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Posts Tagged ‘holiday tuition’

Study smart this Christmas

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Gah! Exams always appear at the most inconvenient times, don’t they? When it’s hot in the summer, or just before or after Christmas.

The truth is, exams are a process that we all go through in life. So rather than feel ‘doom and gloom,’ aim to study smart this Christmas.

Here’s our roundup of top tips so you can do just that this festive season:

  1. Hit the target! List tricky subject areas and focus on them, not what you find easy. If you are daunted by something, mooch over to YouTube. Countless teachers now add videos to share. This is especially good if you can’t get on with trawling through exercise books to revise. Targeted revision like this will also mean you have plenty of time to enjoy yourself as well.
  2. Book some fun! Star Wars: the Last Jedi is hitting the screens now. Book advanced tickets, if you’re looking for a galactic buzz this Christmas. If you’re not a die-hard fan, get yourself out the house doing something you love. Jump about at a trampoline park maybe? Or else check out local attractions.
  3. Revise and recall! One of the best ways to retain information is to revise for short bursts (of half an hour) and then apply that knowledge by testing yourself. This way you’ll feel like you’re making solid progress. Maybe do a test on algebra, or study a couple of poems and write a comparison essay? Use online papers from exam boards, or just google it. You’d be surprised by how many free papers are online!

And if you hit a brick wall over Christmas, write a list of the things you struggle with and resolve to do something positive about it when you are back at school.

Arranging a tutor can be one of the quickest and most helpful ways to knock uncertainty on the head. Drop a line to 121 Home Tutors for further advice. With a fab team covering many areas across Cheshire and Manchester, we’re sure to have someone to help you.

May the power of the force be with you this Christmas!

How to Stop Summer Brain Drain

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The dreaded ‘brain drain’ strikes again! It’s a proven fact that children can lose two months’ worth of knowledge if their brains are not academically challenged.

And worse, once back in September, they can take up to a month to get into the swing of things. That’s a quarter of a year of learning lost every year!

With the long school holiday beckoning, what can parents like you in the Manchester and Cheshire area DO to stop brain drain from happening?

Discover the world

Day out with the kids offers plenty of opportunities to get out and about and LEARN. Museums, Discovery Centres – the works! Here’s some top ideas for the Manchester area!

Learn a language

MUZZY is a fun, interactive programme to help your child learn a second language.

Read ‘n Write

Even if your child can’t stand reading, there are still ways to inspire them to grab a book!

  • Start with their interests… If your child loves sport, find a non-fiction or autobiography to read or listen to on audio
  • Check out Love Reading 4 Kids. Their Summer Reading section even separates reading ages out. AND gives you downloadable extracts before you buy
  • Get them to write a review of each book or audio. They could even create a WordPress blog for free and do it online! A great way to hook their interest in reading. Plus become an online author!

Tuition for smart learning

Is your child taking the Trafford test, or school entrance exam in September – or starting in year 7, year 10 or year 12? A smart move could be to book a summer holiday tutor to get them ahead of the game!

It’s the ideal way to not only address any weaknesses left festering at the end of term, but it’s a great opportunity to help your child truly leap ahead.

Call our 1-2-1 Home Tutors team when you need any help with your child’s studying. From Maths, English and 11 Plus, to language learning and science subject support.


How to turn a bad report into a good one

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Just like adults, children are very sensitve about criticism. And just like adults, they struggle to articulate how they feel sometimes.

When it comes to school, dealing with the disappointment of an end-of-year report can be tough. Some children shrug their shoulders to give you the impression they’re not bothered – when in fact they are really upset about it.

Struggling children already feel different to their peers. They see class mates getting consistently top marks. Teachers sometimes seat them on a table of ‘other’ strugglers – even announcing to the class that those with special needs ‘sit there.’

An end-of-term report often compounds feelings of failure. Even though plenty of positive comments are made, children with knocked confidence often sieze upon the negative ‘must try better’ comments as an affirmation that they are rubbish.

Poor behaviour in class, or a child who is often distracted from the lesson, could be a sign that he or she is struggling with that subject.

Turn a negative into a positive

Instead of telling your child off, or stressing they must try harder next term, it can help to have a relaxed chat about the report. If you struggled at school in a subject, tell them. Share your experiences, use empathy.

This approach is more likely to make your child feel they are not alone, and that certain subjects such as Maths, English and Science are tricky for other people too.

Also, over the summer, see if you can build in some opportunities to help your child with the subject they are struggling with. There are some fantastic resources nowadays. Or you can call us – of course – if you are in the Manchester or Cheshire area, to arrange for one of our fab tutors to come along to work one-to-one.

