
In Year 6, pupils are set into three groups for Latin: Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3.
In Year 7, we continue with three sets: 7S (accelerated towards possible scholarships in Year 8), Set 1 & Set 2.
In Year 8, pupils working towards scholarship examinations prepare for scholarship Latin and two further sets work towards Common Entrance at one of three levels.
Provision is also made for pupils joining the school after Year 5 to begin Latin if appropriate.
Ancient Greek is currently offered as an after school club to children in Years 7 and 8.
The Latin curriculum not only focuses upon the requirements prescribed by the Common Entrance Syllabus but intends to take the pupil further. Pupils sitting scholarship examinations follow a more advanced and open-ended syllabus to prepare for scholarship Latin.
Latin Prep Books 1 – 3 by Theo Zinn
Greek – A New Guide for Beginners by Kristian Waite
Supplementary materials prepared by St Hugh’s Classics Department