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  • Exam Techniques For GCSE English

    Exam Techniques-Approaching the GCSE English exam it is important to be certain you understand exactly what you have to do. Exams are usually 2 hours long; do you qualify for extra time?  This is usually 25% so you may be in the exam room for 150 minutes!

    Practising past papers is very important so you get used to how much you can write in the time allocated.  You will also find out the best way of planning your answers: for a lot of students, in essay style questions, the best advice is firstly to draw up a spider diagram of ideas and then make the best ideas into a short bullet point list.  It is likely that each idea will be a separate paragraph.  Have you included detail and examples?  This is what makes the difference between a C grade and an A* often.

    In reading questions it is a good idea to take in different coloured highlighters. Make the exam paper your own; highlight different parts of the text in different colours depending on the questions asked. Make sure you make the same number of points as there are marks allocated and don’t spend too long on a question with very few marks attached.

    Finally, always keep an eye on the clock. Make sure that you leave time to proof read your exam paper for spelling, punctuation and grammar in those sections in which it is assessed.

    Keep calm, do your best and it will soon be over!

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  • The Benefits of Private Tuition

    The key to effective tuition is communication between the student and the tutor. During a tutorial session, the following should all take place:An assessment of the student’s knowledge of the subject matter should be made, to ensure time is not wasted going over material that the student is already comfortable with. An experienced tutor will use a variety of subject knowledge questioning techniques to make these assessments, and will integrate the process seamlessly into the hour’s activities.

    The sessions should have a variety of activities, first drawing out what the student needs to know, discussing the topics, and then embedding the learning with exercises from books or past examination questions. An hour of teacher-talk will simply mean that the student has spent an hour listening to a lecture without really applying the knowledge. A good tutorial should demand (almost) as much hard work from the student as from the tutor!

    Students should ask questions, and the tutor should be able to provide answers. Tip for students: have a go at past exam questions, and show the tutor where you get stuck. The explanation the tutor provides will be learned much faster because you have already grappled with the problem.

    Any tricks to ‘embed’ learning are features of good tutoring. We have all had the experience of being able to follow something easily in a lesson, surprising ourselves with how easily we can answer questions on the topic, only to find that the skill and fluency desert us as soon as we step outside of the classroom. This is because the material we were learning was not sufficiently ‘embedded’, so deep learning has not occurred. Often, the simplest way to embed learning within a student is to ask them to explain the ideas being studied to someone else –  the simple act of verbalising really does force our minds to gain deeper understanding.

    Private tuition should not consist of an hour-long monologue by the tutor, or silent bookwork by the student. It should be an interactive discussion, with questions from the student being answered, and the tutor constantly gauging and assessing the student’s knowledge and understanding of the material being covered, reinforcing and embedding the learning.

    Above all, the student should be able to come away from every tutorial and feel more confident and positive about the topics covered. They should also start performing at higher levels on objective measures like class tests and assessments. The boost to the student’s performance – whether in their contribution in class discussions at school, or the time and pain they have to endure to complete homework assignments – should also become very apparent to parents and teachers. This general ‘lift’ in academic performance usually comes after about half a term of tuition, and school teachers may comment on the student’s excellent work and improved contributions, unaware that the student is having tuition.

    121 private tutoring works because it meets the needs of the student, and focuses on addressing the specific problems that they may have with the subject. No disruption, no distractions, just pure learning.


     

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  • How to revise

    I get a lot of comments from frustrated  students, who just don’t know how to revise effectively and get the grades. Despite trying their best to study and learning  for exams, they keep failing. Some do well in class, know all the answers but flop in exams. Others will spend hours making colourful notes, drawing mind maps, reading books, and trying all sorts of revision strategies and still end with a fail. So what’s going wrong? Are they just not cut out to be A* students?

    I don’t have a magic formula to help students pass their exams but I can draw on my past experiences when helping students revise to come up with some winning strategies. There are 4 types of problems:

    1. When You Get Good Marks in Class Tests But Not in Real Exams

      A class test is usually taken in the classroom and it is usually with the class teacher present. This makes it easier for students to relax because they are not faced with something unfamiliar. The class test is often not taken as seriously because “it doesn’t count” and so again helps the student to be more relaxed.

      Another reason is that class tests are taken straight after a topic is finished whereas exams are on topics which might have been done months ago. For example, if your child is taking AS exams, then they might have to revise all the work they’ve done since January or even September. For GCSE students, they will be tested on topics they’ve covered since the beginning of year 10. For KS2 SATs students, they will be expected to know everything they’ve done in year 6.

