Monday, 29 December 2014
Monday, 22 December 2014
Friday, 12 December 2014
- Be aware of the format the interview will take? Individual or group, face to face or Skype and is written work or testing required?
- Re-read your personal statement. Elaborating on key points you have made in it will be an important part of your interview.
- Research course content and be ready to give opinions as to why its core and optional modules of study appeal to you. Be prepared to demonstrate why you will be good at studying particular topics and what skills you have to ensure success on the course. Showing passion for the subject is essential.
- What are your key skills and prepare examples to demonstrate them? Leadership - head of house, team captain in sport. Dedication - grade 7 piano, charity work for an extended period. Teamwork - Duke of Edinburgh, CCF, team sports or Young Enterprise. Be ready to sell yourself by emphasising these skills during your interview.
- Research the interviewer. What is their role and their career background? Understanding this will help you engage them in conversation by finding common ground.
- Ask relevant questions as this is your opportunity to impress the interviewer and to find out more about the course to help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Know why the university appeals and how you would contribute to university life as a whole. They are interested in the all-round you, not just your academics.
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
- You would like to study IB instead of A level, to keep more breadth of study.
- Your current school doesn’t offer all of the sixth form subjects that you’d like to study.
- If your teenager has acquired a ‘label’ which leads to certain expectations of their abilities and performance, moving school for a fresh start could be to their advantage.
- Moving from independent into state education means no fees! However, bear in mind class sizes will be significantly larger meaning less individual support.
- Moving from state into independent education can give access to a broader range of subjects and a more extensive extra-curricular programme offering diverse opportunities to strengthen a university application.
- If your teenager has struggled to make friends at their current school, changing school offers new opportunities to make new friends and find new interests.
- Moving from day to boarding will encourage responsibility and independence and is consequently an excellent stepping stone towards university life.
- Moving from boarding to day may offer parents the opportunity to monitor more closely your teenager’s efforts towards their studies.
- Some say moving from single sex to co-ed affords a better preparation for university life. However, be aware there may be more distractions if your teenager has a tendency to lose focus or finds it hard to plan their time effectively.
- Some schools have no sixth form so a move at 16+ is un-avoidable. Start your school research in plenty of time, ideally in the autumn term of year 10.
Sunday, 9 November 2014
Are you looking for advice on choosing the right school or making a strong application to university? Call our team of friendly, professional consultants on 01865 522066 or visit our website for more information www.independenteducationconsultants.co.uk
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Friday, 10 October 2014
- A combination of the competitive nature of boys to perform as well as those around them and the girls’ often more conscientious attitude to work should be a winning formula for success, in both the classroom and independent study.
- Class discussion brings diversity of opinion and encourages all to develop a rounded view.
- Co-ed schools are all about breaking the mould and inspiring girls to aim for careers as engineers, politicians or to study the Sciences and boys to perhaps consider Music, PR or design.
- Co-curricular programmes offer diversity of choice with girls having equal access to activities which may once have been the preserve of boys such as CCF, cricket, shooting or practical skills such as carpentry, car maintenance or metalwork.
- Particularly with an only child or where parents are separated, mixed friendships or role models are less likely at home, so perhaps more important to experience at school.
- Learning a responsible and trustworthy attitude towards inevitable temptation within co-ed peer relationships and social media banter is an important lesson for life
- School should be about forming solid, supportive friendships for life. I can’t help wondering if it is a more relevant preparation for 21st century life, for these to be with both boys and girls, giving a balanced perspective. Maybe girls bring focus, drive and determination for academic success and boys bring more of an easy-going, calm perspective.
Friday, 3 October 2014
- Keep dinner party banter in perspective. Remember there is no one best school that suits all children equally. Treat your child as an individual and form your own judgement as to what feels right for them.
- Realistically, how bright is your child? You will need a school to stretch and challenge their capabilities, but not to such an extent that they are struggling to keep their head above water.
- What are their interests, strengths and are there areas of potential weakness needing additional support?
- Are you looking at state schools or might you be in a financial position to consider independent education?
