Saturday School Diaries
I’ve been going to North Finchley Tutors for a year now. The main thing it’s helped me with is my confidence. I used to be really worried about putting my hand up in class and giving the wrong answer to a question, but now I feel more comfortable putting myself out there because I’m one step ahead with the work.
10.00: I get to Woodhouse College for ten and the first thing we do is log on to computers and begin some online exercises as a warm-up. I sit with my friends and ask them how their week was. Everyone is really friendly here and I’ve made a few friends my age. The tutors are nice too, they come and ask us how we are and what we’ve been up to this week.
10.15: First period. I’m in a group of about four others who are at the same level as me. We work on English first. This is the part I struggle with the most – I really like reading and writing, but my exam technique needs work. We begin by going through the GCSE texts as a group and reading them out loud, then we break off into individual work. The tutor is there to help us individually and answer any questions we may have. She also gives us feedback to our answers towards the end of the lesson. This half term we are working in Macbeth for the AQA GCSE English examination.
11.15: Second period. I stay in my group because we are all working on the same things at the same level, but some of the younger kids get mixed into different groups according to what they are working on next. For me, it’s creative writing tuition. I love drawing and being creative, but I find it a bit harder when it comes to putting my creativity into words. My tutor found a fun way to help me with this though – she gives me a picture to describe and write creatively about. She also knows I love to draw, so when there is a written question like “write a creative piece about a trip to the beach,” she’ll let me spend a bit of time drawing a picture of the beach first, and then write creatively about it. I find this really helps my creative writing because I can really see the environment I’m describing in my work and it encourages me to use lots of imagery in my writing. 11 plus maths are available for practice online.
12.15: Third period. One more period until lunch. This time we are working on GCSE poetry tuition, today its Ozymandias by Percy Shelley, something which I don’t really enjoy but know I need to improve. We work our way through different language techniques and my tutor lets us talk and discuss examples to help us understand them. We then spend the rest of the lesson reading through a poem, identifying these language techniques and working on our language analysis. At my school, our teacher gets us to annotate for ages and we don’t seem to get practice writing whereas at North Finchley Tutors, Amber teaches me how to structure an answer which is something I thought I could never do.
13.15: Lunch time! We are given yummy sandwiches and snacks. If we don’t eat specific foods, they’ll take that into consideration. No one ever goes hungry! We have half an hour to eat and play and relax with our friends.
14.00: I spend the rest of the afternoon working on GCSE Maths tuition. It’s every bit as interactive as English because you can really discuss different interpretations of the answers, and my tutor is always there to help me with anything I need. He really knows how to explain things in a way that makes sense. I have had tutors in the past that just sort of tell you how to do the work, rather than actually taking the time to go through the topic until you get it. During the lesson I also get called to the side to go through homework corrections one-on-one with another tutor. I must say, this maths teacher is the best maths teacher anyone could ask for. Words cannot express how I just understand. He’s a bit like the demon headmaster!
15.00: Last period – more GCSE Maths tuition. I was supposed to do GCSE Science tuition but I will carry on with the work I was doing and I don’t change groups because I have a math 11 plus test coming up next week. At about half past we are put onto the computers to finish the day with some online exercises. The 11 plus math paper was fun.
16:00: Home time. I go home with my folder filled with homework to complete for next week. You may think it was a long day but I loved it. Time to go home and get ready to be back next week. Can’t wait to tell everyone about how my Maths test went! However, the free 11 plus papers with answers were really helpful.