Should Your Child Attend a Summer School Before Taking The 11+?

Should my child spend a few days attending a summer workshop?

Should they just have fun and skip 11+ prep altogether?


Should they take part in an 11+ summer school? 

There are so many questions and options that it can be overwhelming.

So how do you decide?

Firstly, consider whether your child has an exam within the next seven months. 

If your child’s exam is this September, October, November or in January of 2019, then it might certainly be worth enrolling them in a summer course.  

However, if your child is in Year 4 and has more than seven months until their exam then it’s a good idea to wait before booking their place on a course. 

Another factor to consider is whether your child enjoys learning in a group environment. If your child loves studying alongside others then they’d probably gain a lot from taking part in a summer course or workshop.  

One of the benefits of such courses is that students learn from others and can pick up new and exciting ways of studying.  

If you’re still stuck on the fence, assess your child’s summer commitments to see whether they can fit an intensive revision programme into their plans. For instance, if you’ve already booked a family holiday or other activities then they could potentially clash with a course which wouldn’t make it worthwhile.

Generally, we tend to notice that our students do incredibly well because they spend their summer holiday doing productive things such as revising, building their vocabulary, honing mathematics skills or completing our 11+ summer programme.

Regardless of whether they attend the course, they are committed to having a fun and productive summer which in turn leads to them achieving excellent exam results. 

We’re looking forward to meeting and getting to know our new summer school students in August.

Before you go, tell me,  how is your child spending their summer? 

Share by leaving a comment below. 


Which Is Better: Group VS 1:1 Tuition?



This is a really common question and a topic that divides a lot of parents.

To be frank, there are pros and cons to either form of tuition and the option that’s best really depends on your individual child’s needs and how they learn.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each approach. 


1:1 Tuition  - The Pros

Your child gets individual attention and detailed feedback. 


This has to be the greatest benefit of 1:1 lessons. However, it’s important to consider that not all tutors give feedback on a child’s performance and quite a few won’t provide feedback at the end of each lesson.  


When considering 1:1 lessons, make sure you ask the prospective tutor about how much feedback is given and how frequent it will be. 


Your child studies at their own pace. 

A good tutor will always ensure that your child is learning at a pace that suits their academic needs. This is really important. 


Ultimately, you don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands on lessons that are either too fast paced or too slow. 

   Building a Home

With 1:1 lessons you have the benefit of knowing that your child’s lessons are building up gradually with the purpose of giving them a strong foundation in their key subjects.


Each lesson is a brick that lays the foundation for a beautiful home.


No Interference  

Another benefit of 1:1 lessons is that your child won’t be distracted or interrupted by other students. This is particularly important for children who get distracted easily and don’t cope well around their peers. 

If your child studies best on their own then 1:1 might be the best choice for them. 



Whilst 1:1 lessons can be great, they do have their disadvantages. 




If you’re on a budget then 1:1 lessons might not be the best choice as they are by far the most expensive form of tuition. 


   Academic Performance

Another disadvantage is that 1:1 lessons aren’t always better in terms of improving your child’s academic ability or performance.

For instance, 1:1 lessons inhibit the opportunity for children to learn from each other or to get tips from their peers on how to study a particular topic in an easy way.


Children often learn from their peers and 1:1 lessons take away the opportunity for your child to learn from someone their own age. 

      The Fun Factor

The final disadvantage of 1:1 lessons is that they aren’t always as fun as group classes. 

During group lessons children bounce ideas off of each other, think creatively and have fun. The fact that 1:1 lessons don’t involve other children means that the adventure and exhilaration of learning with others is taken away.


As you can see, the choice of picking 1:1 or group lessons isn’t an easy or straightforward one. You have to weigh up the pros and cons and look at them in relation to how your child learns.  


 The Hybrid Solution 

Personally, I believe that a combination of both tuition types tends to work best for most children.  For instance, having some 1:1 lessons followed by an intensive group course provides children with the best of both worlds.




Is My Child Smart Enough To Pass The 11+ or Common Entrance Exam?

How do you know if your child is smart enough to pass a school entrance exam?


Many parents think that their child is a genius, a little Einstein or the next Tchaikovsky. In some ways it’s quite natural to believe that your child possesses something so remarkable and special that they are far beyond their peers intellectually.


However, when it comes to school entrance exams such as the 10+, 11+ or 13+, believing that your little one is a genius isn’t enough to guarantee that they’ll pass.

Before embarking on the entrance exam process it’s worth sitting down and assessing whether your child is a good fit.


How do you do that? Read on to find out. 

 1. Be Objective.

It’s easy to look at your child through your own eyes and make the judgement that they’re perfect for an entrance exam at a top school. However, it’s important to remember that your child will be assessed by either a computer or a complete stranger (i.e. a teacher that doesn’t know them). It’s thetefore vital that you observe your child not from your own perspective but from one that’s completely separate.  

