Every student is capable of achieving great things at school and beyond. Just because you might think you are 'not very academic' it does not mean you are not able to get high results in your exams. Not everyone is 'academic' and success in the core GCSE exams does not demand you be 'academic', anyway.
If you are motivated and keen to do well in your studies you will do well. And isn't that what you should want? What's the point in not trying your best if you're going to have to spend your time in school and your going to have to sit the exams anyway? It's not something you can escape, even if you don't see yourself as particularly 'academic' as I have said before.
This is the best way to approach your time at school, your relationship with your teachers and furthermore the right way to approach your extra tuition.
There is no point in coming to tuition classes, interventions at school or revision sessions and expecting to improve suddenly, as if by magic, if you are not making strong intentions to learn. You should want to make the most of your time whilst you are at school, you won't get it back. And most importantly you should want to do your best in order to make your parents proud.
So what practical steps can you take to make the most of school and tuition?
Here are some tips that I think all students should bear in mind:
Breaks are an important part of the world of education – it is vital and needed, not only for studying but even when piled up with everyday life and responsibilities. Here is a summary of research about the importance of breaks, written by Meg Selig.
Without wanting to detract from the value of school education, it cannot be emphasized enough that one to one education is a much better way of learning for many children.
My father is deaf but my grandfather insisted on him being sent to an ordinary secondary school. This was back in the 1960s and when my father left school at the age of 16 to work, it was 1972. He would never have been able to get the necessary grades in his Maths and English O Levels if it wasn't for a private tutor that my grandparents found for him, and who tutored my father weekly for five years.
Tutoring is essentially a way to ensure that your child receives the attention and guidance that a classroom teacher doesn't have the time to provide at school. Tutoring can be seen as a supplement to school, but in many ways tutoring is a much richer, more effective way of learning.
My father would have failed school, being deaf in a time when special educational needs were not acknowledged in the mainstream school system, if it was not for his private Maths and English tutor.
His tuition was a supplement to his schooling but it meant that he was able to finish school at 16 with the necessary numeracy, literacy and communication skills needed to begin work as an accountant.
That was a very different time to now, but the essential lessons that my father still remembers to this day haven't lost their value. They are lessons that every parent should bear in mind during the education of their child.
Most important of all those lessons that my father learnt is the value of one to one education. He had a private tutor who he would see on a weekly basis for five years, and the memories of those lessons have lasted with him his entire life. My father also remembers school, he remembers funny stories about frustrated teachers unable to control a mischievous child who couldn't really understand what they were telling him, he remembers being sent out of the class, being labelled the troublemaker, being told off by the head, and having lots of fun. However what he remembers from his tuition is entirely different. He remembers a teacher who was able to focus on his student the way a doctor can administer treatments to a patient. He remembers all of the books he was introduced to, he vividly remembers having to memorize lines from Hamlet, and being explained the plot of Sons and Lovers.
He remembers the maths exercises he was taught that have meant that to this day he can complete an audit faster than most young professional accountants.
Overall, it is the attention and quality time that tutors are able to give their students that is most valuable. Unfortunately most classroom teachers are unable, due to the busy nature of schools, to give this to their students. It is worth reflecting on this, and thinking about how much quality time your child actually receives with a teacher as they go through their school years.
There is nothing more valuable than a strong teacher student relationship, one where the tutor is able to follow the needs and requirements of the students. Each student has their own individual talent, and it takes individual, one to one attention and teaching to give the student the greatest chance of success.
When I grow tired of this world, I seek an escape.
I set out to find a world that goes against science and fact; a world of fairies, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, a world where everyone is split into factions, or emotions are deadly; a world where there are rulers of supernatural heritage, where certain babies with great destinies are born with gifts.
I set to find a new family that I will never meet, where I can know new characters; where I can fall in love with some and grow to hate others, where I can laugh with some and sympathise with others, where I can miss some and cry at the deaths of others.
I set out to find a new way of living away from my everyday routine; where I am thrown into a prophecy, where I am being hunted by all forces of evil; where I am bringing about a war that will change the course of history, where I am told that all the fairy tales are true.
