The children will all have come across some Greek and Roman history and mythology in Years 2 to 5, but the Latin language itself is introduced through a 10 week “taster” course in Year 6. Here children are first introduced to the complexities of an inflected language, where word endings are more important than word order. By the end of the course children should be able to translate some simple Latin sentences, reflecting their understanding. Some Greek mythology is also studied. This enables an informed choice to be made at the end of Year 6 as to whether it is in a given child’s best interests to study Latin further, or to take Spanish or Kiswahili, against which Latin is set.
The serious work begins in Year 7 with a more formal and fast-paced study of Latin, based on the demands of the ISEB syllabus, preparing the pupils for the Common Entrance Exam at the end of Year 8. Some more Greek Myths are also studied. By the end of Year 7 a decision is made as to whether it is better for a particular pupil to sit Common Entrance at Level 2 or to move onwards to Level 3 and Scholarship work.
In Year 8 the course is really geared to preparing the children to be ready to sit the Common Entrance Exam. Vocabulary and Grammar are revised, or extended for those sitting the higher levels. The Mythology stories are gone over in more depth. Homework is focused on vocabulary, while grammar, syntax and translating skills are covered in class.
This all sounds a little dull but we actually have a lot of fun and the children enjoy their lessons.
If you would like to look at some web sites that are geared towards Latin in Prep Schools, have a look at Vir Drinks Beer (www.virdrinksbeer.com) or Cyber Latin (www.cyberlatin.net).