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We've just been advised that DD (11) has been put on the G&T register and has been offered to do Latin GCSE (!?) in 2 years time - would appreciate a chinwag about this with someone who's in the know

(38 Posts)
MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 09:12:50

I don't really know anything about the G&T register. We've always known that DD was bright and we're very proud of her but I'm concerned that doing an early GCSE in an extra subject might put her under too much pressure (she can be a bit of a stress-head).

What does G&T mean to you? Do you think it has helped G&T children to have it recognised? Are they all taught at higher levels or just in certain subjects? I feel that Latin is an odd subject to offer as an extra GCSE, will it be of any use (I can only think of gardening/florist or medical use of latin words) or is it more to flex their brains by learning something completely new? DD wants to do it, I'm just a little unsure.

Would appreciate your thoughts and comments on this, thanks.

Curiousmama Tue 15-Sep-09 09:17:35

I think latin comes in handy for law?

DS1 is G&T but he doesn't make much fuss as a few of his friends are. One of his teachers at his primary could be awful to them. He told me if a G&T child made a mistake she'd say 'I have down here you're G&T yet you make mistakes like that?' and suchlike along those lines, in front of everyone. He only told me this recently now he's just gone to Comp otherwise I'd have said something. I hate singling children out.

Hope you get some answers from parents who's children have done the latin.

MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 09:20:10

oh yes, law

that's awful about your DS's teacher sad it's the kind of thing that I feel a bit nervous about tbh

SofiaAmes Tue 15-Sep-09 09:25:07

Latin is quite useful for vocabulary and learning romance languages.
But if it will stress your dd so much that she is unhappy, what's the point.

abra1d Tue 15-Sep-09 09:28:33

My son started learning Latin at 11. It has helped him with his English--it is so logical.

I think it really helps make a highly literate and rounded individual.

MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 09:36:34

See I can hardly get my head round the fact that she's gone to secondary school (feels like I left not so long ago myself!!) let alone thinking about her doing GCSE exams

Would the school benefit from her doing and passing an early GCSE? <cynical>

She does want to do it, but I'm not sure if that's just because she's flattered and would like the recognition IYSWIM. She's only been there just over a week and so not into the full swing of all the homework - I'm not sure how much extra work would be involved.

I wonder if it will be worth having a chat to the year head or form teacher about it.

marialuisa Tue 15-Sep-09 09:38:34

I doubt doing Latin GCSE a couple of years early will stress your DD. Latin is quite easy to learn (I went from no Latin to A* at GCSE in 2 years) at that level and will help her with other languages and English. if she wants to do it, let her. She can always withdraw if she finds it too much.

MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 09:41:38

Yes good point, she can always change her mind if it does get too much

I'm not familiar with Latin at all - is it easier to learn than eg French or German?

ShrinkingViolet Tue 15-Sep-09 09:42:11

DD1 did Latin GCSE in Y11 (she's also G&T, but her school offered Latin as an afterschool "club" in Y9 to top set languages students, and she then chose it as a GCSE option).

There's quite a bit of work involved - four exams, chunks of Latin prose and poetry to memorise - plus learning grammar pretty much form scratch (depending on how much English grammar she already knows). DD1 loved it at the beginning, and at the end, but found the middle six months or so hard work till it all "clicked".

Latin is quite often recommended as an extra for G&T as it's quite mentally stretching. Check how much school suppport she'd be gettign, and how mcuh she'd be expected to do on her own.

happywomble Tue 15-Sep-09 09:53:35

I did latin at school. It is quite a difficult subject but one worth doing for the mental challenge if nothing else. I would certainly encourage my children to learn Latin if they ever have the option.

SpawnChorus Tue 15-Sep-09 09:59:20

I did Latin through to A-Level, and have found it incredibly useful with, for example, acquiring new modern languages, improving English spelling and grammar and expanding English vocab. It's great for developing mental agility and logical skills. It also provides the opportunity to study beautiful Latin literature!

I would love for my kids to have the chance to study Latin. I'd seize it with both hands if I were your DD

OrmIrian Tue 15-Sep-09 10:06:39

I know nuffin about G&T but I did latin O-level and it was fascinating. And it gave me a massive boost with my English vocabulary and the understanding of other languages. It's the skeleton beneath so many languages. It helps in so many ways.