I set out for this place in the only way possible.
I open a book.
There is strength in a letter, might in a word, power in a sentence and an otherworldly, ethereal journey in books.
All it takes is for the first few words to be read, and I am no longer who I am; I am Alex Rider or Katnisss Everdeen. I am Harry Potter or Tris Prior.
And that is the beauty of books; you suddenly leave the world behind and everything that you know and you start your new life, in a new world with new people. Your environment slowly fades into nothing as it erodes, it’s lifeless and grey walls of imprisonment drooping into nothing as the arms of this new place surround you. Just like that, you are stranded on a beach somewhere, the sun laughing at you wickedly as it blazes its heat against your skin, your new friends complaining about their unquenched thirst; you’re cornered by pirates as you confidently hold your sword, preparing yourself for battle, your crew winking at you as they let you know they’re one step behind you. You’re whizzing past people in a blur and soaring through the skies with your enhanced abilities, your other friends shooting fire from their arms and controlling the weather; you’re the ruler of your own land, looking down at the people you have sworn to protect, your trusted knights and advisors beside you, ready to aid your legacy.
It is only when opening books can you experience such thrill and adventure - you are left with memories that you have only lived in your mind, wishing that somehow, in some way, it could have been your reality.
When you finally close that book, and that grey, dull droop makes it way back, you feel a sense of loss as your world of fiction fades away, but that feeling is short lived, for you know that escaping is simple.
All you had to do was open a book.
Education: an ocean of swimmers, each individual swimming at their own pace in order to reach the same goal -land, of physicians and doctors, pilots and engineers, architects and artists, teachers and social workers and many, many more careers. My own journey began at a young age, my first dip into education igniting from my passion of English. From reading books that range from Elizabethan era, supernatural and dystopian literature, to writing pieces of fantasy poems and young adult novels, English has always been my drive to not only remain in the education ocean but to keep swimming.
And how did I do this? Teaching.
As soon as I had the opportunity to work; I seized it. From a young age of 17 I have been working at a variety of different tuition centres, each unique in their methodologies of teaching, developing and encouraging. From staff made text books, tailored work booklets and the usage of the best subject resources globally, I was able to enhance and practice my own effective way of teaching, ensuring that I always delivered results. This passion for answering a person’s question that people had failed to answer before, or to teach and explain a new, perhaps more simpler or personal method that others had failed to execute in order to clear out the fog of confusion within people’s minds, is ultimately what kept driving my passion to enter Education.
The satisfaction and overwhelming warmth that comes with knowing that you helped someone in their journey and aided their understanding in something is undefeatable. So for all those swimming in their own waters of education, no matter how rough those waters get or how much you feel like you’re drowning, don’t give up.
Swim at your own pace and tackle those waves the way you know how to, and I promise you, you will reach land.
It would be unwise to indulge and enter a certain career path without truly dissecting and discovering what that profession is truly about. Yes, you love writing, but how do you know whether you are suited for a role in creative writing or journalism? What’s the difference? Yes, you love maths, but does that mean banking is a better role for you than teaching? Or is it not? Yes, you love sports, but does that mean coaching is a more convenient placement for you rather than pursuing a career in the Olympics?
It would be wise to conduct a thorough investigation into your field of interest, and then to narrow down the different career roles that you could possibly undertake depending on your own skills, qualities, passions and capabilities.
Here’s a guide on how to do just that:
If you have a talent or a passion, what's stopping you from making that very thing your career? Who said that because you studied maths, you must go into banking? Or because you studied law, you must be a lawyer? Nobody dictates the profession or career that we are to enter - that decision lays ultimately with us. The subjects that we are taught and told to select in the education system are simply a guideline - it is a sample, a taster of sorts, that is supposed to give us a preview of what we would be expecting in the future if we choose to go down a certain path. Now, that doesn't mean our futures are rooted in the subjects we pick.
