IT may be an ancient language but it is proving to be a big hit at a Southampton school.

Pupils at Cantell school beat off rivals from some of Hampshire’s leading independent schools to scoop a clutch of medals at a Latin competition.

They were one of only two state schools to take part in the Southampton Classical Association competition.

Youngsters have to present pre-seen Latin texts and are marked on pronunciation, effective delivery and evidence of understanding.

The Year 7 team won gold while Year 11 student Gabe Greer also won the top gong in his category.

Josh Sayer narrowly missed out on gold, clinching silver in the sixth form category, despite being in Year 11. Lauren Bateman also won silver in her category.

Latin teacher Jo Hartley said: “I am so pleased for them, they worked really hard. Cantell is one of very few state schools that offer Latin so it is great to have this success.”