Commenting on the move, the Principal of the Sallagh Park school, Dr Reid, said: “We noticed right away that a number of our new pupils were academically incredibly able and we wanted to give them the opportunity to extend their learning beyond what the school normally offers.
“The suggestion was made to a number of pupils that they might like to extend their school day to 4pm three days a week – and instead of heading home three extra subjects would be on offer.
“While the Science and IT seemed very at home in the 21st Century, an eyebrow or two was raised - to say the least - about the offer of Latin.
“Many of us educated in the last century still recall learning amo, amas, amat and of course discovering the world of ancient Rome and all that goes with it.
“Most of our selective schools have long since dropped the subject that actually gave them the name ‘grammar’ and yet across the country Latin has seen a revival.”
He added: “In recent years there has been an increasingly large uptake of the subject for GCSE and a renewed interest in studying the classical world.
“It seemed very appropriate, therefore, that as we welcome some very gifted young people to the school, that they should have the opportunity to explore areas of learning that for many years have not been readily available, and perhaps a little bit ironic that it is the non-selective school that now offers an opportunity that has largely been lost in selective schools.
“What we have seen is a tremendous enthusiasm for the subject, in no small part due to the expertise of our teacher Miss Dougan. It is a joy to see young people develop their knowledge in all sorts of directions and to see them engaging with all the opportunities that Larne High School offers,”