Published: December 19, 2017 Written by tutorhouse for Tutor House
June 8, 2015
The importance of striving for excellence
Whether or not you wish to obtain that A grade in your GCSE Maths exam or that A* in A Level English, striving for excellence is a habit that can be applied to all facets of your life.
Ensuring that all work you produce is of your highest possible standard will instil long term traits such as discipline, hard work and focus which are transferable qualities applicable to all areas of your life from exam success to running a marathon.
Striving for excellence is a skill which can be cultivated and a mindset which can be fostered. Performing to your optimum level leads to a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment which naturally leads to a ‘feel good’ feeling.
Modern day Biology suggests that when we perform to our optimum capacity natural ‘feel good’ feelings are released and to continue experiencing such feelings we will continue to operate at our own levels of excellence. The neurotransmitter Dopamine is said to motivate us ‘to take action toward goals, desires, and needs’. Furthermore, it also gives us pleasure once we have accomplished what we have set out to do. The release of such neurotransmitters can lead to a domino effect motivating us to work towards more goals helping us to realise our dreams.
Therefore we can assume that by cultivating an attitude of excellence and hard work we will also be more joyful, happier and not to mention successful.
At Tutor House we aim to encourage students to always strive for their best in all life endeavours as we understand the importance of giving each task their very best which inevitably leads to a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
May 29, 2015
What is a Tuition Fee / Student Loan?
The Tuition Fee Loan, also known as a student loan, is what many students chose to apply for to help them cover the cost of going to university. It is non-income assessed and it is there to help many students in the UK, whether they are studying full or part-time, who would otherwise struggle with tuition fees. Any full or part-time students from the UK and EU can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.
Apply for a tuition fee loan here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance
Different Types of Tuition Fee Loans for University Students
Different courses cost different amounts for their tuition, which can depend on a number of factors such as the country of study, and the university or college you will be receiving tuition from. Universities can charge whatever they like for courses depending on the maximum rate set by the government, which is currently set at £9,000 per academic year.
If a course has tougher requirements, is more competitive and popular, and the university or college has an admirable academic reputation you may find tuition fees are more expensive.
Once you have successfully applied for a student loan:
Students who apply and are successful will receive the first instalment of their tuition fee loan once the University has notified the relevant body that the student has started at their institution. Instead of the money being handed over to the students themselves, this is then transferred to the University or colleague who will use the money to cover the costs of tuition. If the loan does not cover the cost of tuition the student will be required to find other means to completely cover their costs.
Upon graduating university students are required to repay their tuition fee loads and these are also subject to interest.
Full-time tuition fee loans vs. Part-time tuition fee loans
Students who are going into full-time University of college education can receive up to a maximum of £9,000. If the student is studying full-time at a private university of college this figure is £6,000. Part-time students can receive a maximum amount of £6,750 and part-time students who chose to study at a private university or college can receive up to £4,500.
How to Apply for a Student Loan in the UK
The easiest way to apply for a student loan if you are a new student from England is via the Student Finance England’s website. You need to set up an account with them online, and will then be able to complete the online application form including details of your households income.
Once you have filled out the details you will need to sign and return the loan declaration. Be aware you may need to send in proof of identity as well. The loan declaration should be with you within 6 weeks of completing the online form.
If you are a continuing student from England you should already have an account set up. In that case you can simply log in and apply online.
Part-time students, and students from the rest of the UK have to go through a slightly different, yet still straightforward process to apply.
Students Applying from the EU:
New students from within the EU are not able to apply for a tuition fee loan online, however will be able to download the application pack and send it, and then wait for the letter which will let you know whether your application has been successful, and how much you can expect to receive. EU students that are continuing their courses will be sent the forms automatically.
Other types of loans for students:
Students can apply for different types of loans to help them cover the costs of continuing their education. Another popular loan is the Maintenance loan, which unlike the Tuition Fee Loan, is paid directly into student’s bank accounts to help them with general living costs while studying.
If you are living at home you can still apply for a Maintenance Loan of up to £4,565. If you are living away from home, but still outside the capital you can apply for a loan of up to £5,740 and if you are living within London, up to £8,009.
For Full-time UK students there is also a possibility of applying for a Maintenance Grant to help with your living costs. The Grant is one, which you don’t have to pay back, however you should be aware that it would have a knock on effect on the amount you will be eligible to receive from the Maintenance Loan.
There is an online student finance calculator to estimate your Maintenance Grant and Loans.
