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GCSE Students, how did they do? But also need some advice

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by suzette, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    With the GCSE exams exactly a week over, I'm curious to know how did your students do? I tutor in English Lit/& English Lang and I had 5 out of 7 do well. They ranged from the higher pass rate from two students of 8 & 7 in English Lit/& English Lang & a standard rate of 4 in English Lit/Lang.

    I did have two who passed the English Lit, but not the Eng Lang, with one of them just missing out on a grade 4 and got a grade 3 and the other one got a grade 2.The grade 3 student is fairly ok with her grade & has found a couple of places that are able to take her as she only just missed out on a grade 4.

    The grade 2 student is absolutely distraught. His parents (& myself) are proud of him that he's done so well and we've told him so. He's going to tutor with me for a resit in November, but I was wondering how does one approach a resit with regards to trying to boost his confidence again?

    How do cover what he needs, rather than raking over 'old ground' so to speak? At the moment he's in that 'I don't care' attitude, but I'm aware September is coming and I'll have to get him in the zone to learn.

    Also, has anyone done resit tutoring with a student before and they still haven't passed the resit? I'm a bit worried that I will let him down if he doesn't pass the second time around.
     
  2. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I had three resit students this year 2 passed one with a 5. The other I haven't heard from which I assume means she didn't pass. Retakes are the hardest of all tutoring jobs. Our local college that until recently was ranked outstanding had a maths retake pass rate of less than 10%!!
     
  3. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I can't offer any specific advice as I tutor maths and science. You only have two months before the November resit, going from a 2 to a 4 is a big jump. Were you expecting him to do better than a grade 2? It would certainly be worth getting his scripts so you can see what went wrong.
     
  4. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    I tutor English at GCSE and, likewise, had something of a ‘mixed bag’ this year… Some of the results were great – even exceptional – some, well… at the other end of the scale. This has led me to question myself a little. Out of two ‘fails’, I had one 3 in English Lit, and one 2 in English Language. If resits were necessary for Lit I think the process would be much easier – the first stop being to check whether enough (any!) revision took place outside of tutor sessions.

    My particular 2 (in Lang) was for a student with specific learning difficulties. In my wildest and most cherished dreams I had imagined a 4 but, in reality, this wasn’t the expected outcome. We were so rigorous in our sessions, in terms of exam technique, approach to the questions etc., but the analytical ability just wasn’t there. Language techniques, for example, would be misconstrued to charming and delightful effect, yet I believe this lack of understanding ultimately took its toll. If I was asked to tutor this student for resits (which I don’t think I will be - I was last in a line of ‘unsuccessful’ tutors…), I might suggest the family find an alternative tutor, just in case they could introduce a new approach. I genuinely felt I had done as much as I possibly could.

    I think your situation might be a bit different though, if you’re working with a ‘mainstream’ pupil, in terms of ability. I’m assuming you’re already very aware of their particular areas of weakness? Does the student have any feedback themselves as to where they felt the exam went awry? What about exam technique? Were they able to finish the paper? Did they have enough time for checking (particularly for SPaG in the writing questions)? Was the result a surprise for you? If so, perhaps exam technique played a part?

    In terms of confidence, it might be worth emphasising how a lot of students are in his position; that’s the very reason that the exam board, every year, formally schedules resits. He is certainly not alone. Perhaps suggest that it’s all about taking the right ‘approach’ to the paper (with will avoid framing it as being about ‘ability’); the most recent approach didn’t work out for him, so it’s time to figure out a new approach (what that will be is, I suppose, the million dollar question!).

    If I was in your position, having discussed, with the learner, any areas of concern which feel obvious to him, my approach would be (however awful it feels to him...) to ask him to do a mock paper, which you could then analyse, and from which you could identify continuing areas of weakness (if you’re able to get hold of the exam scripts, as well, so much the better). Then, I would then just keep doing papers, and addressing issues as they came up, until those issues are flushed out as much as possible… If it was me, I would also keep the parents very close to the process, so that it’s framed as a collaborative effort; at least, then, the responsibility is shared somewhat. Might you also speak with the pupil’s teacher, just to get a bit of professional backup/ another perspective in terms of taking the process forward?
     
