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Is English Language a good A Level subject? English Language A Level is a really good choice if you have enjoyed the language aspects of your GCSE English course. Students will recall that study for the GCSE Language qualification is what we might call more ‘programmatic’: this is a more technical discipline, requiring a focus on technical aspects of language, and which looks as ‘texts’ that are sometimes a long way from the highbrow and romantic reading of the Literature qualification.

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Highgate School is one of the leading co-ed independent schools in the country. Situated a short distance from central London and adjacent to leafy Hampstead Heath, the school boasts an enviable location and is home to some best-in-class facilities among London schools, including a newly-opened Junior School building and an excellently equipped Art and Design Centre. Founded in 1595, Highgate is a school with a rich history paired with a modern and socially-minded outlook.

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When to begin IB revision? IB exams begin as early as late April for some subjects, and your revision perhaps begins in earnest with your mock exams, which generally take place early in your final year of IB study.  Revising for mocks will give you an opportunity to test what it is like to revise course material you’ve already covered, and rehearse some of the revision techniques that will become so crucial later on in the year.

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Is English Literature a good A Level subject? Studying English Literature at A Level is a fantastic option for those who have enjoyed English at GCSE and want to take their study to the next level. But be under no illusions that this is a step up - in terms of the knowledge you will be required to retain and process, the language you will be required to use, and the general ‘seriousness’ of the course. And examinations.

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In this webinar, Keystone's Managing Director, Ed Richardson, was joined by Helen Hawkins, Head of Marketing at Raleigh International, to discuss options for Gap Years. Their discussion covered some of the pros and cons of taking a gap year, different gap year opportunities and the impact of a gap year on university application.

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In this event Keystone's Managing Director, Ed Richardson, was joined by James Darley, the Founder and CEO of Transform Society, to discuss graduate employment.

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For this event, Keystone's Education Consultant, Suzie Bradshaw introduced Josh Davis and Sam Harris, both experienced counsellors from established US university specialists, ESM Prep.

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Keystone's Director in Asia, Jenny McGowan, was joined by Keystone's Managing Director, Ed Richardson, to discuss the Oxbridge application process. Their discussion covered the differences between Oxford and Cambridge, course choice, the importance of super-curricular learning, admissions tests, interviews and how to prepare effectively.

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Keystone's Director in Asia, Jenny McGowan, was joined by Keystone's Managing Director, Ed Richardson, to discuss the Oxbridge application process. Their discussion covered the differences between Oxford and Cambridge, course choice, the importance of super-curricular learning, admissions tests, interviews and how to prepare effectively.

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This video provides an overview of the application process and will be helpful for any students (and their parents) looking ahead to their UK university applications. The blog below provides further detail and there are many links to resources which students should find helpful.Occasionally there are changes to deadlines, admission test requirements etc. and this guide aims to provide a general overview.

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Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Brook and Director in Asia, Jenny McGowan discuss different school options for your child. They provided a fantastic insight into the entrance school landscape for any parent considering entrance options for their child.

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Cheltenham Ladies’ College has been educating girls for 170 years. Its GCSE and A Level results are consistently excellent and the College is regularly named the top boarding school for IB in the country. Cheltenham Ladies’ College emphasises a well-rounded education, where co-curricular pursuits and contribution to the school community are weighed equally with academic achievement. The College admits a mixture of boarders and day pupils and there are three points of entry: 11+, 13+ and 16+.

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Latymer Upper is one of the leading co-ed day schools in the country. Founded in 1624, the Latymer Foundation celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2024. With a proud history of social inclusivity, Latymer Upper educates 1400 girls and boys from a diverse range of backgrounds, offering a rigorous and stimulating education. It prides itself on being a ‘learning school’, with a strong emphasis on innovation and combining the best of the traditional and the modern.

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The 13 Plus Common Entrance Exam is a challenging hurdle to cross in securing a place for your child at your chosen independent school. With a rigorous syllabus covering 11 subjects, preparing for the 13 Plus effectively is vital to give your child the best chance of achieving the results they will need in the face of strong competition from other candidates.

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The English Literature Admissions Test (or ELAT) is a formal English assessment now sat exclusively by students applying for single and joint-honours English courses at Oxford University. This is a ninety-minute online exam for anybody looking to study English Language and Literature, Classics and English, English and Modern Languages, or History and English.These are popular and rigorous courses but sitting the ELAT need not be a terrifying experience.

