King's College School

Coeducational Independent Prep school in Cambridge


Year 8 Key Objectives

We see Year 8 as a year when everything often comes together: whether they gain an A* grade at Level 2 Common Entrance, or earn a Scholarship based on strong Classics papers, the great majority of children leave King's with a real sense of achievement in their Classical studies. While we focus on revision prior to exams, children continue to expand their knowledge and reinforce their understanding of the basics, which will often carry them forward into top sets at their next school.

We continue with three sets and follow the same course books, with the lower set moving onto Latin Prep Book 2, the middle set Latin Prep Book 3, and the top set The Oxford Latin Course Book 3, supplemented with Essential Latin by John Taylor.

Language topics in the lower set include:

· Pluperfect and future tenses;

· Pluperfect and future of sum;

· All tenses of possum and eo;

· 3rd declension nouns and adjectives, including neuter;

· Personal, demonstrative and reflexive pronouns, all cases;

· Regular and irregular comparison of adjectives;

· Prohibitions.

The middle set moves onto some more advanced grammar and meets some simple constructions, including:

· Passive voice, all tenses;

· Imperfect subjunctive;

· Irregular verbs fero, nolo and volo;

· 5th declension nouns;

· Expressions of time and place;

· Relative pronouns and simple relative clauses;

· Present and past participles (nominative and accusative cases only);

· Purpose clauses;

· Indirect commands;

· Idem and ipse.

The background topic for these two sets follows the Common Entrance syllabus, focusing on Greek Mythology. Topics include the stories of Perseus, Theseus, Jason and the Argonauts, the Trojan War, the adventures of Odysseus, and the Labours of Hercules.

The top set needs to meet the demands of some very challenging scholarship papers, which include more advanced concepts, including:

· Deponent and semi-deponent verbs;

· Pluperfect subjective;

· Future participles;

· Present, past and future infinitives, active and passive; passive imperatives;

· The ablative absolute;

· Indirect statement, indirect questions, indirect commands;

· Cum and subjunctive;

· Result clauses;

· Harder relative clauses, connecting relatives;

· Simple conditional clauses;

· Clauses of fearing.

The children focus on comprehension technique as well as translation, and whilst all tackle more advanced translation from English into Latin, those aiming for the more demanding scholarships also learn the basic rules and techniques of prose composition. Background topics encompass the Punic Wars and Delphi, as well as Roman verse and scansion. In the recent past, children have written diaries relating to their adventures whilst crossing the Alps with Hannibal; made a news film from the battle front at Salamis; written poetry in the Roman form, emulating Virgil; compared Caesar's arrival at Britain with the D-Day landings; and tried their hand at literary criticism. We keep the syllabus varied, interesting and challenging, so that there is something for everyone and the children are introduced to every aspect of Classics, ready to develop their interests in the years ahead.