Latin and Ancient Greek – The Latin and Ancient Greek course at Birchwood School of Hawken is for seventh and eighth grade students whose performance in class and on standardized tests has shown that they need enrichment in the vocabulary and grammar parts of Birchwood’s language arts curriculum.
In seventh grade, students meet twice a week, spending about 75 percent of their time studying Latin and 25 percent of their time studying Ancient Greek. The Latin textbook they use is the first book in a high school series called “Ecce Romani.” For Greek they use “Eucleides’ World,” a book designed for use alongside “Ecce Romani.” Students cover about half of “Ecce Romani I” during the first year of Latin.
Eighth grade students also meet twice a week all year and continue to use the “Ecce Romani” textbook. Students will finish the book by the end of their second year. Many Birchwood students have placed out of a year of high school Latin at Hawken, St. Ignatius, and Westlake High School.
Spanish – Birchwood students begin to study Spanish in preschool. In the first through fourth grades, students are introduced to various Hispanic cultures and they learn songs, poems, vocabulary, and even conduct simple conversations. In Spanish class in the early grades students often use role-playing such as shopping at the grocery store as a way to practice and reinforce vocabulary.
In the fifth through eighth grades, instruction becomes more formal and students have the opportunity to study Spanish with a view to reading, writing, and speaking fluently. Students in the seventh and eighth grades have the option to study Spanish at a level that will enable them to pass out of the high school Spanish 1 course.