Boost progress: Use Punctuation!

SOUNDS GOOD, RIGHT? READ ON FOR THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOOST YOUR CHILD’S PROGRESS AND ATTAINMENT IN ENGLISH BY SIGNATURE TUTOR YASMIN

Questioning your question-marks? Overloading your exclamations? Fear not! We have your ultimate punctuation problem-solver on the case.


‘HOW DO I BOOST MY PROGRESS AND ATTAINMENT IN ENGLISH?’ I HEAR YOU ASK, NERVOUSLY ANTICIPATING SATS, SCHOOL ASSESSMENTS OR GCSE EXAMINATIONS.


Indeed, this is a common question that most students (and parents!) ask themselves throughout their (or their child’s) school career.


English can be a bit of a tricky customer when it comes to concrete, easy ‘quick win’ ways to boost progress (and let’s face it – who doesn’t want immediate results? We are a rather impatient species!). However, our English tutors here at Signature Tuition are here to let you into a well-kept secret: there are simple things you or your child can do in English that will translate into that elusive ‘quick-win’ boost in attainment you are seeking.


‘WHAT ARE THEY?!’ YOU CRY, ANNOYED THAT I AM WITHHOLDING THE PRIZE (HAVE I ALREADY MENTIONED HOW IMPATIENT US HUMANS ARE?).


The ‘Easy-Win’ writing secret


SO, I’VE TOYED WITH YOU ENOUGH. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, TODAY’S TOP TIP:

USING A VARIETY OF PUNCTUATION IN WRITING WILL INSTANTLY SECURE BETTER GRADES.

It’s that simple.

Before you protest in utter confusion, I will perform some prolepsis now (AQA English Language Paper 2 students, I’m looking at you!) and admit that punctuation is an area that is often pushed aside in secondary school English classrooms.

Due to the heinous neglect of the poor punctuation family, the frantic red pen scribbles of ‘use a wider range of punctuation, Horace!’ can seem rather daunting. (Where do I begin? A semi-what-now? When was a spontaneous comma not enough, Miss? Why are the primary school kids cleverer than me?).


The real secret is that using the odd semi-colon or colon really isn’t too tricky: I can do them with my eyes closed (we’ll get onto idioms and metaphors next week). All you (or your child) need is a punctuation refresh; you can find some excellent resources online (BBC Bitesize, for example) which offer interactive quizzes and games to ensure that your punctuation powers are perfectly polished!


In an extended piece of creative writing, boosting progress can be easy. The goal is to include brackets, dashes, semi-colons and colons as well as the more ‘everyday’ punctuation such as commas, question marks and speech marks where appropriate.


Make sure you:

  • Write a list of the punctuation marks you intend to use at the top of your page as that will be the equivalent of a nagging tutor in your ear (we only want you to do your best – promise!).

  • Tick off the punctuation you have used and do an imaginary air-punch in admiration of your own brilliance – you probably have used a semi-colon more accurately than most of the adult population.

  • Try using ‘rarer’ punctuation marks in all of the writing you do – using punctuation correctly can take practice but it’s worth it (even just to shut us annoying English geeks up over here!).

  • If you are already receiving tuition from a Signature Specialist, request a session on punctuation skills – you won’t regret it!

Request a session on punctuation skills from your Signature Tutor: you won’t regret it!


If you’d like to chat with us about how our tutors can support your child, get in touch with us here