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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:23 pm
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Ok we only have a few weeks and panic is setting in..... As per grammar school advice on not over tutoring overworking bla bla bla we were only doing approx an hour a week. Now I realise this has not been enough as when testing English (first test she did) only got 38 percent compared to 75 and 80 on other subjects agghhhhhh trying to get her to do more just to get up to speed but she has in her mind she should only do so much and it will be cruel and pointless doing more???!!! How much is everyone doing seriously and if you do badly in 1 subject but brilliantly in the others could you still pass or is there a minimum English pass? Any tips on trying to understand these ancient texts with ancient words noone uses? We are doing more reading but is it too late?!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Hi anxiousma, this question comes up every year, and we all worry about this at times, it's so hard to know what to do for the best. Some DCs get little if any tutoring and pass with flying colours (tho' I've not met any willing to divilge this info!)

In our case, (2 years ago) DD did weekly tutoring for a year from year 5 onwards, and did about an hours homework paper on top. She did no additional work for a long time and no work for a month over the summer holidays as DD was sick to death of it all and very disillusioned (almost gave up) and scores had dropped away to low 70%s. We revisited the school in October and DD refocussed and made a commitment to the process herself without intervention from us - this was the key I think as her scores went up. In the last few weeks before the exam DD did an extra paper a week and never did more than 3 papers per week including homework ever. I think she did a fair amount of work all in all, and passed with a score of 141 to give you some idea. (Must gets it from her dad - I'm a bit of dimwit). Interestingly DDs classmate who did much more work and started tutoring in year 2, is now having extra tuition in English and Maths to keep up, but she's managing.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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Quote:
if you do badly in 1 subject but brilliantly in the others could you still pass or is there a minimum English pass?



There is no pass mark per paper in Essex so yes you can do badly in one as long as you score highly in the others. One of mine scored under 50% in the English paper but still got a place at Colchester. The VR is worth double so a high mark in that can make up for one poor paper.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am
Posts: 438
First things that come to mind...

1. Did your DD have issues on one specific area of the English paper, or was it a combination of factors?

2. Did timing and exam technique cause problems?

3. You mention motivation, and hint at there being a potential issue - has it always been like this? Is it across the board or only English?

4. Which paper was it - was it a CSSE one? Some CSSE papers are harder than others and added to that, some genres appeal to some DC's more than others.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
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Hmm-it's tricky to know really how much to do. Also-10 minutes of solid intensive work with a happy motivated child is worth far more than doing an hour of whingy work with a distracted disinterested one! It's also hard to know how much everybody else is doing because NOBODY tells the truth! I've had a couple of people recently tell me that they are doing 7 pieces of work from their (same) tutor each week, but I bet you that after the exam these same people will be telling people they did hardly anything!

We are doing a bit of Maths and English each week-the odd past paper (I have all the CSSE papers from the last 100 years!) -but when we've been away for the week, we've just done little bits and piece of word level work. Then, we've done a couple of full VR papers, but are mostly doing bits or shorter papers. He has a mock at the start of next month and I may squeeze in the 2012 papers and a couple of GL VR ones before then. I'm also attempting to sneak the odd game of Scrabble in, but he glazes over if I suggest Free Rice!

Looking at last year's papers-I think the English was ok and the maths was pretty hard. Reading on the here in March-lots of people suggested that their DC scored really low on the VR and thought that was really hard. I wonder if they plan on having one 'easier' and two 'harder' papers each year? What do seasoned pros think?


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