Blackbird Leys primary is first for exams in Latin

Francis Murphy with Finnbar Wallace and Esinam Asanu

Francis Murphy with Finnbar Wallace and Esinam Asanu

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

A BLACKBIRD Leys primary school is thought to be the first in the UK to offer pupils an exam in Latin.

Pegasus Primary School has been teaching the ancient language for six years thanks to work with city charity Iris UK.

Now its pupils will take an OCR entry-level Latin qualification with two 20-minute written tests and coursework on ancient Rome.

Francis Murphy, deputy headteacher at the Field Avenue school, said: “We want to give our children the best education possible. Our children should do Latin as much as children in other schools.

“That is one of our big things – raising the profile of education.”

The charity’s lessons are helping pupils to make links between the building blocks of Latin and the modern languages, he said.

And Mr Murphy said: “It is about children’s confidence.

“They are extremely proud when they leave primary school with their SATs. If they leave with a qualification in hand, it boosts their confidence.”

The first exams will take place next summer.

Ten-year-old Esinam Asanu, who is set to take the exam, said: “It is fantastic. I like that you get to learn different languages and Latin helps you speak French and Spanish. It’s kind of easy.”

Iris director Dr Lorna Robinson said the school was the “perfect setting” to pilot the exam, which could then be rolled out to other city schools.

Dr Robinson, who will lead the lessons, said: “Learning Latin is enjoyable and people get a lot out of it. Latin is the key foundation of the English language.

“The children love it – they feel like detectives. It gives them an understanding of English.

“That is an important thing for developing their own literacy and communication skills.”

She said the view that Latin is an elitist subject best left to public schools is “complete nonsense”, adding: “No child should be deprived of the knowledge of where the language they speak comes from.

“I don’t see why it should be limited to a group of children.”

Dr Robinson said not enough secondary schools teach the language, adding: “It would be brilliant if they did. It would mean the pupils doing it in primary school will be able to carry on that interest.”

The charity has also worked with other local primaries – East Oxford, New Hinksey, St Thomas More, Church Cowley St James, Bayards Hill, Sandhills, North Hinksey and Kidlington.

A FEW USEFUL LATIN PHRASES ...

Taken from Latin For All Occasions by Henry Beard

Sane ego te vocavi. Forsitan capedictum tuum desit.

I did call. Maybe your answering machine is broken .

Hostes alienigeni me abduxerunt. Qui annus est?

I was kidnapped by aliens. What year is it?

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!

God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Braccae tuae aperiuntur.

Your fly is open .

 

 

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:06am Wed 19 Sep 12

SNJ says...

It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative.
It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative. SNJ
  • Score: 0

11:29am Wed 19 Sep 12

King Joke says...

I've got one thing to say to you SNJ:

Romani ite domum!
I've got one thing to say to you SNJ: Romani ite domum! King Joke
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Wed 19 Sep 12

bart-on simpson says...

Don't get the knowing the building blocks of language argument Surely Chinese or Yoruba more useful, innit?
Don't get the knowing the building blocks of language argument Surely Chinese or Yoruba more useful, innit? bart-on simpson
  • Score: 1

4:19pm Wed 19 Sep 12

Buffetcrasher says...

Latin's a dead language. Apart from snobbery, what is the motivation for teaching it? I'm with bart-on simpson on this one; Mandarin would be a lot more useful.
Latin's a dead language. Apart from snobbery, what is the motivation for teaching it? I'm with bart-on simpson on this one; Mandarin would be a lot more useful. Buffetcrasher
  • Score: 1

4:37pm Thu 20 Sep 12

chavster says...

SNJ wrote:
It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative.
I'd use the ablative of comparison, but that's just me. As for teaching Latin, "Inritus irritus, innit?"
[quote][p][bold]SNJ[/bold] wrote: It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative.[/p][/quote]I'd use the ablative of comparison, but that's just me. As for teaching Latin, "Inritus irritus, innit?" chavster
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Thu 20 Sep 12

King Joke says...

Try this SNJ:

Caesar adsum jam forte
Brutus aderat
Caesar sic in omnibus
Brutus sic in at
Try this SNJ: Caesar adsum jam forte Brutus aderat Caesar sic in omnibus Brutus sic in at King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Thu 20 Sep 12

chavster says...

or:

O Sybilli, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero
O nobili, demis trux
Sevatis enim causen dux
or: O Sybilli, si ergo Fortibus es in ero O nobili, demis trux Sevatis enim causen dux chavster
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Thu 20 Sep 12

SNJ says...

I know the old "Caesar had some jam for tea" but can't get the other one, although I suspect "see her go", trucks, and ducks are involved.

Most people who have done Latin appreciate its value: it really helps you understand English grammar. There are also many young people now who want to do advanced studies in medieval history and who have to do a crash course in Latin first. Nor can you really understand the works of Milton etc without a knowledge of Latin.

People are always asking me to translate Latin from old wills and inscriptionss: it is useful for family history too.

