Private tutors offer exam advice..keep calm and carry on!

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!

Private tutors reveal their top ten exam and revision tips

“Keep calm and carry on” is one of the overriding pieces of advice to UK students currently in the midst of GCSEs, A Levels and end-of-year exams from a survey undertaken in May of 500 private tutors.

The eponymous World War 2 poster message, which has become a widely recognised part of popular culture iconography in recent years, is just one of ten ‘tips’ offered by tutors attached to online private tuition platform Webtutornet and Kensington and Chelsea Tutors to help guide students through the stressful ordeal of revision and examinations.

The ten tips are as follows:

1)      Stay calm and don’t panic whether you’re in the midst of revision or within an examination environment

2)      Get a life balance during the exam period by eating well and getting plenty of sleep with early nights. Aim to get up every morning even when you have no exam!

3)      Create a revision plan that involves a clear structure of 40 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Continual intervals from study are essential to learning. One day of revising flat out will negatively affect the following days so spread activity out evenly.

4)     Go through past exam papers on a timed basis during revision and try to understand what the examiner is looking for

5)      Read the question and answer the question! It may seem obvious but ensure your answers are concise, relevant and clearly structured. Your opinion counts but isn’t enough on its own. You need to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject.

6)      Do the questions you find easiest first. Don’t attempt to do them in the order in which they appear on the paper.

7)      Read as much as possible whether relevant or irrelevant to your exams. Reading is a form of brain training that will help with revision and your levels of concentration during an exam.

8)      Avoid long meandering sentences as nine times out of ten these will act against you. Keep your sentences short and sweet.

9)      Towards the end of your exam, if you have time, reread all of your answers. You are bound to come across a mistake of some description and this is the easiest way to improve marks at the last minute

10)  Understand how the marking works for each question and find the marks scheme on the exam board’s website. There’s no point spending lots of time on questions that offer few points to the detriment of more rewarding ones.

Nevil Chiles, who founded Kensington & Chelsea Tutors in 2002 and Webtutornet in 2012, commented: “The tips we received from the tutors surveyed make for interesting reading and undoubtedly reveal that a calm and organised approach to both revision and exams will reap dividends.

“This is the most stressful time of the year for hundreds of thousands of students of all ages and it’s therefore important to prepare in the right way,” added Nevil who has personally interviewed and vetted over 2000 tutors in the past 11 years.

For more details visit www.kctutors.co.uk and www.webtutornet.com

ENDS

A CLEAR TREND TOWARDS ONLINE LEARNING

Here’s my views on an education news story on today’s BBC website…

Cambridge to tutor A-level physics

Academics from Cambridge University are to help tutor sixth-form physics students across the UK to prepare them better for university study.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-22434611

 

Encouraging people to study physics can only be a good thing as we are being left behind by the rest of the world, especially Asia, in this field.

This is also a clear indication of a trend towards online learning. Here at Webtutornet we truly believe that online learning is the future of education.

 

 

Tackling the issue of cowboy tutors…

Here’s our take on a recent article about ‘cowboy’ tutors that appeared in the Telegraph …link here for original article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/expateducation/10000247/Aspirational-parents-should-be-wary-of-cowboy-tutors.html
This is very interesting for all of us at Kensington & Chelsea Tutors and Webtutornet. The article asks the question, “how reliable are tutors, and how do you find the best option while overseas?”.
We think we have the definitive answer to both questions. The only way to ensure the quality of tutors is to source them from a reliable agency that has interviewed and vetted them – that is after all by definition what an agency should do. Over the past 10+ years at K & C we have personally interviewed and vetted every single one of our 2500+ tutors. We continue to interview approximately 40 new candidates a month. This ensures that we are not only supplying high quality tutors but also that we can deliver an excellent service to an increasing quantity of clients.
From an overseas point of view Webtutornet enables students to have lessons from tutors who are located all over the world. As Webtutornet grows we are encouraging people to get in touch with us if they can’t find the tutor they are looking for at the site. Because of the connection with the two companies we can and do encourage those applying and tutoring for K & C to join the Webtutornet community. That means if an overseas student is looking for something specific we can almost certainly find the right tutor to fit the bill. Have a look at the sites:
 

THE PRIVATE TUTORIAL SET TO CHANGE FOREVER

– Easter is the time when demand for private tuition starts to increase with end of year exams on the horizon

– The number of parents enquiring about online face-to-face tuition is on the rise

– 60% of those taking private tuition are female

– Tuition requests for the 6-11 age group up 20% due to 7+ exam

– Tuition requests from pupils direct doubled in the last year

– Mothers continue to be the main drivers when it comes to opting for private tuition

 

The face of private tuition looks set to change forever according to education expert Nevil Chiles!

