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Any GCSE English teachers around?

(5 Posts)
TheDonald Sat 21-Jan-17 15:31:30

DD is in Y10 so the second year of the new GCSE English paper. Her target is 7 but she's currently only on track for a 4/5.

At the moment she does all the homework she's set but only just enough to not get in trouble, and no more. This is the same as all her other subjects but because she's bright she's getting away with it in every other area. It just wouldn't occur to her to do extra without being told she has to!

She will be sitting her first formal Language paper next week under proper exam conditions, but she has absolutely no idea how to revise for it, and despite being an English grad myself I don't know how to help her.

How do you revise for a Language paper? Are there practice papers available? If she does them, how does she know if she's doing it right or not? Any tips on how she could be improving her marks by doing a bit of extra work at home? I think she'd be willing but she doesn't really know where to start for either paper.

Bitofacow Sat 21-Jan-17 15:34:10

Google 'Mr Bruff' the English teachers I know say it is a good site.

Cinderford Sat 21-Jan-17 17:11:54

TheDonald, the new English and English Literature GCSEs are being taken for the first time this summer by the current Y11s. Until that cohort has gone through, nobody has any idea where the grade boundaries are. I have been provided with predicted grades for my Y11s based on MIDYiS tests, but as a department we are steadfastly refusing to guess their current grade as it would be pure guesswork. I'd therefore be interested to know how your DD's school can say she is currently working at level 4/5. It also seems crazy to me that she should be taking a full practice paper in January of Y10. These exams are significantly harder than the previous ones, and all it will do is demoralise the kids.

I teach AQA and there are very few (literally two or three for each component) specimen papers; they are in the 'secure key materials' area of the website and your DD's school will be keeping them to use for their own assessments. I think that the best thing you could do would be to buy her some of the CGP guides, as they are pretty good. 25% of the marks for the new English paper are on spelling, punctuation and grammar, so if your daughter tends to say 'me and my mates' or 'could of', start correcting her now to get her into good habits grin. Literature has gone back to being closed book, so I'd recommend you help her to learn key quotations nearer the time. HTH

Cinderford Sat 21-Jan-17 17:19:26

Oh, and I forgot to say that she must divide her time ruthlessly according to how many marks the questions are worth. With AQA it's very easy to spend too much time on the first questions, which aren't worth all that much, and to run out of time for the later, more valuable questions. They have to be done in order, though, as they build on each other. Help her to work out how much time to spend on each question, and tell her to write this somewhere on the exam paper to remind her.

TheDonald Sat 21-Jan-17 17:36:57

Thanks. Yes sorry I didn't fully explain what her teacher said. She said no one could predict grade boundaries but she knew an old-style C student when she saw one and that under the old system DD would be a solid C. With the new grades she couldn't say whether it would be a 4 or a 5.

Still the school sends home reports each term with a target, prediction and a current grade. I don't know what they base it on.

Her grammar and spelling are pretty good, although not perfect. She used to be a good reader but now spends hours reading fanfiction which I don't think is much help as it's written by other teenagers with terrible spelling!

She's watching Mr Bruff now.

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