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How to revise for Classical Civilisation, a tutors perspective.

April 17, 2013

How to revise for Classical Civilisation, a tutors perspective

Here’re some ideas about how to do a revision for A-Levels.

Based on what I learnt doing Classical Civilisation (10 years now), the examination is designed to test three things:


Knowledege (35% of the marks): they should have a good range of

knowledge, particularly the keys facts associated with the areas they

have studied. Questions will usually ask to select relevant facts not just give a shopping list of everything they know about a subject.

Ex. What’s the responsibility and the symbol of the God Neptune? Answer: Sea and Trident.


Understanding (30% of the marks): They should understand how different

aspects of each option relate to each other and also the various terms

that you find in each options. They should know why the people

behave the way they did in the context of their own society. Ex. Explain

how comfortable a Roman audience was when watching a play.


Interpretation/Evaluation (analysis) (35% of the marks): They should

make observations about what the sources tell us and make judgements.

Ex. Do you think an Athenian boy’s education prepared him for later life?

The idea is that if you know your facts (Factual knowledge), and if you

understand their significance (Understanding), then you are in a

position to interpret it and evaluate (Evaluation).

I think that the foundation of a student’s success lies in his factual knowledge and

revision. When the student is revising, the trick is to be active. That

means not simply reading his books/ notes and hoping that it

will sink in, but actually doing something with the information. For

instance, one way could be ‘prioritising your knowledge’. For every

topics and sub topic, they should consider four key facts that

they think they should know. In other words, it’s one of the many ways

to organize knowledge. Ex. The site of Pompeii> Vesuvius nearby>

Bulding stone and Fertile soil.

In conclusion, I think there are many ways of organising knowledge so that it is not just in note form.

The more the student do, the most he will remember and the more he can

remember, the more she or he will have to discuss. The examination will not be asking for obscure pieces of knowledge. They will be asking for key facts.

Written by Valerio R

Tutors working abroad…

April 15, 2013

Tutors working abroad…


Tutor House

‘Tutors on holiday’
New service brings the classroom to the sun-bed

London-based private tutoring agency, Tutor House (www.tutorhouse.co.uk) is offering a new service to provide private tutors to accompany families on holiday in the UK or overseas and tutor children aged 11 – 18 in any GCSE and A Level subject, as well as provide Common Entrance preparation.

Available on a flexible basis, bookable by the day, Tutor House tutors offer up to 5 hours of tuition each day, combined with childcare, and tutors will travel with the family, or can fly in for a specific period, to provide the extra academic input.

The service works equally well for families taking a villa holiday, a ski holiday or staying in a hotel, and it gives families the potential to travel any time of the year, reducing the stress of taking children out of school during term time.

Director of Tutor House and professional tutor, Alex Dyer said; ‘By offering this new service, families can now go on holiday out of season, or during term time, without having to worry that their children will fall behind at school.’

Alex goes on to say; ‘Families can also optimise key revision periods, such as Easter and Christmas holidays, by providing all the revision and educational support needed to achieve exam success without missing out on family holidays.’

Tutor House employs the services of over 500 specialist tutors, offering a variety of disciplines, from PE to Physics, tennis to IT, with specific tuition offered to international and UK students for Common Entrance and senior school examinations, GCSE, iGCSE and A levels.



What are the top Education apps at the Moment? Find out here…

February 26, 2013

Tutor House 10 of the Best Apps for Easter Revision

With the end of year exams looming for Common Entrance, GCSE and A-Level students around the UK, the London-based private tutor agency, Tutor House has come up with 10 of the best Apps available to aid students with revision over the Easter holidays.

Director of Tutor house and professional tutor, Alex Dyer said, ‘Apps are so versatile, students can, and should use them for revision, organisation, exam preparation – they’re an absolute must!’

Alex Dyer goes on to say, ‘A lot of these Apps are totally free and the ones we reviewed can all be considered as excellent additional revision resources and learning aids. We’d strongly recommend that both students and their parents get to grips with what’s out there to help with revision planning, note-taking, data storage, grammar aids and exam count downs’.

1. Revision App – App Giant Ltd, iPhone/iPad.
Perhaps the most appropriately named App, the ‘Revision App’ supports students with revison on the move with over 1 million revision notes, flash cards and quizes covering everything from GCSE, A-Level and University subjects. The app allows students to create their own flash revision cards with video, text or audio which can be saved for future revision sessions and sent to friends to support group studies.

