Classical Languages

At Erasmus Primary School, students are exposed to various elements of classical languages with a particular focus on Sanskrit and Latin. Various units may also include exposure to Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphs, or songs from other languages and cultures.

Exposure to a range of classical languages at a young age assists with learning modern languages, provides an understanding of the significance of language, and assists with learning generally including thinking logically, organising thoughts and extending vocabulary.

Although no longer a commonly spoken language, Sanskrit is considered by many scholars to be the oldest known language and the foundation for ancient languages including Latin and modern languages such as Hindi. Sanskrit presents a rich source of study and inspiration for children. It is recognised as having a complete system of grammar connected by logical laws and a beautiful pure sound.

From their first year at school, the children start learning to read, write and speak the unique alphabet script, sounds, words and rules of grammar. We use a carefully graded series of textbooks especially developed for use in primary school. The books use stories from the Sanskrit tradition incorporating tales of Krishna and Rama.

Graduates are well placed to learn languages with different alphabets and scripts at secondary school.

You will find interesting and detailed information about the school’s approach to Sanskrit at the St James Sanskrit site. http://www.sanskritatstjames.org.uk/why-sanskrit#benefits-of-sanskrit

Latin is the root language of French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish. A vast number of English words can be traced to their Latin roots. Latin study teaches key aspects of language including understanding of logic, vocabulary, word order, verb patterns, agreements, gender and language evolution. The Cambridge Latin Course is currently offered as an extra-curricular activity for Prep – Year 6.

If only half a dozen men could be lead to the real understanding, a new generation could evolve. A renaissance would be possible. All that is needed is a real and sincere work on language.

Śri Śantānanda Sarasvati

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