Holiday tuition can give your child a huge boost before they go back to school in September. Sometimes, all it takes is a few sessions to completely change a child’s view of a subject. Or to clear up any confusion.

Just give us a ring or email the team to find out how it works…

Exams – what happens if it all goes wrong?

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

If you are in Year 10 (or your child is) then they are probably right in the middle of taking GCSE exams. Next year will be one of the most significant years of your life – when you will sit the majority of your GCSEs. What happens during that year can determine where you go to college or work and what career path you may end up taking.

Many people dismiss year 10 exams because they think they can just resit them or make up the grades in Year 11. However, what happens in Year 10 can have a real impact on your GCSE performance in Year 11. If you don’t put the effort in Year 10 exams and fail (or fail because of other reasons), it means you can enter Year 11 lacking in confidence and behind academically. Some schools may even recommend you take different college courses based on your Year 10 performance.

If your child starts Year 10 this September then they will take their exams in 2014 – there will no longer be the option to take some exams in Year 10 and then resit if they fail.  So with this in mind what happens if it all goes wrong and you fail an exam?

  1. Don’t panic. If you are currently in Year 10, you will have the option to resit the GCSE in Year 11. Do keep in mind this will mean extra work during Year 11 when you will already have a lot to deal with.
  2. Ask your teacher (or ask your parent to ask them) if you can sit down with them and talk about where things went wrong. It could be one area where you are failing and you can use the summer break and the help of a private tutor to get back up to speed.
  3. Although we need a break over summer considering using some of the holidays to work on weak areas so you enter next year ahead rather than behind – consider a private tutor or summer school.
  4. If you worked hard and still failed then focus on what you achieved – you studied well and actually sat the exam, don’t let one fail put you off how far you have come.
  5. If you slacked off and failed then maybe it’s time to put a study plan in place, one that fits around your life and having fun but ensures you get the results you want.
  6. Failing a GCSE isn’t the end of the world but it can influence what happens in the next stage of your life so if you are struggling now then ask for help.

If you need helping preparing for GCSEs or summer catch up tutoring help and you live in Manchester or Cheshire (Heaton Mersey, Trafford and more) then call 121 Home Tutors.

End of term reports – what do they mean?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It’s just a few weeks until the end of the academic year and that means school reports will soon be coming home. A school report is a good time to reflect on your child’s progress over the year and start to identify any areas where improvements could be made. At 121 Home Tutors we often get asked by parents to work on specific areas that might be a problem over the summer holidays. This year we’ll also be offering summer schools where your child can have fun and keep up their academic work over the long break.

If this is your child’s first report or they just bring back bad memories of your own school reports then here are a few things to think about:

  1. Don’t think about the report too much before it arrives.  Hopefully by now you have developed some sort of relationship with your child’s teacher and have dealt with issues as they have come up during the year. It’s best to deal with what’s in the report when it arrives rather than second guess the contents.
  2. Focus on what your child has done well. You may have your own expectations for your child but it’s a good idea to praise them for achievements (even the small ones) and positively focus on areas where they struggle. This will help build up their confidence.
  3. Each school will have its own reporting system and if you don’t understand what it means then do go and speak to your child’s teacher. They may refer to National Curriculum, levels and grades. Most schools are happy to hear feedback on reports so if you feel the report isn’t giving the information you need then approach the school to discuss how improvements might be made.
  4. It’s worth remembering that a class teacher has to write reports for EVERY pupil in the class. That’s a lot of reports to write and it does mean you may not always get the in-depth detail you want. Most teachers will be very open to having a chat if you have concerns about the report.
  5. Talk to your child about the report – ask them what they think about it and any areas where they think they need help and support. This is where a 121 private tutor can come in handy – you can focus on a specific area over the summer and ensure your child starts the next academic year in the best shape.

If you’d like to discuss private tutoring and summer schools in Manchester, Stockport or Wilmslow & Cheshire areas (we cover areas including Altrincham, Didsbury and Hale) then contact 121 Home Tutors.

Summer study schools

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

With the summer holidays fast approaching (just a couple of months away)  you might be thinking about how you can encourage your child to keep on studying, stay ahead of the crowd or catch up on a subject they have struggled with during the academic year.

If you are doing A Level or at University, you may want to use this time to find your feet with new topics or build up your confidence before you go back in September. Summer is also a key time to begin preparation for the 11+ (eleven plus). If you already work with a private tutor then you might be familiar with the idea of summer schools. At 121 Home Tutors we are planning a series of small group summer schools in the Manchester and Cheshire areas over the summer period. Here’s a rundown of what will be on offer (we can also design and deliver something specific for your child or a group of friends or in a one to one setting).

