Latin is a challenging subject that teaches invaluable skills. Where else do you need the discipline to hold in your head dozens of different noun and verb endings and hundreds of words of vocabulary, then juggle all the words of a Latin sentence into a completely different order to make sense of them? What other subject teaches you the difference between the English words ‘stationary’ and ‘stationery’ so that you would never dream of confusing them again?

Challenging as it may be, Latin is full of variety and you might find yourself acting out a play in one lesson, finding verbs in a treasure hunt in another lesson or doing an obstacle course in the playground outside on another day. Every pupil gets the most out of learning Latin because we make sure that lesson tasks are tailored to suit different abilities. Pupils are stretched and helped as they need.

All pupils start Latin in year 5 and soon discover what a great language it is. By the end of the year they know all six noun cases and all four verb declensions. They gradually learn the first one hundred words of vocabulary and discover all the links between Latin and English words.

In years 6 and 7 most pupils will continue with Latin and work towards Common Entrance in Year 8. In addition, some will get the chance to start Ancient Greek in Year 7. Senior schools are always particularly impressed that pupils have studied Greek. It is seen as a real mark of academic excellence. What is more important, it is a fascinating language with its very own alphabet that captures pupils’ imaginations immediately.

In Year 8 there are usually two sets for Latin: the scholarship set who will cover material beyond that required at GCSE level, and the CE set who will aim to reach CE level 2 or level 3. Classics at Brambletye is always presented with energy and enthusiasm and the pupils respond by enjoying Latin and Greek and actively wanting to learn more.

Hilary Canepa-Anson
Head of Classics