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Learning Latin at The Malling School

There were many surprises in store for visitors to The Malling School’s Open Evening last Thursday night, but the one that got everybody talking was that students at The Malling School study Latin.   A subject usually reserved for public schools and grammar schools, Principal, Mr Roberts, firmly believes that all students in his Kent high school deserve to have access to the broadest possible curriculum, including Latin.  Year 7 student, Michael Middleton, even quoted some Latin from the stage.

Mr Roberts explains: 'We have found the ability profile of our pupils has risen significantly in recent years and we are constantly looking for new ways of stretching and inspiring our children. Latin not only helps deepen a child's understanding of the English language, but is also excellent preparation for professions such as medicine and law. We have found that the course has been incredibly popular with students and parents and that the students have really risen to this new challenge. Latin is just part of our programme for children in our grammar stream and we will continue to look for ways of stretching the most able so that they can achieve their very best.'

At a Latin lesson this week, teacher, Mrs Helen Willis, was investigating with her students how the Italian geography had changed since Roman times as a result of volcanic eruptions the children would soon be learning about on their Latin course.  What did her students think about learning an ancient language?  “It’s not just a language but a whole culture we are learning about and the people who lived then,” said 11 year old Chris.  “It’s just such an amazing experience.”  His classmate Hannah agreed.  “Latin helps us understand our own language better,” she said, “and discover the origins of English words.”