Latin isn't dead - our kids can learn a lot from it

2nd July 2010 at 01:00

The deep concern expressed by John Kerr (June 4) in relation to the future of classical studies and Latin is entirely valid. To lose SQA certification at Access 3 and National 4 would be a very harmful move, restrictive in terms of curricular breadth and socially divisive.

There is a huge range of opportunities for interdisciplinary learning afforded by both subjects, including the taxonomy of diseases or plants, the basis of Scots law, rhetoric and debating, and even the rudiments of plumbing (the classical studies syllabus includes the Roman bath house).

An elitist approach to certification would undoubtedly lead to a more marked divide in curricular provision between the state and private sector, where alternative qualifications are always a more easily accessible option.

In our school, classical studies and Latin are a vibrant, successful, inclusive and very popular part of the curriculum. Our learners, of all abilities, will undoubtedly be the poorer for the loss of status (Latin) and kudos (Greek) which will surely result from the adoption of these misguided proposals.

Derek R Allan, rector, Kirkcaldy High.

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