ds crushed - tutor did not teach him correct GCSE syllabus!

(35 Posts)
lainiekazan Fri 14-Jun-13 21:16:09

Ds learns Latin independently and with a tutor, who costs an arm and two legs. He went into the exam today and realised straightaway that he had only covered half the syllabus. Ds was hoping for a very good grade and to go on and do it at A Level and possibly beyond. But now he clearly is starting this paper at only 50%.

I don't know what to say to the tutor. He is very good and ds likes him, but this is a blow.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 17-Jun-13 18:04:17

There are no resits in any subject except Maths and English. And even then it is the full qualification.

lainiekazan Mon 17-Jun-13 10:57:55

I had the same thing. I sat down in my English A Level with my pen poised to do the Wife of Bath. No Wife of Bath! Disaster! It was another tale altogether. This being the 80s, the school said "Oh, these things happen." And of course parents in those days had zero involvement. My parents would have been more likely to fly to the moon than speak to The School. It was just our tough luck.

I sat an A-level where the teacher had failed to teach one of the texts. I had some idea of the story, as I was well read, so I blagged it and came out with a B. As a class we wrote to the exam board, as did our principal, and some of us were marked up. I think they just added a certain number of marks to everyone's paper. I ended up with an A. Fortunately the points system meant I still got my place at university.
Get a refund from the tutor and use it to pay for a resit. This is the problem with tutors that are not part of the educational system.

LIZS Mon 17-Jun-13 07:20:36

A* boundary seems to be in lower 80's

creamteas Sun 16-Jun-13 20:46:28

And also certain universities supposedly do an A

I have never come across any university expecting this!

lainiekazan Sun 16-Jun-13 19:57:27

Are there resits in November or January? I looked at the OCR site but couldn't make out whether these are offered. A resit for a few marks may be a bit OTT but if an A* boundary is around 90% then every mark counts. Otoh I'm quite sure ds wouldn't want to go through the whole thing again - four hours of exams for the sake of the marks he lost. He might do worse!

Since he is an independent candidate I suppose he could not declare the GCSE but ds has been such an enthusiastic student it seems such a shame. And also certain universities supposedly do an A* sweep so if he had a lesser grade it might affect his chances.

Abra1d Sun 16-Jun-13 17:51:38

If your son, OP, has done OK in the first two language papers and does well in Wednesday's poetry paper he might still be able to get a good grade.

LondonBus Sun 16-Jun-13 17:19:54

Obliviously the tutor isn't very good because he taught the wrong damn thing.

But having said that, could the tutor not provide free tuition for a resit?

Kez100 Sun 16-Jun-13 17:17:11

Hope his 6th form are understanding

Abra1d Sun 16-Jun-13 15:40:06

Isn't there still one Latin paper to go--the poetry? So have you/he/the tutor checked he has covered all the poetry? He might be able to make up ground a bit if he gets a very good mark.

lainiekazan Sun 16-Jun-13 15:34:23

Yes, that's exactly it - he studied lines 1-50, say, instead of 1-100. I spoke to tutor. He was mortified and is speaking to ds's school and examining board tomorrow to see if anything can be done. I don't suppose it can, or else everyone would be claiming they hadn't been taught this, that or the other.

tiredaftertwo Sun 16-Jun-13 14:21:47

Yes, sorry everyone. I did not mean to confuse - I was was interpreting the OP very strictly as a GCSE not iGCSE or the WEJC certificated equivalent.

OP, do you mean that, say, the set text was lines 1-100 and your ds had only been taught lines 1-50?

There is no possibility I take it - clutching at straw - that the two pages were either/or?

It just seems such an incredibly odd mistake for the tutor to make - presumably the volume is similar from year to year, it is specified in this spec http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/71466-specification.pdf (2009-2011 I think, assume that others will therefore do this?), and the lines to be studied are really clearly set out on the website too - it would make more sense if he had studied the wrong text altogether!

Assuming not, good luck with sorting things out with his sixth form. I am sure you will work around it.

happygardening Sun 16-Jun-13 11:37:17

There is not only one board for Latin my DS has just sat Cambeidge IGCSE Latin the set text does change on a regular basis maybe even every year. But I would have thought if your tutor was teaching other students IGCSE/GCSE then he/she would know what's on the syllabus, know how many pieces of set text are required to be learnt and the format of the exam.

creamteas Sat 15-Jun-13 21:42:24

WJEC used to do Latin as well but as tired says, focus on whether you can apply for consideration and which sixth form/college he hopes to go to.