Paying back your student and tuition fee loans:
Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans are repayable to the bank after you have finished studying. Even if you do not complete your course you still need to pay back any money you borrowed. There are several factors that play a part in when and how much you will need to pay back depending on which repayment plan you are on.
For English and Welsh students who started before the 1st September 2012 you only need to start repaying your Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan when you are in employment and earning over £17,335 (this amount is subject to change).
When you start repaying your loan and what you pay depend on which repayment plan you’re on.
English and Welsh students who started on or after 1 September 2012 only start repaying when their annual salary is £21,000 and above.
If you are self-employed you will need to keep your own records to work out your student loan repayments, otherwise this will automatically be deducted from your pay and show up on your payslip each month.
Is a student loan right for you?
With university fees seemingly ever on the increase it can be a difficult decision when thinking about how to finance further education. Many parents and students automatically decide to apply for a student loan to cover their costs, however is that the best thing to do? If you can afford to pay out in one lump some is that better?
Student loans have had little praise in recent press however they are still very good deals when you compare how they work to normal loan types from the bank. You don’t have to worry about repaying the loan while your child remains at the university or college, and students have until the next April after they finish their studies before they will be asked to start repaying –even then that is only if they meet the criteria by earning over a certain amount (£21,000 as of September 2012) so if they aren’t yet earning a great deal, or haven’t secured a job you or they won’t need to pay back a penny.
Repayments are actually worked out fairly and are proportionate to the individual’s income (9% of their pre-tax earnings) so they should never be asked to pay out more than they can afford.
As with most loans students are expected to pay interest on them. While studying they are charged the rate of inflation + 3%.
After this any interest is again calculated in relation to income. Those earning under £21,000 = rate of inflation. Those earning £21,000-£41,000 will be charged the rate of inflation + between 0-3% depending on their income, and those on salaries of £41,000 will have an interest rate on their loan of inflation + 3%.
Other forms of borrowing generally have far higher interest rates and so the student loan is actually a comparatively good deal, involving no credit checks or hidden nasty surprises that could get them into financial difficulties.
Of course however, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ way to go when it comes to dealing with student finances. Many people who can pay student fees off in one go chose to do so for stability, budgeting and peace of mind. Not taking out a student loan and simply paying the fees then and there also means there will be no impact on the student’s future earnings and they won’t have to start their career in thousands of pounds worth of debt. Using you savings to pay for your child’s university education may be tempting, especially since interest of savings accounts is particularly low. However doing this will mean whatever interest you could have earned would be lost and you will have less disposable income.
There are plenty of useful websites, which have advice on tuition fee and maintenance loans. For further information on where to get help and advice take a look at the links below:
Preparing for university can be tricky and financial worries are commonplace. While student tuition fee and maintenance loads might not be the route down which every student will do, they are useful to ease the pressure of paying for university courses and living costs so your child can focus on getting the most out of their education.
For further advice get in touch with Tutor house as we will be able to answer any Pre-University application questions you may have.
September 24, 2013
Common Entrance preparation for Parents, which London Schools should you apply for?
Tutor House Common Entrance information for Parents
The Entrance Exam Process
Parents should check the open days for the schools that they wish to apply to and endeavour to visit the schools and listen to the Head teachers talk. This will enable them to get a good overview and a feel for the school, and help them decide if this place would suit their childs’ personality and academic ability. (We offer an individualised service for parents who would like the expert advice of one of our experienced tutors).
Most schools have a selection procedure that can be very competitive. Many of the North London Public Schools work within remit of the North London Consortium. The schools have been conveniently divided into TWO groups. Your child only needs to sit ONE exam for each group of schools. The results are then passed onto all the schools that you have applied for within that group.
Francis Holland (Clarence Gate), Francis Holland (Graham Terrace), Heathfield School, Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Queen’s College, St Albans High School, St Helen’s School, South Hampstead High School.
Entrance Examinations for Group 1 Schools : Friday 18 January 2013
Channing School, City of London School for Girls, More House, North London Collegiate School, Northwood College, Queen’s Gate School, St James’ Senior Girls’ School, The Godolphin and Latymer School.
Entrance Examinations for Group 2 Schools: Friday 11 January 2013
Parents should register with the school within each Group at which they would like their child to sit the exam.
Schools not listed above have their own entrance exams and dates. Please ask your chosen school for details. Tutor House will of course provide full coaching and mentoring for all selective schools. Most schools test to National Curriculum Level 5+ including: St Pauls, Haberdashers Aske’s school for Boys and Haberdashers Aske’s School for Girls. Tutors will ensure that they are up to date and fully familiarised with the entrance examination expectations of your chosen school.
