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Mansel
Mathematics is still divided into geometry, arithmetic and algebra. The Geometry is still rooted in the crystal clear logic of the 2000 year old Greek Euclidean tradition. The arithmetic includes the seventeenth century invention of multiplication using logarithm tables: an art soon to be made totally redundant by the flood of calculators. The algebra seems a meaningless exercise to the majority who will later be mightily relieved to find that their adult lives will never require them to solve a single quadratic equation.
French is the foreign language taught, with minimal conversational content. “Gad, Carruthers, one surely doesn’t have to be able to speak the bloody language, as well?” But the more able students are also taught Latin. (Technical drawing is the alternative.) At this point in time the medical and legal professions still use some Latin as, of course, does the Catholic Church. Oxford and Cambridge require some knowledge of it. But there are few Catholics in the valley and very few boys are planning to go into the learned professions. Until the mid 60s the school had sent only a handful boys to Oxbridge. (Or so I was told.) Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School is Not Quite Eton. Of course Time can see it all as the last faint echo, here in Aberdare Grammar School, of the language of education in Europe since the middle ages. It is perhaps appropriate that Latin is taught in room 1, below the tower where the big clock ticks on.