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Where should I go on my Gap Year?

September 17, 2012

What are the options for my gap year?

Volunteer Programs – This is a great opportunity to help out those less privileged. You have the chance to work in a local community. You can teach, work in an orphanage, and help to build new homes and community buildings.

Teaching English in a School – this is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school. You’ll teach English to children as a second language, working closely with them to read and write. You don’t have to be a teacher, you just have to inspire and build confidence in children.

Conservation Projects – These projects are great for people who wish to help preserve the environment. This includes turtle conservation and animal welfare.

Animal Work – This is similar to the Conversation projects, but is ‘centre’ based, working with animals including Horses, Pandas, Elephants and if you’re brave enough (and have insurance) Tigers. ‘Occasionally volunteers are asked to participate in research and help with providing medical care for the pandas. You will also have time to watch, photograph and become completely captivated by these cute, loving animals.’
Conservation and animal projects are a fantastic thing to do if you’re applying to do Veterinary Medicine or Science at University. The experience is priceless and looks amazing in your Personal Statement. A must.

Sports Programs – This again is a valuable asset to add to your Personal Statement and C.V. You have to opportunity to teach sport in a local community and in schools. You can combine a sports program with a volunteer program teaching sport and say English.

Top ten reasons to go on a gap year:

1) The experience – There are so many great things that can be gained from a gap year. Meeting people, experiencing different cultures, helping others and acquiring a huge sense of achievement, to name a few.
2) Teaching English in a School – Pictures speak louder than words.
Teaching abroad is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school, whilst really racking up some brownie points on the CV for university applications. Learn how to teach English to children as a second language whilst working closely with them to read and write. Teaching experience isn’t required, just a passion to inspire and build confidence in children. . It’s an amazing opportunity to help others.

3) Help Animals and Conservation areas to regenerate –

4) Goodbye parents and annoying siblings – enough said.
5) Build your confidence – a gap year is about meeting people, exploring a new country and learning different ways of life. All this will help to build your confidence and efficacy.
6) Travel – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.
7) Learn a language – Plenty of people who go on a gap year are inspired by new ways of life and the new languages that they encounter. Picking up on local language and trying to learn it is a great thing to do.
8) Drop in university Applicants- University may not be for everyone! You may need some time off to have a think about University and whether to apply or not. It’s always good to have some time off to reflect and have a think about which career path to take.
9) Grow your hair like Brian May and grow a beard like Brian Blessed. You won’t have another chance!

10) Learn to be yourself and don’t turn into this guy.

We can organise a variety of different gap year choices that can strengthen your university application and are relevant to your chosen course. With the ever-increasing competition for university places (even with the current drop) it is always advisable to do something worthwhile in your year out. Tutor House is pleased to be able to offer students some exciting opportunities to volunteer in Asia

Read more about our gap year opportunities…

Private GCSE tuition in London

September 14, 2012

Welcome all,

You’ve arrived at Tutor House, the home of tutoring.

Take a look at our GCSE page and select a subject.

Tutor House offers fantastic private GCSE tuition throughout London and the U.K. All our tutors are CRB checked and have years of experience in their field. Indeed some are examiners and some are Oxbridge graduates. Tutors work closely with students, working through past papers and helping them with exam techniques and model GCSE answers.

Call us and see why Tutor House is different…

Learn more about Short retake courses at tutor house

Private home A-Level tuition in London

Welcome all,

You’ve arrived at Tutor House, the home of tutoring.

Take a look at our A-Level page and select a subject.

Tutor House offers fantastic private A Level tuition throughout London and the U.K. All our tutors are CRB checked and have years of experience in their field. Indeed some are examiners and some are Oxbridge graduates. Tutors work closely with students, working through past papers and helping them with exam techniques and model A-Level answers.

Call us and see why Tutor House is different…

Learn more about Short retake courses at tutor house

What are my gap year options?

Volunteer Programs – This is a great opportunity to help out those less privileged. You have the chance to work in a local community. You can teach, work in an orphanage, and help to build new homes and community buildings.

