first_imgGabriel commented, ‘More than any open day or Oxbridge talk the course was responsible for my application to Oxford as a pupil from a state school.”“It gave me the confidence to know that I would be able to embark upon a degree at Oxford, a degree heavily weighted towards language learning, and be able to hold my own amongst some students who had enjoyed teaching in ancient languages consistently since primary school.”French and Italian student Emma Obertelli also took Latin at GCSE and A-Level. She thinks the subject is good training for any budding linguist.She told Cherwell, “Latin gave me a really good grasp of language and structure. The history and literature are also really interesting. Most people don’t get to study the Romans in much detail after primary school so it is a good opportunity.”Emma wasn’t sure that Latin was the best way for the university to use its outreach programme.She said, “While I really enjoyed studying Latin and got a lot out of it I think there are loads of other areas that are more important and would be more beneficial to state schools.”Many other current Oxford students claimed they hadn’t missed much by not taking the ancient language at GCSE.St Edmund Hall Pharmacology postgraduate Tom McLean studied Latin for a year at Whitney’s The Henry Box School but decided not to pursue the subject at GCSE.He commented, “I enjoyed the part of Latin where you learned about civilisation but I found the language study pretty dry. I had heard that the GCSE was really hard and I didn’t really want to take another language because I didn’t really see how it would benefit me in the long run.”“These days I kind of regret not doing the GCSE. It’s not because it would have helped me, but I liked the history and it might have been interesting to learn more about that.”St Hugh’s PGCE student William Irving, who took compulsory Latin lessons between Year 7 and Year 9 at Reigate Grammar School, regretted not appreciating the subject’s benefits when he dropped it before GCSE. William, who read Biology at Leeds University, said: “I didn’t enjoy studying Latin when I was at school because I thought it was a dead language that I wouldn’t ever have to use.“I didn’t realise that studying it would help with my other languages at school. Now that I’m a bit older I have a better appreciation of how helpful it can be to study Latin.” Latin GCSE is staging a comeback in Oxfordshire in 2015 thanks to an innovative outreach programme being re-launched by Oxford University’s Classics Faculty.The notoriously difficult subject is currently only taught in three Oxfordshire state schools but Oxford Classics Faculty Latin Teaching Scheme (OXLAT) will offer support to 17 local state schools that want to start teaching the subject. The scheme was originally established in 2008, but was suspended in 2012 when its funding was withdrawn. The Stonehouse Educational Foundation is funding the re-launch as part of a wider national initiative to increase Latin study.Oxford’s Regius Professor of Greek, Christopher Pelling, was appointed by former Education Secretary Michael Gove to lead the nationwide increase in Latin study. He praised OXLAT’s potential to broaden Oxford’s undergraduate admissions and enrich state school education. He said,“I was very lucky myself to go to a terrific state school which gave me my own opportunities, including that of learning classical languages. I am so pleased that we can offer something similar to a new generation.”“We regard this scheme as very important because we know that there are many children out there that don’t have the same opportunities to study Latin or Classics as their counterparts would have had a generation or so ago.This programme is at least something we can do for those in our own back yard.”The 30 participants will be taught two hours of Latin every Saturday morning for two and a half years before taking the exam. It is hoped many of them will go on to study the subject at A-Level or university.Gabriel Naughton, who is reading Classics at St John’s College, took part in the original scheme and earned an A* in Latin GCSE in 2010. He said the program contributed significantly to his subsequent academic success.last_img read more


first_imgBy John BurtonFORT MONMOUTH – A former Army hospital on what was Fort Monmouth property could become a new private sector medical facility, if the state authority overseeing the fort property redevelopment eventually approves the proposal.The proposal calls for AcuteCare Health Systems, headquartered in Lakewood, to operate a mixed medical facility and office complex on the site of what was once the Patterson Army Hospital and was later downsized to a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic.The portion of the former 1,126-acre fort in question is located within the boundaries of Oceanport. Fort Monmouth was shuttered by the federal Department of Defense last September.Eatontown Mayor Gerald J. Tarantolo and Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon, who are both voting members of the state’s Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Auth­or­ity (FMERA), said Acute­Care operates out of Mon­mouth Medical Center in Long Branch and Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood.During its August meeting, FMERA accepted the company’s formal proposal to purchase the multistory building and some of the surrounding property.The plan will now go before the planning boards of Tinton Falls, Eatontown and Ocean­port – the former fort’s three host communities – for a determination and then on to each town’s governing body for input before returning to FMERA for its final decision.The towns have 45 days to evaluate the proposal.Representatives from Acute­Care did not return calls Aug. 29 seeking comment. But the company issued a press release, quoting the president, Daniel Czermak, who said AcuteCare would use a portion of the approximately 60,000-square-foot building to “offer frail and elderly patients nursing home-style services on an out-patient basis, as well as provide in-home health aides.”This is something of a departure for the company, the release noted. AcuteCare has concentrated on operating long-term, acute-care hospitals within the confines of existing, established hospitals.For the remainder of the facility space Czermak said he has contacted “some very reputable health-care providers” to “bring some outpatient services to the building.”AcuteCare would undertake extensive interior renovations to the facility, the release said.The price offered by AcuteCare, one source indicated, was “in the neighborhood of $3 million.”“It is significant,” Tarantolo said about the proposal. It marks the second private-sector business entity to bring a plan before the authority to acquire fort property and, if approved, it would create private-sector jobs for the area.AcuteCare said it would add as many as 200 jobs, if the plan is approved.The other proposal, Tarantolo noted, was from CommVault, a high-tech software company, located in Oceanport, which is seeking to purchase 55 acres of fort property for $6.1 million for its operations. In the spring, the authority adopted a resolution to allow the sale to move forward.“These are real, hard applications, that have expressed interest and we’re in the process of trying to negotiate arrangements for them to move into the Fort Monmouth property,” Tarantolo said.“I have very little argument with it,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, is also a member of FMERA, reiterating the authority’s mission is to bring about the redevelopment of the fort property for the economic betterment of the region. “I think we are actually seeing concrete, actual development with it and it’s just starting to pick up and I think we’re going to begin to see things start to move.”Oceanport’s Mahon said he was “very cautious” about the proposal.The concerns Oceanport has are that, while it would appear the project would be a potential ratable and bring jobs, there isn’t a business plan before the authority yet. Another point of concern, Mahon said, is the redevelopment master plan calls for the existing hospital structure to be demolished and the site to be used for residential development. He questioned that, if the authority amends its master plan, where would the housing then be located and what would that mean for the town’s public school and infrastructure?Those are sticking points for Oceanport and resulted in Mahon voting against the master plan when it was adopted a few years ago.“All these things in the shadows have to be considered equally,” he said.The federal Department of Defense’s Base Realign and Closure Commission (BRAC) included Fort Mon­mouth in its 2005 round of base closing, supported by President George W. Bush and Con­gress. The state Legislature, in response, established FMERA as the official body to work with federal, state, county and local representatives to redevelop the approximately 90-year-old fort property, replace the jobs lost and offset the economic impact caused by the closing.last_img read more