And the other question has to be 'Why not?'

MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 11:14:25

Thanks all - some good points to ponder smile

Lizzylou Tue 15-Sep-09 11:17:07

I did Latin at school, not to GCSE level though.
I found it always helped me whilst playing Balderdash grin, as it is the basis of most languages, you can guess a lot of word's meanings.

RTKangaMummy Tue 15-Sep-09 11:20:42

My Ds is now 14 and is doing LATIN GCSE and he loves it he also did GREEK last year which he also loved

Loads of our english words come from Latin or Greek

smile

StayFrosty Tue 15-Sep-09 11:22:01

Another person here with no knowledge of the current G & T system, but I did Latin GCSE, and to echo what others have said, it has always come in handy for learning other languages, making my written English better, and just expanding my knowledge of classical literature etc which is dead handy. For example all the stuff on the pre 1914 English Literature GCSE syllabus was written at a time when educated people were familiar with Latin and classical literature, so having that knowledge as a reader helps give a broader understanding of those texts. imo. And of course when you're reading for enjoyment too.

Ponders Tue 15-Sep-09 11:24:28

Latin is a good mental exercise, like music - does she do any music?

My son did Latin in Y8 & Y9, enjoyed it & did well, but his school doesn't do any early GCSEs so he had to drop it in Y10 for one of his other choices, otherwise he might well have continued with it (& he does do lots of music too)

thirtysomething Tue 15-Sep-09 11:25:18

Latin is brill as a general mind-training subject and makes learning Italian, Spanish etc a lot easier. It teaches grammar in a way that the kids don't usually get exposed to nowadays and helps with general literary skills etc. However it's not easy learning and reading the literature you have to get through for GCSE...I have heard that in some cases when children take the exams two years early they may get say a B or a C because they're just not up to the discipline/concentration even though they're bright enough...whereas if they take it at the normal age they get an A* etc - they'd be stuck with the B or C amongst their GCSE results for ever and people don't tend to notice that they took them early etc....just a thought...

undercoverelephant Tue 15-Sep-09 12:25:08

If she wants to do it then great. Latin is useful and interesting for all the reasons mentioned above.
Interesting thirtysomething, what you said about grades. I suppose it could be a bit demoralising to get anything less than an A if you felt you were doing the exam early because of high expectations about your ability/achievement.
But then GCSEs are just a passport to the next level of academic study.
In other words, the grade is important if she wants to pursue Latin/Classics beyond GCSE. Otherwise it's just another GCSE pass - nice if it's a good grade, but the indicators are that she'll get several other good grades when she does the rest of her GCSEs.
If she did the exam early and got a lower grade, could she resit if she wanted?

ZZZenAgain Tue 15-Sep-09 12:35:23

If possible, I would arrange to speak to the Latin teacher about it and base my decision on that talk.

Generally I think you could try it. If she is overwhelmed, she need not see it through (however I might not at this stage actually say that to dd).

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 15-Sep-09 13:07:53

When I was at school we did Latin for a couple of years - I regret to say I didn't concentrate and didn't get much out of it. Even though I am a lawyer now and have a vague understanding of latin phrases.

My SIL who is very high powered and in the city did concentrate and did classics (ancient greek and latin) at Oxford. It has done her no harm at all!

bruffin Tue 15-Sep-09 13:19:25

At DS's school they fast track either german or french for some ,they then do the GCSE in YR9 and they have mostly come out with A*s

MadreInglese Tue 15-Sep-09 14:08:42

Music - yes she plays violin

I don't know about resits

susie100 Tue 15-Sep-09 14:14:24

I absolutely loved Latin at school. It teaches you to think logically, helps with other languages and is generally very enjoyable. Lovely to be able understand latin terms as well, very good for all round cultural awareness especially if you are Italian by background which your nickname suggests?

pagwatch Tue 15-Sep-09 14:17:02

DS1 just got his latin GCSE and is doing it at A level.
He loves it and it sits with the others he is doing. It is just a good academic subject - he enjoys it in the same way he enjoys maths, logic and puzzle like.
And I enjoy those occasions when he asks me to help him with his homework as I can lie on the floor and laugh.

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