The app accommodates different types of learners to help the student learn faster, whether they’re a visual learner or they process information acoustically.

Price: Basic app is free. Add 69p for revision notes, flash cards and information on each subject.




2. Top 20 Exam Revision Tips – iDrops Lab, iPhone/iPad.
This is the essential app for all students taking the end of year exams in summer 2013. It’s an app that gives students the essential guidelines on how to make the most of exam revision over the Easter holidays.

Top 20 Exam Revision Tips is essential for students that struggle with getting their heads down and motivating themselves to sit down and revise at home.

Price: Absolutely free.

3. Remember the Milk – Remember the Milk, iPhone/iPad.
Not only does this app have a great name, it’s one of the best organisational apps out there. The app has an attractive and easy to use user interface, and lets the student organise and prioritise lists, revision sessions, reminders and tasks the way they want.

Another great feature is the ability to view, change and bookmark tasks from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter

Price: Absolutely free.




4. iMindMap – ThinkBuzan, iPhone/iPad
One for visual thinkers and learners, iMindMap is a brilliant mind mapping application that turns an iPad or iPhone into a personal brainstorming and thought-structuring device.

The app is great for dyslexic students, who often find visual learning a helpful revision tactic. It’s a unique workspace for brainstorming; revising, note taking and planning that will automatically cross-platform sync across iPhones and iPads.

Price: Absolutely free.

5. Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation – Mobile Systems, all Android phones.
Every English student will love this one; the Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation App has 250 grammar themed questions, along with a lot of basic information about grammar and punctuation of the English language.

Not just for English students, this app will provide help across all subject areas and give students a boost to their grammatical skills.

Price: Absolutely free.

6. Exam Countdown – Richard Knights, iPhone/iPad
Couting down the days, hours and minutes until the next exam is high on the agenda of prospectus students. Being able to visualise the order of exams helps students effectly prioritise revision sessions for each subject and effectively prepare for their exams.

As the name suggests, this app is a countdown clock letting students input and know exaclty how long they have before their exam dates. It’s simple, but effective and allows students to fully prepare for all upcoming examinations.

Price: Absolutely free.

7. Penultimate – Evernote, iPhone/iPad
Penultimate is one of the most popular handwriting apps on the market, developed by the team behind the prevalent organisational Evernote app. The app gives students the natural experience of writing on paper, with the added ability to take notes, keep sketches and share content through social media and E-Mail.

Penultimate is easy to use, and will quickly become one of the core productivity apps for students over the Easter revision period. Great for revision notes on the go, creating your own flash cards and keeping everything in one place.

Price: Absolutely free. Add 69p per upgrade.

8. Grammar Up – Eknath Kadam, iPhone/iPad
A fun way to brush up on spelling and grammar before the exams, Grammar Up is a multiple choice quiz system with over 1800 fun questions across 20 grammar categories. Grammar Up can help students improve their grammar, spelling, vocabulary and sentence structuring over the Easter holidays for the end of year exams, whether it’s Common Entrance, GCSE or A-Levels.

Price: £2.99 for the complete app.

9. Evernote – Evernote, iPhone/iPad
Evernote has been an overnight success since its inception in 2008. Evernote stores and edits the user’s notes on their local machine, and can also have their notes automatically synchronized with a master copy held on Evernote’s servers.

The popular organisational app can’t do any wrong with its smooth, easy-to-use interface and free storage. Its capability to work on all platforms and devices makes it simple to create, manage and record revision notes in a natural way, which makes it a must-have app for students of all ages.

Price: Absolutely free. £3.99 – £34.99 for app upgrade.

10. Dropbox – Dropbox, iPhone/iPad
Dropbox is the ultimate storage application as it enables users to bring all photos, documents, videos and multimedia anywhere and everywhere. The app allows students to access any file saved to Dropbox from all computers, iPhones, iPads and the Dropbox website.

Ideal for revision sessions over the Easter holidays, Dropbox lets students to bring their revision wherever they go. It’s a solution to going abroad during crucial revision periods, with up to 2GB of free space on signup. Additional storage space can be purchased.