  •  11+ summer school. Preparing for studying and taking the 11+ exam and the very specific set of skills required to pass this exam.
  • Primary to KS3 summer school (age appropriate groups). A mix of Maths, English, Science and activities.
  •  Your child can attend for 1 day or up to 3 weeks.
  •  Prices start at £25 per child per day including lunch for 10am-3pm. There are opportunities for you to extend the days at an additional £5 per hour.
  •  The schools will take place in a central location easily accessed from Altrincham, Didsbury, Chorlton, Sale and Trafford areas.

Demand is already high for these courses and places are limited so if you are interested then do contact us soon.

One to one tutor or tuition centre?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Over the last few years tuition centres such as Kumon have become increasingly popular with parents, especially at primary level. Many of our students have at one time experienced tuition centres and many parents want to know if they are better (or worse) than the kind of one to one tutoring that 121 Home Tutors offer.

  • Tuition centres have their place – they tend to be cheaper than one to one tuition and for some parents budget is a serious consideration.
  • Some children respond better in the group environment – but we tend to find students who are struggling in the classroom really benefit from one to one attention in a quiet and safe place like their own home.  If your child struggles in a classroom, (for example they don’t want to approach the teacher, they don’t speak up and fall behind) then they will be much better suited to one to one tuition.
  • Group work is usually pitched at the average person in the classroom (as in school) and there is only limited time to deal with students who are struggling. This might mean serious issues aren’t dealt with.
  • Many tuition centres follow a set system or pattern for learning and your child works to achieve certain goals. One to one tutoring is adapted specifically to the needs of the individual child, what they need to learn and what they are struggling with (and can also incorporate ways they prefer to learn).
  • Most tutors (including 121 Home Tutors) will come and tutor in your home meaning you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience or cost of travelling to a tutoring centre.

We’d be happy to discuss your tutoring options and figure out if 1-2-1 or group work would be best. If you need help with one to one tutoring in subjects including English, Maths and History across Manchester and Cheshire including Altrincham, Bramhall and Sale then contact us today.

Exams are over (for now!)

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The exam season is finally over and it’s time for teens to take a well-earned rest. But then they have six (or more) long weeks stretching ahead of them and hours and hours of time to while away. The summer holidays are a great opportunity to catch up and/or work on areas where students might have struggled this academic year.

This is the perfect time for Year 9 students who are going into their GCSE years to work on subjects they’ve struggled with. If your child is in Year 9 and will start working towards their iGCSE (often in independent schools and perceived as harder than a traditional GCSE)  then summer tutoring can help them get a headstart.

And if your child is in Year 10 or 12 then they’ll be on their way to final GCSE and A Level exams in the next year – this is the summer that could make all the difference to how they enter one of the most important years of their life.  Summer catch ups and study aren’t just for those who’ve struggled a bit, it’s a chance for every student to get ahead or just make sure their brain doesn’t turn to mush in the space of six weeks.

It might seem daft to say that students can fall behind in such a short space of time – but in a month and a half (even longer for independent and boarding schools) the skills they’ve built up during the year can quickly disappear. It means they often start the year struggling to find their feet.  When we talk to parents and students we find the areas they most struggle with at the start of the year (after the long summer break) are modern languages (so French, Spanish etc), Maths and Science. It’s usually because these are the trickiest subjects for most students and all of these subjects combine using complex skills with learning a lot of knowledge. So for example they have to develop skills such as writing up experiments or solving equations alongside taking in knowledge of names of compounds or lists of vocabulary and noun formations. So how can we help them stay on top without destroying all the fun of the summer holidays?

The secret is to find fun ways of engaging the brain without making it feel like learning.

  • If your child is learning a language, maybe French or Spanish, then visit the country for a trip or holiday. Encourage them to use the language but also know that just being around it will utlise their skills (such as reading and comprehension).
  • Visit museums and exhibitions – places like MOSI (The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) aren’t just for young children. There’s stuff for children of all ages (and even better it will entertain them for a whole day).
  • Keep them reading – encourage them to read their favourite books, invest in some new reading material and if they are willing get them to cast an eye over their textbooks.
  • Use the resources you have for educational purposes – yes they are probably already permanently glued to the television or internet, so encourage them to find programmes relevant to their study (Braniac for Science for example).
  • Think about using a private tutor – tutors don’t have to teach in a classroom style and an hour or two a week could be just what your child needs to go into the next year brimming with confidence.

