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Archive for July, 2014

Last minute grammar entry changes

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Earlier this year, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls in Cheshire replaced the Non-Verbal Reasoning paper with a new English/literacy assessment.

For children applying for September 2015 entry, this decision meant they didn’t need to study a largely unfamiliar discipline not taught across the board in schools.

Latest news: it’s all change again

Following a consultation into the proposed changes, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls has dropped the English paper proposal and reverted to the original entrance exam arrangements.

What does this mean for you?

The entrance test this coming September 2014 will follow the previous years’ format:

  • A 20 minute Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR) paper
  • A 50 minute Verbal Reasoning paper
  • A 50 minute Maths paper

Though this is a last minute change, there is still plenty of time to get your head around NVR basics.

Essential summer prep

Non-verbal reasoning tests your ability to solve picture and diagram puzzles. To do well, you need to know how shapes change, how to spot patterns, and understand codes for figures.

Stuck? Not sure how to make the most of the time left?

Simply call us at 121 Home Tutors for some  expert 11 plus or entrance exam support during the summer holiday. With specialist tutors from Manchester to Cheshire available, we can help your child be ready for September in no time.

Fun 11+ Summer Revision Tips

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Is your child sitting the 11+ in September, or a grammar school Common Entrance exam? It’s closer than you think.

‘Brain drain’ can strike even the most hard working student – where all those concepts and techniques seem to fly out of the window during the holidays.

Here are some useful tips to keep the brain topped up over the summer:

  1. Read! Reading a variety of different books improves comprehension skills and widens vocabulary knowledge.
  2. Stretch word power. Practise synonyms and antonyms; list as many different verbs for ‘walk’ ‘speak’ ‘moved’; go adjective crazy by thinking of different words for scary, big, pretty, good.
  3. Play word games. What about dictionary games (guess the meaning, find the most obscure words) or how many words begin with a letter blend such as tr or bl. Try Scrabble, anagrams and crosswords. Improves verbal reasoning skills.
  4. Get problem solving. Play Sudoku, Tetris, origami and jigsaw puzzles to sharpen non-verbal reasoning knowledge.
  5. Mental maths games. Going supermarket shopping? Get your children to keep a tally of purchases that go in the trolley … in their heads! They could also count different types of foods if they get bored. While cooking, revise fractions and measurements.
And if you have any practise papers or revision books, dipping into a chapter rather than studying for hours on end will keep your child’s interest for longer.

Of course, if you’re unsure how to get started 121 Home Tutors can help. With specialist Eleven Plus and Entrance Exam teachers available over the summer hols, just drop us a line.

Do private tutors just help you pass exams?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

This is one of the biggest myths about private tuition. The idea that tutors ‘coach’ children to robotically pass common entrance, 11+ or finals exams is wide of the mark.

Undoubtedly, achievement is a top priority – judging by the countless parents and students who contact us to thank their tutor for helping them pass, or gain entry into the school of their choice.

Success is certainly wonderful! However, to achieve it, our specialists here at 121 Home Tutors don’t simply pass on knowledge. Tuition involves far more than that…

For instance, parents often ask for help with their child, or young adults approach us because they want to:

  • Restore confidence after a set back or poor exam results
  • Discover new ways to learn or retain information
  • Reignite their enthusiasm for a subject after losing interest
  • Overcome a learning difficulty that’s held them back
  • Improve their attitude to learning following a negative experience

Learning isn’t just about passing exams; it’s about developing life skills, opening doors, enabling young people to believe in themselves.

Also, an often overlooked benefit is the relationship between student and tutor. The one to one nature of tutoring is a special one, all built on trust and good communication.

In fact, we often hear from parents what a difference private tuition has made to their child’s communication skills. And how the relationship with teachers in school and parents at home has transformed as a result.

If you too want to help your child make positive changes, 121 Home Tutors can help. Whether you’re in Stockport, Altrincham, Wilmslow, or anywhere across Cheshire or Manchester, reach us here.