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Archive for October, 2014

How to choose a secondary school

Monday, October 20th, 2014

If you are one of hundreds of parents across Manchester and Cheshire choosing a secondary school for your child, you’ll know it can be a tough decision.

Nowadays, it’s not just a case of proximity. Although how near you live to the school gates is often an admissions criteria important to consider. With organised open days and glossy brochures aplenty, how do parents see the real picture?

  1. Visit the school. After presentations, wander round talking to teachers and pupils. Is there a relaxed, happy atmosphere? How do students interact with teachers? Pop into different classrooms to get a ‘feel’ for the learning environment.
  2. Listen to the grapevine. Parental talk at the school gate is often enlightening. While no school is perfect, speak to other parents whose children already attend there. Chatting at the school gates can be an eye-opener.
  3. Keep an open mind. Ofsted reports don’t always reflect the true picture. If you want statistics, far better to look through league tables. Focus on value-added stats and expected progress figures rather than A*-C percentages. Academic success is undoubtedly important. So do remember that any year’s results depend on that particular year’s cohort. Hence why it’s not ideal to determine a school’s worth on whether its grades have improved by a percentage!
  4. What’s extra? Schools are not exam factories. Check out extra-curricular clubs and opportunities beyond the classroom. What after-school facilities are there?
Finally, always ask: will my child fit in, and be happy there? Hope that’s helped…

By the way, if a place at your chosen school depends on an entrance exam, chat to 121 Home Tutors today. We’ve expert tutors ready to help…

Applying to University? UCAS advice here

Monday, October 6th, 2014

If you’ve already decided you want to go to university, the next step is deciding where and what subject. With countless choices open to you, where do you start?

1. Choose your subject. What do you most enjoy? Consider how your subject choice could fit with your career path. What careers could your subject lead to? Consider all options.

2. Do your research. Check out prospectuses, visit open days, read up on different universities’ course details as they do vary.

3. Check application deadlines. For many courses – especially at Oxbridge – you must apply online by 15th October 2014! Applications for medicine, dentistry, veterinary and science courses usually have a 15th October deadline too.

4. Check entry requirements. How close are your predicted grades? With five university choices to plump for, be adventurous. Choose a course above your predicted grades (as many students do outshine their expected grades!); choose courses with achievable entry requirements; and choose one that’s under your predicted grades to open up your choices.

5. Refine your personal statement. Universities want to see your aptitude and passion leap off the application! Consider why you want to study the course. What evidence can you include to back up your enthusiasm? Perhaps you’ve done extra-curricular activities, visited events, read extra books? Maybe you’ve had a lifelong love for the subject? Universities also want to see you are a well-rounded student: what other talents or interests do you have?

Whether you need subject tuition throughout year 13, or help with your UCAS application, we’ve an expert tutor here at 121 Home Tutors ready to support you. We don’t just help students wanting to study here in Manchester, or Cheshire either. Get in touch!