Languages include Sanskrit and Latin, also French, German and Mandarin
Sanskrit is taught at John Colet School from Lower First to 6th class. It is the root Indo-European language and has a complete, fully inflected grammatical system. The students learn to read and write the Sanskrit script, recite beautiful hymns, prayers and other passages and systematically acquire vocabulary and grammar through translating simplified traditional stories. "Catch up" Sanskrit lessons are offered to students who join the school.
Latin is also offered at John Colet School, both in the Infants and Primary, and is of great benefit for all sorts of reasons – it teaches grammar, sentence structure, language skills, thinking skills, vocabulary, translation, and etymology. Like Sanskrit, Latin is a highly structured language and trains students in the understanding and analysis of language structures. The content of the course covers Roman lifestyle, aspects of Roman history and Greek and Roman mythology and legends.
For many years the School taught Latin formally only to the senior grades. In general the criterion then for entry into these classes was the successful completion of the School’s Spelling programme. Several years ago, as a pilot programme, the School experimented with opening up Latin study to the younger grades as well, on a less formal basis to the Primary grades. Before school classes are held for the Upper 1st and 2nd classes; and the primary grades learn either as a lunchtime activity on Tuesdays, or three times per week during school teaching hours for those students who have completed the Spelling syllabus.
6th class students are offered a choice between continuing with Sanskrit or taking up a year's study of French or German.
Extra-curricular classes are offered in French and German from Upper First class on and Mandarin from 3rd class on.