Our School

1 August 2019

Recte et Fideliter

Recte et Fideliter

The meaning of the Ruyton motto.

There are not as many Latin speakers out there in the world as there once were, so it is safe to say that the meaning of Ruyton’s school motto ‘Recte et Fideliter’ won’t immediately come to mind for many of us.  Recognising this, former Ruyton French teacher and Latin scholar, Mrs Mary Churchward translated the motto for the school in the 1980s.

 The word ‘Recte’ comes from the Latin adjective ‘rectus’, meaning originally ‘straight’ or ‘upright’.  The adverb form ‘recte’ used in the motto can be translated as ‘correctly, properly, honestly or uprightly’.  The word ‘Fideliter’ comes from the adjective ‘fidelis’ meaning “to be trusted or relied on, steadfast, true” with the adverb form as ‘loyally, trustworthily or faithfully’.  Together, Mrs Churchward interpreted the intended meaning of the motto’s words as ‘Upright and Faithful.’  Today’s Ruyton girls learn their motto with a twenty-first century twist, though conveying the same sentiments, the words now interpreted as ‘Character and Integrity.’

The motto ‘Recte et Fideliter’ was chosen in 1882 by the School’s founder and first Principal, Mrs Charlotte Anderson when Ruyton was a fledgling school of just four years old.  In that same year Mrs Anderson moved her school from its first site in her small house to larger premises at ‘Edgecomb’ in Studley Park Rd, and named the new School Ruyton.  The first known use of the motto was in December 1882, when it was included it on the front cover of the Speech Night programme for that year. 


Ms Cathy Dodson
School Archivist


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