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Can you raise 2 GCSE English grades in 5 moths

(34 Posts)
Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 18:33:52

DS14 very bright but more maths/science orientation - has been entered early with all the top set for English language gcse - to 'get it out of the way' by school (no choice as a parent@) he got an e/d in the mock - realistically needs a bit for the unis he's looking at. He mainly has spelling and grammar plus general crap writing skills problems. Can we with some intense tutoring - thinking an hour a night - raise his grades this much in 5 months ? And what methods would you use ? He is totally up for the work as wants to do a particular course at uni

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 18:34:24

And yes I'm dyslexic smile hence my spelling isdues

DriftingDreamer Sun 01-Jan-17 18:42:45

If he does not get grade he needs taking it early, can he retake the next year at the normal time?
I have a year 7 so unsure of other question re increasing grade...

PurpleDaisies Sun 01-Jan-17 18:52:13

I'm a private tutor and I don't think an hour a night is worth the money. You're better off going for twice a week with time in between for him to practice exam questions or work on stuff set by the tutor. It's impossible to say whether a two grade improvement is possible or not-it depends why (or even if) your son is underachieving. My subjects are maths and sciences and I've had pupils go from e's to b's, d's to a*'s and some just stick where they are despite a lot of work because that's the absolute best they can do. We're the school surprised by his mock grade? Was it one bad exam or has he generally been getting those sort of grades?

If you're looking for a tutor I'd ask the school if they can recommend anyone, or other parents you know. Don't waste money on a level students. You need someone who knows the syllabus and crucially how the exams are marked so either a qualified teacher or well recommended experienced tutor.

In your situation I would push for him not to sit the exam until he's likely to get the best possible grade he can. That's not likely to be this time round.

TeenAndTween Sun 01-Jan-17 18:52:28

I think that's ridiculous of the school (and it won't do their progress 8 measure much good either if in England).

Can't you ask for him to be moved down a set for English and therefore not have to take it early? If he only got D/E in mock (is this iGCSE, as English is now 9-1?) then he doesn't sound top set and/or ready to take it early.

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 18:54:16

If he gets a c then they will not let him resit it sad he is very bright but at the bottom of the top set for English if that makes sense - his vocabulary and general insight make up for his spelling and grammar in anew over all way BUT the new exam is 25 % marked on spelling and grammar

MiladyThesaurus Sun 01-Jan-17 18:55:42

DS1 went from a predicted D in computer science to an A, but would find improving in English much harder.

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 18:57:12

Sorry yes it's the new grades as well which I don't get he was told it was a low D on the old system

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 18:58:35

He's not ready to take it early - think he would get a good 'b' next year as we are working on his grammar but school are very erh dictatorial to be honest

flutterworc Sun 01-Jan-17 18:58:36

Our entire Y10 are sitting early. Yes, it's likely that they will go up a couple of grades between the mock and the real thing, but as early entry he can indeed sit again as others have told you.

Again, as others have mentioned, it wouldn't help their progress 8 if they didn't think he could do it. Either they more confident than you are, or they may choose to withdraw him nearer the time.

Good luck to him (and you!).

SaltyMyDear Sun 01-Jan-17 18:58:59

Is he also dyslexic?

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 19:03:35

Purple - I think they were quite surprised but all the changes to exams seam to have wrong footed them in quire a few ways. He got 100% on the oracy part of the exam which they have already taken - but he has some Disspraxuaa issues going on with writing - and he is now allowed to use a laptop but his typing is slow

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 19:05:13

Salty - not diagnosed as dyslexic but definatit tendencies - didn't learn to read tI'll 9 despite very high IQ when tested by the edge psych

J62 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:09:11

Hi! I think you need to talk to the school about whether he really should be entered early. Is his first English exam result the grade that has to be used for the Uni application? If so then it may cause him unnecessary problems and I think I would consider it a risk not worth taking.

If they insist on early entry can they provide him with any additional teaching to boost his grades, for example intervention support or after school enrichment which will guarantee exam success? I think tutoring will help but you need to also think about the impact on his other subjects if he is having to intensely prepare for English. The school need to give you a realistic assessment of how much can be achieved in next few months bearing in mind that writing can take time to develop.

Hope it works out for your son.

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 19:14:28

J62 - I'm not sure about which result he would have to use as I could realistically enter him independently next year

Oscha Sun 01-Jan-17 19:15:16

I'm an English tutor. I've tutored lots of students who've gone up two or three grades between now and the summer, but it is very individual of course. I agree with pp that an hour a night would be a waste (and probably make him hate English). I usually see GCSE students online for an hour a week, and set about an hour's work for them to do in their own time.

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 19:21:32

Thanks for all your help - it's actually a computer based tutor site called ixl that we areceive using for the English plus one written piece a week from a letter guide -

SaltyMyDear Sun 01-Jan-17 19:28:11

If he didn't learn to read till 9, he's dyslexic.

Does he think extra time or a laptop would help him? If so you should spend you money on a proper assessment and get them to see if he qualifies.

(You don't qualify for extra time just because you're dyslexic, but the dyslexia assessor can see if he qualifies. Same with a laptop)

Mellowautumn Sun 01-Jan-17 19:33:19

Salty he does qualify for extra time via dysplasia - his reading is now adult level so a dyslexia test not applicable now and school wouldnt do them in primary as Iq tests to 140/145 and he's always 'managed'

TeenAndTween Sun 01-Jan-17 21:41:43

flutter What on earth is the logic behind your whole y10 sitting a brand new English exam early?

Witchend Sun 01-Jan-17 22:00:53

Dm tutors maths and she has brought people up that far in 5 months.

But in your case I think I'd request he moves down a set and does it at the proper time. Ridiculous!

Redsrule Sun 01-Jan-17 22:44:22

Is he at an Indie school? Sounds bonkers and it is clearly a school which is not bothered by P8.

Mellowautumn Mon 02-Jan-17 01:20:13

It's a small state senior school with relatively new head - It was only sprang on us in November so it's not even as if they have been preparing with extra stuff last year. I'm not happy but the school is generally not good at 'discussion' - DS is an August birthday as well -

SaltyMyDear Mon 02-Jan-17 06:54:43

The rationale behind it is easy.

Everyone sits language in Y10. Those who pass sit Lit in Y11. Those who fail resist in Y11 and don't do lit at all. Because Lang is the most important one.

They do it this way because a some children give up in Y11. Stop attending school or discover weed or alchahol or whatever. So those children do better sitting in Y10 than Y11.

It was a good strategy when you were being measured on your number of C grades and above and you didn't care what grade above C students got. Now with progress 8 every grade matters so it's a bad strategy.

SaltyMyDear Mon 02-Jan-17 06:58:58

I wonder if he might be better to fail it this year. Then he can resist next year and get a better grade AND he can miss out on the Lit paper which might also give him lots of trouble.

He's getting these very low grades with a laptop and extra time. Which is significant.

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