At Ashfield Valley we have chosen to teach Latin because of the rich opportunities that come with learning this ancient language. As well as being a fascinating language in its own right, knowledge of Latin helps to develop literacy skills. Through Latin, children develop their knowledge of spelling and vocabulary through learning Latin roots of English words and deepen their understanding of grammar. Alongside language learning, the study of Roman and Greek civilisations aids cultural literacy, encourages cultural insights and gives opportunities for wide-ranging thinking across many linked subjects (including history, philosophy, art, maths and science).
The National Curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
- Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
At Ashfield Valley children receive weekly Latin lessons that include both language learning and classics (study of Ancient Rome and Greece), enabling them to make substantial progress in the language. Lessons provide a balance of spoken and written language, enabling children to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing. The focus is to provide a foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation.
We first introduced Latin in January 2023 to KS2. Teaching our Latin curriculum across four years enables us to provide both depth and breadth to the curriculum and allows children to build steadily upon what they have learned. Through our Latin curriculum, we aim to ensure the pupils have the opportunity to meet the national curriculum requirements as follows:
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- Describe people, places, things and actions in writing
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.