It's certainly more use to me than the Physics and Chemistry I learned at school.
I know the old "Caesar had some jam for tea" but can't get the other one, although I suspect "see her go", trucks, and ducks are involved. Most people who have done Latin appreciate its value: it really helps you understand English grammar. There are also many young people now who want to do advanced studies in medieval history and who have to do a crash course in Latin first. Nor can you really understand the works of Milton etc without a knowledge of Latin. People are always asking me to translate Latin from old wills and inscriptionss: it is useful for family history too. It's certainly more use to me than the Physics and Chemistry I learned at school. SNJ
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Thu 20 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

SNJ wrote:
It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative.
Brian's Latin Lesson

Brian is writing a slogan on a wall, oblivious to the Roman patrol approaching from behind. The slogan is "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS".
Centurion: What's this thing? "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS"? "People called Romanes they go the house?" Brian: It... it says "Romans go home". Centurion: No it doesn't. What's Latin for "Roman"?
Brian hesitates
Centurion: Come on, come on! Brian: (uncertain) "ROMANUS". Centurion: Goes like? Brian: "-ANUS". Centurion: Vocative plural of "-ANUS" is? Brian: "-ANI". Centurion: (takes paintbrush from Brian and paints over) "RO-MA-NI". "EUNT"? What is "EUNT"? Brian: "Go". Centurion: Conjugate the verb "to go"! Brian: "IRE"; "EO", "IS", "IT", "IMUS", "ITIS", "EUNT". Centurion: So "EUNT" is ...? Brian: Third person plural present indicative, "they go". Centurion: But "Romans, go home!" is an order, so you must use the ...?
He lifts Brian by his short hairs
Brian: The ... imperative. Centurion: Which is? Brian: Um, oh, oh, "I", "I"! Centurion: How many Romans? (pulls harder) Brian: Plural, plural! "ITE".
Centurion strikes over "EUNT" and paints "ITE" on the wall
Centurion: "I-TE". "DOMUS"? Nominative? "Go home", this is motion towards, isn't it, boy? Brian: (very anxious) Dative?
Centurion draws his sword and holds it to Brian's throat
Brian: Ahh! No, ablative, ablative, sir. No, the, accusative, accusative, ah, DOMUM, sir. Centurion: Except that "DOMUS" takes the ...? Brian: ... the locative, sir! Centurion: Which is? Brian: "DOMUM". Centurion: (satisfied) "DOMUM"...
He strikes out "DOMUS" and writes "DOMUM"
Centurian: ..."-MUM". Understand? Brian: Yes sir. Centurion: Now write it down a hundred times. Brian: Yes sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar, sir. Centurion: (saluting) Hail Caesar. If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off. Brian: (very relieved) Oh thank you sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar and everything, sir!

You are right SNJ, lessons in latin would have saved Brian a whole host of problems!!!
[quote][p][bold]SNJ[/bold] wrote: It's a pity you didn't send your headline writer to Pegasus for some Latin lessons. In the newspaper edition, you have as your heading: "Pegasus altior quam ceteras scholas volat" (Pegasus is flying higher than other schools). As Pegasus is the subject of the sentence, "other schools" should surely be in the nominative ("ceterae scholae") and not in the accusative.[/p][/quote]Brian's Latin Lesson Brian is writing a slogan on a wall, oblivious to the Roman patrol approaching from behind. The slogan is "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS". Centurion: What's this thing? "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS"? "People called Romanes they go the house?" Brian: It... it says "Romans go home". Centurion: No it doesn't. What's Latin for "Roman"? Brian hesitates Centurion: Come on, come on! Brian: (uncertain) "ROMANUS". Centurion: Goes like? Brian: "-ANUS". Centurion: Vocative plural of "-ANUS" is? Brian: "-ANI". Centurion: (takes paintbrush from Brian and paints over) "RO-MA-NI". "EUNT"? What is "EUNT"? Brian: "Go". Centurion: Conjugate the verb "to go"! Brian: "IRE"; "EO", "IS", "IT", "IMUS", "ITIS", "EUNT". Centurion: So "EUNT" is ...? Brian: Third person plural present indicative, "they go". Centurion: But "Romans, go home!" is an order, so you must use the ...? He lifts Brian by his short hairs Brian: The ... imperative. Centurion: Which is? Brian: Um, oh, oh, "I", "I"! Centurion: How many Romans? (pulls harder) Brian: Plural, plural! "ITE". Centurion strikes over "EUNT" and paints "ITE" on the wall Centurion: "I-TE". "DOMUS"? Nominative? "Go home", this is motion towards, isn't it, boy? Brian: (very anxious) Dative? Centurion draws his sword and holds it to Brian's throat Brian: Ahh! No, ablative, ablative, sir. No, the, accusative, accusative, ah, DOMUM, sir. Centurion: Except that "DOMUS" takes the ...? Brian: ... the locative, sir! Centurion: Which is? Brian: "DOMUM". Centurion: (satisfied) "DOMUM"... He strikes out "DOMUS" and writes "DOMUM" Centurian: ..."-MUM". Understand? Brian: Yes sir. Centurion: Now write it down a hundred times. Brian: Yes sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar, sir. Centurion: (saluting) Hail Caesar. If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off. Brian: (very relieved) Oh thank you sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar and everything, sir! You are right SNJ, lessons in latin would have saved Brian a whole host of problems!!! ger elttil OX2 0EJ
  • Score: 0

8:48am Fri 21 Sep 12

King Joke says...

I mean, what has Little Reg ever done for us?
I mean, what has Little Reg ever done for us? King Joke
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Fri 21 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

King Joke wrote:
I mean, what has Little Reg ever done for us?
funniest film ever.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I mean, what has Little Reg ever done for us?[/p][/quote]funniest film ever. ger elttil OX2 0EJ
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree