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5 Tips for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)

September 11, 2014

5 Tips for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)

So you’ve finished university, you’ve got your degree and you’ve got your first teaching job, but as the summer holiday draws to an end your thoughts have probably turned to your new career.

Over the summer holiday you have probably already spent hours printing and laminating titles for your displays, organising folders and arranging your classroom. These jobs are certainly useful and a great way to feel slightly more prepared, but until you meet your class you will be holding your breath. To be honest you will probably realise around October half term that you forgot to breathe out.

So other than remembering to breathe what can an NQT do to prepare for their first year?

The team at PlanBee have put their heads together and come up with the top five things they wish they had been told before opening their classroom doors that first September.

1. Work life balance

Start your career as you mean to go on. Get into a routine of good habits from September, start with setting yourself a bedtime and sticking to it. Be strict about when you shut down your computer. You could plan and prepare all night, but it won’t improve your teaching. Make sure you set aside at least one work free evening during the week and a day at the weekend. Don’t feel guilty about taking some time for yourself, teaching is a vocation so make sure you look after your own health!

A friend of PlanBee worked until 2 am every night during the first term of her NQT year, unsurprisingly she burnt out by Christmas.

2. Ask for help

No one will think you are a terrible teacher if you ask someone to explain something to you again. It is much better to ask for clarification before you spend hours working on something. Asking for help early stops you feeling like you have waisted time when you inevitably need to redo it.

In every school we have worked we have found teachers hiding in the cupboard sobbing. Most of the time they were upset because they were exhausted and overwhelmed. Ask for help before this happens. Teaching is a team effort!

3. Know when to say no

Obviously there is the wrong time to say no, but in most circumstances if you respond professionally no one will think any less of you. Everyone in a school is busy and at times your colleagues will share out jobs and add to your work load. If you have too much to do, just explain, no one will think less of you.

4. Everyone makes mistakes

If a child in your class found something difficult, or made a mistake you wouldn’t write them off as a failure. Yet teachers can be unbelievably hard on themselves. Everyone makes mistakes. A motto we have used in schools is ‘mistakes are where the learning happens’. This is true for everyone, embrace your mistakes no one expects you to get everything right all the time!

5. Create an effective learning environment

This does not mean laminating everything! The most important thing in a classroom is you. You create the atmosphere. If your classroom is an area where the children and adults feel valued, secure and respected then half the work is done. If your class understand the boundaries, why they are there and that everyone is treated fairly they will enjoy learning and thrive. When children enjoy being in your class you can get on with enjoying teaching them!

Extra Tip: Consider Getting into Private Tuition

In the UK, particularly London, there is a huge demand additional education support for students studying from Common Entrance right through to A-Levels. At Tutor House, we will consider applications for new private tutors to join our team as long as you have a CRB certificate, a university degree and/or a teaching qualification, and have at least 3 years teaching experience. For more information on how you can become a private tutor, please contact us via our tutors contact form.

We’d like to thank PlanBee for researching and writing this fantastic article. PlanBee provide primary teaching resources for teachers looking for primary lesson plans, information about new curriculums and much more.

Gap Year Ideas to Boost Your CV

September 5, 2014

Gap Year Ideas to Boost Your CV

When people think of students going off on their gap year, they usually think of kids going off to party or waste their time sitting around doing nothing.  Your gap year can combine both the time of your life with an injection of quality to your CV.  Gap year ideas can help turn your year out of education into impressive reading on your CV.

Invest In Your Education

Even if you use your gap year to travel or save up some money before you start University, it’s no reason to leave your education on hold for an entire year. Consider a part-time language course or TEFL certificate instead. Tutor House offers part-time evening language classes that could be the ideal way to keep your academic brain active during your gap year, plus is there anything more rewarding than learning another language?

These language and extra-curricular courses will result in tangible qualifications that you can list on your CV, showing that you’re someone who is willing to make that additional effort to stand out in a sea of applicants with similar levels of experience. Alternative gap years will give bored recruiters something to notice, which is what is required when applying for jobs in this current competitive environment.

If you have a work schedule that won’t allow you to attend set classes, why not hire private tutors instead? Sign up to an online course from a creditable UK university and work towards getting a qualification. Tutor House offers expert private home tuition, meaning you don’t even have to leave your own house to learn.


Work doesn’t have to, and won’t always, result in pay. Volunteering can be a great opportunity to get involved in unique projects that give you additional skills that you would otherwise need years to access to gain paid employment further into your career.

Yes, you will need to work for free but there’s something about helping others in a worthy cause that’s just more valuable than money. If you can’t afford it and need to work, why not volunteer just a day a week? Or perhaps you could get involved in a short-term project over a couple of weeks. This will give added value to your CV without needing a massive sacrifice on your part. Take a look at Projects Abroad for more information and to see what projects are available that might take your fancy!

Paid Work with a Twist

Not everyone who takes a gap year can afford to do it without bringing in any money. The reality is that most of us don’t have the bank of mum and dad to fund our year of fun.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to find a job at your local Tesco. Try going for those opportunities that take you beyond what you’ve done before. Try finding paid internships that give you an insight into an industry that you may be interested in come graduation.

You could also work and travel at the same time. Go to a country where your current skill-set may be needed, such as China. Private tuition is big business in this up and coming country, so take advantage and see whether you can join the legion of private tutors already in employment. This will not only put money in your pocket but will give you an experience you’ll never forget along with boosting your CV. And who doesn’t want to learn Mandarin!? For more information, and to take a look at jobs that are available in China visit Go Overseas.

Summer Camp

Working at a Summer camp such as Camp America is a great way to learn new skills, whilst making new friends and topping up your tan before you start University. Camp America is a highly prestigious company to have on your CV. This is because during the camp you are taught many employability skills, such as leadership, teamwork and organisation, which puts you one step ahead of the competition when applying for jobs.

If working with children in Florida, New York or California is something that may interest you then register now for Summer 2015. As long that you are over 18 and are available between May and the June then apply here!

Challenge Yourself!

Finally, it’s important to give yourself a challenge. Recruiters like to see applicants that are willing to think outside the box. People that go for the standard gap year opportunities will look generic and safe and it won’t help you stand out.

Remember, gap years are unique and it’s likely you’ll never get the chance to do something quite like it again. Grab the bull by the horns and make it an experience you’ll never forget.

Contact Tutor House for any advice and information on what to do during your gap year or for information on private tuition and evening language courses.

back to school
Top Tips for Going Back to School in 2014

August 21, 2014

Top Tips for Going Back to School in 2014

Starting a new school year can be a little stressful, particularly for children entering their GCSE or A-Level years. Results become important, university applications are a primary concern, and the pressure of performing can be too much for many. You’re probably feeling a mix of emotions from the excitement and nervousness of starting a new academic year to the sadness that your summer holiday is coming to an end. Luckily these worries won’t last forever as you’ll soon find yourself back into the swing of things come September 2014.

Let’s find out a little more about going back to school in 2014. The following top tips will help any student, from those just starting secondary school to those entering that crucial final year before University.

Get Into a Routine

The summer holidays have a tendency of throwing our sleeping patterns completely out of sync. You start going to bed later and later and it can almost be considered a miracle if you slump out of bed anytime before midday. Unlike previous first days at school, you will be expected to hit the ground running on your first weeks back at secondary school.

Before your first day back, you need to snap out of this routine. Having terrible sleeping patterns will have a huge effect on your ability to concentrate and absorb knowledge during classes. You’ll feel lethargic and out of sorts, not to mention the lack of energy for homework after school.

Try and change your schedule a week before classes are due to start. Slowly start going to bed earlier so you can ease yourself back into waking up early enough to be on time for school.

Buy What You Need

Whether it’s a calendar, a brand new set of pens of every imaginable colour, or just a collection of notebooks, make sure you are kitted out with everything you need well before the beginning of term.

You want to avoid the scenario where you arrive completely unprepared, not able to take notes effectively and simply doing everything in a single notebook or worse, random sheets of paper. Here’s a quick list of what we think you’ll need for going back to school:

1. At least 2 good quality Ballpoint pens – An absolute necessity for all students starting secondary school.

2. A selection of Highlighters – great for note-making and highlighting key points on worksheets or exam papers.

3. Paper notebooks – at least 1 notebook per subject.

4. Three-ring binder folders with dividers – these are essential for keeping worksheets, notes and print-outs for all subjects. Some schools and colleges provide these for you, but you can never be too organised!

5. Good quality pencils with a rubber – you’re never too old to revert back to lead. Pencils are great for note-making and provide a reliable back-up just incase you run out of pens.

6. A ruler with English and metric measurements.

7. A scientific calculator – because you never know when you’ll need one.

8. A pencil case to keep it all together in one place.

Stay Organised

Lack of organisation is one of the major disadvantages you can give yourself. Stay organised and you stand every chance of achieving the high grades you desire, and deserve. Summer is a good time to begin drilling habits into your daily routine. You’ll like have limited responsibilities during the summer, so make the most of your spare time and start getting into the habit of being organised.

At the end of each school day, consolidate the notes you have taken and organise them accordingly. Make it very easy to recall what you’ve covered on a given day and make sure you can understand your notes, even if you look at them months later.

When you’re given worksheets or print-offs during the school year, make a real effort to put them away logically and in order. Don’t just stuff them into your notebook, never to be seen again. Take similar steps of organisation from top to bottom and you’ll find you won’t need to waste time organising your folders when it comes to revising for the exams.

Talk to a Private Tutor, and Get Some Impartial Advice

When you arrive at that first lesson, you want to be able to latch onto what you covered last year and make the connection to the new material right from the start. Being lost and befuddled due to a summer away from the books could have you playing catch-up for the rest of the first term. Let’s face it, playing catch up isn’t going to do your marks any favours.

So if you’re feeling rusty before you’re about to go back, we recommend getting some one-on-one tuition in the weeks leading up to your return to school. Ideally, you don’t want to miss a beat at all – think about hiring a private tutor for a few hours before you finish the summer holidays if possible. Quality one-on-one tuition will help you consolidate the knowledge gained in the previous academic year, identify weaknesses in specific subject areas and start building a perfect bridge for the next academic year.

Success at school and college is just as much about effort as it is about investing in the right systems, attitude, staying focused and organised. It’s imperative to get yourself the materials you need, consult a tutor when necessary, organise yourself properly and take care of your body. That alone will have the potential to drive your marks up a notch or two for the coming academic year.

Newsletter to Tutors

Newsletter to Tutors

With exam results out and the end of summer nearing, many of you will be thinking about tutoring for the next academic year. Whether you have existing clients you will be tutoring or you are looking for new clients, Tutor House have a number of upcoming opportunities which may be of interest to you. So watch this space!

Tutor House continues to grow along with the need for high calibre tutors across all subjects and levels. If you are looking to increase your chances of landing yourselves with more tutoring work, then do let us know. This year, Tutor House will be working directly with you to enhance your prospects of becoming successful Tutors. If you need help with your personal profile, need more skills and qualifications or simply want to attend a refresher course in a given subject you wish to tutor, let us know. Our aim is to help foster and develop top quality Tutors by providing the means to make that happen. Have you ever had to turn away a job teaching a child with dyslexia only because you didn’t have the appropriate experience? Or would you like to start tutoring for iGCSEs but have no idea on how to do so? Then Tutor House is here to help.

This year, Tutor House will be running courses, revision classes and group lessons at our Exam Centre in Liverpool Street. We will be looking for highly experienced tutors to run the classes. If this is something of interest to you and you would like to be considered for such an opportunity then do contact us.