 

Despite the economic situation the demand for private tuition continues to rise with a growing number of enquiries from parents and pupils specifically requesting an online variation.

 

That’s the finding of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, a private tuition agency that’s operated across London and the South East for the past 11 years, and its associated pioneering online platform Webtutornet which allows pupils and tutors to connect for face-to-face private tuition over the internet.

 

Webtutornet, and other online tuition resources, represent the future of private tuition according to founder Nevil Chiles, MD of K&C Tutors: “Delivering private tutorials online will soon become the norm as today’s media savvy Facebook generation recognise the inherent advantages.

 

“The days of tutors travelling through rush hour traffic to deliver a lesson at a pupil’s home are numbered.

 

“Webtutornet is one of the solutions available that offer parents peace of mind with a safe, secure and closely monitored service.

 

“It costs £50 to register with everyone who signs up receiving a pack with webcam, microphone and smart pen and pad to allow for the online sharing of resources. No software is required.

 

“We are approaching the busy period for private tutors. Easter tends to be a watershed with many parents and a growing number of pupils themselves, recognising the importance of topping up their classroom education and preparing effectively for those all important exams in the summer.

 

“We’ve seen a very clear increase in the numbers requesting an online approach and that trend is sure to continue,” added Nevil who has worked within education as a teacher and academic for over 20 years.

 

That trend is one of a few that Nevil and his team have identified. There has been a 20% increase over the course of the last 12 months in 6-11 year-olds opting for extra curricular tuition due to the introduction of 7 plus tests and pupils themselves are increasingly taking the initiative and organising their own lessons.

 

“The number of students contacting us direct has doubled in the last year,” continued Nevil “from one in twenty to around one in ten but mothers continue to be the main driving force when it comes to extra education.

 

“From the start with K&C Tutors in 2002 we’ve seen a consistent 60%-40% split with more females opting for private tuition. Perhaps the girls are more conscientious?” added Nev.

 

One recent convert to online private tuition is mother-of-three Mrs Rifat from Oxfordshire but she had her initial concerns.

 

“The single most important consideration as a parent is that the system is safe and secure and that the tutor involved has been vetted by the tuition facilitator.

 

“You have to have peace of mind if you are to entrust your child’s education into the hands of a relative stranger online and I found it important personally to chat initially online with the tutor that we use. That puts your mind at rest.

 

“Secondly you must be confident that the information shared during the lesson remains confidential and secure and this is very much the case with solutions such as Webtutornet.

 

“Since then each and every lesson has gone very smoothly and it’s a simple and easy way of delivering private tuition,” added Mrs Rifat.

 

Each and every K & C tutor is personally vetted by the company. In fact Nevil himself has interviewed over 2,000 to date with every successful applicant undergoing strict checks and CRB accreditation.

 

There are significant advantages from the tutor’s perspective as Angad Rihal, a maths teacher engaged by Mrs Rifat, explained: “This is a truly bespoke solution that has been developed for the student with teaching in mind. The ease of use clearly shows it has been masterminded by people in the industry and is far superior to just using dabble board or Skype.

 

“This is finally bridging the gap between the internet and private teaching which is long overdue and fitting given the tech savvy zeitgeist.

 

“It also saves a lot of time on travelling to the homes of students which, with traffic the way it is, can be a priceless advantage!” added Angad.

 

Nevil summarised: “Systems such as Webtutornet allow tutors and pupils to be anywhere in the world when conducting lessons. It is inevitable that this approach will become the norm!”

 

The future is here and it’s clear that Webtutornet is in the vanguard of the changing face of private tuition!