There is no point contacting any university, all that you will be told is to mention it in your personal statement (and preferably get you reference to confirm also).

tiredaftertwo Sat 15-Jun-13 19:22:30

As far as I know, there is only one board for Latin, OCR, and the texts do not change every year. So really there is no excuse for the tutor to teach the wrong text and only discover it at this late date.

I think you now need to focus on getting his 6th form place sorted, and doing what you can about the impact this will have on university applications. I would go to the horses' mouths for this - get proper detailed advice from people reply in the know, and get what has happened documented now.

CountingClouds Sat 15-Jun-13 16:12:57

Was the tutor employed to actually teach the whole syllabus or was he just employed to teach him Latin. Who decided which exam board would be sat and when? Do you have a contract?

lljkk Sat 15-Jun-13 14:28:22

Doesn't sound as bad as this story.

happyoverhere Sat 15-Jun-13 14:21:06

I don't understand your faith either, in your shoes I would be bloody furious, asking for all my money back and threatening to take him to court. I can't understand why you are not livid!

christinarossetti Sat 15-Jun-13 14:01:31

I don't understand your faith in this tutor tbh. If he failed to teach your son adequately, why would you put your faith in him to contact the examining board.

I can't imagine they'd take any notice of any communications made anyway.

lainiekazan Sat 15-Jun-13 13:08:24

ds was aiming for an A*. This would scupper his chances of that grade.

It is a real blow as he felt he had done pretty well in the other papers and it is not his fault. If he'd found the paper difficult or hadn't done enough preparation, then fair enough, but to fall down because of this is difficult to stomach.

There were two pages of the second text, but the tutor had obviously only thought there was one page, so ds had a bit of a shock when he saw another whole raft of Latin for which he had not prepared. He tried to translate it himself but had none of the vocabulary so had make wild guesses and write any old thing.

Would it be worth the tutor contacting the examining board? I suppose they'd just say tough cheese. But I suppose they could see the standard of ds's other papers.

happygardening Sat 15-Jun-13 10:46:25

When you get the grade can you find out what mark he got on the unseen? This would at least give someone an idea of how good his Latin actually is?
My DS has to learn three if not four and the Virgil was very long although I suspect it depends on which examining board set the exam my DS did not sit his on Friday
"Did your ds not download any past papers, or has the syllabus changed?"
I think the syllabus changes in a regular basis if not yearly.

LIZS Sat 15-Jun-13 09:36:17

Has the tutor not asked how it went ? The buck stops with him and I'd have completely lost confidence in his professionalism if he can overlook so much of the syllabus. who made the exam entry ?

tiredaftertwo Sat 15-Jun-13 09:30:47

What terrible luck and I agree about the tutor. The set texts are published clearly on the website and he should have checked and double checked. Did your ds not download any past papers, or has the syllabus changed?

I would contact the school he wants to do A levels at, and the board. If the school will accept him on the basis of the language and half the lit (which they will be able to guess at because I agree if he has not studied it, he is likely to get very few marks for that section), then I would ask them about whether it is worth him retaking next summer. The language would be easy for him by then, I assume, if he has done AS, but it would mean learning two set texts alongside his AS ones. Or whether he can explain what has happened on his UCAS personal statement, or they can in his reference.

What are the rules on declaring exams sat privately - as I assume this one was? Does he have to put it on his UCAS form?

I would also contact a university classics department, explain what has happened and ask them how they would view him if he decides to apply after A2.

happygardening Sat 15-Jun-13 08:15:14

Like Boulevard I'm assuming he studied the wrong piece(s) of "set text". This is a terrible error on the tutors part and I can imagine will have a significant impact on the grade as this "seen" part of Latin exams requires considerable preparation and I believe is usually worth 50% of the overall mark. Have you spoken to the tutor? How did this arise? From what I understand the required pieces of set text for each years exams are clearly stated on exam bodies website (our certainly was) how on earth did this mistake arise?

IDK Fri 14-Jun-13 22:41:10

Was it OCR? Past paper showing the instruction to "answer either section A or section B" but which then continues "answer all the questions".

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