Teaching English in a School – this is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school. You’ll teach English to children as a second language, working closely with them to read and write. You don’t have to be a teacher, you just have to inspire and build confidence in children.

Conservation Projects – These projects are great for people who wish to help preserve the environment. This includes turtle conservation and animal welfare.

Animal Work – This is similar to the Conversation projects, but is ‘centre’ based, working with animals including Horses, Pandas, Elephants and if you’re brave enough (and have insurance) Tigers. ‘Occasionally volunteers are asked to participate in research and help with providing medical care for the pandas. You will also have time to watch, photograph and become completely captivated by these cute, loving animals.’
Conservation and animal projects are a fantastic thing to do if you’re applying to do Veterinary Medicine or Science at University. The experience is priceless and looks amazing in your Personal Statement. A must.

Sports Programs – This again is a valuable asset to add to your Personal Statement and C.V. You have to opportunity to teach sport in a local community and in schools. You can combine a sports program with a volunteer program teaching sport and say English.

Top ten reasons to go on a gap year:

1) The experience – There are so many great things that can be gained from a gap year. Meeting people, experiencing different cultures, helping others and acquiring a huge sense of achievement, to name a few.
2) Teaching English in a School – Pictures speak louder than words.

Teaching abroad is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school, whilst really racking up some brownie points on the CV for university applications. Learn how to teach English to children as a second language whilst working closely with them to read and write. Teaching experience isn’t required, just a passion to inspire and build confidence in children. . It’s an amazing opportunity to help others.

3) Help Animals and regenerate Conservation areas

4) Goodbye parents and annoying siblings – enough said.

5) Build your confidence – a gap year is about meeting people, exploring a new country and learning different ways of life. All this will help to build your confidence and efficacy.

6) Travel – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

7) Learn a language – Plenty of people who go on a gap year are inspired by new ways of life and the new languages that they encounter. Picking up on local language and trying to learn it is a great thing to do.

8 ) Drop in university Applicants- University may not be for everyone! You may need some time off to have a think about University and whether to apply or not. It’s always good to have some time off to reflect and have a think about which career path to take.

9) Grow your hair like Brian May and grow a beard like Brian Blessed. You won’t have another chance!

10) Learn to be yourself and don’t turn into this guy.

We can organise a variety of different gap year choices that can strengthen your university application and are relevant to your chosen course. With the ever-increasing competition for university places (even with the current drop) it is always advisable to do something worthwhile in your year out. Tutor House is pleased to be able to offer students some exciting opportunities to volunteer in Asia

12 tips for IELTS success

September 12, 2012

12 tips for IELTS success

1. Answer IELTS listening questions in the order they appear on the question paper, looking only at the question that relate to the part being played. Remember that the questions normally follow the order of the information played in the recording.

2. Make sure you use the time in between sections to familiarise yourself with the questions so you can try and predict the information you will be listening out for, e.g. a time / date / place. If you are familiar with the questions you should be able to recognise if you have missed an answer so you can move on and listen for the next piece of information.

3. At the end of the recording you have time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Be sure to check your grammar and spelling because you will lose marks if you are inaccurate.

4. In IELTS academic reading you do not have long to read three texts so don’t try to understand every word precisely. You may not be tested on that part of the text anyway.

5. Have a brief look at the questions before you read the text. It’s always advisable to read with a purpose! For example, if one of the questions asks you to match paragraphs with headings, you can write a few words about what the paragraph deals with as you read to help you identify the correct heading.

6. The IELTS instructions might give you a word limit, e.g, ‘use no more than 3 words.’ Keep to this by avoiding unnecessary words in your answer. Articles, i.e. the/a/an, count as one word so if they are not needed for the sentence to make sense then leave them out.

7. In IELTS academic writing you must always keep to the topic of the question and answer it specifically. Don’t try to prepare sections of an essay before the exam as this will be obvious to the examiner.

8. The best way to prepare for IELTS writing (task 2) is to read widely about current affairs and then practise writing sample IELTS questions. Read newspapers and magazines whenever you get the chance. This will help you to form ideas for your essays.

