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How to Choose the Perfect Private Tutor

November 13, 2013

How to Choose the Perfect Private Tutor

Education is an integral part of the development of child. And with private tuition on the rise in the UK, the London based private tutoring agency Tutor House has come up with its top tips on how to choose the perfect private tutor.

Tutor House’s director, Alex Dyer said, “Getting a child’s educational development right has never been more critical, with tough and highly competitive entrance exams for the best schools and stringent entry requirements for the top Universities.”

Where to find Private Tutors:

Upon deciding that your child would benefit from additional educational support, one of the first questions that you’ll ask yourself is where to look for qualified, experienced and high quality private tutors.

In a recent poll by Tutor House, 51% of parents said that they’d use search engines to find a private tutor whilst 32% said that they’d trust a personal referral and 17% suggested they’d use other means such as going through schools and local advertisements.

What to ask:

1. Is the tutor qualified?

One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not the tutor has a degree in the subject they are teaching. Do they have the appropriate knowledge and experience of the curriculum your child is studying at school?

Currently the industry isn’t currently regulated, which means that almost anyone can advertise himself or herself as a private tutor. Most agencies like Tutor House do not take on tutors without a degree in their chosen subject and a full CRB check.

Don’t be afraid to ask for recent client referrals!

2. What are your child’s needs?

Poor exam results aren’t always a reflection on a child’s intelligence or ability. Extra support in more general aspects of education such as exam technique, organisational skills, how to write an essay, time management etc. can positively influence exam results in addition to subject tuition.

Speak to your child and their teachers about their strengths and weaknesses to see how additional tuition can be put to best use.

3. Is the tutor CRB checked?

Private tutors should be able to produce a recent CRB certificate, and you should ask to see it before contracting that tutor, even if found through a word of mouth referral, and especially if the tutor is freelance.

When Tutor House asked its parents, 90% suggested that the industry should be regulated with 95% supporting the notion that tutors should be CRB checked.

4. How will your child get on with the tutor?

Being a great teacher is more than just experience, qualifications and subject knowledge. The best private tutors are the ones that build a friendly relationship with children by engaging with them, improving their confidence, focus and motivation to learn.

5. How experienced is the tutor?

Years of experience doesn’t necessarily mean that a private tutor will provide a better service. However, on the whole, the more years of experience a tutor has, the better they will be.

For example, all of Tutor House’s private tutors have at least 3 years teaching experience in schools, a degree in their chosen subject and have an up to date CRB certificate.

How much should you pay?

Tutoring fees are often dependent on location but as a guide, a highly qualified and experienced private tutor will cost slightly more. Tutoring agencies start from as little as £25 per hour and go up to £120 per hour, although the average is £40 per hour.

Alex Dyer goes on to say, “At Tutor House, we feel that the industry needs some form of regulation, and because of that we only employ private tutors that have a degree in their subject, a recent CRB certificate and have at least 3 years teaching experience in schools.”

“Private tutoring is not a cheap service, and can be a financial stretch for a lot of families in the UK. With that in mind, it’s imperative to ensure that the level of service we provide is the best for each and every child and parent that comes to us.”

Tutor House employs the services of over 300 private tutors, offering a variety of disciplines, from PE to physics, tennis to IT, with specific tuition offered for Common Entrance and senior school examinations, GCSE and A levels.

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How to write the perfect personal statement in 2013/14

October 15, 2013

How to write the perfect personal statement in 2013/14

Just like a sales pitch, a student’s personal statement is one of the main contributing factors of getting into your desired university.

Remember, you will be one of thousands of prospective university students all pitching their own case for getting into University. Therefore, whatever you end up writing needs to be great.

Instead of sitting down and slogging out page after page of nothingness, here are a few basic tips to keep in mind before you start:

1. A personal statement should be no longer than 4,000 characters in length

2. Always start with a bang. Write a ‘wow’ sentence draw in the reader’s interest

3. Use consistent, professional and neat formatting, and don’t exceed 47 lines (make sure you double check this when uploading your statement on to the UCAS website)

4. Divide the overall content into four main sections:

– Why you want to study the chosen course at that particular University

– What you’ve done to date (or in the near future) that’s relevant to the course

– Your work experience and the key skills you’ve picked up

– All other activities that could make you stand out as well rounded person

5. Write with passion and interest. Writing a personal statement isn’t just something you ‘have’ to do. It’s your chance to really get across why you want to go into further education.

