Tag Archives: English Literature GCSE

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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New term looms!

First lessons after the summer break tomorrow. Time to crank the brain back into gear.

Thank goodness some schools seem to be changing their set books; there’s only so much ‘Of Mice and Men’ I can take. Looking forward to doing ‘War of the Worlds’ and Ishiguro’s ‘Never let me go’.

Getting lots of enquiries and having to turn most of them away. Only daytime or very early after school slots now available.

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Steinbeck and Mocking Bird to be dropped from OCR syllabus

Apparently Michael Gove has a particular dislike for Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ and also wants other US classics like Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’, and Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ to no longer be studied for GCSE.

The following link gives more details.


An unusual way to construct a syllabus?

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The Laboratory by Robert Browning

I have to admit that despite owning a beautiful ancient copy of Browning’s poems I am not that familiar with many. The Victorian age seemed to fall between poetic periods that I have studied in detail and it’s only really Tennyson and Rossetti that I know well. The poems of Browning seem to be a popular choice for GCSE anthologies; The Last Duchess has figured in several, as has The Laboratory.

Presumably this is because both poems are excellent examples of the dramatic monologue and both convey a strong sense of the  persona of the narrator.

Most pupils seem to enjoy The Laboratory which provides a wealth of poetic devices to describe, abounding as it does in metaphor, alliteration and onomatopoeia. One of the main ways in which the persona of the narrator – unbalanced, amoral and verging on the pyschopathic – is conveyed is by Browning’s skilful use of rhyme and rhythm. The use of rhyming couplets within quatrains and a strong jaunty anapaestic metre helps to reinforce the narrator’s unhealthy anticipation of her rival’s planned demise. The whole atmosphere is one of unsettling Gothic melodrama.

Plenty for pupils to get their teeth into!

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Contact me for revision sessions

If you need specific help with Edexcel or AQA poetry, Shakespeare or other literature texts please contact me and we can set up a Skype revision session via Helping Learning at a time that suits you. You can book either a 30 minute or an hour session whichever you feel works best for you. The revision will be tailored completely to your needs.

Please call me on 07855301904 or 01189737686 to discuss further and fix a date/time.

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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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**January revision sessions: Edexcel poetry**

Exams looming in January?

More revision tutorials for Edexcel Poetry Anthology are now set up  via helpinglearning.co.uk for the beginning of January.

The tutorials will last 30 minutes, cost £13 each session and cover 2 poems (except for the session on Last Duchess) from the Relationships Cluster. You just need to have Skype and be registered with Helping Learning (which is free).

The dates/times are as follows:

Wednesday January 2nd  1000 – 1030 Valentine and Rubbish at Adultery

Wednesday January 2nd 1400-1430 Sonnet 116 and Our Love Now

Thursday January 3rd 1000-1030 Even Tho and Kissing

Thursday January 3rd 1400-1430 One Flesh and Song for Last Year’s Wife

Friday January 4th 1400-1430 My Last Duchess

Friday January 4th 1500-1530 Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day and The Habit of Light

Don’t miss out – register with Helping Learning for free and book now!

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Sonnet 116

Struggling with this sonnet? Need some help?  It’s not too late to book my online tutorial on this sonnet plus ‘Our Love Now’.

Friday December 5th at 1700 – it will last 30 minutes and cost just £13.

You just need to have Skype and to register free with helpinglearning.co.uk, then follow the instructions for booking the session. Full details of this and other revision tutorials can be found on the Helping Learning site.

Don’t leave all your revision until the last minute!!

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