  5. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Haven't tutored for November resits but have done January ones (in the days when that was possible). I agree with getting a copy of the scripts back to see which areas need more work. It may also be a good idea to work on exam technique as well to make sure that he answers the correct number of questions and spends his time appropriately.
     
  6. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I have taught resit students in the past and will be again for this November (including one who I previously tutored).

    As for feeling you are or will let the student down, as long as you're preparing and delivering lessons that cater to the student's needs; are honest and open about progress, any issues and expectations, you have no reason to feel this way.

    As for moving forward,

    -Try to get access to the scripts if possible to identify areas for development.
    -encourage students to attempt past papers or individual exam questions in between sessions if possible. You may also offer to mark these at an extra charge.
    -praise students when they work well or complete a task successfully to build confidence, but don't pussyfoot around telling a lazy, apathetic student to pull their weight. I had to be quite strict with a student and their parents this summer to ensure that homework was completed. The result? A grade 5.

    Good luck.
     
  7. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your useful info. I won't be able to get a script or an idea of what he did on the paper until he gets back to school in 2wks time. He is (& has been throughout the time I've been tutoring him) a bit of a lazy student. In fact, I would have laid odds that he would have passed English Lang & not English Lang because he didn't have to learn quotes! I think he's probably a bit pi**%d off with himself because he knows that if he hadn't been so lazy, then he could have done better.

    We went through past papers and I was often needing to tell him to write more as on them (as well as do the homework) he would only do a few paras here and there & then couldn't think of anything else to write. I reckon he'll knuckle down now as he knows the reality of what could happen if he doesn't.

    But I will be planning to do all, or most of the things you guys have suggested. :)
     
  8. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    *Meant to say English Lit!*
     
  9. suzette

    suzette New commenter

     
  10. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    This student hasn't got SEN, he is just a bit lazy. So I think (or hope) he'll realise it's time to crack on to try and pass the second time around.
     
  11. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    Thanks everyone for your useful info. I won't be able to get a script or an idea of what he did on the paper until he gets back to school in 2wks time

    Then definitely do what someone else suggested and send him a full paper to complete in advance of your first session.
    How this paper is completed will also tell you exactly where he's at in terms of approach and attitude.

    His parents (& myself) are proud of him that he's done so well and we've told him so

    I don't get this message. You've said yourself that he's underachieved because of his laziness - why is this something to be proud of?

    don't pussyfoot around telling a lazy, apathetic student to pull their weight.

    This. I know I might sound a bit blunt saying this but it sounds like you're being too soft with him. I wrote a lengthy post on managing lazy students last year. I've linked it below for you as it sounds like it may be needed with this student!

    https://community.tes.com/threads/developing-work-ethic-responsibility-in-students.781899/
     
  12. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    I'm proud of him because he passed his GCSE English Lit exam, but not his English Lang, so that's definitely something to celebrate & be proud of!

    Throughout the whole of my time tutoring with him I have been quite blunt and told him to get his finger out, so to speak. At one stage I told his parents that I can't tutor him if this laziness continues in the past & they have had words with him. He has worked a bit more at the time, but I think it was too little to late.

    Generally, I know he is aware of his past laziness, so I don't think I need to rub his nose in it or go down the 'I told you so' route.

    Trust me, anyone that knows me, is aware that I don't mess when it comes to being soft with my students!!! But thanks for your opinions.
     
  13. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    I'm proud of him because he passed his GCSE English Lit exam, but not his English Lang, so that's definitely something to celebrate & be proud of!

    Ah that's fair enough. I misunderstood that - it sounded like you were saying you were proud of him for underachieving and being lazy! :D:D

    I don't think I need to rub his nose in it or go down the 'I told you so' route.

    You're right, you don't need to rub his nose in it. But you do need to see if he's actually fully motivated and the past paper before the first session is the perfect test of this.

    Ask him if he'd be happy to complete a past paper before the first session. Note the 'ask him if he'd be willing to do it' not the 'tell his parents he has to do it' - the choice element is massively important in getting him to take ownership of the task.

    How he responds and how he then subsequently completes the paper will tell you a lot about whether he's now fully motivated to work towards his re-sit.





     

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