What your child will be tested on:
Entrance exams for all of the Group 1 and Group 2 schools usually consist of:
• An English Paper
• A Maths Paper
• A Non- Verbal Reasoning Paper
Your child’s achievement will be ranked and children will be invited for interview accordingly.
Tutor House tutors are all very familiar with the assessment processes. We aim to ensure that all the core contents for Maths and English are well covered to National Curriculum Level 5+
Our tutors will ensure that pupils are able to work independently and can rise to new challenges that will stretch them academically. We aim to build on and further develop skills that allow your child to:
• Read and show understanding of selected pieces of text, either fiction or non fiction.
• Demonstrate that they can analyse the text
• Express themselves clearly, precisely and eloquently on paper
• Write creatively
• Respond to open questions in a thoughtful manner
• Display a good grasp of grammar, spelling, punctuation and appropriate style suited to varying tasks.
In the entrance exam test pupils will be given a passage to read and comprehension based questions. Our tutors will aim to give pupils opportunities to develop their skills in this area in order to write creatively and expand their vocabulary.
The entrance will test pupils secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics concepts. Our tutors will prepare pupils for Level 5+. It is important that pupils are given opportunities to work under exam conditions and Tutor House will provide ample opportunities for your child to demonstrate their newly acquired skills and potential under test conditions. Since most pupils will opt to be taught in larger groups as opposed to 1:1, they will benefit from competition with peers who are also prepared for the entrance exam.
The following concepts will be taught:
Number Place Value
Properties of numbers
Positive and Negative Integers
Decimals and Percentages
Calculations Pencil and Paper proceduresEstimations/Approximations
Solving Problems Using appropriate operations to solve problems
Shape and Size
Shapes, Lines and Angles
Perimeter and area
Non-Verbal reasoning tests
Non Verbal reasoning tests require recognition of similarities, analogies, patterns in unfamiliar designs- which can include series completion, codes and analogies. These tests indicate a pupil’s ability to understand and assimilate new information independently of their language skills. They indicate the potential ability of a child and are used widely by selective schools, as they tend to be highly reliable in indicating the future academic results that your child is likely to achieve.
There is of course no set syllabus for NVR tests however our experiences show that the more a child is exposed to the wide range of these tests the better their score in entrance exams.
Tutor House will use a range of NVR material to familiarise your child and to remove their fear.
Tutors will go through the questions ad provide detailed reasoning so that the child gradually moves away from dependant learning to mastering the techniques. Weekly testing will help rank your child within the group so that they understand how they are doing in comparison to their peers and what more they need to do to improve.
There are a few schools that will also test your child’s verbal reasoning ability. The larger your child’s vocabulary the better they will do in these tests. Tutor House will support your child in developing their verbal reasoning skills as for NVR tests (see above) should the school of your choice have be using this form of testing.
Common Entrance Exams
Many schools use CE exams set by the Independent Schools Examination Board. Your chosen school will tell you if they use these exams. If this is the case you may access all the information about the syllabuses for each subject on thee ISEB website: www.iseb.co.uk
Tutor House tutors are well placed and highly experienced to provide tuition for your child to excel in these exams.
Once your child has been successful in the exam they will be invited for an interview, schools may interview:
• In Groups or in pairs
• With parents, or without parents.
Tutor House offers a ‘preparation for interview’ session and further information will be provided on request.
Support for Parents
Tutor House recognise and are fully aware that making applications for selective schools can be a very traumatising period for parents. We aim to simplify this process for you as much as possible.
All parents will have a one to one meeting with one of our highly experienced directors. During this meeting we will be able to build up a good picture of your specific needs and give you the support you need.
We will also have an open morning for parents and offer opportunities for you to mingle with other parents should you wish.
We recognise that some parents want to be in a position to support their child in the assignments we set for homework but often they don’t know how to. A technique in the teaching of maths, English and science (for Common Entrance Exams) has most probably moved on since you were last involved in education. We offer 1:1 support for parents to help you to keep up to date with what your child is learning, both for the entrance examinations and in school- up to GCSE level.
Our classes will include access to online assessment material, showing parents how to mark homework and monitor progress.
It is important of course that parents help their child to manage this stressful period so that they do not let nerves get the better of them on examination day. We offer your support in dealing with this.
Please ask the Directors for further details
Your Childs’ Success is our Success and we strongly believe that parents are an integral part of this process. Tutor House will provide additional support and information to all parents, we’re friendly, just get in contact with us.