- What location works best in relation to home and work commitments of both parents? Investigate bus routes, lift shares with local families or ability to walk to school.
- If you plan to invest in private education have you considered weekly or full-boarding to extend your school options? Particularly if both parents’ work, this can be a practical solution where everyone wr=orks hard in the week and enjoys quality fmil time at the weekends.
- How do you feel about single sex versus co-ed?
- Depending on your current school leaving age, when will it best suit your child to move?
- Are you looking for a traditional, structured environment or a more informal one? Will their character suit a large, competitive environment or small and nurturing?
- How do you feel about siblings attending different schools if they have different interests, capabilities and character?
For advice on choosing the right school please give our team of friendly consultants a call on 01865 522066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit our website http://independenteducationconsultants.co.uk/choosing-a-school-age-5-7-11-13-or-16/
Friday, 26 September 2014
- A Head and teaching staff who are specialists in nurturing and inspiring girls to aim high and achieve more across a broad range of curriculum subjects.
- Teaching styles that are suited to girls, who are un-doubtedly wired differently to boys when it comes to learning.
- All investment in facilities and resources is tailor-made for girls.
- An absence of make-up and shortened skirts presents a tidy, business-like school environment with a clear focus on study rather than socialising skills.
- An ability to dip in and out of co-ed learning experiences through partnerships with local boys’ schools for school plays, CCF and through the extended curriculum.
- Careers advice which encourages girls to break stereotypes and explore all avenues including engineering, the sciences, medicine and entrepreneurship.
- Opportunities to develop leadership skills and to experience role models in an environment where career aspirations are a priority.
- Girls with a tendency to be self-conscious or lack self-esteem are surrounded by opportunities to shine.
- Girls and boys mature at different rates so pastoral support can be tailor-made to suit the needs of individuals.
- Girls’ schools are not about equal opportunity, they’re about all opportunity.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
- Meet the Head. How accessible they are to prospective parents can be a guide as to how the school is run. It is crucial their philosophy for education meets yours. Do they come across as a capable leader, respected by staff and pupils alike and are they in touch with the day-to-day school life?
- Observe staff relationships with pupils within a lesson environment. Is it formal or more relaxed and which will suit your child? Do all children appear engaged and included?
- What curriculum areas are strengths for the school? Do these match your child’s interests and capabilities? Do the quality of teaching staff, achievements and facilities reflect this?
- How is progress measured and reported to parents?
- Is I.T. being used constructively, to support excellent and engaging teaching, not as a substitute for it?
- If learning support is important for you, how is this organised and how is progress monitored?
- Are pupils smartly dressed and belongings tidily stored around the school?
- Are walls and furniture in good decorative order and does the site appear well looked-after?
- Can pupils speak confidently to visitors and talk knowledgeably about their school, outlining its strengths?
- Do noticeboards give a picture of a busy school with a breadth of educational opportunity across all academic subject areas, sport, music and creative arts?
Sunday, 14 September 2014
There is no one answer fits all to the question of whether private education is for you. State and independent provision can vary significantly depending on where you live and the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of individual children mean that each one needs careful consideration as to what might be the best option for them personally.
Parents usually make the choice of private education for three reasons.
- The ‘best’ state schools in the area are academically selective and parents are unhappy with the alternative, if their child does not gain entry.
- There is a need for additional support for an educational reason such as dyslexia, EAL, gifted or a particular interest such as music, and parents feel their state school option is not equipped to deliver this support.
- Both parents work full-time, so have less time available to offer supplementary provision at home.
With the above in mind, here are 10 tips in how to evaluate if private or state education suits you.
- Speaking to other parents about local schools will help, but remember their views, although passionate and enthusiastic, are not independent and a variety of opinions around the dinner party table can often confuse. Speak to an independent education consultant, read independent reviews in publications such as The Good Schools Guide and read the schools’ latest Ofsted or ISI report. You will usually find these on the school website. Alternatively, they can be found at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report or for an independent school or at http://www.isi.net/reports
- Ask yourself how involved you want to be in supporting and supplementing your child’s education. Choosing a state school will sometimes mean devoting significant time to your child’s learning or extra-curricular activities outside school, helping with homework, perhaps even employing a tutor for some extra tuition in Maths or English. You might want them to learn extra subjects such as French or Latin. This support is usually an inclusive part of the academic provision at a private school, where smaller class sizes and more specialist subject teachers make more individual attention and a wider curriculum possible.
