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Discussion in 'English' started by saluki, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Looking for advice. Completely fed up.
    I am tutoring a middle/low ability student. His parents would like him to get a grade 7 for Lang and Lit. :D. I am mirroring what he is doing in class.
    Started last Summer, year 9, descriptive writing. Did writing about people and places but before I had finished - hey ho! he'd had end of year assessment and didn't want to do that any more.
    During August we did some reading and comprehension, language devices etc. Using the AQA anthology. Parents didn't want to Buy An Inspector Calls in case he didn't study it. Although school said he would.
    September - half Term (not quite) We studied Macbeth and I gave him a few pointers for writing essays. October, without finishing the text he had an assessment (passed, grade 4/5, school said he was at expected standard). hey ho! We've finished Macbeth.
    On to Christmas Carol. By the time we've read Stave 2 he's on to an assessment week. (Passed, meeting expectations) hey ho!. We've finished A Christmas Carol.
    2 weeks of Unseen Poetry. Followed by 2 weeks of Poetry Anthology. Hey ho! We've finished poetry.
    On to An Inspector Calls. We manage to complete the text and he passes his assessment.
    On to Language Paper 1. I manage one lesson on Q4 followed by one lesson on Q5. he's forgotten everything about descriptive writing. His assessment is the one with the face - you know the one. Messes it up but scrapes a Grade 4. hey ho! we've finished Paper 1.
    A Couple of weeks on Poetry. Hey ho! we've finished poetry.
    We're on to Spoken Language study. He has chosen an inappropriate topic which has been approved by teacher. I help to prepare it because he knows nothing about his topic or how to present an argument. He gets a Distinction, which is amazing to say the least.:eek: Not filmed.
    Hey ho! We're back to poetry. I have insisted on completing the Anthology, covering all themes and pulling the poems together into groups. Not well received.
    So far he has completed GCSE Lit and Paper 1 Lang in one year without completing any of the texts. Is this usual?? What happens in Year 11??
    We also had a bit of a thing when his teacher said Macbeth was written during Elizabethan times and I started bringing up James I and associated themes. He didn't believe me. He didn't believe the notes in his text book either. his teacher repeatedly told him it was an Elizabethan play.
    End of year report (Outstanding Academy) says he is meeting expectations. On track for a Grade 6. Yeah right:rolleyes:. Parents say I should be getting him up to Grade7. Oh, and they didn't bother talking to English teacher on parents' night.
    Homework is usually not completed/forgotten/ misplaced. Parents think I should supply him with loads of exemplars. I have provided some but I'm not going OTT.
    Should I spend the next 9 months just throwing exam questions and exercise at him?
    Phew. I feel better having got that off my chest.
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Whatever they're paying you, it's not enough.
    Do you know any exam markers? Might be salutary to get his 'wonderful' responses marked by an expert :)
  3. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I am an exam marker :D. I have explained that only a small percentage of students get Grade 7. He is in the middle band at school but I feel that he is at the bottom of the middle band.
    I think my next call will be to instruct his parents to get him to join the local library and read some books during the Summer. (that's not going to happen).
    However, I think you're right. It's simply not worth the time and effort for the money involved. Parents have been on the tutor site for a few years so I am probably one of a long succession of tutors.
    gruoch likes this.
  4. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Hmmm. That’s how some parents play the game. They get a tutor, thinking that the tutor can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. When the first tutor gives any indication that the sow’s ear needs to work harder/read more/spend more time on homework etc. the parents leave that tutor and try another one. And the same thing happens again ... and again. As far as the parents are concerned, the tutor is the problem, not their little sow’s ear.
    Make sure you have an answer ready for any criticism if his below-parental-expectation-grades continue, and maybe set him some tasks which will very clearly show his level and make the situation clear to his parents. This may result in them finding a new tutor, but it sounds as if you might be quite relieved about that!
  5. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Do any other schools cover all of the texts in one year?? Most of the ones that I work with still have at least one text to cover in year 11. I have looked at the exam board's suggested SOW and nothing compares to what his school is doing. Just doing a poem here and there instead of the whole anthology makes no sense at all to me.
    I have more or less decided to let him go. Just waiting for a suitable opportunity.
  6. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Some schools do early entry lit in Yr 10.

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