Head of dept: James Glasse
Latin is hugely beneficial to students knowledge of their own language. This is more than just the icing on the cake! Some 60% of English words come from the Latin route and Latin has also had a significant impact on Eastern European languages including Russian, Hungarian and Czech. In fact Romanian is as close to living Latin as any language. Latin is still spoken today in a small city state in the heart of Europe, namely the Vatican in Rome.
Latin pervades our culture – look around any city centre across the United Kingdom and Latin slogans abound. No surprise then that the tattoos that adorn David Beckham’s body are in Latin. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. It gained wide currency as the formal language of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, and later through its adoption by medieval scholars and the Catholic Church. The Latin alphabet, derived from that of the Etruscans and Greeks, remains the most widely-used alphabet in the world. Latin continues to be used in fields including science, academia and law. As far as careers are concerned, classicists are favoured by law firms, banks, accountancy companies and most professions.
Students of medicine, botany, dentistry, horticulture, law and numerous other professions will be familiar with Latin terminology in their specialist areas. The UK’s top universities, particularly Oxford and Cambridge, are crying out for classicists and Latin may be a route to attaining a degree from such prestigious seats of learning.
Through its links with the British Council Office in Shanghai, Windlesham House School has been approached to establish a link with the Shanghai Fushan Foreign Language Primary School. The school is located in the Lujiazui commercial and financial zone in Pudong (Shanghai’s equivalent of Manhattan). Shanghai Fushan Foreign Language Primary School is a state-owned school that was established in 1987. It has more than 250 qualified teachers and over 3,200 students aged six to 12 and the school provides students with boarding school education on one of its campuses.
The school is well known in China. Among other accolades, it was nominated as a Municipal Model Unit, an East China Normal University Network School and a National Language Experimental School. As well as Chinese nationals, Fushan also receives students from America, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Korea and other countries. The school is interested in various activities including a Chinese programme for foreign children, headteacher/teacher/student visits, student/teacher exchanges, teaching material and textbook exchanges, exchanges in specialised areas (art, drama, science etc) and joint curriculum projects.
These are exciting times for the Classics Department at Windlesham and we look forward to developing initiatives in the future.