• Common Entrance Calm

    Feb. 16, 2017.

    Carving out Calm in a Frenetic world of Common Entrance

    Never underestimate the importance of the so-called ‘soft skills’.  There is now evidence in a recent quantitative research analysis of independent schools and state schools (AQR, Jan 2017) where independent schools add significant academic value through helping individuals to deal effectively with challenge, opposition, stressors and pressure.  Mental toughness is strongly correlated with performance, wellbeing, positive behaviour and employability.   Personal success, satisfaction, quality of life and all these are all part of an expansive education (Lucas) towards creating a more resilient (Duckworth) society with a positive mindset (Dweck).

    Creating worldly ...

  • Visiting a Prep school: Ask the questions! (Part 2)

    July 25, 2016.

    Part 2: Special Educational Needs when selecting a school

    When it comes to Special Educational Needs (SEN), the more thorough the research the better.  Rather than just asking one person – usually the Head - about provision for children with specific needs, ask a variety of staff in different roles.  They should not be surprised as a good school will have teachers who are all aware of individual learning needs and who aim to accommodate these needs as much as possible in every one of their lessons.  By asking a handful of detailed questions to a cross-section of staff, and even students ...

  • Visiting a Prep school: Ask the questions! (Part 1)

    July 9, 2016.

    Visiting a Prep school: Ask the questions! (Part 1)

    Part 1: First impressions, Pressure and Progress 

    Certainly, do not rely on league tables and articles in the press for a true view of how a school is performing or how your child will fit in, either academically or socially.  Go beyond the headlines, visit the school and be sure to ask as many questions as possible.

    Firstly, look out for how enthusiastic a school is about teaching and developing a child both on the academic and pastoral side.  There will be signs everywhere, from the meeting with the Head and the teachers doing the guided tour, to the children ...

  • 13+ Common Entrance: The final countdown

    June 5, 2016.

    13+ Common Entrance: The final countdown

    6 Top Tips for 13+ Common Entrance Exam week

    The time has come, Common Entrance week has arrived and for many young children in the country it may feel like their future is riding on the next few days.  At the tender age of 13, this is as great deal to process and retaining focus is key.

    Deep breaths and meditation will certainly help with a cool, calm approach and with keeping a clear head.  It’s important to be ready to filter other people’s anxiety.  There may well be a lot of whizzing and buzzing in the minutes ...

  • 13+ Common Entrance Revision: handwrite or type?

    May 25, 2016.

    13+ Common Entrance Revision: handwrite or type?

    13+ Common Entrance Revision: handwrite or type?

    Should we handwrite revision notes or type them up on a computer?  Which method is better and why?

    Teachers will generally advocate for a handwritten approach to revision.  The exception might be if a child is going to take their Common Entrance Exams on the computer, in which case the more typing practice the better.  As ever, children have varying views on what is best for them however. 

    Pen and Paper for Common Entrance Revision

    The old style paper and pen route often means a slower approach and, therefore - good news - more time ...

  • Revision and Sleep

    May 23, 2016.

    Revision and Sleep

    13+ Common Entrance Revision and Sleep

    Is there a chance that you might be one of those people who has spent a great deal of time worrying about their 13+ Common Entrance exams or end of year exams and talking about revision but then has had trouble actually getting down to the nuts and bolts of learning?  Consequently, are you among those who might end up cramming furiously the night before the exam in an effort to compensate?  You are certainly not the only one as over 50% of young people do the same, especially at this time of year ...

  • How to create an independent learner

    Jan. 9, 2016.

    Help your child to go it alone  

    As technology advances and becomes more accessible in schools, there is an incredible amount of information to gather, absorb and apply.  Learning online may feel foreign to some still but over the last 2 years of Prep School Tutor, there has been a steep rise in children being educated online from the comfort of their own homes.  There is potential for them to have more ownership over their education than ever before and they love that their generation has a slight edge over their parents in terms of the technological side.  They may ...

  • Eton pre-test preparation

    Dec. 9, 2015.

    What do Eton expect from a pre-test?

    What is a typical Eton boy like?

    The typical Etonian is confident without being arrogant, resilient, well organised, focused and a good communicator.  He will appear mature beyond his years but almost always have a keen sense of humour.  

    What does Eton expect of an 11-year-old boy?

    For boys heading for their pre-test, Eton are realistic and do not, of course, expect their skills or character to be fully developed yet.  Eton states that they do not want academic robots, instead they are looking for individuals. They do not necessarily prioritise the best ...

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