Price: Absolutely free. £69.99 for extended version.



Tutor House is offering a selection of Easter revision workshops for A-Level, GCSE and Common Entrance students looking for an intensive exam boost and help with their revision techniques in a variety of subjects for the May 2013 public exams.

To book and for more information on private tutors in London call Tutor House on tel. 0203 9500 320

or visit www.tutorhouse.co.uk

English Punctuation – a great example.

Check this out guys, a great example of how punctuation should be used – and I’m a man!

New blog post regarding the GCSE U-turn and Michael Gove

February 8, 2013

EBacctrack, EBacc-to the future or just misunderstood reforms?

These reforms were obviously brought in without any real prior research. Teachers, children and parents alike were not asked how the GCSE’s could be improved, they were not informed of the changes taking place and they had no say in the matter.

This U-turn is good news for everyone involved in education.

Admittedly some GCSE’s are a little ‘soft’ and work is needed to re-think and re-structure them. But changing them completely over night was madness.

An increasing number of students find the current GCSE exams easy, of course some don’t. But, the majority of GCSE subjects contain coursework and with extra support from teachers, parents and even private tutors, children are rewarded with high grades.

A and B grades are becoming more and more frequent when coursework is an option, especially in some subjects where it accounts for 50% of the GCSE.  I don’t think this sudden change of heart is humiliating for Gove; he was brave enough to implement changes, whereas Blair and his cronies weren’t.

However, that is where the support from me stops.

The Ebacc would have further alienated certain students and made it increasingly difficult for all students to have the chance to achieve high grades. Children with Special Educational Needs (S.E.N’s) for example, would really have struggled if the new exam structure had been implemented.

The way in which the new Ebacc exams were assessed, at the end of two year period with no or very little coursework, would have been, as Gove said ‘A Bridge too Far!’

Children with dyslexia for example would not have been able to cope. They rely on short, bite-sized chunks of information.  Learning and studying for 24 months and then sitting up to 10 exams over a two-week period would not have worked for dyslexic children, their needs were not considered.

The new tiered targets that the Education Secretary has implemented make it increasingly hard for these ‘type’s’ of pupils to succeed.  ‘A Bridge over the River Kwai’ may be more appropriate!

Secretary of the NUT, Christine Blowers, Ofqual and every single teacher throughout the country are showing signs of relief. Mrs Blowers went on to say – “The Ebacc was entirely the wrong thing to do, especially in the timeframe Mr Gove had in mind, we’re pleased with this new move.”

I’m not sure Mr Gove has the support of many, if any of the public. He has, so far, made some ridiculous and irresponsible decisions.

The GCSE grades row was and still is a nightmare, teachers’ pay rises to be based on performance, completely the wrong way to go about things! Why does he think that this will change the performance of Schools? Does he think that punishing teachers will make them learn, and then work harder to make sure pupils pass?

What if Mr Gove’s pay was based on performance?

This is what happened when someone put this idea to him last week…


I’ve spoken with a number of teachers, private tutors and parents about this, for them, it is the first bit of good news since Gove took over.

Finally, and on a lighter note, I watched this yesterday; PLEASE can someone tell me who the chap on Goves’ right is? I’m guessing he has a 14-year-old son! His face is priceless!


Read it here

Super Tutors – are they heading to London?

November 29, 2012

The amazing World of Tutor Kings and Queens.

There are plenty of questions flying around the Education system at the moment in the United Kingdom. Questions like, “Why is the UK education now rated the 6th best in the world?” “Why are there so many international students in the U.K now?” “Why does every other person seem to have a tutor?”

A recent BBC article investigated the world of global ‘Super Tutors.’ The article suggests that 72% of students in Hong Kong have a tutor, that is a staggering amount. In addition, there are 70,000 students in Hong Kong, of these only 18,000 go on to university, that’s almost 1 in 4, again a staggering statistic.

Tutor ‘Kings and Queens’ in Hong Kong and China are the real deal, their faces are advertised on buses running through the city, they all have a rock star status, one of them even drives a Lamborghini! These tutors run evening revision sessions, inspiring students and motivating them to learn and ultimately pass their important exams. King tutors charge vast sums of money, they do however help less well-off students, but in classes of over 100, not really private tutoring. However, they are doing something right.

