Tag Archives: A level

Skype online tuition

Sadly, due to the coronavirus situation I have had to pause face to face tuition.

Don’t forget that I can offer online tuition if you would like to keep your studies going while schools remain closed. I am available during the day as well as some evening times and am happy to offer weekly or fortnightly lessons – just contact me for more details.

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Congratulations!

 

 

 

congrats

 

Congratulations to all my GCSE and A level students on their results this year.

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Good luck!

To all my pupils taking exams this month and June.exams

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How to react (or not) to your offspring’s A level results

This is very funny article which beneath the jokes does have some good advice in it.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23435441

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Good luck!

to all those getting their results today. Hope you all get the grades you need.

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Summer Holidays recycled!

No apologies for re posting this one plus its link to an even earlier Holiday post – they’re both still very relevant.

Well, the exams are just about over now and it’s time to put the books away and set off on holiday. I’m sure you all deserve a really good break!

But – and there’s always a but – the summer holidays are a long break, particularly if you’ve just done GCSEs or A levels, and you don’t want to start either your AS courses or University on the back foot. Try to put aside some time during the long summer break to get some of your reading list completed, for example. You’ll be really pleased you did, once your courses start. As I’ve commented before, there’s quite a jump up in level from GCSE to As and even more so when you start a degree course. Some universities even run remedial/catch up courses in the first few months as pupils struggle with the level of work.

Another factor is that at University and to some extent  AS/A level a student is expected to be self-motivating and to study alone. This takes some practice and the holidays is a good time to start.

For pupils lower down the school there are plenty of suggestions in my blog of last year, Holiday Work  https://suesmithprivatetuition.com/2011/07/18/holiday-work/ ‎, of ways to learn/study painlessly (well, almost!) during the holidays.

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School closed?

Worried about your son or daughter missing lessons in their crucial GCSE/A level year? The snow need not be a problem.

Why not book a couple of Skype lessons with me? There is no obligation to sign up for a specific set of lessons or make a long-term commitment.  Some pupils just require a couple of lessons to fill in material that they have missed at school due to weather closures or illness. Lessons can be tailor-made to suit your needs. Similarly, revision lessons can be arranged to focus on specific problem areas. I have experience with AQA and Edexcel  GCSE English Language and English Literature. Skype lessons cost £25 per hour session and £13 for a half hour.

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Summer Holidays

 

Well, the exams are just about over now and it’s time to put the books away and set off on holiday. I’m sure you all deserve a really good break!

But – and there’s always a but – the summer holidays are a long break, particularly if you’ve just done GCSEs or A levels, and you don’t want to start either your AS courses or University on the back foot. Try to put aside some time during the long summer break to get some of your reading list completed, for example. You’ll be really pleased you did, once your courses start. As I’ve commented before, there’s quite a jump up in level from GCSE to As and even more so when you start a degree course. Some universities even run remedial/catch up courses in the first few months as pupils struggle with the level of work.

Another factor is that at University and to some extent  AS/A level a student is expected to be self-motivating and to study alone. This takes some practice and the holidays is a good time to start.

For pupils lower down the school there are plenty of suggestions in my blog of last year, Holiday Work  https://suesmithprivatetuition.com/2011/07/18/holiday-work/ ‎, of ways to learn/study painlessly (well, almost!) during the holidays.

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Dystopia

Many students embark on A level English without being aware of how different the possible courses really are.  You can study for an A level in either English Language or English Literature or even a mixed course of English Language and Literature. This year I have one student doing straight English Literature and another doing the mixed course. Fortunately for me there has been a slight overlap in the content: both students have had to produce some creative writing in the form of an opening to a dystopian novel. They then have to write a commentary on their own creative writing. One student looked at Brave New World as their stimulus and the other The Handmaid’s Tale. 

Writing a commentary on your own creative writing is quite a challenge. The trick, I think, is to be very aware while you are writing the original piece, of the stylistic devices you are using. In other words, loading your work with interesting metaphors, alliteration, power of three etc will provide you with good material to comment on in the companion piece. Students seem to find this coursework a very enjoyable part of the course.

I have to admit to favouring the pure Literature course and this year I have been lucky with a great selection of texts: some old favourites like Hamlet, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Frankenstein and First World War poetry, and some texts that have been new for me to teach like Dannie Abse poems and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. 

A level English is always hard work to tutor with heaps of reading and preparation but it is very rewarding too! There’s nothing quite like helping a student discover the delights of one of your own favourite texts.

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A is for advanced

But just how advanced should the material be??

I was quite surprised to discover that Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ is on the A level syllabus. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think this is an excellent book, well worthy of study but it does contain some very adult sexual themes that I hesitate to name, for fear of attracting the wrong sort of traffic to this blog! I recognise that most 16/17 year olds of today are probably a lot more worldly-wise than I was at that age but nevertheless I would question whether all sixth-formers are comfortable with such material.

Interestingly a couple of years ago, a poem was removed from the AQA Anthology as it was deemed too violent. Was that right or should the pupils have been given the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by the poem?

I’d be interested in other views on this question. I imagine that not many parents are actually aware of the content of the books their teenagers are studying.

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