If you discover your talent for fashion and clothing after graduating with a maths degree, do not let it stop you from contacting agencies, joining fashion and textile workshops and launching your own clothing line. If you explore your passion for writing and poetry after you have already planned for a career in nursing, do not let it stop you from writing your own book and publishing what could be the decade's best-selling novel. If you find that medicinal studies do nothing to quench your thirst for arts and graphics, do not let any expectations stop you from grabbing that brush and creating a work of art.
Bring your talents and passions to life - do not let them wither and die! Water them, feed them, grow them - submit and commit yourself to a profession you adore and love, not one that you think you're supposed to adore and love. Nobody else will live your life for you - only you will so make sure you're putting your energy into a career you truly see yourself engaging in the long-run.
Engage yourself with people that have the same mind-set as you - surround yourself with positive energy. Keep friends that promote your talent, that support your passion, that push for your growth and constantly show you their love.
Uplift your friends, and make sure they uplift you too.
If you have friends that are trying to turn their talent and passion into a living, do not stay silent in their life, and do not let them stay silent in yours. Be vocal - promote their talent, support their passion, push for their growth and constantly show them the love that they deserve. Maintaining positivity is vital in rising to your self-potential.
Open up a range of social platforms - share and spread the word of not only your goals and upcoming projects but of those around you too - become a somebody in this world where talent and passion are not admired enough. Step forward as your own unique individual - become a leader in the profession that you truly want to engage, prosper and thrive in - it is only your place for the taking if you truly devote yourself to it because nobody else will push you like you.
The world of Education isn’t an easy one to navigate in – there are a lot of obstacles that will be thrown our way, whether it’s from family, friends, our social life or even our careers. No path will be easy – there will always be bumps along the way that threatens to break and wipe out all that we have already achieved. Life’s tests are inevitable – they will come when we least expect it, a catapult of emotional and mental stress that will bury us in problems.
Luckily, as humans, we do not go down so easy – it is not natural for us to give in without a fight. There is a fire in our guts that cannot be doused – it is what motivates and drives us to come out of the dark with a blinding light. We always set out to be stronger, smarter and better than we were yesterday. We always set out to avoid repeating our mistakes and instead, rise above them. We always set out to be the person we know that we can be.
We don’t have to isolate ourselves to show that we can do things. We don’t have to avoid people to demonstrate how independent we are. We don’t have to pretend like we have everything under control when we don’t.
Growing up in this arduous world of Education is acknowledging that you won’t be able to do everything alone. It is accepting and embracing the help, support, and guidance that those that are around us can offer us, whether that be family, friends, councilors or colleagues. It would be unwise of us to convince ourselves that we can do everything alone because we can’t! Some of the greatest people in history such as Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King needed the support and aid of those around them in order to flourish and raise awareness of their goals. Without the support of the people, their names would have been lost amongst the list of others who attempted to start a rebellion/revolution and failed due to their lack of aid.
It is okay to ask for help – in fact, it is admirable and wise! It does not make you weak, it does not make you less capable and it certainly does not take away your credibility! Asking for help does not have an age, gender, size or height requirement – anyone can do it! When you find you are stuck or in need of guidance, emotional support, mental help, financial aid, or whatever else it maybe - ask! Do not suffer in silence – use those around you who are willing to support you, and you will be surprised by how far you can progress as an individual!
It’s a family gathering; you’re all there: parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, all just trying to have a good time. It has been a while since you have all seen each other, so of course, a catch up is needed. Chatter and laughter intoxicates the air as you all unscrew the lids to your life and let out those memories, stories and news you wish to share. The day is coming to an end: “that wasn’t so bad”, you remark to yourself, until suddenly, somebody asks that one question that you yourself are yet to answer:
“So, what do you want to be when you’re older?”
The air turns stiff with apprehension and tension; it’s too thick to breathe. Slowly, you look around the room: your father’s chest puffs with pride as he knows you’ll be a footballer, won’t you son? Your mother’s eyes swell with tears because she knows you’ll make the best midwife, won’t you princess?
