Latin Curriculum Rationale
In Autumn 2021 we changed the language children in KS2 at West Malling CE Primary School study from French to Latin. Current educational research indicates that this provides children with understanding of a broad range of European languages as well as supporting their English vocabulary, and contributing to a broad and challenging curriculum. We are mindful that our children go on to study a variety of languages at KS3 (predominantly French, German or Spanish) which are all influenced by Latin.
We have worked closely with ‘Classics for All’, a charity set up to widen Classics teaching in state schools. They aim to:
- raise pupils’ aspirations and achievement. Widening access to classical subjects can help to break the link between educational opportunity and disadvantage, giving pupils the confidence to progress to higher education.
- support language skills for pupils of all abilities, encouraging a structured approach to grammar and a strong foundation for literacy and learning modern foreign languages.
- encourage cultural insight and awareness, offering pupils new perspectives on contemporary issues.
We use the resource ‘Minimus Classics’ to structure and organise our Latin curriculum, which explores Latin in everyday use, how words are connected by their Latin roots and meanings, and how Latin and English grammar relate to each other. The course also explores Roman myths and culture.
General Aims of Minimus Latin at West Malling CE Primary School
- To introduce pupils to a real family that lived at Vindolanda (which is near Hadrian’s Wall) at the beginning of the second century AD. Through the family’s various adventures, pupils should learn something of what it meant to be invaded by the Romans, to serve in the Roman army, and to be the wife or child of someone serving in the army. Vindolanda is a very special site, preserving the remains of eight forts, one on top of the other. Wherever possible, the material has been based on what is real.
- To give pupils a taste of the language that the Romans spoke and brought to Britain, and which was so influential on the development of many other languages, especially English.
- To help pupils understand English grammar, and to extend their English vocabulary, through the study of Latin. Most of the parts of speech which have to be known at KS2 of the National Curriculum feature in the course.