‘Enriching, fascinating, fun, really useful and a serious mental work out’ – just some of the words students use to describe Latin at Ffynone.
Knowledge of Latin makes learning any other language easier and offers a huge advantage to readers of English literature. An understanding of how the classical world underpins our world today helps to create curious, imaginative and intellectually rigorous students. There is also evidence they outperform their peers in literacy skills, problem-solving and computation concepts.1
Latin is the foundation of many Western European languages and provides the root words for all of the modern sciences including medicine, giving students a head start when learning these specialised vocabularies.
Latin at Ffynone House
By setting the language in its historical context and bringing Roman people to life, we inspire curiosity and deepen critical understanding. The discipline of Latin also helps to develop attention to detail, accuracy and logic. This may be why many of our students choose to pursue Latin to examination levels and achieve excellent results.
Reading aloud and hearing the language spoken is encouraged at every level. Students enjoy project work and write blogs from the point of view of a hero. Our artistic students also express themselves through paintings and collage.
Trips include visits to the Roman baths at Bath and the British Museum in London for some research of our own. Classics trips abroad are always popular, with Pompeii being a firm favourite.
Close links with Swansea University’s Classics Department enable us to enjoy visiting speakers on a regular basis, and we attend the University’s Schools’ Classics Fair. Highlights have included making Greek curse tablets and listening to the myths behind the names of the constellations.
Extra-curricular activities include beginners Latin for those new to the school, and the popular Latin Scrabble. A Greek mythology club takes place in the winter months.
Latin is more than just a language
In the words of one of our A-Level students, “Classics introduces you to writers you may never have considered but later cannot believe you could live without – art, architecture, beautiful poetry. It introduces you to philosophies you may take to heart in your own life . . . you will get so much more from studying it than just a good grade.”
1.The effect of elementary Latin instruction on language arts performance. Mavrogenes, Nancy A. The Elementary School Journal, Vol 77(4), Mar 1977, 268-273.