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Whilst the days of serried rows of children chanting amo, amas, amat are ancient history, Latin is very much alive and thriving at Terrington Hall.

Studied by all Year 5 to Year 8 pupils, Latin is at the heart of the school’s ethos of combining the best of prep school traditions with a thoroughly modern approach to education. At this age, the focus is on making the lessons lively and fun to enthuse pupils with both the study of language and past civilisations. It also prepares them in the best possible way for the 13+ Common Entrance, of which Latin is a core subject.

Ask Year 5 what they love about Latin and their eyes light up, their hands shoot up and they fizz with excitement as they recall the quizzes, the jokes, the games on the interactive whiteboard and the thrill of connecting their Latin to other languages.

“I really love the games when we play on Quizlet or Cram of Jewels of Wisdom or Stellar Speller,” says Ted.

“We’re all excited when it’s Latin,” says Ursula. “It is like having a sugar rush only it’s a Latin rush. All of us are practising our words like mad for the mini-tests and mega-tests.”

It is little wonder that the children quickly learn 20 words a week and that in no time at all, they are making connections between Latin and English, Spanish and French.

“Oh, I just love Latin,” says Crystal with a broad grin on her face. “It’s just so interesting when you discover that the Spanish word for love, amor, is the same as in Latin.”

Other reasons why Latin is part of our curriculum:

  • Latin nouns and verbs are the base of many thousands of English words. (More than 60 percent of all English words have Latin roots – including the words ‘sixty’ and ‘percent’.)
  • The subject provides an excellent grounding in grammar, syntax and vocabulary which boosts pupils' understanding of English and other modern languages. (Latin is the basis of 75–80% of all Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese words.)
  • By learning Latin, our pupils learn how to think systematically and logically, and approach new subjects with greatly enhanced learning skills.
  • Through the study of ancient culture and history, pupils can see how people in the past have viewed the world and tried to solve problems they were facing.
  • The study of Roman mythology enriches our understanding of English literature.