If you live in Greater Manchester Cheshire and you’d like to find out more about how summer holiday tutoring can help your child –in tricky subjects like Maths, Science and modern languages –get in touch with 121 Home Tutors.

Want to work with a celebrity tutor?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Ok, we have to confess it’s not going to be Robert Pattinson or Cameron Diaz tutoring you if you call 121 Home Tutors. We spotted an article in the Independent this week  about students in Hong Kong and how their obsession with exams and private tutoring is turning some tutors into rich celebrities.

The education system in Hong Kong is highly pressurised and students are expected to consistently perform to the highest standards.  This is partly because there is intense competition for a limited number of university places.

Because students (and their parents) are so keen to succeed, it has created a demand for more private tutors. In Hong Kong private tutoring is viewed as an investment in education and the best tutors can command hundreds of dollars for each session. Rather than focussing on the kind of one to one specialised tutoring we offer at 121 Home Tutors, students in Hong Kong tend to enrol in tutorial schools (an estimated 100,000 students every year). They are taught by highly paid, self-styled ‘tutor kings’.

One problem with this highly competitive exam culture and tutoring system is that students often take on more tutoring than they can cope with – often 5 or 6 subjects. At 121 Home Tutors we recommend that students limit private tutoring to one or two subjects, usually their weakest because anymore than that creates additional pressure that can cause more problems.

So the question is will education and tutoring go the same way in the UK? Will we become more competitive now the university system is introducing high fees and changing under our new Government?

A poll carried out a couple of years ago  indicated that a fifth of secondary school students have had some form of private tutoring and at 121 Home Tutors we have seen the numbers of students requesting one to one tuition increase since then. We know in some parts of the country there is a great deal of competition to get into independent schools and we often work with students to prepare them for entrance exams. We haven’t seen much evidence of increased competition for degree places except in areas where there is already a longstanding tradition of high entry requirements and a battle to get onto courses (such as medicine). It will be very interesting to watch what happens as the introduction of higher university fees and potential increased competition starts to take hold over the next couple of years.

If you’d like (non-celebrity!) exam and private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire for GCSE, AS and A2 Level subjects including Maths, English and Science then contact 121 Home Tutors today.

Make the most of your Christmas break – revision and study

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

It’s finally time for some festive fun but with so many students facing exams immediately after the Christmas break it’s a good idea to set some time aside for study.

Here are our top ten tips for keeping on top of things during the holidays:

1.       Get organised. Don’t leave revision until the last minute, sit down and make a plan including frequent small chunks of revision rather than one large chunk of panicky cramming. Make sure this plan is realistic (leaving time for breaks and mince pies!).

2.       Know when your exams are. This way you can prioritise the exams come first and ensure you don’t miss anything. Make sure you plan in extra time for weaker subjects or those where you need a good grade.

3.       What do you need to learn? Your time is best spent on things that will be on the exam so check you know the exam board and syllabus you are taking for each subject. The syllabus is often a good revision guide as it lists all the stuff you’ll be tested on. If you are going to use revision guides, find the right one for your syllabus and learning style, not just the one all your mates have.

4.       Do you actually understand what you have to learn? If there is a particular topic or subject you are struggling with then before you fight through it, it could be a good idea to chat it through with a teacher, friend or parent. Don’t be afraid to ask and if you can’t find the help you need then consider a tutor who can give you hints and tips on revision as well as helping with tricky subjects.

5.       How do you learn best? Try out different techniques to find the one that’s right for you. Try mind maps, writing notes, highlighters and pictures. Listening to revision CDs could work for you or Questions and Answer sessions (working with a friend could be perfect for you).

6.       Keep testing. Past exam papers are a great way to see if you can apply what you are revising. These papers give you an idea of the types of questions you might face in an exam and if you can also get hold of the marking scheme you can see the right answers and how examiners award marks.

7.       Take care of yourself. If your body isn’t healthy then your mind won’t work properly. There are some key things you need to do, drink plenty and sleep (not too much, not too little). Eat plenty of ‘brain’ foods like fish and nuts and try to choose healthy snacks such as fruit. Ensure you have relaxation time as part of your study plan.

8.       The night before. Make sure you get to bed early and have prepared what you need for the next day (pens, pencils, ruler, and calculator). Do not spend all night revising as this will just make you too tired for the exam the next day.

9.       On the day. Arrive in plenty of time. Check you have a pen/pencil. Calmly read the questions and if you don’t know an answer don’t panic. Instead move on, answer the next question and come back to any you struggled with.

10.    If you need help with revision and exam technique we have private tutors across Manchester and Cheshire that can help you with your 11 plus, GCSE’s and A levels. Contact us today