salvete – exspectatissimi estis!
(hello – you are very welcome)
This term, children in Year 5 have commenced their first studies of the Latin language, using the acclaimed Minimus Latin course for younger children.
The course was written by Barbara Bell, a classicist, to help improve primary children’s understanding of language and grammar. 20 years on, the course is having success worldwide in developing children’s literacy skills and love for the Latin language, and we expect it to have the same effect for our children here at Bader.
Latin is often considered to be a language which lacks relevance to the modern world, however nothing could be further from the truth. Two thirds of English vocabulary has roots in Ancient Latin or Ancient Greek. French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and many of the other Romance languages have also evolved from Latin, and this will provide a solid foundation for whichever language children go on to learn in Key Stage 3.
Additionally, the history and culture of the Roman empire is something that fascinates many children and the wealth of stories and myths, made famous by the Romans, is something which we believe every child is entitled to.
The Minimus Course
We are using the first book of the Minimus course. Each chapter is linked to another area of the National Curriculum be that PHSE, science or geography among others. The links to literacy and history are present in nearly every activity. In fact, the Roman family which the children are learning about is based on a real family who lived in Vindolanda, in nearby Northumberland. The children will mainly develop their understanding of English grammar and vocabulary, and after only reading chapter 1 a couple of times, many children can now explain the meaning of maternal and maternity after meeting Lepidina, the mater (mother).
The children will learn that like them, the Romans had birthday parties, went shopping, played with toy weapons – and (obviously not during Latin lessons) sometimes got bored at school.
Children have access to ‘real’ textbooks and eBook textbooks, using the iPads. They can also practise their newly learned vocabulary on the Latin page of the school’s DB Primary platform.
We are very excited about teaching our Year 5s this amazing language, and look forward to sharing more information about their learning soon.