Latin is an engaging and dynamic subject at Cobham Hall. Recreating Roman culture also keeps the subject very much alive; whether it be through learning to march in time like a Roman soldier or engineering a historically accurate Roman road out of chocolate! Through trips to the theatre and to archaeological sites, girls also explore Greek and Roman culture outside the classroom. Students may also have the opportunity to travel abroad, going to Italy to visit Rome or to Pompeii, where much of the Latin course is based, to see where their heroes lived and to gain first-hand experience of the sites studied in class. Unlike Modern Foreign Languages, there are no writing, listening or speaking examinations in Latin. The main skill is translation and lessons are based around the translation of stories and the learning of Latin grammar. The vocabulary learnt in Latin is also very different from that of Modern Languages and students are more likely to find themselves learning the Latin for “werewolf”, “ghost” or “gladiator” than words pertaining to food and drink or holidays.
Years 7, 8 and 9
As the basis of so many modern European languages, Latin provides excellent insight into the other languages offered at Cobham Hall, such as French and Spanish. All students study Latin in Years 7, 8 and 9 and follow the Cambridge Latin Course. This introduces basic grammar and translation skills alongside cultural and historical topics, such as Roman theatre, the baths, gladiators, the eruption of Vesuvius and even travel to Roman Britain and Alexandria. Students translate stories which cover topics such as a trip to the Roman baths or murder plots from Latin into English. At the end of Years 8 and 9, girls also learn about Greek/Roman mythology. They experience reading parts of the Odyssey and learn about famous Latin myths. Students also have the opportunity to visit local archeological sites.
Years 10 and 11 – GCSE
Latin is available as an option for GCSE. The course expands on both culture and language work, with students tackling their first passages taken from Latin authors (for example: Virgil’s Aeneid I). They also study Roman culture from sources in translation. The GCSE course is both varied and stimulating and it builds upon the grammar learnt in earlier years. Students are required to use translation skills in language-based papers, to analyse Latin texts and to write essays on Roman Society.
Sixth Form – International Baccalaureate
Latin is available at both Higher and Standard level for IB. The difference between Higher and Standard Levels is one of quantity of content rather than of difficulty. Students study the works of Latin authors, both historical (Tacitus and Sallust) and literary (the poetry of Catullus and Horace or the prose of Pliny or Suetonius). In addition, students further their understanding of grammar and develop their translation skills, studying Ovid’s Metamorphoses or the selected speeches of the late Republican politician Cicero, which they learn to translate with the use of a dictionary. The course also contains a coursework element for which students write a Research Dossier on any classical topic of their choice.
All Year Groups
Globetrotters Club – In keeping with the spirit of internationalism at Cobham Hall, all students are welcome to join the activities provided by the Language Faculty’s weekly club. The Globetrotters Club offers a range of enjoyable activities to promote international culture and enhance girls’ understanding of a variety of customs and traditions from around the globe.