At Port Regis there's nothing stuffy about Latin, a subject which opens the door on to the world of ancient Rome and broadens children’s linguistic and cultural horizons. . It is our ambition to turn out as many enthusiastic, well-taught Classicists as possible who will go on to study and enjoy the subject at GCSE, A level and beyond.
All pupils at Port Regis begin Latin in Year 6 (C Form). The first year’s lessons are based around the lively stories of Book 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course which follow the fortunes of a family living in Pompeii just before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. We then base much of our second and third year’s teaching around the Bob Bass series of books designed to prepare children for Common Entrance and Scholarship.
Children benefit from our rigorous approach to the teaching of grammar which ensures that they quickly develop a good understanding of the mechanics of this language - and of their own and of other modern languages. But we also think it is important that children have an appreciation of the cultural context for Latin, and topics such as Roman food, baths and the practice of slavery are studied in tandem with the language as well as a range of ancient myths such as Perseus and the Gorgon, The 12 Labours of Hercules and The Wanderings of Odysseus. We also offer a hugely popular overseas Classics trip each year, which all children from Years 6, 7 and 8 are eligible to join.
There’s the opportunity to visit the house in Pompeii where the stories from the Cambridge Latin Course are set, or to listen to the story of the Trojan War while sitting on top of the Greek king Agamemnon’s legendary citadel at Mycenae. We try to go off the beaten path too, and have also visited Sicily, Provence and Tunisia in recent years. The department has excellent links with the Classics departments of local senior schools such as Canford, Godolphin and Bryanston, which w often put on wonderful Classical workshops for prep schools. Port Regis also takes part in the annual Salisbury Classical Orations which gives children a chance to compete against other local schools in performing a short play in Latin from memory, and in the summer term, we play host to the Salisbury Classical Association’s annual Prep Schools Lecture.
Ancient Greek is taught on timetable to the scholarship streams in Years 7 and 8 and also as an after-lunch club which is open to any children in Years 7 and 8 who would like to give it a try. Several staff join in with the classes too – and there is great enjoyment in both adults and children learning together. We hope to offer Greek as an optional CE subject in the near future.
The Head of Department is Dr Annelise Freisenbruch. Annelise holds a PhD from from the University of Cambridge and has taught Latin and Greek for many years both at senior and preparatory level. She has worked as a consultant for the BBC and has published two books to critical acclaim: The First Ladies of Rome and Rivals of the Republic.
Senior schools comment on Port Regis pupils' confidence and independence.Tatler Schools Guide