Furthermore, Tutor House welcomes all tutors to share their thoughts and opinions on any educational related subject matter over our blog. We are looking for opinionated tutors with an active voice to start discussions on key areas currently affecting the educational sector. This is a great opportunity to share your thoughts with a wide variety of people who visit our site each day.

To speak to Tutor House’s consultants for more information on any of the above mentioned points,  email info@tutorhouse.co.uk.

Got your GCSE results?

Got your GCSE results?

The anticipation and nerves leading up to collecting your GCSE exam results can be a frightful experience. For many, your results will determine the course of your immediate future and shape the decisions you take from here onwards, especially for A-Level and school choices. We hope that on receiving your results you will be celebrating and that you are free to make any decision you wish to with no limitations. However, if your GCSE results are not what you have been expecting and you are no longer able to pursue your dreams of going to college or reading your desired courses then you do not need to give up just yet! There are still options and a small set back need not deter you from realising your dreams and full potential.

We offer private GCSE and iGCSE tuition through London and the U.K. T

How to spend the last weeks of the summer holidays

August 20, 2014

How to spend the last weeks of the summer holidays

It’s that time of year again where the end of summer is almost in sight and many of us are starting to acknowledge the prospect of returning back to School. Whilst you may be looking forward to seeing your friends again it can also be daunting to think of all those homework assignments and early mornings you have waiting for you.

However returning back to School does not need to come as such a shock to the system. Whatever year you are going into you can start by looking over your last year’s notes or doing that extra reading assignment your teacher set you. If you have just finished your GCSE’s and you are going to be commencing your A-Levels then why not begin looking at your course syllabus. Remember learning can be a fun and enjoyable exercise depending on the way you approach it. With anything preparation is the key! So why not prepare to go back to School/College?

Applying to UCAS this coming academic year?

Applying to UCAS this coming academic year?

Some of you who will be applying to UCAS this coming year may be absolutely sure on the courses and institutions you would like to apply to. However if you are unsure then you can follow the below pointers to help you make your decision:

–       What subjects do you most enjoy?

–       What aspects of those subjects do you most like?

–       What kind of Industry do you see yourself working in? For example, healthcare or finance?

–       If you are unsure of the Industry you see yourself working in then ask yourself, what kind of person are you? Are you a people-person? Do you naturally like to help people? Are you good with numbers?

–       Do you want to study away from your home City or do you like the idea of studying abroad?

–       What type of institution would you like to study at?

–       How long are you willing to study?

These are just a few guidelines to consider when applying to UCAS. Tutor House’s dedicated advisors offer consultation services.


Which A-Level subjects do I pick?

August 7, 2014

Which A-Level subjects do I pick?

Deciding which A-Levels to pick is often a tricky process. You may have been advised to pick certain A-Levels but you may not be entirely sure if they are the subjects you want to do. If you are clear on what you would like to study at University then you can look at what the entry requirements are for those courses which will help your decision making process. Alternatively, if you are not sure then you may like to choose to study subjects which most interest you. For free advice on which A-Levels to choose, contact Tutor House.

Residential Entrance exam courses 2014

Residential Entrance exam courses 2014

Common Entrance Summer Residential Retreat

Are you looking to prepare your child for the upcoming Common Entrance examinations? Then why not start now and help your child secure the place they deserve by sending them on a Common Entrance preparation retreat.

Key facts:

  • Dates to chose from:

19th – 23rd August

26th – 30th August

  • 50 years of Educational experience
  • Full Board accommodation
  • Maximum 12 children
  • Highly experienced Common Entrance tutors.
  • Combining key exam preparation materials and lessons, with afternoon sport activities and excursions
  • £1099 per week.

The summer retreat will give students the opportunity to get a head start for their common entrance exam preparation set in a beautiful location in Oxford. With anything, preparation is the key.