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Why do we teach Latin and Greek at St Hugh’s?
- To equip our pupils with a sound knowledge of either one or both Classical languages.
- To encourage pupils to enjoy exploring the meanings of words and thereby enhance their vocabulary in other languages.
- To encourage our pupils to develop a lasting interest in Classical History, Mythology and Civilisation.
- To encourage pupils to enjoy exploring the meanings of words and thereby enhance their vocabulary in any related language, especially English and French.
- To help pupils understand a variety of grammatical concepts which can be applied to the learning of other languages.
- To enable pupils to explore a culture other than their own.
Organisation of Classics teaching at St Hugh’s
In Year 5, pupils learn Latin in three mixed ability forms.
In Year 6, pupils are set into two groups for Latin.
In Year 7, pupils are set into three groups for Latin: 7MH (accelerated towards possible scholarships in Year 8), Set 1 & Set 2.
Provision is also made for pupils joining the school in Year 7 to begin Latin if appropriate.
In Year 8, pupils in Sigma prepare for scholarship Latin and two further sets work towards Common Entrance at one of three levels.
Greek is taught to pupils in 7MH and Sigma.
After a wide-ranging introduction to the Romans and their language for the younger pupils, the Latin curriculum is tailored towards, but not entirely prescribed by, the requirements of the Common Entrance syllabus. Pupils in Sigma follow a more advanced and open-ended syllabus to prepare for scholarship Latin. In Greek, pupils follow the syllabus for Common Entrance with supplementary material appropriate to the scholarship for which each pupil is being entered.
Detailed breakdowns of the Latin and Greek curricula are available in the curriculum notes.
Minimus and Minimus Secundus, The Primary Latin Course, by Barbara Bell
Latin Prep Books 1 – 3 by Theo Zinn
Greek – A New Guide for Beginners by Kristian Waite
Greek for Beginners by L P Wilding
Supplementary materials prepared by St Hugh’s Classics Department
Teaching and Learning Style
Teaching styles are adapted to suit the individual needs of the pupils in each class. All the following techniques are employed:
- whole class teaching
- group work
- paired work
- individual work
- class discussion
- written exercises
- oral work
- comprehension and translation practice
- voccabulary work
- memorising of vocabulary and gramma
- research using dictionaries and other reference materials
- audio-visual material
- computer programs
- games, puzzles and quizz
- imaginative writing and creative work in other media
- participation in activities with other schools such as Language Days
- visits to museums, archaeological sites and the theatre
Beyond the Classroom
Activities include mosaic-making, collage, making and painting Greek vases, Roman feasts, Latin board games and drama.
Visits to the theatre: in 2009 we went to Bradfield College to see their production of Oedipus Tyrannus with the choruses in the original Greek.
Visits and lectures
In recent years we have organised trips to the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum, the Roman Baths at Bath and to hear speakers at nearby Senior Schools.
In June 2009, Barbara Bell, the author of the Minimus PrimaryLatin Course spent a day with pupils in Middle and Upper School, answering questions, teaching lessons and watching plays performed by pupils.
In September 2009, as part of the St Hugh's Languages Day, the Classics Department ran taster lessons in Modern Greek.
Since the first National Minimus Mythology Competition in 2006, St Hugh's has regularly featured amongst the winners. In 2009, we won six individual prizes and a whole school prize for the high calibre of our entries.