Ancient language makes a return

IT may have been missing from the timetable since the 60s but one Ipswich school is today bringing Latin back to the classroom.Around 20 children have signed up for the course which will run from Chantry High School starting this week.

IT may have been missing from the timetable since the 60s but one Ipswich school is today bringing Latin back to the classroom.

Around 20 children have signed up for the course which will run from Chantry High School starting this week.

The lesson has not been seen in state schools in the area for the last 45 years and there is currently only one school in Ipswich to teach the subject.

But the extinct language has not made a total comeback and is still off the curriculum - instead it is being taught as an after-school subject.

Helen Thorne, advance skills teacher, said: “The government approached schools and asked them to put on after-school classes and this is what we have chosen to do.

“We will run it as a year course and if it works well we may even bring it back during the school day.”

Most Read

The subject will be taught to youngsters from 11 to 18-years-old in the internet-based classes which will mean children can also work from home.

To make it more interesting from the more traditional Latin class, which hundreds of adults in England can remember, it will be based on a project of Pompeii.

Youngsters will be given texts to transcribe and learn about what happened to the city.

Mrs Thorne said: “They will learn about the people who lived there and what happened to them. It will be made interesting by role play and texts which will come about during the course.

“They will have to learn to read, speak and write Latin during the classes.

“We feel it is important because it will help them with their English classes, their geography, history and science too.

“I think it is great that a state school can re-introduce the subject. It shouldn't just be for public schools.”

Five teachers from the school have already had their heads in the books learning the subject so they can run the after-school lessons.

Do you think Latin should be brought back as a lesson? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Latin facts -

n The most practical reason for Latin study is that it also teaches English as our language is largely based on Latin.

n Larger words in the English language, with between three to five syllables usually derive from Latin.

n Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome, called Latium.

n The Latin alphabet derived from the Greek and remains the most widely used alphabet in the world.

n Although now widely considered an extinct language with very few fluent speakers and almost no native ones, Latin has had a major influence on many languages that are still thriving.

n Six out of every ten English words used in common language are derived, at least indirectly, from Latin, and an even greater proportion of scientific words are derived directly from Latin.

Words English has taken from Latin -

n Alius (meaning other) was taken to form the word alien.

n Optimus (meaning best) was taken to form the word optimist.

n Femina (meaning woman) was taken to form the word feminine.

n Domus (meaning house) was taken to form the word domestic.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter