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English Language GCSE - likely grade at end of year 10

(10 Posts)
longingforsomesleep Sat 20-Jul-13 23:06:59

That's very interesting Raven - working at school 'because it will help him be successful' pretty much sums him up in most subjects. He seems to me to derive little real pleasure from the subjects themselves, but does derive pleasure from being good at them. He's competitive and plays the system - he's quick to grasp what teachers/examiners are looking for and deliver it.

He does this in English as well but the few times I've seen him bubbling with pleasure when talking to me about something schoolwork related have been in English. And he will allude to texts he's studied or come out with quotes in the course of ordinary conversation. In fact he seemed to really enjoy all his GCSE texts. Battled a bit with Macbeth but I took him to see a really good performance and it prompted lots of discussion between us. When he was at junior school he used to write poetry - voluntarily! I just don't get the complete refusal to read at home.

Bizarrely, he has two brothers, both of whom read a lot (the eldest always has a book on the go) but neither of them are as good at English!

He's a bad sleeper and I keep telling him a paperback by the bed would be just the thing! I'm thinking of getting a few classics on cd for him to listen to at bedtime to see if that might hook him in.

ravenAK Sat 20-Jul-13 21:14:27

I am an English teacher, but only up to y11, so you probably really need someone more familiar with the A Level syllabus, longing.

There is a mindset that is brilliantly clever at deconstructing/analysing texts & gets satisfaction from doing so, whilst not actually enjoying reading 'just' for pleasure at all - one of my y10 boys is like this. I once discussed it with him & he said it was similar to the buzz he got from solving quadratic equations or translating Latin prose - it was just about code-busting, & scoring a victory over the task set.

So yes, I do think it's quite possible to be very able & successful at Eng Lit without having any desire to read more widely for pleasure, but my understanding of the A Level course is that there is a much higher expectation of independent reading, including texts which aren't directly examined. He might not be reading for the sheer fun of it, but he'll need to be prepared to read widely.

It might be worth emailing his teacher for the course next year for a pre-reading list, if he's the 'I am reading this because it will help me be successful at A Level' type, rather than the natural voracious reader for fun type?

Eastpoint Sat 20-Jul-13 15:30:37

My DD has just finished year 10 & doesn't read as much as I did at the same age but she does more homework & more extra curricular activities. I think there is just more going on nowadays & reading for pleasure gets dropped. She doesn't watch as much tv as I did either.

longingforsomesleep Fri 19-Jul-13 09:12:08

Oh yes, I suppose you do! In my day (o levels) Eng Lit was where you studied texts and Eng Lang was just reading comprehension, grammar questions etc

Fortunately the DS in question does read a lot outside of school.

Are you an English teacher by any chance Raven? If so, perhaps you can advise me on another dilemma! My 16 year old is planning on doing Eng Lit A level next year. He's bright, applies himself and is predicted all A/A*s in his GCSE result (apart from a B for French). I know this is no indicator of how he will do at A level. In his mock English exams at Christmas he got A* in both Eng Lang and Lit and, I think, highest marks in his class.

But ... (isn't there always a but) he doesn't read outside of school AT ALL! He has talked to me with great interest and enthusiasm about the texts he has studied at school over the last couple of years and clearly understands them and enjoys them. But I'm worried about him not reading for pleasure. It's almost become a bit of a stalemate between us as I keep saying he should read a little bit over the summer and if he doesn't, he might want to rethink his A level choices.

I feel slightly hypocritical in that I didn't read much at his age but went on to do a degree in English. But I did read a bit! Do you have any thoughts on whether it's possible these days to do A level Eng Lit without reading more widely?!

ravenAK Fri 19-Jul-13 00:31:50

You do need to read a book or two for Eng Lang!

But agree with you that it isn't ideal. It's a product of '5A*-C' as a measure of success for schools, plus much recent buggerance with the rules for GCSE.

We're planning to do similar (at least for middle sets). It will maximise their chances of a good pass in Eng Lang, but at the expense of Lit.

longingforsomesleep Fri 19-Jul-13 00:18:37

Bookluva - it's a great shame and I'm quite cross about it. It's a boys' grammar school and last year they had about 3 who didn't get the required C in Eng Lang to go into the sixth form. They decided therefore that the boys would only study English Language in year 10 then do the exam at the end of the year. This would give them the chance to resit in year 11 if needed. They will then just study Eng Lit in year 11.

I think it's bonkers. Some boys won't read a book for a whole year if they're not studying Eng Lit in year 10. Others will end up with an Eng Lang grade lower than if they'd taken it at the end of year 11, but probably not low enough to merit a resit.

bookluva Thu 18-Jul-13 15:47:58

It's a shame the school insists on students doing the GCSE at the end of Year 10. The students mature so much between Year 10 and 11 that your DS would be more likely to reach his potential grade at the end of Year 11.

mummaemma Wed 17-Jul-13 21:38:24

according to info from our school. level 7 is roughly grade C so i would expect him to get B/A by end of next year

Ilovegeorgeclooney Wed 17-Jul-13 18:27:06

A/A* would be the norm, possibly a B but I would expect this to mean a retake.

longingforsomesleep Wed 17-Jul-13 00:59:18

DS has to take his English Language GCSE at the end of year 10 (the whole year does). He's just finishing year 9 at level 7L. What grade can I expect him to get in his GCSE?

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