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Archive for June, 2015

Can you prep for the CEM Eleven Plus exams?

Monday, June 29th, 2015

You might not know, but many local Manchester and Cheshire Grammar schools have switched to CEM/Durham style entrance exams.

This means that if you are applying to sought after schools such as Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (AGSG) and Altrincham Boys Grammar (AGSB), it’s important to know what your son or daughter can expect in September.

First up, because the CEM board never publishes examination papers, there is a lot of unpredictability over exam content. This is why many parents approach us at 1-2-1 Home Tutors in Manchester to prepare their child for the autumn term exams.

It can certainly be a confusing time if you’re not sure what to expect. Here are three need-to-know pointers to steer you in the right direction:

The essentials…

  1. Durham 11+ exams usually focus on four key areas: Verbal reasoning (VR), Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR), Maths and English.
  2. Papers are completed in strict time conditions with each section individually timed so children cannot go back to a section they missed. This alone adds pressure to get things right first time.
  3. Each 45 minute paper is broken down into three to four separate multi-choice sections. VR and NVR tend to measure potential and aptitude since these test questions are unfamiliar to children.

Urgent planning ahead:

Keep an eye on 2016 application deadlines. For Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, for instance, the deadline is 13th July! AGSB is August 21st.

Need summer holiday tuition?

To arrange 11+ tuition over the summer hols with one of of our expert entrance exam tutors, call us right now.


Endings and new beginnings…

Monday, June 15th, 2015

This time of year is always a poignant one for students, parents and tutors alike. As GCSE and A Level students complete their final exams and party at the prom, it’s time to close a chapter.

Do you know, some of our tutors have taught their tutees through primary school to their GCSEs? So it can feel quite a wrench when those fledgelings finally flee the nest to explore pastures new.

An end of an era for sure. But definitely the start of a new dawn of adventures. Of course, many of our students continue into further education to study A levels, or pursue a college diploma.

In fact, after saying our goodbyes, we often hear again from previous students who want extra tuition to support them through the next stage of their education.

Here’s just a sample of what our 1-2-1 Home Tutors are asked to help with:

  • GCSE and A level prep
  • University admissions
  • Thesis or dissertation writing
  • Aptitude tests
  • Language learning for travel and business

Students can sometimes fear change. Embarking on a new flightpath can be fraught with uncertainty. So we are always chuffed to bits when students come back to us for that little extra support – a final boost of confidence perhaps – before they take off.

Do you need support before starting a new course? Want to prepare yourself for the next stage of your education? With a trustworthy team of private tutors from Manchester to Stockport, Wilmslow to Cheshire, there’s someone to help you find your feet.  Just get in touch!


Is your child switched on to books?

Monday, June 1st, 2015

It seems as if children are permanently attached to their smartphones, computers or games consoles these days. When is there ever enough time to just sit with a book and read for pure pleasure?

Interestingly enough, reading is trendy again! According to the National Literacy Trust, more children than ever are choosing to read in their spare time. And more often.

In fact, half of the children surveyed said they enjoyed reading! That said, almost 25% thought reading wasn’t ‘cool.’ Plus, it seems that there is still a gender imbalance between girls and boys: more girls than boys read for pleasure.

More worryingly, though, is that half of the children said they preferred watching telly to reading – with almost a quarter stressing that their parents didn’t care whether they read books or not.

While it’s fab to hear that books are attracting children in this digital age, there’s no doubt that more needs to be done to switch children’s attention back to books.

Here are our top reading tips:

1. Set aside some ‘family’ reading time where all electronic gadgets are banned for half an hour. Unless, of course, you’re using an e-reader. 😉

2. Do you know what’s caught other children’s imaginations? Check out some of the hottest titles in this article.

3. Match reading titles to your interests. If your son likes the idea of going on exciting adventures, being a spy or doing daredevil stunts, here are some book titles to make any reluctant reader happy. Better still, you can download an extract or three!

Need help?

Of course, if your son or daughter is struggling with their reading – from comprehension skills for entrance exams, to analysing language from a GCSE set text – we have just the right private tutor to help.

Are you in Cheshire, or Manchester? Call the 1-2-1 Home Tutors team!