Qui linguam latinam discit aliquam linguam discere potest. The translation “he who learns Latin is able to learn any language” is certainly proving a good reason for a group of Suffolk pupils to choose to learn Latin in their spare time.
The 12 teenagers are attending a special free after-school GCSE Latin class at Ipswich School every Monday, where they are learning to read and speak the language, taught by members of the school’s Classics department. The pupils are all in Year 9 or 10 and come from local state schools including Holbrook Academy, Stoke High, Kesgrave High and St Alban’s RC High.
Dr Simon Letman, Principal of Holbrook Academy said: “This is an outstanding and very welcome example of an independent-state school collaborative project and we applaud Ipswich School’s initiative. Our students are benefitting enormously and are thoroughly enjoying the challenge and the opportunity to work with staff and students from other schools in this area.”
Dr Kia Michalopoulou, Acting Head of Classics at Ipswich School added: “I’ve been really impressed with the students – they are very enthusiastic and they have picked up things very quickly, especially as Latin can be a complex language to learn. Latin is an important building block for so many other languages, and will provide the students with a good foundation for future study. Optime discipuli et discipulae! (Well done everyone!)”
The Latin lessons are teaching the pupils Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary; they have to learn to translate Latin texts and carry out independent research to write an essay on Roman Civilisation. At the end of the two year course, successful students will gain a GCSE Latin qualification.
Many of the pupils on the course are hoping the Latin qualification will help them with future study, either with learning languages or in becoming a doctor, and have enjoyed learning about the Roman culture as well learning Latin itself.