 

For more details visit http://www.webtutornet.com

Latest blog on level sixth form playing field call

** Level sixth-form playing field call ** The government should level the playing field for post-16 education in England, the Sixth Form Colleges Association will tell MPs on Tuesday.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21579926 >

Shouldn’t funding decisions be dependent on what is being taught and the quality of the teaching however I agree with David Igoe. Why should sixth form colleges be treated differently to institutions providing equivalent qualifications?

The report states, ‘… that sixth-form colleges tend to attract students with lower GCSE grades and higher levels of deprivation than either academies or school sixth forms.’ I fail to see why that is relevant. Are they successful institutions providing quality courses? Surely that is the only reason to level this playing field?

 

 

 

ENTRANCE EXAM TUITION IS PARADOX FOR SCHOOLS

Poorest need entrance test help

Some selective state schools should do more to help poorer children pass their entrance exams, suggests a government-funded study.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21180679

Unfortunately money (or lack of it) is a bar to many things. It is an unfortunate fact that parents who can afford extra tuition are going to give their children an advantage over those who cannot, whether this is building towards entrance examinations or for general school work.

At K & C we encounter many parents who request tuition for specific school entrance tests as well as for 11+ and 13+. Private tuition working towards these tests creates a paradox for the schools. Clearly what they are looking for is students who can pass not students who can learn to pass through extensive preparation. Many schools continually change their papers to try to subvert this but tutors are never far behind.

Follow on Twitter @webtutornet / @kandctutors

 

 

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A PRIVATE TUTOR

You can’t beat being a private tutor according to Edward Kiely!

 

There’s no well defined career path into private tuition however in Edward’s case it was a case of following the family tradition.

 

“I’d undertaken volunteer work while I was at university with an educational group for students with anxiety disorders and found working one-to-one with students really rewarding,” explained Edward who graduated from EmmanuelCollege, Cambridge, with a First Class Honours degree in Social and Political Sciences

 

He went on “My mother has been a tutor for a number of years in Suffolk and because I was interested she set me up with my first student. I spotted a previously undiagnosed learning difficulty and then helped to raise him three grades in his Maths GCSE at which point I started to consider tutoring as a career.

 

“Once I’d moved to London tutoring fitted my lifestyle perfectly as I use my daytimes to work on theatre and comedy projects. I really enjoy working with children and young people but the aspect that I enjoy most is the sense of achievement that comes from having a breakthrough with a student,” added Edward who has been a private tutor for just over a year specialising in Common Entrance English, Maths, Biology and Sociology A-Level.

 

Getting enough work in is a major consideration and to that end Edward has registered with six different agencies including Kensington and Chelsea (KC) Tutors who have been providing personalised private tuition across London and the South East since 2002 as well as, more recently, online face to face private tuition through their Webtutornet technology platform.

 

“I find that KC Tutors manage to be efficient and professional while remaining friendly and supportive. Their invoicing system is simple and they always pay on time, not always the case with some agencies, and they respond to any queries that one may have quickly and effectively.

‘At the same time I feel that they are genuinely concerned about my level of satisfaction in my work as a tutor. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they have found and offered me more work than any other agency in West London.

“KC Tutors e-mails a number of interested tutors with details of a potential student and invites them to apply. While this does mean that you have to be quick to respond your e-mail, it also means that you never feel forgotten and that, if your circumstances change, they are the most efficient at finding and offering you work,” added Edward.

 

It’s not all plain sailing and there have been negative experiences as Edward pointed out: “I had a bad experience recently with one agency who placed me with a very difficult client in full knowledge that they were unpleasant to work for and then offered me next to no support.

 

“When the client refused to pay me for an introductory session, for which I’d been assured that I would be paid, the agency merely said it was ‘out of their hands.’

 

“The support offered by KC Tutors contrasts with that experience. The one and only occasion that I had difficulties with a client that I’d been given through KC Tutors, the agency made clear that the client had broken their clearly-defined terms of service and that I would therefore be paid for all of my time,

 

“This made a world of difference in a potentially difficult situation,” added Edward.

