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Archive for November, 2013

Starting school at 2

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

How did you feel the day you took your child to school aged 4 or 5? Do you remember your own first day? How would you have felt taking a much younger child to the school gates?

This month Baroness Sally Morgan, chairwoman of Ofsted suggested that two year olds from disadvantaged families should start in ‘school nurseries’ to improve their education and life chances.

In the UK we have an existing network of childminders and nurseries with a number of hours of free education available to 3 and 4 year olds (soon to be extended to 240,000 of the poorest two-year-olds).

However the government is exploring options for making school based nursery places available to younger children (they are normally only open to 3 and 4 year olds).

The concern for many is that the school environment is not the right place for such young children. The idea of supporting disadvangted children is a good one but possibly not in an environment that may cause them additional stress and is more focused on academic progress rather than their emotional needs.

Lady Morgan said that her concern was that some children were not ready to enter school at 5 and early entry could benefit them. She said: “They’re not ready to learn at school. Weak parenting, low educational attainment of parents, poor diet, poor housing and so on.”

We often work with primary aged children and even at that age they learn a lot through play. Younger children build their whole world through play and they need opportunities to grow in a safe, nurturing environment where they have easy access to their parents. In many European countries children don’t start formal education until 6 or 7 and there is no determental effect to their education.

Maybe rather than focusing on educating very young children we should instead focus on how we can support parents in giving their children the best start in education and life.

If you need to talk to someone about primary level tutoring we can help (we cover Manchester and Cheshire). Call 121 Home Tutors today. 


Be prepared – GCSE and A Level exam changes

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

In the last few months there has been a considerable amount of change in the way testing is carried out for both GCSEs and A Level.

There has been a move away from coursework and module based testing throughout the year. Instead most schools are moving back to one main exam in May and June.  This academic year some students will sit their exams in June instead of split between January and June. But we’re already hearing rumbles that this might be causing some students (and their parents!) a few headaches.

For many students they are panicking about the emphasis being on one set of exams and they are realising there’s an awful lot to learn in one go. They’re smart because they know early preparation is the key to success – but only if you can get past the panic and start to plan. On the other hand June seems very far away and a lot of students aren’t even thinking about exams. But it’s surprising how fast time can pass and if you aren’t prepared last minute cramming can spell disaster.

What can you do to ensure you pass next June?

  • Don’t think as far ahead as June. Instead put your effort into your mocks – this is a chance to really test your knowledge and shouldn’t be a wasted opportunity.
  • But don’t leave things to the last minute – think about revision 6-8 weeks in advance of the exam and create a plan. If you need help with planning or revision then a private tutor can really help.
  • Have a look at our revision blogs on How long you should spend revising and Revision over Christmas. 

If you need help with revision or revision planning for CGSE or A Levels (English, History, Maths and other subjects) in Manchester or Cheshire (covering Heaton Moor, Levenshulme and other areas) call 121 Home Tutors today.