Pupils begin to learn Latin in Year 5. At this stage they use the Minimus Course book, which provides a lively introduction to the Latin language and the culture of Roman Britain. They begin to read simple Latin and they also use games and challenges to consolidate their manipulation of the language, and to link this with familiar English, French and Spanish vocabulary.
All pupils study Latin in Year 6, other than pupils who access the Learning Development Centre. They will study the Cambridge Latin course, where the vividly portrayed lives of Romans living in Pompeii in AD 79 at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius bring the language to life. A carefully structured programme of study allows pupils to learn the key skills of translating passages of Latin text and answering comprehension questions on them. Pupils also explore the topics of Roman daily life, the Roman villa and the Roman forum, as well as using interactive games and multi-media to reinforce their learning.
Pupils can also begin to learn Latin in Year 7, following an accelerated programme of study for the first term in order to catch up with those who have already completed a year of the language. Those who are in their second year of learning the subject as well as newcomers follow the Cambridge Latin course which leads on into Year 8.
Gaining cultural and historical knowledge
Pupils study various aspects of daily life in ancient Rome through examining original texts, researching topics using books, photos and the internet, and discussing contemporary views of subjects such as democracy, slavery, civilisation and gladiatorial combat. Trips to Bath, Chedworth and the Corinium Museum in Cirencester are made in Year 7 and Year 8, and a residential visit to Rome and Pompeii is made every other year during the Easter holidays. This provides a really valuable opportunity for pupils to gain first-hand experience of life in ancient Roman times, and allows the Latin language to come to life by putting it into its original context.