Small visions of hope, admirations and expectations decorate the space above your family’s heads; that relative believes you’ll be a firefighter; that one knows you will be the greatest chef of the century; that one expects you to study law and enter the world of criminology; that one hopes you’ve been practising your long distance running – the Olympics are soon. You’re filled with this intense feeling of impending doom – you’re torn between making them happy or facing their disappointment.
Well guess what?
It’s okay to not know what you want to be yet – that journey truly is an adventure filled with mistakes, learning curves and improvements. You could spend years in one field or subject and one day, be presented with something entirely eye-opening, to the point where you reconsider the profession you thought you were going to go into. Again, that’s okay.
It’s okay to go against what everyone expects of you – it’s about what YOU expect of YOU. No matter what it is, always do things at your level – and then push yourself. Go at your own pace – and then push yourself. Go into the profession that you love and adore – solidify the skills and experience that you have – and then push yourself. Again, that’s okay.
Make sure the path that you decide to put all your effort, commitment, loyalty and passion into is the one that you will be happy with, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s about: your happiness.
So take your time – grasp opportunities, persevere through problems, and most importantly be content – make sure everything that you’re putting blood, sweat and tears into is something that you are happily committed to.
You can get lost along the way - again, that’s okay – just make sure you find your own unique path regarding two things:
who you are and who you want to be?
It’s very easy to take a punch and just lay there, marvelling at the sky as it paints a work of art; an explosion of deep blues and fluffy whites. In that moment, you could truly just existence – not exactly as a failure, but as a being that decided that this was it – that this is where you wanted it all to end.”
The grass beneath you grows comfortable as your warm body leaves its shape; it slowly begins to permanently leave your mark – your home – as you grow accustomed and familiar to this fuzzy, body-hugging feeling.
The wind that blows between your fingers and into your lungs no longer seems to contain that cold bite it used to. As it circulates around you, wafts of warm honey and floral petals infiltrate your senses. It toasts your insides.
You are settled. You are content. You are happy.
This punch that you have taken, this view that begins to grow on you, it is not so bad.
No, it is not. In comfort and ease, your eyes begin to shut, gradually being lulled by your satisfaction.
A cloud catches your eye – it is someone pursuing the career you so desperately aspire to get into. They are flourishing with ideas, connections and plans as their enthusiasm beams across their face. Something sparks within you, but you ignore it – you’re settled.
Another cloud passes and stalls you – someone has just purchased their dream car – your dream car – and they circulate it, admiring it from all angels as they cry in joy, the hard work and money they have saved finally paying off. A feeling begins to emerge within you, but you dismiss it – you’re content.
Another cloud passes, and another, and another, all holding people who are fighting back, emerging as leaders, seizing opportunities and making a living out of themselves. They are progressing, developing and enhancing their skills, their chances and their goals – they are dreaming big and making even bigger moves.
Suddenly, the sky is no longer beautiful – its colour has faded, darkening into a dull, lifeless misshapen of grey and black – the clouds are nowhere to be seen. Your back begins to pain – the grass has turned stiff and icy – it is sharp, cutting into your back and massaging it with pain. Your lungs freeze – the cold wind has returned, chilling every surface it touches. Gone are the smells of honey and flowers, dead roots and rotting greens taking its place. It dawns upon you – you’re not happy.
When life knocks you down, it is not a reason for you to stay down – it is an incentive for you to get up higher. Start again, but this time start better and start harder. Seize your opportunities, grab your chances, wrestle for your place and demand to be seen and heard. The beauty that you look up to is nothing compared to the beauty that could surround you.
All you need to do is bounce back.
They say that, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’
Most people don’t understand what this means until they’re 6ft deep in worksheets, marking, revision and deadliness that are looming over their heads. And I mean literally looming – stacks and heaps of papers, books and guides laughing as the gravity of your mistake finally becomes clear – you failed to prepare, and now you’re preparing to fail, all because of three simple words: “not now, later.”
This load of work could have been avoided - you could have had everything under control: papers marked, notes made, facts learnt, but no – that football game was more important than those lectures you needed to watch, right? As well as all of those hours spent scrolling up and down Instagram instead of scrolling through texts, right? Deciding which filter to use on Snapchat instead of which medium to use for notes, right? Precious time spent in your bed under the covers instead of on your desk under your books, right?
