Latin

Latin at Mount Pleasant is an important part of both our academic and personal development curriculum. It has been a considered choice for our school community, as we believe that the teaching of Latin best meets the needs of our children, when choosing a Language to teach at Key Stage 2 and to meet the National Curriculum Requirements. We firmly believe that teaching Latin as our ‘Language’ facilitates children to develop a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilization: our children have as much right to a strong Classics Education as any. Children will learn the context in which language is rooted, be it English or any other Latinate language going forward.

Subject Leader: Mrs Blackham

The Three Pillars of Language Teaching

We recognise that a strong language curriculum is developed by carefully considering ‘The Three Pillars’ of Language development – alongside an understanding of the application of these to the modalities of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Phonics and Word Reading Skills

Following a strong early reading offer at Key Stage 1, children are able to apply their sound English phonological skills and understanding of the English sound-spelling system to the unknown Latin words which they encounter.

 

60% of English words have a Latinate basis, so children are able to use their strong phonics knowledge to read the words presented to them.

 

The National Curriculum requirements related to pronunciation and intonation are disapplied when an ancient language is chosen – but children still require a strong phonics understanding to read the Latin words presented. All teachers in our school are trained teachers of early reading – as such, they are able to apply the previously taught knowledge and rules adeptly throughout the planned curriculum.

 

Transient children joining the programme part way through do not have a pronunciation deficit due to these reasons. 

Vocabulary Development

Our curriculum is clear about the target vocabulary that children should know and remember for each unit undertaken.

 

Learning Latin provides a more limited range, but deeper understanding of key vocabulary throughout the course of study. The curriculum’s spaced retrieval design helps this vocabulary to become well embedded over time. The vocabulary is planned to be used across the range of modalities, so children can essentially ‘do more, with less’.

 

Importantly, we recognise that a wide vocabulary equates to ongoing academic success. Latin study exposes children to vocabulary and develops an understanding that can be used and applied beyond the ‘Latin Lesson’ – and across their wider curriculum (for example, scientific words, geographical words etc.) and in their reading.

Grammar Development

Without a strong understanding of the grammar of Latin, children would be unable to generate their own communication by manipulating the core vocabulary taught; they would simply not be able to move beyond simple ‘stock phrases’. The programme builds carefully to allow the re-using of features and deepening grammar understanding of key themes such as:

  • Verbs and adverbs

  • Tense

  • Subject and object nouns

  • Adjectives

  • Prepositions

  • Declension

  • Possession

  • Negation

  • Conjunctions

  • Sentence types

 

The scheme develops a strong verb lexicon to facilitate this confident language manipulation.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.

  • Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.

  • Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.

  • Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.

  • Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.

  • Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.

  • Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.

  • Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.

  • Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.

  • Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly

  • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.

 

Key stage 2

Latin Overview