Most of Year 8 are now looking to consolidate the Level 1 syllabus; quite a few of these will be looking to move on to Level 2 soon. This gets better as the language becomes more sophisticated, yet the grammatical framework is already established and is based on stories from Homer’s Iliad, so they are “real”! Clara F has blazed a trail here and is already half-way through, seemingly without turning a hair!

Year 7 are distinguishing themselves by showing genuine levels of self-starting motivation and understanding the need to ‘Just Do It’, to quote the Nike motto (which is at the top of the whiteboard!) They also understand the idea that what comes after builds on what has come before, and so are in the business of acquiring that grammatical framework. I often liken it to mathematical Times Tables: imagine how difficult and time-consuming maths would be if one hadn’t made the effort to learn those! All that is needed here is three Persons, Singular and Plural of the three Verb Tenses; six Cases, Singular and Plural, of two Noun Declensions, and a spot of Vocabulary. From here Derivations not only have their own intrinsic interest, but also develop English (and French and Spanish!) vocabulary, and generally widen the net of linguistic awareness.

The wise Year 6s learning Latin are cracking on at their own individual pace. They are happy to be challenged and know that a bit of effort is always worth the progress it brings.

Recent activities have included enquiries into the mythological account of the origin and order of the Cosmos; Stephen Fry’s book Mythos is well worth perusing, if only for the introduction. And the class-based opportunity to vie with their peers remains popular in the memory challenge game Plebs to Patricians!

Ed Gilsenan