In the time of Ireland’s intellectual glory, of all the Classical languages in which the sons and daughters of learning were proficient, it was Latin, we are told, that they most loved. What was true in the ancient days remains true in Sandford today, where Junior students still study the wonder of Latin grammar and syntax, the intricacy of Roman poetry and the origins and achievements of Rome’s imperial project.
Latin is offered as an optional course in Forms II and III, a course which culminates in the sitting of the Junior Certificate examination in the subject.
Apart from the study of purely Classical Latin, Sandford is currently involved in an initiative with scholars at home and abroad to design a course aimed at the teaching of the Hisperica Famina, the speech of the West, a unique and complex dialect of Latin developed by Irish scholarship in the eighth and ninth centuries. When this project reaches fruition, Sandford will be the first educational institution to teach this discipline for almost a thousand years. And so the wheel turns. What was old is young again.