- Consider whether you have the time to organise and provide transport for a busy programme of extra-curricular activities, such as attending coaching sessions at local sports clubs, piano or ballet lessons outside school. Invariably, the majority of the above will be provided within a private school’s holistic approach to education, with longer school days providing opportunity for an inclusive activity programme. Your role will be more one of watching school concerts and plays or cheering loudly from the side lines at school matches.
- Do both parents work? State school working days tend to be shorter than those at a private school meaning more childcare may be needed.
- Do you want to get up early on Saturday mornings for the school run? Many private schools have Saturday morning lessons, particularly those which offer boarding. There will also be a busy programme of school matches on Saturday afternoons which you will need to commit to. Longer holidays compensate for this, but the commitment of 6 days a week in term-time does not suit all families.
- It is not always necessary for siblings to follow the same path through education. A shy child may need to build their confidence through the small, nurturing environment of a private school, while a sibling may be out-going and confident, so attending the right state school may suit them just as well.
- Do you suspect that your child might have a particular weakness or struggles with their learning in some way? Investing in a private school may mean that issues such as dyslexia may be identified earlier than in a state school, where class sizes are larger. Consequently the correct support with their learning can be provided at an earlier stage, to ensure they progress alongside their peers.
- Good state schools are often competitive in terms of entry criteria and the academic educational programme they deliver. Will such a competitive environment, which focuses mainly on academic achievement, suit your child? If your child is self-motivated, confident and bright, the answer is probably yes. If they lack confidence, they may struggle to settle.
- If your child just scrapes into an academically selective state school, by being tutored to pass the 11+ and consequently makes set 7 or 8 for Maths and English, what will this do for their confidence and how will you monitor and address this? Consider if it might be better to be at the top of a less academic state or private school and hence gain confidence as a high achiever?
- Some parents move from state education to private education or vice versa when their child reaches 16+. There are opportunities to gain scholarships for entry to a private school at sixth form, especially if your child has done well at grammar/state school for the preceding 5 years. On the flip side, some believe that moving from private into state education for sixth from may make gaining a place at university easier, although this theory is to date unproven. Care must be taken to ensure that your teenager will cope with such a transition into a learning environment with different teaching styles, as they need to hit the ground running with only 2 years to gain top grades at this stage of education.
For independent, professional advice on choosing the right school options for your child at all ages, give our team of friendly consultants a call on 018865 522066 or email email@example.com
Saturday, 6 September 2014
Sunday, 31 August 2014
- Help them to familiarise themselves with the town or city where they will be studying including the campus layout, location of faculty teaching blocks, public transport, location of the supermarket etc. A visit a few weeks before they start might help with this.
- Do everything you can to assist them to secure a place in a hall of residence. Being among other ‘Freshers' in a hall of residence, rather than a rented house during year one, will make finding their way around and meeting new friends easier and give a gentler acclimatisation into University life, especially if they have, to date, been living at home.
- Help them to plan the clubs and societies they will join during Freshers' week. University is a fabulous opportunity to try a huge variety of new and exciting sports and activities and those who get fully involved from the outset will make new friends and hence settle quickest.
- Organise their finances by opening a bank account. Shop around for the one that is offering the best student incentives and ideally chose one which has a branch located close to the university or even better on campus.
- Spend some time going through the importance of budget planning and monitoring cash-flow carefully. Advise against credit cards and un-authorised overdrafts.
- If the timetable structure of their course looks like there might be time for some part-time work to supplement their student loan, help them to get a CV and application letter ready and to start to research places where they might seek employment once in situ. Talk them through body language and basics of interview technique. Reliability, looking respectable and a friendly personality will be the key factors to get across. Review pictures and comments on their Facebook page as many potential employers will now review these before taking on young people.