9. If you write less than 150 words for task 1 and 250 words for task 2 you will lose marks. There is no strict word limit for either task but try to stick to the suggested timing so hopefully you will have an opportunity to check you work for spelling and grammar.

10. In the IELTS speaking exam, don’t prepare speeches on topics. You need to make sure you answer the specific question you are asked. Remember, you are not being tested on your general knowledge but on your ability to communicate well. Slow down and try to organise your ideas in a logical way.

11. When the examiner asks you a question try to give as much detail as possible. Explain at least one point and remember to give your opinion. The examiner wants to hear you talk so give him plenty of opportunity!

12. Plenty of practise answering IELTS exam questions is the best way to prepare for the exam. There are various books available with past IELTS questions and answer keys that will be a great help if you are planning on taking the exam soon.

GOOD LUCK!

If you would like information on private IELTS training or intensive IELTS training courses run by tutor house, please contact us.

How does the International Baccalaureate (I.B) work?

International Baccalaureate

An increasing number of private and grammar schools are now offering the IB programme. Students undertaking the IB need to have strong subject knowledge in humanities and sciences.

Private tutoring can help identify and boost students weaknesses. At tutor house we can help with Essay writing, Languages, Social and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Contact tutor house for assistance.

The IB Curriculum:

Students choose from one subject from each of the six compulsory groups. In addition the IB programme includes Extended essay writing (in-depth essay of one of the subjects the student has chosen) Theory of knowledge (students reflect on the nature of knowledge by examining areas including perception, emotion and artistic and historical aspects) and Creativity, action and service (completing tasks outside of the classroom.)

The six groups are:

Group 1: Studies in Lauguage and Literature

Group 2: Lauguage acquisition

Group 3: Indiviuals and societies

Group 4: Experimaental science

Group 5: Mathematics and computer science

Group 6: The arts

N.B- The sixth subject chosen by students may be a arts subject (group 6) or another subject from group 1-5.

Pre-U

The Cambridge Pre-U course helps prepare students for university. The course has become popular in recent times as an alternative to A-Levels. The Pre-U course follows on from IGCSE and Cambridge Secondary 2 qualifications.
The Pre-U course is available in 27 subjects, students choose from three.

Tutors at tutor house have experience in teaching Pre-U and can help all students via private tuition and support.

Pre-U courses at tutor house

Home Schooling

At tutor house we provide short and long-term home schooling. We listen to the student’s requirement and devise a programme most suited to them. This can include private tuition, one-one supports, special educational support and residential tuition, both in the U.K and abroad.

Contact tutor house for more information.

What makes the best tutor?

September 6, 2012

What makes ‘the best’ tutor?

1. CRB and security checks – It’s very important for tutors to be CRB checked. It’s best to hire a tutor through a company, as they should hold tutors CRB certificates and reference for tutors. Make sure you ask when speaking with the company.

2. Private tutor experience and knowledge – The tutor should ideally have a minimum of two years tutoring experience. Ideally they are teachers from local schools or colleges. A PGCE is preferable but certainly not compulsory, many teachers work for 20 years not having a PGCE but they are fantastic tutors and sometimes are more flexible and understanding than qualified peers.

3. Knowledge of exams and boards- All tutors should have an in-depth knowledge of exam structure, typical questions and key word answers. In addition it’s important that tutors understand the differences between exam boards, often there are big differences. For example A-Level psychology AQA board covered many different topics and is assessed via essay exam questions and short answers, whereas OCR psychology is based on case studies and answers to questions are completely different.

4. Recourses, exam papers and mark schemes – It’s paramount that tutors have sufficient exam past papers, mark schemes and key words and phases that answer questions. An important role that tutors should play, which some schools almost disregard is concentrating on past exam papers. You wouldn’t sit your driving test without any lessons! Same thing applies here, exam papers are so important.

5. Feedback and update on progress- Tutors should ideally give the student feedback once a week and the parents once every other week. This helps to set goals and make sure student complete homework. It also helps to keep parents abreast of what tutors and children are achieving in the lessons.

