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Short course versus long course Latin - a calculated risk..what would you do?

(7 Posts)
mumalot Mon 11-Feb-13 20:17:25

Opinions from parents, pupils, teachers desperately needed.

DD2 has been doing Latin GCSE for 6 months in an out-of-school class. The teacher has not covered all the long course (4 papers) yet and time is clearly running out as she has said the kids need to cover one of the papers in their own time or should consider if they would prefer to enter for the short course exam (2 papers) instead.

I think the short course seems a pretty good idea but there seems to be a school of thought that short courses aren't taken seriously by anyone and in Latin it's long course or bust!

My thinking is a do-able C or possible B (on a good day) at short course is better than the risk of a D in long course but I'm a novice at all this stuff.

Clearly this is an 'extra' GCSE done by DD2 for 'pleasure' and is really there just to show DD is keen to expand her knowledge and has had the commitment to stick with it up to the exam.

Would unis in future really dismiss the GCSE short course grade as worthless given it's done in DD's own time?

Or is it worth taking a punt on the long course exam? DD is not a natural swot but would almost certainly get a C or above over the 2 papers...the thought of her covering and revising 4 papers worries me a bit and I could see her just missing a C.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:22:09

If it's an extra, I would go for the short course and make sure it's stated on any uni application that it was done in her own time. Later on in her life nobody will care whether it was a short or long course - it's a GCSE. Most people willl be impressed

Muminwestlondon Mon 11-Feb-13 20:39:25

I agree with mirry2. My DD did Latin GCSE last year as a normal two year course and it was one of the more difficult with a lot of memorisation.

Very impressed that your DD is spending her own time on it. I hope she does well.

VideoEtTaceo Wed 13-Feb-13 13:15:51

I'm a Latin teacher.

Short course Latin is amazing, and a fantastic achievement - especially, as you say, when studied on top of a full timetable of other subjects and in one's own time. Universities would be impressed by this. I think a good grade in the short course is better than an average/poor one in the full course.

Out of interest, do you know which paper the teacher would want them to prepare themselves? Some would be easier than others.

eatyourveg Wed 13-Feb-13 13:24:04

I'm with the other posters - short course, good grade, done as an extra - win win in my book

mumalot Wed 13-Feb-13 18:36:55

Thank you for your comments - you're all confirming my gut instincts which is always nice!

VideoEtTaceo: It would be the sources paper I believe. Also from my reading of the spec, short course requires the shorter translation paper which means she could aim for a 'perfect' translation rather than just 'okay'. She has an annoyingly good memory for learning great chunks of stuff off by heart so would make a good job of the prose paper which I believe is other one required for short course.

All in all my feeling is that short course = potential B/A grade, Long course = potential big fat 0!!

GraceSpeaker Sat 23-Mar-13 19:26:47

Oo, the sources paper is harder than it looks. Spec claims that it doesn't require factual knowledge, but if you look at the exam questions, it definitely does! Also requires pupils to look at a wide range of sources and be able to answer questions based on the possible reasons for bias or unreliability. Depends how much guidance the teacher gives them before they start. There's a sources booklet available on the OCR website as a starting point.

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