We often get carried away by that devilish temptation of, “not now, later.” It’s a song we sing; a lullaby that soothes us into this state of laziness, ease and absolute disinterest towards beginning our work; we’re in love with its melody, its tune and its notes – we’d love it even if we hated it – anything to get us out of work. It’s a safety blanket that we wrap ourselves in, its warmth drowning us with its soft words of, “not now, later.” The blanket engulfs us, whispering promises of the amount we’ll get done as soon as we’re finished with our break – a break that ‘coincidentally’ seems to last forever. It’s a comfort meal - something we know we shouldn’t be having but we can’t help it – we’ll burn off the fat, just “not now, later.” We fall into its predatory caress as it slyly sneaks up on us, this toxic animal of procrastination, irresponsibility and nonchalance – and us, the ‘stronger’ mammals, we are helpless against it.
But are we?
Where we ever?
What would have happened, had we refused this temptation of “not now, later” with the faith that the accomplishment of our work first is the better option? What would have happened had we covered our ears to this tuneless, mind-poisoning lullaby? What would have happened had we thrown the blanket off, embracing the cold but knowing that it would have taken us further than the warmth ever would have? What would have happened had we just taken the healthy route – the route where we know wholeheartedly that the outcome cannot hurt or hold us back in any shape or form?
I’ll tell you what would have happened. Those papers would have been marked, those notes made and those facts learnt. Those lectures would have been watched, those texts revised, those notes organised and those books thoroughly understood.
Stop failing to prepare. Stop preparing to fail.
It’s not later - it’s now.
A burden is identified as a heavy load; something that weighs you down. A blessing is defined as a beneficial thing for which one is grateful. Education is often looked at in a negative light – it is seen as a chore, a form of childhood enforcement, but most importantly, a burden of sorts. I believe this view point needs to change.
Education is not defined by what level you received in your SATS, how many GCSE’s you obtained, how many A-Levels you took, what degree you studied and where and how much your current salary is. That is not education – that is the education system.
Education is ‘the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.’
Education is learning how to speak to new people – how to adapt your speech, body language and demeanour when speaking to different age and ability groups. It is knowing what vocabulary to execute, how to present yourself professionally, how to question, respond and communicate efficiently.
Education is obtaining new information, and no, this does not mean memorising every inch of the periodic table or knowing every mathematical equation that has emerged across the decades. This does not mean having the ability to translate every language across the world or being fit enough to run over 8 metres non-stop. It is simply the process of learning something new – did you know that if eaten in one meal, 30 to 90 grams of polar bear liver is enough to kill a human being? Or that there are more life forms living on your skin than there are people on the planet? You have just learnt something new, and that is what Education is.
Education is gaining a new skill, something that your mind and body are yet to have practiced. This could be something as small as learning how to operate machinery, exercising a new filing and organising routine or even picking up a different method of completing tasks – it could be expanding to new forms of teamwork, adopting a new approach to problem solving, executing efficient negotiations or even arising to leadership roles.
Education is the enhancement of your mindset – it is learning to open all the closed doors your mind has constructed against values, beliefs, explanations, reasons, problems, people and anything else that may evoke debate. It is persuading your mind and attitude to consider a new way of thinking and living, as well as adopting an openness to being understanding.
Education is all of these things and more – it is a form of growth. It is a blessing that not many people have had the opportunity to acquire; there are those in the world who do not know a hundredth of the knowledge that we so blindly call a ‘burden.’ It is our ticket to evolving, developing and becoming a better version of ourselves, for our future and for the ones to come after us.
Now I ask you, how can that be a burden??
Maths is a worldwide subject studied by all and used in our everyday lives from the moment we wake up till the moment we are sleeping. During my years in school, I believed maths was useless and we don’t need it nor will we ever use it once we leave school. Having also questioned such topics in Maths such as “we don’t need to know algebra how will that help us in life?” or “even we aren’t going to find the probability of our favourite song playing in our music playlist?” This is true no one will sit and try to find the probability of their favourite song, however we can see that our music playlist requires maths if we want to know how long our song will play or when our next one will come.
