The Classics department at Foremarke Hall offers Latin and Classical Studies as a part of the curriculum. Classical Greek may also be offered to pupils who express a keen desire to learn it. Pupils may be introduced to Classics from Year 6, depending on their setting arrangements. In Years 7 and 8, pupils will follow a course in either Latin or Classical Studies, again depending on their setting arrangements.
The Latin course we follow at Foremarke Hall is “So You Really Want To Learn Latin”, by Nicholas Oulton. This course has been written with the particular needs of the Common Academic Scholarship and the Common Entrance examinations in mind. It is used in many preparatory schools in the country, and is one which provides a thoroughly systematic approach to Latin grammar, and includes translation from English into Latin.
For those who ask – and there are an odd few – ‘Why learn a ‘dead’ language?’ much can be said in reply. Latin is the mother of modern languages such as French, Spanish and Italian. Latin did not ‘die’ it ‘developed’, and it certainly has not been buried! It has been said that the study of Latin reaches the parts of the brain that other subjects on their own do not reach: it is a combination of Maths, English, Romance Languages, and the logic which accompanies these other disciplines. Nicholas Oulton, in his introduction to our course book So You Really Want To Learn Latin, says of the study of Latin:
“It provides an excellent basis for learning language, both our own language and other modern languages which are formed from Latin. It provides an excellent form of mental gymnastics, exercising our brains and training them to memorise, analyse, and deduce.”
The Classical Studies course has been developed to follow the non-linguistic topics of the Latin course. It aims to give pupils a good understanding of the world of Ancient Rome and Greek mythology and to prepare them very well for Classical Civilization courses offered by many senior schools. As well as “Greeks and Romans” by A M Wright, the basic course book, we use R L Green’s “Tales of the Greek Heroes”, Rosemary Sutcliff’s “Black Ships Before Troy” and “The Wanderings of Odysseus” for Greek mythology, and Peter Connolly’s “Ancient City” for the Roman background material.
Pupils new to Latin in the scholarship and Common Entrance set in Year 7 will follow an accelerated course which aims to bring them to the same level as their peers by the end of the Michaelmas Term.