This surge in tutoring comes from a growth in the number of universities and increasing numbers of school leavers aiming for university. It’s university or bust time, Chinese students and parents are feeling the strain of university competition.

In the U.K it seems almost to be the opposite, yes children require tutors, that there is no doubt, some more than others. Although U.K students seem less interested in university, certainly compared to China. This is of course due to the rise in university fees, but there must be something else? What though?

Do teachers and tutors have less of a free reign, do they have to adhere to school and government regulations, which at this moment in time is the opposite of these highflying tutors in China. Classrooms here are uninspiring, boring and de-motivating, which is a real shame. Parents and children always praise private tuition, grades improve, confidence increases and children are inspired to learn.

I like the image of these King and Queen tutors, they are very important and influential. Perhaps this is what we need here in the U.K. Perhaps if we had this focus on academic success and gave tutors and teachers more respect and muscle then students and children would achieve better grades, giving them more opportunities. Perhaps if Mr Gove stopped messing around with the Education system and King and Queen tutors were running the show, there would be more respect for education and academic achievement. Perhaps this would bring back competition in the classroom throughout the U.K, the ‘geeky’ kids who do well, simply are not seen as cool, “It’s not cool to be clever Sir,” one young boy once told me.
This has to change and I believe that private tutors can lead the way to this academic success, which seems to be slipping away from the U.K.

Super tutors are the answer then, surely? Now where’s that Kryptonite?



Hiring a Common Entrance Tutor

November 7, 2012

Hiring a tutor for 11+ and 13+. Is it worth it?

Well, first off all a little background information into the Common Entrance exam.
The exams are regulated by the ISEB (Independent Schools Examinations Board) and the exams are sat in November (11+) and January or June (13+) every year.
The examinations are very different to what children would have undertaken before at their current School. Children are now assessed on verbal and non-verbal reasoning, in addition to Maths, English and Science questions.

Past exam papers are key here. It’s very important that children are thoroughly prepared for the Common Entrance exams. Working through example questions and devising mock questions and answers is imperative. The key to success is that tutors have plenty of experience. They should be up to date with the Common Entrance papers and know exactly what the Independent Schools will be looking for in the exams.

Parents are always asking me if it’s really worth hiring a tutor for their children at such a young age?

I always cheekily reply. “Did you have driving lessons before you took you test?”
Extra tuition at any age is a fantastic investment for parents. For your child to have one-to-one lessons (often in the home environment) give a child not just help in the chosen subject, but also a real sense of confidence in exam techniques. They will know how to perform well when is matters the most!
A personal tutor can often find a weak area and address the problem when a teacher (however gifted) can overlook this in a noisy, demanding class of 20 children.

It is essential to prepare well for Common Entrance. Getting into the right Senior School for you son or daughter lays the foundation for their adult life. A Private tutor will also help the family with Senior School selection. One that is perfect for the child’s intellectual, musical, sporting and pastoral needs. Private tuition is not a new idea. Conscientious children and parents have always wanted to achieve their personal goals and to exceed expectations. With extra tuition an ‘average’ student can surpass and surprise themselves and even their current School.
Why would any parent not give their child the best chance possible to succeed?

Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) Christmas revision courses

Dear All,

Welcome to Tutor House, the home of tailored Christmas revision courses for A-Level.

Why is the revision course so important?

Intensive crammer style classes
Maximum of 6 student in a class
One-one private tuition included every day
Daily feedback
Model answers and past exam questions
Study skills and exam focused
Identify key words and phases
Past paper questions and revision packs provided

Tutor Houses’ intensive Christmas revision courses focus on exam techniques and building confidence for students. It’s important that students understand the questions and can relate their answers to them, that what our experienced CRB checked tutors are here for.

The Christmas revision course covers the whole syllabus and looks through exam papers.

Contact Tutor House for more information.

BMAT and UKCAT tuition in London

October 27, 2012

Dear All,

If you need last minute help with BMAT and UKCAT, then contact tutor house. We have specialist tutors who can help prepare you for your medical examination in a few weeks time. Tutor House is based in Fulham, London, but our tutors travel to you for tuition. Tutors will work through exam papers, tackling those hard questions and also conduct mock interviews and role play.

Tutors travel throughout London and can help with all aspects of BMAT and UKCAT.

Good luck.

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