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Can any English teachers help please?

(7 Posts)
PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Feb-17 20:38:15

Dd is in year 11. Got a 2 for her English mock.....as did most of her school. School are in a panic now and I've engaged a private tutor.

Tutor isn't very used to dds exam board but has gone on their website to see what they expect. Also tutor (who teaches English and marks for other exam boards) looked at dds mock paper and said she thinks it's more of a level 5 not a 2.

Anyway she's been teaching dd some techniques for answering questions. Dd used this technique in a test this week and got a really bad mark. Her teacher said if she answers questions in this style she won't get good marks.

So tutor has told her to use SQUID. Statement, quote, understanding of techniques, inference and development. Dd said part of the development bit can be giving a different interpretation and this is what the teacher didn't like. She said if Dd gave a different interpretation then the examiner won't know if she knows what shes talking about. So Dd had interpreted it earlier on in the answer, then towards the end she said something like or it could have been x. Sadly Dd can't remember the question.

She's never been taught SQUID in school. Instead she has been taught PEE. Point evidence explain. Think exam board is wjec??

northcoastmum Tue 21-Feb-17 20:45:20

If you're in England but think the board is WJEC it'll actually be Eduquas - which is the part of WJEC which awards GCSE and A Levels in England.

WJEC/Eduquas have quite a lot of material available online, it might take a bit of a search, but you should be able to find a fair bit.

There's obviously quite a jump from 2 to 5, I don't teach in England, but I can imagine that teachers are very unsure about grade boundaries, which may explain the discrepancy.

Finally, PEE is a simple/straightforward structure to use - SQUID is just a more developed version which is explicitly leading students to include the analysis and evaluation which will get them into the highest markbands.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Feb-17 20:57:36

If squid is better than pee (and it sounds more detailed) I don't understand why her subject teacher is saying she won't get good marks. Unless Dd is doing SQUID wrong. Will ask the tutor when she's back next week but mean while Dd has to repeat her mock on Thursday.

TheThickenPlots Tue 21-Feb-17 21:13:01

I'm a maths teacher not English so not much use on the details, but I will say we have not one clue about grade boundaries at the moment and are completely winging it. Being out by 3 grades wouldn't surprise me.

financialiasco Tue 21-Feb-17 21:15:54

We have moved to SQUID from PEE because it encourages students to give a more detailed answer. However, I don't know about WJEC, but for AQA not all the reading questions require the full SQUID - some are just SQI for example - so that may be the case here.

Also, I find a lot of students struggle making meaningful alternative interpretations - it's not essential to make them and sometimes it's best left. For instance, I once gave a class a text to analyse about a person whose maturity was being criticised. One student went off on an awful tangent about how maturity had connotations of cheese (because cheese can be mature) and therefore an inference could be that the person was being described as 'cheesy'. He wasn't. So maybe it was something (a bit) like that.

To be honest, there is so little information out there about grade boundaries this year though - we're all in the dark, including the exam boards who are just waiting to see what students actually manage to produce.

LooseAtTheSeams Tue 21-Feb-17 21:47:02

Inference is really hard to teach for exactly the reason given in the mature/cheese example! The best advice I can give here is that where you infer it shouldn't stray too far from the overall tone of the extract. There's a question on AQA for example where they have a quote allegedly from a student responding to the extract - the advice from the exam board is to get a pass you agree and say why. To get higher marks you mostly agree but critically, so you would find one or two areas of disagreement.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Feb-17 22:56:17

That makes sense. Will show your answers to Dd tomorrow. Thanks a lot. This lack of grade boundary knowledge is very unsettling.

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