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Friday, March 01, 2013

After the Eleven Plus

Thousands of parents Year 6 children will be receiving their offer emails and letters about their allocated senior schools. We wish every family well – and hope their children, whatever the school, achieve the best possible education.

There must have been parents hundreds of years ago who were in a similar situation. “Will my child make the school of our choice?”

Years ago parents will have hoped that their children would be offered a school where Latin was taught. The teaching of Latin often used to start with rhetoric and this was developed into learning the more formal elements of the Latin language. Latin was the language used by scholars to communicate with their European contemporaries. In certain circles the ability to speak the language was stressed.

For years grammar schools used to teach Latin through text books – where declensions and syntax were paramount. Many children may have found learning Latin slow and tedious. I think that I learned from `Latin for Today’ where we read whole sentences – and had to translate them from Latin into English and from English into Latin. We also had to learn vocabulary.

If your child is able to join a senior school where Latin is offered – then some parents may be tempted to advise their children to at least give Latin a go.

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