Latin

    Latin is the maths of the Humanities...But Latin also has something that mathematics does not and that is the history and mythology of the ancient world. Latin is maths with goddesses, gladiators and flying horses, or flying children.

    Llewelyn Morgan

    At Barrow Hills we know the study of Latin provides valuable support for learning Romance languages and English and, given the widespread use of Latin in scientific nomenclature, can often cast useful light on issues that arise in other subjects.  Arguably, any other language - not just Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, but German, Russian, Arabic - becomes easier for a child who has a grounding in Latin.  However, we also know that Latin encourages problem solving, logic and discipline.  Yes, it develops the practice of close reading and language analysis, focuses the mind and allows an understanding of classical literature and civilisations but it also frees the imagination and lets our children fly.

    Latin is introduced in Year 5 and lessons are based on the excellent and entertaining 'Minimus' texts by Barbara Bell which have enjoyed great popularity since they were published in 2006.  These enable children to acquire a Latin vocabulary and to gain an accelerated understanding of verb conjugation and noun declension and other key grammatical concepts.  The richness of Roman mythology is also used to provide an attractive narrative source from which to enhance interest in the language.

    Added to the more formal learning of Latin, this provides children with a pool of knowledge about Latin that will enable them to recognise elements that underpin and enhance studies throughout the rest of the school curriculum, particularly in English, French and History.  Latin also contains a distinct need for analytical skills which are developed in Years 7 and 8 as children prepare for Common Entrance.  These prove to be useful and relevant as they progress to higher levels in other subjects in their senior schools.

    Madame Earley
    Head of Languages

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