May all be happy. May all be without disease. May all creatures have wellbeing. And none be in misery of any sort. May peace and peace be everywhere.

The above is the Sanskrit prayer for humanity. By Year 3 all children are able to recite this prayer in Sanskrit and English. Although Sanskrit is a core part of our curriculum, St James is a multi-religious school. We draw on the wisdom of global traditions which we believe unites us all. We begin from the premise that all human beings have the same essence which is full of knowledge, vitality and happiness.

Since their foundation in 1975, the St James Schools have taught Sanskrit as part of the curriculum, they are now considered a centre of excellence for teaching Sanskrit globally. Sanskrit is a classical language predating Latin and Greek and acts as a model, teaching children the fundamental principles of language.

Of all the classical languages, Sanskrit has the most complete and systematized grammar and is considered the underlying grammatical system of all Indo-European languages. The structure of the Sanskrit alphabet, which children are introduced to at the age of five, is scientifically ordered. The sounds of the alphabet are comprehensive in their range and considerably broaden the linguistic skills of the children at an early stage. Studying Sanskrit from an early age broadens the mind, heightening children’s awareness of a culture that is very often very far from their own. 

“I realise how much Sanskrit is helping my daughter memorise information and data. Only this morning she had her piano exam and she emphasised that learning Sanskrit helps her to perform in front of the judges and to remember notes. Many thanks for all your great teaching. It’s indeed a fascinating subject.” St James Parent