Latin – Classics

Sedbergh Prep School - Latin, Classics

"Who'd want to study Latin? A dead language, good only for Caesar attacking the ditch with arrows (an old Molesworth joke) or honking like a pig as you decline your pronouns (hic haec hoc; hunc hanc hoc).” Well, here's a simple point: because Latin is a dead language, because it is taught to be read, because it is taught entirely through its grammatical rules, as you learn it you gain an understanding of the mechanics and structure of language in real detail. Any other language becomes easier for anyone with a grounding in Latin. Furthermore, as so many of our words are derived from Latin, studying it has the dual effect of improving your vocabulary and enhancing your understanding of English grammar.

Our top classes in Year 7 and 8 use Latin Prep Book 1 as their core textbook. This title is suitable for pupils in their first year of Latin; the presentation is clear and colourful whilst maintaining the rigour required. Clear explanation is followed by comprehensive practice exercises to ensure pupils gain the strong understanding of Latin required for future success.

Latin Prep Book 1 Benefits -

•The series is endorsed by the ISEB and covers Level 1 of the Latin Common Entrance syllabus – ideal for pupils preparing for entrance and/or scholarship exams at 13+.

•Verbs, grammar, declensions and pronunciation are covered throughout to ensure pupils become skilled and confident users of Latin, including the all-important ability to translate from English into Latin (an area that many core texts shy away from!).


Pupils learn how to analyse the construction of basic Latin and English sentences. They learn how the English language has developed out of Latin. Latin grammar is introduced with reference to English grammar, allowing pupils to draw links and contrasts between the two. Pupils play games that help them to recognise the difference between subjects and objects and to familiarise themselves with the order of words in a Latin sentence. This cements their knowledge of English grammar.
Similarly, when learning Latin vocabulary, pupils are encouraged to think of English words they know that have clearly derived from Latin words (for example, ‘dormitory’ coming from ‘dormit – he sleeps’, is a favourite among the boarders!)

Pupils find that their English vocabulary expands as their knowledge of Latin words grows.

Classical Civilisation

Throughout the year pupils will also have the chance to learn about Roman and Greek mythology. These stories are lively and interesting and they provide a very useful foundation for studying Greek and Latin literature.