Many of the things we do is based on Maths, we may not even realise this. Maths is our way of life we use it to read time, travelling; making sure we get to our required location on time. Many careers are based on maths, if you go into business, finance, engineering or computer science all of it contains numerical reasoning. Mathematics helps us have better problem-solving skills. Math helps us think analytically and have better reasoning abilities.
Analytical thinking refers to the ability to think critically about the world around us. Maths opens our doors to the future, technology helps in acquiring a digital future however technology is only there due to mathematics. All technology has encryptions which require mathematics and algebra. Without Maths we would not be able to move into the future.
Education: an ocean of swimmers, each individual swimming at their own pace in order to reach the same goal -land, of physicians and doctors, pilots and engineers, architects and artists, teachers and social workers and many, many more careers.
My own journey began at a young age, my first dip into education igniting from my passion of English. From reading books that range from Elizabethan era, supernatural and dystopian literature, to writing pieces of fantasy poems and young adult novels, English has always been my drive to not only remain in the education ocean but to keep swimming. And how did I do this? Teaching.
As soon as I had the opportunity to work; I seized it. From a young age of 17 I have been working at a variety of different tuition centres, each unique in their methologies of teaching, developing and encouraging. From staff made text books, tailored work booklets and the usage of the best subject resources globally, I was able to enhance and practice my own effective way of teaching, ensuring that I always delivered results.
This passion for answering a person’s question that people had failed to answer before, or to teach and explain a new, perhaps more simpler or personal method that others had failed to execute in order to clear out the fog of confusion within people’s minds, is ultimately what kept driving my passion to enter Education. The satisfaction, and overwhelming warmth that comes with knowing that you helped someone in their journey and aided their understanding in something is indefeatable.
So for all those swimming in their own waters of education, no matter how rough those waters get or how much you feel like you’re drowning, don’t give up. Swim at your own pace and tackle those waves the way you know how to, and I promise you, you will reach land.
Parents are concerned about their child's education but smartphone usage is rapidly increasing.
The UK parents wants to stop using Mobile phones in school or education centre.
Recently survey report published in price comparison site Uswitch suggestions.
Under half of UK parents about 46% want smartphones to be banned in educational institutions.
Last year, the culture secretary Matt Hancock said he admired that school had reinforced to ban mobile phones. However, some have argued that gadgets are important for children's learning process. If these electronic devices are banned it may effect students learning. Furthermore, Uswitch estimated that the value of all gadgets taken from the schools 2019 will reach £2.3 bn. About 43% of children having newer mobile models then their parents. Total adults are spending £13 bn on their smartphones every year. On the other hand, it is understandable that parents are concerned about their child's education. An expert in Uswitch said " Ban smartphones is not a permanent solution".
In addition, parents’ peace of mind would also be affected. Parents would be able to contact their children in any kind of emergency. Not everyone agrees with this approach. Some argue that the world's full of gadgets and children should know how to tackle with new technology. Paul Howard-Jones, a professor of neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol said that: "If school and education is about preparing us for that world, then learning how to use your mobile phone - when it's appropriate, when it's not appropriate, is a very important part of that." Parent's concerns about their child's education are valid but the other side of the argument is that these gadgets should be for educational purposes. Educational institutions ensure that other social or distracting websites should be banned in educational centre.
Time management is initially significant in every exam. Recently, an article published in BBC to ban watches in exams specifically for A-level or higher in UK addressed this.
Secondary school is a big step up from primary school, and it can take children a while to adjust to the changes. Not only are there new uniforms, friendship groups, different classes, and teachers, but there are much more homework and a whole new building to navigate around.