      To get over exam nerves , students need to get used to working under timed conditions and under pressure. Practicing past papers at home with a stop clock ticking away can help a child get accustomed to it. Getting used to the idea that it is normal to be nervous for exams, and learning strategies to cope with such feelings can also be beneficial.  I have taught students who have well-used revision guides and text books, but haven’t seen a single exam paper.  They haven’t had mock tests, and they haven’t timed themselves to see if they finish on time.  So you must:

      • get used to working under pressure
      • practice tests at home under timed and un-timed conditions
      • compare your test results to see if you really are performing as well as you can in exam conditions
    2. You Don’t have Enough Time To Learn It All

      There’s no point in revising topics you know already. Find out what your weaknesses are and which skills you need to brush up on. You can ask your teacher if you don’t know. Then choose one topic you need to improve on and find exam questions on that topic. For example if you need to improve your vocabulary, then you need to read more and work out the meaning of unfamiliar words in the context of a passage of text. If you are a level 3 because you don’t know how to read tables and graphs, then find questions on data handling.

      Exam papers are written so that the easy questions come first.  For a higher GCSE maths paper, the C grade questions come first, for KS2 SATs, the level 3 questions come first and for English reading papers, the easy comprehension questions come first.  Save time by finding out what level/grade you are working at.  If you are already a C grade and need to get a B, then just skip the C grade questions.  If you want to get a level 5 in your SATs then start at the back of the level 3-5 paper to practice harder questions.

    3. You Spend Too Much Time making Notes/Mind Maps/Revision Cards

      I encourage all of my students to have a good bank of resources to help them revise.  For some students, this could be a set of colourful index linked revision cards, for others it might be mind maps and for some may even be their school text-book with highlighted text.  In fact it’s essential when it comes to revision.

      But some students take this as the “be all and end all” to revision, just because they’ve spent hours writing these beautiful colourful notes.   Revision resources have to be used once they have been created.  Aim to have all resources ready at least 4 weeks before the exams.  There are many ways to use revision resources.   You can:

      • read them
      • edit them
      • re-write them
      • shorten them
      • add questions to them
      • pin them up in your bedroom
      • use them when revising with a friend

      If you or your child needs help in preparing for exams, we can help!

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  • Schools closed due to heavy snow

    There have been widespread school closures across England. This is more time that children are not spending in school, learning. They have a lot of holidays for half terms , summer holidays etc…, with these added extra days off children are spending less time learning.

    This is where 121 Tuition comes in. We support student with their learning and help them to make excellent progress. Parents do not have to worry about these extra holidays that children are getting from school, with our support children are doing extremely well.

    Our year 6 children all came out with a level 5 in their SATs tests. Level 5 is classed as above average for children leaving year 6.

    If you would like your child to have a free assessment to see what level he/she is working at according to the national curriculum. Please email me at 121.tuition@live.co.uk or call on 07956683749.

    Thank You!
    Mrs S Kola

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  • Enjoy my blogs

    Dear parents,

    Welcome to my blog. I will be discussing ways in which you can help your child with their homework.

    • Reasons why private tuition can make a big difference to your childrens education.
    • helpful resources
    • back to school preparation
    • methods that are taught in school

    I will keep you updated with news from our centre.
    Thank you for reading my blogs. Hope you enjoy the blogs to come.

    Please visit my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/121TuitionOrg

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  • Tips on making spellings easy

    Does making your child prepare for the weekly spelling test become a nightmare . I have some tips to take the stress out of learning tricky words.

    • Highlight the difficult parts

      When your child spells. There is one part which they struggle to get. You can help your child by highlighting the parts that they make mistakes on.

      Night  separate said  cheap
      Or there could be two parts of the word they struggle to spell. You could highlight both sections.

      Necessary
      Once they have spent time highlighting. Get them to write the words out again. This time they will pay more attention to writing the parts they were making mistakes with.

    • Mnemonics

      Mnemonics is another way of helping your child to spell. Sometimes highlighting is not a way that your child can learn to spell. They may find Mnemonics an easier way.

      What you do is make the word into a sentence that is fun and easy for your child to remember.

      eg.

      • Earth – Every Ant Really Tries Hard.

      You can see that the beginning of every word is a letter from the word Earth.

    • Break the word down into syllables

      Another way of helping you child is to teach them to split the words into syllables.

      eg.

      • Danger can be broken into two syllables. Dan/ger (2 syllables)
      • Forward- for/ward (2 syllables)
      • Elephant- el/e/phant (3 syllables)
    • Say / copy/ cover

      Get Your child to first say the word and write it down. Then get them to copy the word again. The final time tell them to cover the previous attempts and try to write the word from memory. This should be done for all of the spellings.

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  • Coming Soon

    COMING SOON! 121 tuition will be running online tuition courses

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