One aspect of the Latin language which I have been emphasising since returning is the phenomenon of derivations. Not only can they help a child learn a new Latin word by using an English one as a hook, but they widen and deepen understanding of both languages. For example, “ager” means “field” and “colo” means “I look after, till”. Thus, one who tills a field is an “agricola”, a farmer. The last part of the Verb colo is “cultum”, hence “culture”. So agriculture means farming!

Replacing the “-um” at the end of a Latin Verb with “-ion” often gives the English: “actum” becomes “action”; “factum” becomes “faction”. And, in this age of information, if it is pluralised, “datum” becomes “data”.

Year 6 has been discovering the Renaissance. By that, I don’t just mean a lot of ideas which the Greeks and Romans had about art, sculpture and architecture etc, although that was partly true, but pushing the boundaries in expressing rational and religious expression much, much further. They had to select one person, painting or building which captured this and say what it meant and why. It was quite a challenge for Leonardo, Michaelangelo et al!

Ed Gilsenan