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Archive for December, 2014

The Magical World of Maths…

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Many primary school children – whether facing SATS or entrance exams – find Maths tricky. It can be abstract yet logical, requiring children to understand loads of different concepts at once.

Fractions, algebra, decimals et al can be confusing at first. Because of this, children are often put off discovering more about maths’ magical wonders!

Well, here at 121 Home School Tutors, we LOVE Maths. That’s why we’ve put together a yummy list of mathematical activities to hook a reluctant child’s interest. Try these:

  • Pizza fractions! Use a pizza delivery as an opportunity to explore fractions… Divide the whole’ pizza into 8th, or 1/4s. Eat a slice to see what’s left… Explore how 2/8 is the same as 1/4 etc,. A whole is made up of two 1/2s. A 1/2 is made up of…
  • Car counting! A lovely little activity to do while out and about. Pick two registration plates and get multiplying, subtracting or adding up!
  • Get calculating! First calculate the time that same journey took in minutes. Then times it by 4 trips, or 6 to work out the total time.
  • Bake-a-thon! Any excuse to get in the kitchen for a spot of cake baking… Why not make cupcakes? While you look over the recipe, apply ratio and fractions to amend the recipe. Double or triple the ingredients. Once cooked, divide them into equal piles. How many can you make?

Of course, exam questions on the 11+ or SATs paper can involve multiple concepts, with several steps. Don’t be overwhelmed or trip up: Call us to speak to a wonderful Maths tutor. Whether you’re in Manchester or Cheshire, we’re ready to help!

Cracking Christmas facts! Bet you didn’t know that…

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Whether you’re pulling a few crackers today, lighting candles for Hanukkah, or gearing up for the Chinese New year, Yuletide is full of fascinating facts and myths.

Take Father Christmas, for instance… He’s had a busy night! Even beat the law of physics to deliver presents to 378 million children worldwide!

Flying east to west through different time zones, Santa had just 31 hours to visit 91.8 million homes… How many visits per second is that?  A whopping 822.6!

That’s an incredible 1/1000th of a second to park his sleigh and whizz down the chimney to deliver presents – before snaffling a snack or two, shooting back up the chimney, hopping into the sleigh to visit the next house. Phew! Fast work…

Even more astonishing, Santa travelled a staggering 650 miles per second! This equates to 3,000 times the speed of sound, or 0.35 per cent the speed of light. Woo hoo…

To put this statistic into perspective, one of Earth’s fastest man-made objects  – the Ulysses spacecraft – shot through space at 27.4 miles per second! So Santa’s journey was super speedy…

Amazing eh? Nice to have a bit of fun during the Christmas hols…

Revision tips for holiday learning

Remember if you’re planning to revise for your GCSE or A level mocks, entrance exams in January or prepare for the year ahead, check out our nifty revision tips. Keep your eyes peeled for ‘Magical Maths’ tips in a few days time too…

As ever, you can drop us a line at 121 Home School Tutors to book a Manchester or Cheshire tutor for next term. We’re here to help! Happy Christmas everyone…


How will the 2015 Education shake-up affect you?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

As we deck the halls with holly at 121 Home Tutors, we’re keeping an eye on education changes across Manchester and Cheshire in 2015. So what are they, and what can you do to make the best of them?

1. GCSE Curriculum. If your son/daughter is currently in year 9, they’ll be the first year to face GCSE curriculum changes in English and Maths come September. With modular courses out, and linear exams in, it’ll be more important than ever that your child learns to study effectively, write essays under pressure and perfect exam technique.

New testing arrangements, numbers replacing grades, and new content to grapple with, will make it a challenging time for many children.

Advice: consult with your child’s school on how these imminent changes will affect your child.

2. School leaving age. If your son or daughter is in year 11, they must now achieve a C grade at GCSE level in Maths and English. If they fall below this in the summer exams, the law states that they will need to continue studying these subjects post-16.

Advice: If either Maths or English is a weakness, prioritise these subjects in the spring term. In a matter of months, your child will be on study leave. So focusing on weak areas now will help them meet this statutory target.

Don’t panic. We’ve experienced GCSE tutors here to help prepare your child for any future exam. Just call!  In the meantime, have a lovely Christmas…


‘Tis the season … for revision

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Tra la la la la la la la la. As the term winds down and festivities gain pace, it can be hard for children to manage revision during this jolly season!

With mock exams often before or just after Christmas, and some entrance exams in January, how can children avoid exam panic and still enjoy the holidays?

Here are some holiday revision tips to give your child a head start:

  • Draw up a timetable. First make a list of different topics you need to cover – including topics you find challenging. Break the topics down into manageable chunks to help you spread revision out.
  • Do previous papers. Sitting a past paper (in the time allowance) helps you whittle down the areas you need to focus on. Focus on these areas rather than everything over the hols. This will help keep revision in perspective at this time of year.
  • Stick to a study regime. If you are away for the holidays, or family are visiting, there’ll be plenty of temptation to NOT study. Instead, stick to a system. Perhaps work mornings, then reward yourself afternoons off. Alternatively, if you have plenty of free time on your hands, mix up your revision with physical activities.
  • Learn on the move. Google revision apps. You’ll find a host of great iPad/iPhone, Android and iPod touch apps to download. A nice way to revise on the sofa, in the car or while waiting for family to finish their Christmas shopping.

Whatever you do, don’t panic. If overwhelm or brain freeze sets in, some revision sessions with a tutor can make all the difference. Drop 121 Home Tutors a line!