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Recent posts

Does All Work Make Jack and Jackie Dull?

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Why a Practice of Reading Rocks...

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When National Offers Day Yields Head and Heartache

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Does a Learning Objective Guarantee Classroom Learning?

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Does Your Child Have A Personal Learning Style?

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Give Children Back their Childhood…

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Blog

Does All Work Make Jack and Jackie Dull?

Making the Most of School Holidays...

The work-life balance is a tricky question for parents not just seeking to find a healthy balance in their own lives but also for their children, especially during long school holidays. During this time – all children, whether from state school or independent schools, are affected by the lack of academic stimulation, without some sort of enrichment programme.

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Updated: 17/07/15

Summer School


Why a Practice of Reading Rocks...

Reading from a surface approach involves gathering facts and information, such as reading a bus timetable, restaurant menu or DIY instructions. We may also read fiction to be entertained or for the purpose of learning, in which case a deeper approach is needed that includes interpreting and gaining meaning from the text, as well as a list of other key skills and higher order thinking.

The purpose of reading influences the level of skill required and becomes not simply a way to see what is said, but to recognise and reflect on what is said...

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Updated: 15/05/15

Reading


When National Offers Day Yields Head and Heartache

There is so much pressure on parents to make the 'right' choice of school, but the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect school. There will be things you like and things you dislike about it - and they most likely won't be the things that struck you on the school visits.  That said, when parents face the disappointment of not getting their 1st choice school, panic and stress can quickly follow.  The truth is that parents do have a number of paths they can take in the aftermath, to restore hope and sanity!

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Updated: 24/04/15

Involved Parents


Does a Learning Objective Guarantee Classroom Learning?

Learning Objectives (LO) are commonly used in classes across the UK, but do they guarantee that learning has taken place in all cases?  Are some pupils copying the LO and assuming that by writing it out learning will take place, whether they listen and engage or not?  In reality, what use is a Learning Objective without an evaluation of how far the LO was met and by what percentage of the class? And if or where the LO is not  met, is there a plan-b to help those pupils that didn’t learn what was intended? Learning Objectives look good but are they an attempt to follow Education watchdog Ofsted's guidelines, therefore more about providing evidence?

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Updated: 30/12/14

Involved Parents


Does Your Child Have A Personal Learning Style?

Howard Gardner created a theory about the different ways in which humans think and learn. His work challenged the narrow traditional views that were previously held about human intelligence: he catagorised various abilities into a number of intelligences. He said people engage with data, material and information depending on their strengths and preferences.  Furthermore his catagorisation of abilities into a list of intelligences is used in very deliberate ways with positive results, to plan classroom lessons. 

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Updated: 18/12/14

Involved Parents


Give Children Back their Childhood…

Sometimes we get very committed parents, voicing their disapproval about tutoring and supplementary education.  Sometimes they let us know of their children’s academic success WITHOUT such services and go on to tell us that they are teachers themselves, who are passionate about their work and don’t believe that children need any additional study beyond their normal school day.  They argue that children need to get back their childhood…

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Updated: 28/11/14

Involved Parents


The Glory of Grammar: From Musty to Must

Grammar is in every sentence you read or write, speak or hear. ‘Grammar’ is simply the word for the rules that people follow to communicate with each other. Be aware of grammar. Think about grammar as you listen to ‘English natives’ speak and when you read their books. Read a lot of English books – in so doing, you are reading ‘natural’ English, (and listen to ‘natural’ English), to take-in models of correct grammar that will help with your own writing and speaking.

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Updated: 19/11/14

English


Hothousing our Little Ones

Intent on giving our children a head start in an increasingly competitive world is commonly known as hothousing; attempting to accelerate the development of children lest they get “left behind”. It comes from a well-meaning desire of wanting the best for our little ones.

In an interview published in the Guardian, author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, Amy Chua asserts that western parenting fails because it stops children from fulfilling their potential, whereas her hard line Chinese approach gets results.

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Updated: 02/11/14

Involved Parents


5 Components of a World-Class Education System

According to an international report by education firm Pearson: Finland and South Korea, are top of the list of 40 developed countries with the best education systems. Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore follow. The findings showed that cultures supportive of learning is critical — as evidenced by the highly ranked Asian countries, where education is greatly valued and parents have grand expectations. While Finland and South Korea differ in methods of teaching and learning, they hold a shared social belief in the importance of education and its "underlying moral purpose."

The study’s aim is to help policymakers and school leaders identify key factors that lead to successful educational outcomes. The research draws on literacy data, government-spending figures on education, school entrance age, teacher salaries and degree of school choice. Outcomes such as national unemployment rates, life expectancy and prison population was also measured.

