Burgess Hill Girls talk Latin with Manor Field Primary School

Posted on 30th May 2024 in School News, Language Learning

Between April and May 2024 teachers and students from Burgess Hill Girls ran a series of taster lessons in Latin for Year 5 pupils at Manor Field Primary School in Burgess Hill. According to a recent article in The Times there has been a resurgence in the teaching of Latin in Primary schools. The Government is also seeking to promote the learning of Latin in Senior schools. In 2023 they launched the Latin Excellence Programme, partnering with the Centre for Latin Excellence to offer high quality Latin teaching and resources to non-selective state schools in the North, Midlands, and South West of England.

According to the Centre for Latin Excellence there are a number of reasons to learn Latin. It gives a good grounding for all modern languages including English, cultural literacy is improved via learning about Greco-Roman society, and finally it is looked on favourably by universities and employers. 

Latin has always been popular at Burgess Hill Girls and through working with local primary schools it is aiming to spread this love. The taster lessons with Manor Field were the first collaboration. In the lessons Year 5 pupils learnt how to introduce themselves, the difference between masculine and feminine endings, and adjective agreements. They also learnt about Roman culture, including how they celebrated birthdays with a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ in Latin.

The pupils at Manor Field really enjoyed the lessons:

"I learned that a lot more English words than I thought came from Latin."

"They were all really kind."

"I liked that we played games.”

The students from Burgess Hill Girls also benefited greatly from this collaboration. Amelie and Madison Deluca-Perry commented: “We were very grateful for the opportunity to meet the pupils at Manor Field, not only to give them an introduction to the Latin language and Roman Britain but also to share our passion for the ancient world. It was a fantastic experience.”

Andrew Doe, Classics teacher at Burgess Hill Girls, is delighted that this first partnership activity was a success: “A project like this shows the value of collaborating with schools and students who are keen for additional exposure to the Classical languages. Introducing them via the medium of Latin to important grammatical concepts and vocabulary that are such an integral part of our own language makes for challenging, fun, and lively learning. Without a doubt our own students have also found that their own understanding and enjoyment of the subject has been enhanced by sharing it with such an enthusiastic and lively community of learners as the Year 5 students at Manor Field Primary School.”