- Have some fun in the kitchen helping your teenager with planning and cooking healthy meals on a budget. Reproducing some of mum’s home-cooked dishes for new friends will be a positive way to cope with homesickness in the early stages.
- Have a serious chat about safety, keeping gadgets and tech safe, managing drink, turning down drugs and coping with peer pressure to do things which they may feel are out of their comfort zone.
- Find out what the local GP arrangements are for students and register them.
- Advise against taking too many possessions with them for the start of the first term. Some things are essential, but having too much will cramp their living space and be too hard to keep track of. Homely but uncluttered is best. Valuables should be minimal. Make sure key items are covered by appropriate insurance.
- Advise against taking a car until they have seen where they will be living and investigated the parking arrangements. If they do chose to take a car, drink-driving should be discussed.
- A bike is a good investment and don’t forget lights and a high-vis top.
- A laptop with a good size screen will be crucial. Consider getting a separate mouse, keyboard and ensure they have the latest up-to-date software. Consider how their work will be backed-up and a few USB sticks might come in handy.
- Agree how you will keep in touch. Email, text, mobile, Skype. Give them space to explore this exciting new stage of their life, but explain your need to hear from them every once in a while, to be reassured they are happy and safe.
Visit our website for more information via the link. http://independenteducationconsultants.co.uk/applying-to-uk-university/
Monday, 21 July 2014
- An opportunity for your own children to make new friends and to learn about other countries and cultural understanding, in preparation for working in a Global world.
- To encourage your own child to share and to consider the needs of others.
- To fill the ‘empty nest’ and stay young when your own children have perhaps gone off to university or left home.
- To become involved in the school life of a young person, supporting them through attendance at school matches, concerts, parents’ evenings.
- To get to know a particular boarding school, as you may be considering in future for your own children.
- To provide reassurance and build lasting friendships with international families overseas.
- To feel a sense of pride and a warm glow, knowing you are making a real difference to the life of a young person, when their own parents are so far away.
- To enjoy the company of a young person and have an excuse to go to all the children’s films at the cinema, Legoland or Harry Potter World.
- To put your spare bedroom to good use.
- To learn how to make sushi like the Japanese.
Sunday, 6 July 2014
Ask how often your child’s individual education plan will be reviewed and if necessary amended?
Sunday, 29 June 2014
10 things to do this summer, to prepare your child for their new senior school in September #parents #boardingschool
- Keep their brain ticking over with reading books from the local library, visits to art galleries and museums, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, subscribing to online maths programmes etc.
- Review joining information now. Return forms in plenty of time. There may be first-come-first-served timetabling choices to make, such as which extra language or musical instrument to take up, or booking in a mouthguard fitting.
- Run through the pupil handbook together to establish daily routine and rules. Getting into trouble in the first few weeks will be a set-back in the settling in process.
- Look over the extra-curricular programme, discussing which have most appeal. Planning school runs and other family commitments will be easier if you have an idea of when school commitments might be.
- Request email and phone numbers are circulated amongst form or house groups. Make contact with other families to arrange joint activities over the summer. Starting a new school alongside familiar faces is far less daunting.
- Gradually increase independence, for example catching the bus to the local shopping centre to meet friends for a couple of hours.
- Be firm on time-keeping and give advice about keeping themselves and valuables safe. Encourage your child to act responsibly and solve problems themselves.
- If boarding for the first time, practise housekeeping skills such as keeping a tidy bedroom, keeping track of possessions, changing a duvet cover and putting clothes into the laundry daily.
- Buy new uniform as soon as is practical, bearing in mind summer growth spurts. Leaving this until the last week of the holiday means items are more likely to be out of stock and the shops will be insanely busy with those doing everything at the last-minute. Name everything clearly and securely, including techy gadgets, chargers, trainers and in particular sports kit, which often tends to disappear.
- If starting a new sport such as lacrosse, hockey or rugby, book a pre-season summer course to get to grips with some of the skills before term starts. This will boost confidence and give them a head-start in September.