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Updated: 31/07/14

Involved Parents


4 Pluses for Developing a Strong Maths Foundation

Mathematics is advancing at a spectacular rate. Mathematics is about pattern and structure. When patterns are found for example, in widely different areas of science and technology, the mathematics of these patterns can be used to explain and control natural happenings and situations. The discipline of mathematics provides a solid foundation to many aspects of daily life, and an insight to the complexities inherent in seemingly simple situations.  

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Updated: 30/07/14

Maths


School Readiness (Part 2)

The Must-Have Strategy

A personal parent’s strategy for school readiness recommends (according to a United Nations report), that the starting point is antenatal care; ensuring mother and child have all the required health and developmental checks during pregnancy and when the baby is born. Following on, engage with your child to make sure s/he is properly stimulated and learning to use all their senses 

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Updated: 23/07/14

Involved Parents


13 Formidable Reasons to Choose Leaders are Readers

Do you have the advantages of living in a neighbourhood with good schools and highly engaged parents?  Research shows that there’s a direct correlation between academic success and those children who live in more affluent areas: the average ability is higher than averages in more deprived areas. For those children who do enjoy the benefits of the best schools, competition is fierce and can affect self-worth: getting noticed can create stress. The pressures and challenges for the rich and the poor kids are different. However

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Updated: 17/07/14


School Readiness (Part 1)

Are your children entering school with the social and cognitive skills and competencies needed for school success? Are schools in your area equipped and ready to provide optimal learning environments for your children? Is your family able and ready to prepare your children for a smooth transition into school?

You may be thinking why and how does school readiness make a difference, especially when each child will learn what they need at their own pace once they start school? That depends on what you understand school readiness to mean…gone are the days when the maturity level of the child (that would allow for quiet, focused work) is the main indicator of school preparedness. The United Nations define it as...

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Updated: 16/07/14

Saturday School


6 Vital Factors for Planning Success.

The quote, ‘Plan your work…then work your plan’ by Margaret Thatcher is a well-used strategy and  sentiment that's shared by many. Effective planning involves other key factors for success. If taught to your children, it can become second nature for them; giving them a systematic approach to their success.  Find out the 6 Vital Factors for Planning Success. 

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Updated: 20/06/14

Involved Parents


What Future Jobs will be Relevant for Your Child?

The fastest emerging careers today relate to fields like forensic science, health care, national security, geriatric care management, genetics, and cyber security. Computer security is also an already emerging speciality. Improved computer graphics have led to a variety of animation specialities. Other emerging job positions include Internet development specialist, multimedia specialist and wireless communications technician. Nursing informatics is an upcoming career that involves skills in nursing, computer science and information technology. New medical imaging techniques have given rise to radiological specialties. When your child is looking for their dream job, their skills must be relevant;

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Updated: 06/06/14

Involved Parents


Special Needs Children: Early Parental Acceptance is Key

When a child is NOT developing according to the stages commonly understood as appropriate for their age...parents immediately worry/panic that 'something is wrong'. Often these fears are fuelled by well-meaning family and friends. In many cases the child is developing more rapidly in other areas, and things begin to balance out.  For some things don't:  in such instances, parental reactions to the birth (or later identification) of a child with a disability can be very traumatic.

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Updated: 29/05/14

Involved Parents


When Parents Can't Get Children to One of Our Centres...

We understand that not everyone can get to our centres, yet still want to provide their children with additional support resources and materials. We have some course materials that are available for sale if parents live too far to travel to one of our 3 centres in and around North London. Or if our scheduled times don't allow for your child to enrol with us: these materials do require parent input to support your child.

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Updated: 14/05/14

Involved Parents


9 Compelling Reasons for Reading Early

Why Teach a Baby to Read?

Babies learn and absorb all that they see around them: they are constantly working at understanding their world. As a baby is open to understanding all that s/he sees, teaching some phonemes (sounds) from the things that s/he observes and experiences in everyday life is advantageous. If reading is introduced to the baby early-on, it can be a natural and exciting routine in her/his day...

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Updated: 30/04/14

Reading


The 5 Building Blocks of Reading

Skilled reading comprehension is critical to modern life; success in education, productivity in society, and almost all types of employment require fast and thorough understanding of information from text. We tend to assume that reading is one singular act, but when we read, our brains are actually engaging in a number of tasks at the same time. There are five aspects to the process of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, reading comprehension and fluency. These five aspects work together to create the reading experience and draw on other aspects such as our working memory.

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Updated: 03/04/14

Reading


5 At-a-Glance Essentials of Story-Writing

There are many aspects of story-writing to delve into, such us who’s perspective is the story being told; the use of language and imagery, how to show the reader what is going on so that they experience the action, how to flesh-out a story with interesting detail and convey emotions. This blog is an at-a-glance guide that focuses on the key components of a story. There is always a beginning, a middle and an end. Making up the begining is the character, what s/he wants and the setting. Sandwiched in the middle, is the plot or unfolding order of events leading in the end, to a resolution.

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Updated: 07/03/14

English