One of the biggest challenges in the new school is learning to be organised. Most pupils find the concept of a new timetable with subjects that they may have never heard of before, with far too many teachers names to remember and in rooms they can not find. Once they finally make it into the classroom and sit down, the last thing they need to worry about is having forgotten books or to do homework. Most schools give first-year pupils settling in period, however, if pupils are still forgetting books by Halloween, they will get into trouble. By being organised, pupils can save themselves the anxiety and stress of being unprepared. Sitting down with your child each night and organising their bag and homework can help them to succeed in the new school.
With all these new classes, teachers and subjects, it is vital that pupils use a homework diary to prepare for the next class. This will ensure that they accurately record all homework and equipment needed for the forthcoming class. Pupils who use a homework diary in each class will be able to manage their workload and plan ahead with projects and assignments.
Most first-years have issues at some stage throughout the year. Whether it be getting lost in the building, a friendship problem, lost PE kit, your child can become very upset. The solution here is to know who to turn to. Each class will be given a form teacher who will be a link from home and school, but they are also excellent at solving concerns that are troubling your child. A form of teachers role is to ensure your child feels safe and happy in the school environment so encourage your child to speak with them if there something they can help with. A list of key people, like the Physiologist, Head of Year, Child Protection officer will also be made available to the child if they need to speak to someone instead of their form teacher.
The 11 plus exams are right around the corner and parents are busy with supporting and preparing their children for the 11 plus exam. Some parents take the exams so seriously that they don’t take a summer holiday so that they can support their child.
Now we need to ask the question, do parents just choose grammar schools randomly? or do they attend open days, look at classrooms and sports facilities, meet with teachers, and let their children decide which school they prefer? Doing all this can still be hard work. When you have so much choice, how do you know which grammar school is the right one for your child?
First, consider your child’s personality:
1. Is your child more academic than sporty?
2. Is your child competitive or more of a team player?
3. Is your child full of confidence or a shy student that will avoid questions?
4. Does your child like taking part in extracurricular activities?
You need to keep in mind that all grammar schools have an atmosphere that is quite competitive, and your child will just be expected 'to keep up' with their studies.
Secondly, the following points are an outline for what you should look for in a grammar school.
Ask friends and family:
1. Ask those friends and family whose children are currently studying or have studied at the grammar school you have chosen.
2. What kind of facilities are there?
3. How is the teaching faculty?
4. What extracurricular does the school provide?
Read school reviews:
1. Reading reviews online or newspaper can be very helpful in judging the school.
2. Read reviews online, especially from parents, teachers, current and alumni students.
3. Check school website for achievements and awards won by the school.
4. What is the school’s ethos and where does it see itself in the future?
5. Check OFSTED reports and independent review websites like “The Good Schools Guide” and “School Guide”.
6. Check secondary school league tables for the school’s ranking for quality of teaching and overall results in GCSEs.
Grammar school open days:
1. Attending as many open days with your child should give you more insight into how the school operates, what a typical school day is like and helps your child to get a feel for the place.
2. Check the school grounds, facilities and activities on offer.
3. Meet pupils, teaching staff and if possible, the headteacher.
Discussion with your child:
1. This is the most important part in deciding a grammar school. The more you’ll be able to judge what school might be the best fit for your child.
Some things that you may want to consider with your child include:
1. Your child’s first impressions of the school and how your child found the teaching staff and pupils.
2. The distance to the school from home and how they will travel to school.
3. Your child’s academic strengths, weaknesses and social skills.
Remember this advice:
When discussing the options with your child, try to determine the reasons why they prefer one school over another. Listen to them and try to keep your opinions to yourself to begin with, so as not to influence them one way or another. Children may choose schools for fickle reasons, such as who else is going from their school. Despite this, disagreeing with your child too early can make them all the more determined to stick to their decision.
Private tuition is a growing trend among school students in London.The Sutton Trust has documented a huge rise in private tuition in recent years. Its annual survey of secondary students in England and Wales revealed in July that 27% have had home or private tuition, a figure that rises to 41% in London. According to the Guardian, it is a “booming industry”. Yet there are many myths surrounding private tuitions; that it is not necessary, it exacerbates social inequality, that it is a waste of money, etc. Every parent wants the best for their child, so what are the advantages of private tuition?