For instance, ask yourself whether your child currently outperforms their peers when it comes to exams at school.  


2. Think Ahead. 

When speaking to clients, I usually recommend that their child is about two years ahead academically. Thus, is they’re in Year 4 then they should be able to answer some questions that are taught at Year 6 level. This might seem a bit ridiculous but one of the most effective ways of maximising your child’s chances of passing. 


3.  Test.

Once you’ve decided to go ahead, the next step is to go for an assessment. You can either do this by booking them in for a mock exam, asking an independent tutor to assess them or by purchasing exam papers and assessing them yourself. Once you do, make note of your child’s scores and identify the exact topics and areas that they need help with. Then create a plan for improving their scores so that they’ll be well prepared for the exam. 

As with most things, early preparation can make a tremendous difference so the sooner you action the above steps, the better.

If you need any help with the process, fill in the contact form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch to help. 

Here’s to your child’s success.

Congratulations To Our Students

It’s that time of the year when parents send us lovely updates on their child’s 11+ results. 


We’re so happy for our students and their families and we can’t wait to help the next group of students to pass the 11+ exam. 

If your child is currently in Year 5 and needs that extra bit of help, get in touch with us to see how we can support them in preparation for their school entrance exam.

“My Child Hates English!” How To Encourage Your Child To Enjoy Literacy at Primary Level and Beyond


“Hands up if you love Maths.” 

I stood silently watching a flood of hands leap into the air. 

There was only one hand that refused to go up and that was from the only student in the class who found escapism in writing stories that were pages long. 

Every other hand signalled that Maths was the subject of choice. 

My heart sank for a moment as I realised that so few children love English the way I do. 

Growing up, books provided me with an entrance into another universe. The chance to escape from life’s hustle and bustle and enter into a new realm. 

Reading provided me with happiness, warmth, comfort and so much more.

How could these children not find English to be the most fascinating subject? 

Why didn’t they have any enthusiasm for it? 

During a conversation with Dr Weston, she shared an insight that made me realise why so many children lack interest in literacy. She said something along the lines of:

 ”Parents often don’t know how to create an environment of literacy in the home.”

Her statement made perfect sense. 

Perhaps the reason why so many children love Maths is because their parents create a mathematical environment in the home or an environment that fosters a passion for learning the subject.  

In comparison, so few parents know how to create an environment that encourages a passion for English. Some aren’t passionate about the subject themselves whilst others simply don’t have the know-how to teach it at home.

I can completely understand why it might be difficult for parents to encourage their child to enjoy learning English especially if everyone at home is a Maths whizz.

So how can you create and foster an environment of literacy in the home? 

Here are three things you can do. 

1. Read with your child at night.

Bedtime stories are one of the most magical parts of childhood. They create memories that last a lifetime. However, in this busy age it’s easy for parents to dismiss them and to simply encourage their children to read themselves to sleep. Instead of telling your child to read alone, take 15 minutes each night to read to them or listen to them read.

Whenever they spot a word they don’t know, explain the meaning of it to them.  Bedtime reading is a great way to enhance your bond with your child whilst also encouraging them to enjoy reading and benefit from it.


2. Have Table Topics.


I remember coming across a company a few years ago that specialised in table topic cards for families. The idea was to encourage families to eat together and discuss important topics such as global warming, politics and the arts. Nowadays, so few families sit together to eat and when they do each family member is glued to their phone refusing to interact with the other.

When a child sees lack of interaction in the home as the norm they begin to feel as if it’s okay to not talk to people and avoid communication. If your household is filled with phone addicts it’s time to make some changes and create a dinner time that is filled with conversation and engagement. The benefit of this is that it will stimulate your child’s mind and encourage them to think openly, listen to the opinions of others and assert themselves. These are the very skills that are needed for literacy especially with regards to discursive and persuasive writing skills, 

3. Invest in Books. 

Growing up my Dad had the wonderful habit of bringing home books on an almost daily basis. Even when he didn’t have a penny to his name he would go to a library to borrow books or head to Oxfam and pick up wonderful books for us to read. Watching him leap through the door with a handful of books is one of the fondest memories I have of childhood. You see, investing in books doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many libraries where you can borrow books from as well as some brilliant charity shops that sell books for as little as a few pence.

I still walk into charity shops to browse the book section from time to time and am usually amazed by the variety of books available. One thing I’ve noticed is that children who are brilliant readers and writers are often surrounded by books at home and their parents are happy to invest in them.

If you want your child to develop an interest in English then put some effort into buying them high quality reading books. They don’t have to be expensive and quite often the classic books are the cheapest.

Now it’s your turn, follow the three steps above and then leave a comment below sharing one thing you learnt from this post.

Here’s to a happy 2018!

 The Tutoress Team