French and Classics
Languages Curriculum Overview
From 2019, Years 3 and 4 study Latin through the Classics for All programme.
French has been the main foreign language taught at SASM since 2006. As the national curriculum says, “learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.”
Our country has always been internationally engaged and we need the language skills to go with that. SASM children receive a solid grounding in using a foreign language and feel the pleasure and joy that it brings, as well as the curiosity and global awareness it fosters. From 2019, French is taught only in Years 5 and 6.
Our Classics Curriculum
Our French Curriculum
Latin and Classical Civilizations is taught at SASM using the Classics for All Programme
Why Classics in Year 3 and 4?
We know that studying classics:
- Develops English literacy: students of Latin or Ancient Greek achieve a deep understanding of grammar which encourages accurate use of language. From the very early stages, concepts of singular and plural, tenses and case usage are taught. In GCSE Latin or Ancient Greek, more complex grammatical structures are introduced than those in modern foreign language GCSEs.
- Aids cultural literacy: Classical mythology forms the bedrock of much modern art and literature, and is constantly reworked in theatre and in the visual arts, film and pop-culture.
- Teaches the foundations of philosophy and history: The ancient Greeks and Romans have profoundly influenced western society and thought. They established the disciplines of philosophy and history and the foundations of our political systems.
- Encourages cultural insight: In some ways, the ancient Greeks and the Romans seem just like us, but in other ways, they are very different. This can lead students to reflect deeply about themselves and the lives of others – an important quality in a modern, multi-cultural society.
- Gives opportunities for wide-ranging thinking: Classical subjects encourage students to cross subject boundaries through thinking that touches on language, literature and civilisation.
- Allows for depth and breadth: The study of classical subjects is interdisciplinary. All four classical subjects – Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History – can involve literature, history, philosophy and the visual arts.
- Improves employment opportunities: Evidence suggests that employers have respect for potential employees who have studied classical subjects at school or university. Many Classics graduates have made a name for themselves in various fields, including JK Rowling, Boris Johnson and Mark Zuckerburg. This is because, among other things, the study of Classics encourages clarity of thought, attention to detail, and the ability to argue a case.
Specialist teaching in French
At SASM we are very fortunate to have Mr Cooney, a secondary MFL teacher, available to teach French across the Upper School. This ensures there is a clear programme of progression in French learning, which prepares pupils for Year 7.
Celebrating Other languages
We also celebrate the wonderful diversity of pupils at SASM, and organise for children to investigate and celebrate the cultures and nationalities of their classmates. One pupil commented that: “I was surprised but it made me happy to see how interested my friends are in where I come from and what it’s like.”