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 Post subject: Latin or History GCSE ?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:50 am 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
I would be grateful for opinions on this .
My DS has just filled in his Options form for September. He was told that he could carry on to do Latin GCSE but that it was a very hard exam and he would probably get a B at best.
He decided not to do it as it clashed with History which he wants to do.
On Friday my DS and 3 other pupils in the Latin class were told that as only one person had opted to do Latin they would not be able to run the class unless they had at least 5 pupils and as they were the top 5 in the class they are being strongly encouraged to rethink. Now my DS likes History but is not passionate about it, he gets consistent A's for prep and exams.
So should he take Latin as it is a rigorous subject or stick with History as he is predicted a better grade? He is thinking of medicine as a career. BTW, he says Latin is ok but prefers History.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:51 am 
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Mods - Sorry , I meant to post this in GCSE section! Can you move it please?
Thanks,
Zorro


Done ! - Herman


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:12 am 
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I have heard that Latin is the most difficult subject at GCSE however it is also the subject with the highest A* at GCSE (around 30%) so perhaps those who do it are those with an aptitude for the subject.

For Medicine my understanding is the number of A* really matters and some suggest even the propotion matters so if he is going to go for such a competetive course I will be tempted to go with a subject he will most likely achieve a good grade if he doesnt have a strong preferance.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:32 am 
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Thanks Herman!
Yes, I have to say, that was my gut feeling Sherry. Although Latin is a more unusual subject if he is unlikely to get an A in it ,surely better to go for the History?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:46 am 
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I think the history is very useful as gives good grounding in assessing info and essay writing. If he is interested in medicine at UCL Imperial or Oxbridge then he woudl have to do BMAT which I understand involves some essay writing and can prove problematic for those without humanities AS/A levels - obviously having such subjects (RS is another) at GCSE can help


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:23 am 
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I certainly don't think you should fall for the school's blackmail! As the others have said both Latin and History are good choices but all things being equal going for the one where your DC is expected to perform better has to be the right one!

I think the school is very poor for insisting on minimum numbers. If it doesn't want to offer a course then fine but at least stick to your obligations and run it through to GCSE even if only one person is on it. That for me is what a school should do rather than wasting its money on stupid meaningless slogans and misleading banners outside it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:45 pm 
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I don't think the school is blackmailing anyone, it has just been suggested that they may want to reconsider. At Parent's evening recently, DS's Latin teacher said she would be sorry to lose him but she understood that some choices clashed. I actually wouldn't expect the school to run a class with one pupil in it, it would be very uninteresting for that boy!
Herman, agree 100% about essay writing, DS is also doing RS as he enjoys the discussions and is predicted A*.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Yes but...at my DD school they ask pupils what their GCSE choices are first...and then devise the timetable options around them. That way more pupils are less likely to have problems with subject clashes. Few schools seem to do this and to me it shows a pupil-centred rather than school-centred approach.

I personally would expect a school to run an advertised option with just one pupil and definitely with fewer than five.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:32 pm 
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I'd usually always support Latin, but I'd be very concerned at a predicted "B", especially given the remarkably high proportion of A*A usually awarded in the subject. It seems the school lacks confidence in its teaching abilities. Perhaps best avoided in your case?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:23 pm 
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But I thought this was one of the hardest GCSE's ? So how can everyone get an A* if it is so difficult?


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