Latin is taught in years 5, 6, 7, and 8.
In Year 5, the pupils have one Latin lesson per week, no prep and no exam. In the Michaelmas term, they will concentrate on developing their listening, thinking and questioning skills following a new course called Delphi the Philosopher based on the life of Socrates. In the Lent and Trinity terms, the focus will be on the basic building blocks of languages using the Minimus book to introduce key elements of the Latin language and reinforce English grammar.
Most pupils in Year 6 study Latin. Year 6 pupils have three Latin lessons per week. Although there is no set prep for Latin in Year 6, pupils must use prep and catch up time to complete classwork and learn the vocabulary since every Thursday they will have a vocabulary quiz. One of the main reasons for studying Latin in Year 6 is to encourage pupils to develop independent strategies for learning vocabulary and other curriculum content that they can apply to all their learning. There is a Latin exam in the Trinity term only. In the Michaelmas term Year 6, pupils start the Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 and continue with this throughout the year. This provides an excellent grounding in the basics of Latin grammar and translation, the importance of Latin as the source for many English words and detailed investigation of Roman life topics including daily life in Pompeii, Roman family life, clothing, food, entertainment and slavery. During the Michaelmas term, the pupils go on a trip to the Collection at Lincoln Museum to explore Roman life, what it was like to be a Roman soldier and engage in some practical archaeology. At the end of Year 6, many of the pupils will continue with Latin into Year 7. Several factors, including inter alia performance at the end of year exam, determine whether a pupil continues with Latin.
In year 7, pupils build on the knowledge they have gained in Years 5 and 6, but this does not prevent pupils new to Witham from commencing Latin. Both Year 7 Latin classes will focus on the Common Entrance Level 1 grammar and vocabulary either continuing with the Cambridge Latin Course (Mr Peters) or beginning Ed Clarke’s Variatio Book 1 (Mrs. Bowen-West). In Year 7, there is a Latin exam in both the Michaelmas and Trinity terms.
During Year 8, pupils continue to expand their grammatical understanding, translation skills and vocabulary. Those in 8S will continue with the Variatio Course as well as preparing for academic scholarship exams as appropriate. Those in 8CE will use a variety of ISEB books and resources designed to support Common Entrance Latin. All Year 8 Latin pupils have a weekly vocabulary quiz on Mondays and prep on Thursdays but they are encouraged to include independent time for consolidation and revision into their weekly schedules. 8S pupils will sit a Common Academic Scholarship Exam in May while those in 8CE will sit Level 1, 2 or 3 Common Entrance, as appropriate in June. Year 8 pupils will have an exam in the Michaelmas term as well as a Mock exam in February.
After the CASE exams in May 8S will begin a course in Ancient Greek during their regular Latin lessons.