 

Nevil Chiles, who established KC Tutors, has personally interviewed over 2,000 tutors in the past 11 years and with a background in education spanning over 20 years he’s well aware of what will and won’t work for a private tutor.

 

“From our perspective it’s not about simply referring on clients and then taking a fee. It’s about providing ongoing support and feedback on a tutor’s progress and giving them peace of mind.

 

“That approach means that tutors can focus on what they do best and deliver the best possible and most effective tutorials to students be that face to face or online through our fast growing Webtutornet service,” added Nevil.

 

As for Edward he’d be the first to suggest a future in private tuition to any potential tutor: “If you’re looking for interesting and challenging work that is flexible and adapts to your lifestyle then I’d definitely recommend private tuition!”

 

For more details visit www.kctutors.co.uk and www.webtutornet.com.

ENDS

Military in schools…a great idea with caveats!

** £2m boost for military in schools **
Projects which put former servicemen and women in England's schools have been given a £2m government boost.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-20642796 >

It is a shame that National Service was abolished in the UK. I think this idea of military style training is excellent. It instills discipline and comradeship; arguably greatly lacking from society as a whole. However, I do not agree that there should be an easy way into the teaching profession. A degree should be a necessary stepping stone to teaching – after all without the background knowledge how can a teacher be expected to thoroughly grasp their subject? I wholeheartedly agree that ex forces personnel should be encouraged into teaching. If they do not hold a degree perhaps the government could subsidise candidates through a degree course? Potentially excellent candidates should be encouraged. Would that not be money well spent?

Teacher morale is extremely low right now – action required!

** Teachers who quit up by a fifth **
The number of teachers who quit their jobs in English state schools rose by almost a fifth in one year, according to government figures.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-20585457
This is hardly surprising. Teacher morale is extremely low whatever the government would like us to think. The teaching profession has been increasingly undermined for years with the introduction of ever more complicated teaching structures, relentless inspection, an inability to discipline and constant criticism from above. Confidence is further undermined by suggestions that unqualified teachers be allowed to step in. De-regulation with free schools and academies only makes things more complicated and continues to knock away at the foundations of the profession. Current economic conditions have also exacerbated the problem through knee jerk pension cuts and pay freezes.
Teachers are the bedrock of future generations. However hard it is, the government needs to find a way not only of improving standards but also of paying teachers what they deserve along with guarantees on pensions. Morale would rise and teachers might remain teachers to properly educate our children. If morale and standards are low, so will be the calibre of school leavers.
Follow me on Twitter @webtutornet / @kandctutors

WORDS and WAFFLE from DoE

** UK education sixth best in world **
An international education league table puts the UK among a leading group of countries headed by Finland and South Korea.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-20498356 >
The Department for Education must have a filing cabinet somewhere labelled ‘staple responses’.
“We are driving up standards right across the board by bringing the best graduates into teaching, developing a world-class curriculum, and restoring order to our classrooms.” Are they?; there are many, many people who would strongly disagree.

“We are driving forward the academies and free schools programmes with more than half of secondary schools now enjoying academy status.” So academy status is a good thing? Free schools are an excellent idea? There are many Juries and lots of them are still out.

“We have introduced the EBacc so more pupils are encouraged to study the core academic subjects that universities and employers demand and we will be introducing a new, far more rigorous examination system.” Will be introducing…? Do we want an EBacc system? All of this is still being vigorously debated; once again a D of E spokesperson comes up with what they do best. Words and waffle.

Global League tables are a useful indicator but we should be very careful about comparing systems from societies that are culturally disparate. Is it really possible to meaningfully compare the education system in Hong Kong with the UK?

The frustrating thing is that the answer should not be difficult. Hard compulsory exams at 16 containing information that school leavers might actually be glad they learned if they never open another book. Tandem vocational qualifications for those less inclined towards academics. A Levels should be kept but rolled back to when they were challenging. Hard exams for 18 year olds will give us a clear picture of abilities. Universities and employers will be able to trust the grades and know the calibre of candidate they are getting without having to re-check. Let’s get away from this ridiculous situation where the sole driver seems to be everybody passing and going to University. Pretending everybody is an academic could lead to a future with the potential to have generations of ill-educated, debt ridden ex-students.