6. Fun and rapport- This is one of the most important tips. Education can, as we know be boring, tutors must be enthusiastic and really enjoy what they teach! They just gel well with the children and work closely with them. A tutor must be engaging and keen to help.

7. Working with a company – The best advice here is that tutors should really work for a tutoring company. Why? Well for piece of mind really, tutors will have to be CRB checked and you have someone else to talk to in times of trouble. Also the tutoring company that you decided to use should be helpful and provide additional tutoring services. There should be someone else on the end of the phone or email.

8. Exam techniques and study skills – A tutor and indeed a tutoring company should help children with additional study skills and educational support. This can be anything from folder organization and devising a homework diary to helping dyslexic children realize their potential by providing techniques that can really help them use their strengths.

Help with writing a personal statement for UCAS

September 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

First off, if you haven’t seen it, check out our Huffington Post blog.

The blog advises students on the basics of UCAS applications and personal statements.

In addition, tutor house has educational advisers who can help you with personal statements, university choices, advice on which course to take and why and also the UCAS application process itself.

If you would like more advice or guidance on anything to do with University, UCAS or personal statements, please contact us.

How to write the Perfect personal statement.

September 3, 2012

A personal statement is a sales pitch for a university place. The clues are; `sales’ = sell yourself and `pitch’ = set your stall at their door. Remember, you’ll be up against thousands of others who are also pitching their case to the universities, so whatever you write needs to be good.

Before you begin the pitch, there are a few basics to bear in mind:

A personal statement should be no more than 4,000 characters long:

• It should be typed with 1.5 line spaces
• Always start with a `wow’ sentence to draw in the reader
• Divide the content into four main sections
• Why you want to study the chosen course
• What you’ve done to date that’s relevant to the course
• What key skills have you picked up through work experience
• What other activities make you a more rounded person
• Mention what inspired you to choose the course
• Write from the heart
• Ensure it’s free from grammatical errors
• Be 100% honest and genuine
• Make it attention grabbing
• Show it to as many people as possible, including parents and teachers
• Sell yourself!

You’ve got the line spacing set to 1.5 and an intimidating blank screen in front of you; it’s time to draw attention to your case.

The opening sentence is arguably the most important one you’ll write. It will set the tone for the rest of your pitch and draw the reader in. Around 40% of the Personal Statement should be devoted to why you want to study the chosen course, so make sure the opening sentence introduces your reasons and is backed up by the inspirations behind them.
A good example of opening sentences might be “Since working in a nursery for my Silver DofE award my interest in Child Psychology has really grown” or “Reading Professor Stephen Hawking’s `A brief history of time’ first awakened my interest in natural sciences, and in particular, physics”.

Ensure you write from the heart and are credible and attention grabbing, sit down and really work out why you have chosen this degree. As yourself, did you read a book or see a TV programme that inspired you? Did you read about a particularly inspirational person who works in the same field? Have you always been interested in this degree? Then present your reasons clearly and concisely, personalise what you say and relate your reasons to your experiences and your source of inspiration.

Definitely avoid making statements such as `Because my dad’s a doctor’, or `It was the one thing I could think of that interested me’.
As you write, show a good understanding of the course and make sure what you write supports your decision to study it.
The next section of the Personal Statement, around 30%, should inform the reader what you have done to date that is relevant to the course. If you’ve no interest in animals and their welfare, you probably shouldn’t be applying to become a vet. If you dislike loud music or wearing headphones, then music technology may not be the right course for you. So if you get to this part of the statement and start questioning what what’s led you to this course, then maybe it’s time to stop writing and go back to the drawing board.

But if you’ve got this far and are still enthusing about your choice of course, then note down what aspects of your studies, your work and your 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, mucking out stables is relevant to being a vet and producing a student newsletter is relevant to being a journalist, so extract which aspects of those experiences are directly relevant and explain them.

Section three draws in non-specific work experience and other academic achievements, such as DofE. However briefly you worked or trained to acquire a relevant skill, note it down and 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.

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 not. 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 organizational 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 4,000 characters in the first place.

Huffington post blog