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One of the key considerations when choosing a school for your child is whether they should be educated in a single sex or co-ed environment. Some schools cater only for boys or girls; others are co-educational throughout or in just the sixth form. Which is more suitable often depends on your own preference, the character of the individual child and the age of entry.

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Founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester (who also founded New College, Oxford), this is one of the oldest schools in the world. The College is situated in the beautiful city of Winchester, and its buildings and grounds are outstanding. Academic standards are extremely high with boys achieving exceptional results.

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When should you start preparing for 11+?  Starting 11 plus exam preparations in Lower KS2 (Year 3 or Year 4) is highly beneficial, providing ample time for children to thoroughly grasp the 11 plus syllabus within a realistic timeframe. During this stage, children can be introduced to fundamental maths concepts and problem-solving techniques, practice comprehension skills, develop their creative writing and vocabulary and familiarise themselves with various reasoning questions.

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What is the UKiset test?The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) is an adaptive computerised assessment designed for overseas students aged between 9 and 18 years old. Many UK independent schools require overseas students to take this test as part of their admissions process, as it serves as a pre-test to help schools identify the most suitable candidates and can be used to identify a candidates's strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences.

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In recent years, many independent senior schools that have put pre-tests in place have purposefully designed them with as little transparency as possible. It is for this reason that the tests are often computer generated and no past papers are issued. As such, no tutor can claim to have in depth knowledge or experience of the tests themselves, in their current form.

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Getting ready for 11 plus interviews is a difficult but very worthwhile area of preparation for any student hoping to secure a place at the school of their choice. In the article below, Keystone’s tutors have provided a range of good advice and guidance for anyone looking to show their full potential in these challenging interviews.

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What counts as a good UKiset score depends greatly on the school a candidate is applying to attend, and also varies according to the three sections of the test. The following points can act as a rough guide.

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If your child is planning to take the 11 plus exam, and is looking for ways to prepare this comprehensive guide is for you! Keystone’s expert tutors have helped students excel at taking the 11 Plus, and the guidance below aims to distil their best practice into a simple, practical set of top tips.

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Keystone’s Managing Director, Ed Richardson, was joined by Jenny McGowan, Keystone's Director of Asia, to discuss the similarities and differences between IGCSEs and GCSEs as well as A Levels and the IB. They also covered how students might choose subjects to study at the different levels.

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Westminster School is one of the older independent schools in the UK. It was originally a charity school founded by Benedictine of Westminster Abbey. Its existence ensured its survival during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540 and his daughter Elizabeth I re-founded the school in 1560. Today, Westminster educates 750 students and has two entrance points, in Year 9 and Year 12.

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Rugby school is a historic, well-established, co-educational school that is steeped in tradition and is probably best known as the birthplace of the sports that shares its name. The school has been educating children since 1567 and went fully co-educational in 1992. Rugby has always been at the forefront of innovation in teaching methods. The popular Extended Project Qualification was developed here, and academic facilities are outstanding, in particular for Languages and Sciences.

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The Spectator produced a fascinating table listing the various figures showing which schools achieved the most Oxbridge offers last year. Over the years, both universities have increased the proportion of acceptances from state schools, reaching 69%, a significant increase from 52% reported in 2000. Among the 80 schools considered, 33 are independent, 26 are grammar or partially selective, 18 are sixth-form colleges and three are comprehensives or academies.

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Eton is one of the United Kingdom’s best known and most prestigious independent schools, founded in 1440 AD by King Henry VI, and famous for having educated many British politicians, scientists, and creative talents. As such, the process of securing a place is highly competitive.Keystone have collated the answers to many commonly asked questions about applying to Eton in the article below, including some first hand insights from Josh Pull, a Keystone Director and former Old Etonian.

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Oundle is one of the largest co-ed boarding schools in the UK with just under 1,120 pupils, around 820 boarders and 310 day pupils, set in a Northamptonshire market town from which it takes its name. Oundle is a true all-round boarding school, with strong academic results, some of the best DT facilities in the country and fantastic sports and music. The school has three main entry points; at 11 plus,13 plus and 16 plus.

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Since St Paul’s Girls’ School (SPGS) first opened its doors in 1904, the school has provided an ambitious and progressive education. At all stages throughout its history, the school has combined the best elements of a classical education with a commitment to innovation and a forward-looking approach. Their academic attainment has been consistently astounding.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal