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Archive for September, 2014

4 Ways to Kick-start the Autumn Term

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The new school year is well under way! By now, children in all years – from primary to secondary and 6th form – would have started to find their feet.

Sometimes, though, it can take a while for children to get into the swing of things after such a long summer break. Here are four ‘tried-and-tested’ tips on how to help them to get into the learning habit:

  1. Make time work for you: keep a copy of  the homework timetable and any assessment deadlines close to hand. This helps you plan ahead and tick off a to-do list without leaving things until the last minute.
  2. Organise paperwork: a folder for each subject with plenty of plastic punch pockets is essential to keep your child’s everyday school work organised. A folder system is also a stress-buster – not to mention desk-organiser…
  3. Tackle tricky problems head-on: as the school year takes off, confront any difficulty or issue fast so it doesn’t get worse. Of course, you can always enlist the support of a tutor to overcome hurdles.
  4. Stick to a routine: the no 1 rule for effective time management. Weekly homework, study and bedtime routines help children cope better.

Here at 121 Home Tutors, many parents across Manchester and Cheshire contact us this time of year – especially when the new term flags up a problem or even a study crisis.

Private tuition can give your child some precious time to sort things out – helping them get back on track. If a helping hand would make all the difference to you right now, just drop us a line.

 

New National Curriculum Changes September 2014

Monday, September 8th, 2014

All change at the start of the new school year in Manchester and Cheshire. From Key Stage 1 through to KS3, there are new programmes of study as well as testing arrangements across all the core subjects. That means changes in English, Maths, Science – as well as IT/Computing, Languages and other subjects.

Billed as a ‘tough’ curriculum to prepare young people for “life in modern Britain,” these changes for five to 14 year olds put a strong emphasis on skills such as essay writing, problem-solving, mathematical modelling and computer programming.

What changes to expect:

  • Levels scrapped. A year by year framework has been introduced with the focus on skills and concepts. Rather than award children a ‘best match’ level, schools now have the freedom to decide how to test their pupils in line with what the government says a child should have learnt by the end of a school year. Children’s progress will be matched against specific ‘performance descriptors.’
  • In English, there will be a push to improve spellings, grammar and writing ability – with Shakespeare on the timetable early in secondary school.
  • For Maths, five year olds will learn basic fractions, while nine year olds will be expected to master the 12 times table.By KS3, children should be able to use probability, reasoning with algebra and geometry.
  • In Science, the shift is towards hard facts. In primary schools, children will learn new content on the solar system, scientific speed and evolution. At KS3, there will be clearer distinction between the three sciences: Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

The drive to include more advanced topics at an early age – and to introduce new concepts such as coding to youngsters – can leave parents and children in a flat spin.

With the initiative to push children forward, some can be left behind – struggling. Whatever the changes in your child’s school, a personal tutor can help your child keep up. 121 Home Tutors can help! Just call us

Please note: Students starting Year 2 and 6 will still follow the previous national curriculum, and be tested via SATs at the end of the key stage. There will be a SATS shake-up, along with new GCSE subject changes from September 2015.