6. Make sure the whole statement is100% free of grammatical errors.

7. Listen to the advice from your teachers and parents – they’ve all done it before!

8. Be 100% honest and genuine. Even the smallest of white lies could prevent you from gaining a placement if found to be untrue!

9. Write it from the heart. Show the reader how much you really want this. (But don’t be cheesy)

10. This is your one chance to really sell yourself!

Writing your personal statement

Introduction

Word document open, line spacing set to 1.5, easy to read Sans Serif font and intimidating blank screen in front of you; it’s time to draw attention to your case with a ‘wow’ opening sentence.

Along with the conclusion, your opening sentence is arguably the most important one you’ll write. It should set the tone for the rest of your personal statement and draw the reader’s interest in. A division of around 40% of the personal statement should be devoted to why you want to study the chosen course. Ensure that your opening sentence / paragraph introduces your reasons and is suitably backed up by the inspirations behind them.

A good example of an opening sentence may be; “Reading Professor Stephen Hawking’s `A brief history of time’ first awakened my interest in natural sciences, and in particular, physics”.

Try to avoid writing generic sentences and phrases such as ‘I am passionate about leaning’ and ‘I am very hard working’. In truth these types of statements really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, they can sound cheesy and most importantly, they waste precious words!

Always write from the heart and be credible. If it’s not obvious, you need to sit down and really work out why you have chosen this degree. Did you read a book, see a TV programme or do some work experience? Maybe you’ve always been interested in this degree and it’s been a lifelong passion? Once you’ve got to grips with why you want to spend 3 – 4 years studying your degree, present your reasons concisely, personalise what you say and relate your reasons to your past experiences.

You should always avoid making throwaway comments like ‘Because my dad’s a doctor’, or ‘it was the one thing I could think of that interested me’. As you write, demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the course and make sure what you write supports your decision to study it.

Previous Academic Experience

This section of your personal statement should inform the reader what you have been doing with your life to date that’s relevant to your chosen course. If you don’t like reading vast chunks of text then a law degree probably isn’t for you.

Similarly if you can’t cope well under pressure then medicine or journalism may not be your bag after all. If you get to this part of your personal statement and find yourself questioning why you even chose your course in the first place, it might be worthwhile to stop writing and go back to the drawing board.

But let’s assume you’ve got this far and are still enthusing about your chosen course; note down what aspects of your life including your studies, hobbies, work and leisure experiences are relevant to the course. For example, if you’re applying for Economics, mention the positives of taking Mathematics as an additional A level. Mention work experience that is relevant, such as shadowing an accountant, working in a corporate environment.

Similarly, producing a student newsletter is relevant to being a journalist, so extract which aspects of those experiences are directly relevant and explain them.

The important thing here is to really get a grasp on what’s impressive and relevant to your course, and then make sure you include it. Modesty will get you nowhere when writing a personal statement – sell yourself!

Extra Curricular Experience

In this section, you’ll have to draw in non-specific work experience and all other academic achievements such as DoE qualifications and instrument grades. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how briefly you worked or trained to get that skill, what’s important is how you bring it into the statement.

For example, if you didn’t complete the DofE award but you achieved parts of it, then mention it. There no need to lie, but don’t overlook the team-building skills of a weekend yomping the dales, or the commercial skills of working pricing goods and operating the tills in a charity shop.

Final Section – Conclusion

The last section is where you bring in other aspects of your personality to create a picture of a well-rounded, interesting person; (even if you’re rough round the edges and/or boring!).

Rack your brains and note down the times you were in the school play, or performed on stage, or played a sport for the year or the school. If your achievements transcend this, for example, you played hockey for the county, then best to upgrade that to paragraph three.

Make sure you give examples of hobbies that make you a more interesting person than the guy who plays on his PlayStation 3 all day, and then relate them back to your university aspirations. Playing football in a team develops team building, helping organise the social side of a sports club demonstrates organisational and social skills.

Finally, think the closing sentence is the second most important one to the opening sentence. Draw together the experiences, skills and knowledge you’ve presented with a concluding statement, such as “I’m a well rounded and motivated person, who will thrive in a university environment.”

Then check, check and re-check that what you say is relevant, well presented, grammatically correct and is delivered with passion and enthusiasm. Editing and re-editing is even more important than drafting those 2,000 characters in the first place.

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Common Entrance preparation for Parents, which London Schools should you apply for?

September 24, 2013

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 enables them to get a good overview and a feel for the school, and help them decide if it suits their child’s 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.

Group 1:

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

Group 2:

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+

English:

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.

Mathematics:

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
Fractions
Decimals and Percentages
Calculations Pencil and Paper proceduresEstimations/Approximations
Checking
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.

Verbal reasoning

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.

Interview

Once your child has been successful in the exam they will be invited for an interview, schools may interview:

• Individually
• 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.

How Twitter Can Help Students Write A Paper

September 16, 2013

How Twitter Can Help Students Write A Paper

As a student, you know the process of study is impossible to imagine without writing different academic papers, essays, thesis and dissertations perfectly well. We all understand that often help is needed to write this paper good and in time. So there’s nothing surprising with the fact that all students use not only books, but also the Internet to make their paper look and sound perfect.

Do you know that you can use Twitter to help you with writing a paper? This micro blog can be beneficial for students who want to write an excellent piece of work, with many methods of how to do so.

Don’t be shy to ask

Internet users are always happy to help. That is why if you have some question concerning your paper (a topic, a plan, some sources, and so on), you can always ask Twitter users to help you here. We think that 140 characters will be more than enough to ask a question. And don’t be shy to ask your followers to re-tweet your post.

Follow people who can help you

Many experts of different fields are registered on Twitter. Do you have anyone whose works you admire? You can contact this person via Twitter and check some of their thoughts or work. That will ultimately help you with writing your own paper.

Check your sources

When you write a paper, you need a list or sources to mention in the end. If you are not sure which or them are good and representative enough, you can always share them with a Twitter community and ask people what they think of them.

Find some stories that fit your topic

Use keywords to find the latest news concerning the topic of your paper. What happens in the field you write about? Check media outlets and search for any fresh information that can be used in your paper.

Check libraries

There is no need to visit libraries today if you don’t have the time. Most libraries have Twitter accounts now, so you may follow them and ask to find books or other info on the topic of your paper or essay to help you write it.

Discussions are your best helper

Every day, hundreds of people discuss something on Twitter. Join in on your topics of interest and that fit the topic of your paper best. People may give you a lot of useful information on that, and you will not have to search for it in books or magazines. The main thing is to listen to those ones who knows what they say exactly.

Find useful links

Millions of links to different blogs and websites are posted on Twitter every day. Therefore, finding  the ones you need is easy. Twitter helps you find extra sources that can be used for your paper’s list of literature. It can also help generate ideas for your paper writing.

As you can see, who looks – will always find. When you write a paper, different tools are good enough to help you hear, and even a social network can be used wisely.

Written and submitted by a young blogger Alex Strike, who works on essayallstars.com and is always ready to help students reach their academic goals.

Where can you retake Pre-u exam in London?

August 28, 2013

Where can you retake Pre-u exam in London?

Contact Tutor House today for:

Exam entry for all Pre-U subjects.

To speak to an Pre-U adviser on what to do next.

To enter for November and June retakes in London.

To book a fantastic and highly experienced tutor of Pre-u.

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Private Tuition by Numbers – An Infographic

August 21, 2013

A poll by the London based private tuition agency, Tutor House (www.tutorhouse.co.uk), has shown that 9 out of ten parents believe that the private tutoring industry should include some form of regulation. This new statistic supports recent plans to establish The Tutors Association (TTA) to represent private tutors and set minimum qualification standards and code of ethics for the industry.

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A-Level, University, UCAS, GCSE and Career advice, free with Tutor House

August 12, 2013

A-Level, University, UCAS, GCSE and Career advice, free with Tutor House

This year we are giving free advice to anyone regarding A-Level and GCSE results, University places and clearing and other career advice, including internships and work experience.

On Thursday 15th and Friday 16th August you can call Tutor House and we’ll give you free advice on what to do next. We have over 10 years experience in the education system.

Is Your Degree Still Important To Get?

July 19, 2013

Is Your Degree Still Important To Get?

I don’t know why, but education is not considered a mainstream anymore. It’s not cool to enter college or university today, and more and more young people prefer working to studying. Work is not bad of course, but if you want to build a really successful career, your education would be more than useful for that, wouldn’t it? Moreover, the examples of world-famous billionaires, such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg for example, who didn’t need a higher education to become rich, don’t make people want to get a degree.

Fortunately, some benefits of higher education still can be found today, and I invite you to check and discuss them here.

Money

Believe it or not, people with a degree still earn 84% more, even when there are 2-3 millionaires who were lucky to get money with no higher education at all. Your degree makes you more valuable for employers, and they will offer a better salary to you anyway. And if you don’t want to spend your time and money on getting a diploma, just think of it as your long-term investment. Moreover, aren’t you feel yourself more skilled and valuable after your graduation? What can be a better motivation for building a career?

Better options for employment

As we all know, the majority of employers want to hire people who have a higher education. According to the latest researches, their number will grow, that is why don’t be in a hurry to throw your diploma out and forget everything you studied at your college. This piece of paper can help you get a job of your dream.

Social status

Your diploma will not become your ticket to a ruling social class of course, but it will definitely make it easier for you to enter it. We all understand that people with a higher education have a better social status, that is why your diploma can probably help you improve it to upper class faster.

You are hunted

Sooner or later, we all start hunting for a job of our dreams. The number of candidates is always so big, all of them have their own benefits, and we always have some doubts if we are good enough in comparison with them. But don’t you want to change your status from a hunter to anyone who is hunted? Your education can help here very much. Let employers hunt you, and choose the best place to work and start a career by your own.

Do you still think that your degree is unnecessary to have and not important to get? What proves can you provide except two or three names of well-known billionaires who were probably just lucky to appear at right place?

ExamPreparation
Ideal Exam Preparation

July 3, 2013

Ideal Exam Preparation

The traditional exam season seems to be a thing of the past these days. With year round courses, re-takes and summer semesters, there’s barely a time when someone, somewhere isn’t cramming for a test of some kind or another.

If it’s been a while since you entered that dreaded examination room here are a ten handy hints and tips to make sure you haven’t forgotten how to prepare for the big day.

1. Plan well

Come up with a revision plan that works for you. If you are a night owl, arrange to give yourself plenty of time each evening. If you are an early bird, make sure you stick to your regular morning routine. Consistency is key when it comes to preparation and training your brain to retain information.

2. Prepare yourself

The better you feel, the better you will perform when it comes to the day of the exam. Try to eat healthily, drink plenty of fluids and avoid late nights and alcohol – until after the exam of course. The fresher and more energetic you feel, the more it will support your ability to tackle the paper.

3. Be sure of all the details

Make sure you are fully aware of details and clear on things like start times, the venue, equipment and material you can or cannot bring into the room. If you are on top of all this it can make a big difference in your performance and will help avoid unnecessary last-minute stress.

4. Do your homework

So that you have a good idea what to expect when you turn over that paper, it’s sometimes worth trying to get hold of a past paper. This is quite a routine revision process and past papers are available by request from the examination boards.

5. Answer the questions according to the marks available

It’s an obvious one, but take a good look at each question and how many marks are on offer. If one question is worth 5 marks and another is worth 15, then it’s common sense to spend more time on the one worth more.

6. Understand the question

Make sure you break the questions down so that you really understand what you’re being asked to do. If you don’t answer the question properly you won’t get full marks for it. For example, for the question, “Explain the difference between socialism and fascism,” has four major parts to address:

Explain – give reasons to show how or why something is what it is

The difference – what are the distinguishing factors between the two?

Socialism – explain socialism

Fascism– explain fascism

7. Create the right study environment

Select a place where you feel comfortable when you are studying. To some, the TV and radio can be distracting when they are working. If this is you, make sure you are in a place that has no such disturbances during your study period. Also, keep books and notes on other subjects well out of your eye-site so that you don’t overload your brain with too much information in one go.

8. Try to get into the head of your examiner

Although most boards use an external examiner, there is a chance that your tutor has set exams in the past. Get a sense of what questions might come up in the exam and what they’ll be looking for when you talk to them in the lessons leading up to the big day.

9. Don’t dwell on it

Try not to talk to other students about the exam before you go in. It could confuse you or make you lose confidence in yourself. The same goes for when you come out. Don’t hang around talking about what was on it or you’ll start to doubt yourself and stress out if you think you made a mistake.

10. Be positive

It might sound cheesy, but if you’re in the right frame of mind, there’s a better chance that you will perform to your full potential. If you have done all the required revision, made all the right notes and prepared yourself correctly, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do well.