Keystone Blog


22 June, 2017

‘What shall I do when I leave school?’ is just one of a number of important questions students make during their final three years at school. But, it is one that they shouldn’t feel daunted by as this is an exciting time and, typically, the final step in their formal education. The most salient point to remember is that there is a spider’s web of people from whom they can seek advice: teachers, parents, friends and even current university students.

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21 June, 2017

WHY is the Personal Statement important?  The personal statement is a 4,000 character (one page) document in which you have the opportunity to show admissions tutors that you are ideally suited to study your chosen course at undergraduate level. The lion’s share of a UCAS application is formulaic (e.g.

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15 June, 2017

At a glance, Eton’s 2017 Roll of King’s Scholars appears conventional; a list of the UK’s most notably successful prep-schools. Look more closely and one school sticks out like a sore thumb: Stanford OHS. Stanford Online High School is a selective independent school where all teaching takes place via real-time, online lessons. Classes are seminar-style and address groups of 15 students who can see and hear the teacher as well as video clips, diagrams and other resources.

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12 June, 2017

Over the last decade, gaining entry to UK independent schools has become increasingly competitive. Below, Diana Stewart-Brown discusses some of the biggest factors.   Changes to independent school admissions.  In recent years, many of the top UK independent schools have introduced pre-tests and discontinued the age-old practice of registering children at birth.

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8 June, 2017

Choosing a prep-school in London is often a daunting process and whilst you likely have some fundamental pre-requisites set in stone, we have listed a few points below which you might not have considered.   Does your child fit the academic mould? Consider whether your child will need a good SEN department or particular support as a gifted, talented and able student. Look out for small class sizes, excellent pastoral care and enrichment classes outside of the curriculum.

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31 May, 2017

When Keystone offers advice on choosing schools, we aim to recommend schools which will best prepare a child for adult life, both academically and socially. Gender is one of the most politicised topics of our day, and one that of course bears on schools that limit themselves to just one gender. Single-sex schools are of the opinion that gender matters.

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18 April, 2017

Keystone Tutors Singapore has now been live and kicking for nearly two months! We are here to give families based in Singapore access to our wonderful tutors in the UK via our online tutoring platform and we are here to stay! There has been a fantastic initial response to our on the ground presence and we are starting to help students here prepare for competitive entrance exams to UK independent schools and universities as well as GCSEs, A Levels and IB.

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2 April, 2017

Keystone's Director of Education shares his thoughts on making an effective revision plan. What? You should ask your subject teachers for advice about what to study and revise. They usually have a good idea about which topics appear regularly on exam papers and which are less frequent. Although you should aim to have a good understanding of the whole syllabus, it is not unreasonable to want to prioritise your learning.

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31 March, 2017

Revision can be daunting and establishing a starting point is often a challenge at this time of year. The following article aims to provide ideas about where to start and how to approach revision with suggestions that can be immediately put into practice and will hopefully ease any revision concerns during the exam season.

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17 February, 2017

As a tutor I have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of students, but despite the differences between them I often encounter some of the same issues over and over again.

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31 January, 2017

The English Literature Admissions Test needn’t be terrifying. In fact, it is simply testing a couple of skills that you’ve been cultivating since at least your GCSEs, and probably well before that: the skill of reading slowly, closely, and creatively, and the skill of writing with clarity, purpose, and insight. The ELAT is designed so that you can do well in it regardless of your prior knowledge. This isn’t an exam where you’ll show off how much you know.

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24 November, 2016

All applicants for admission to an Oxford degree course involving History must sit the History Aptitude Test (HAT), which is designed to assess a broad range of skills.  Students can often feel a little uneasy about the test at first, as it is very different from A level examinations.  To help make the HAT a less daunting prospect, I have compiled the following introductory guide to what the test entails and how best to prepare for it.

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27 October, 2016

A brief summary of which subjects require aptitude tests is below but make sure to check on the Oxford and Cambridge University websites which will have the latest information as well as specific advice and recommendations. Oxford Listed below are the aptitude tests used by Oxford for popular courses. Please note that if you are studying a combined subject, you may have to sit two tests and it is worth checking this on the Oxford University website.

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25 August, 2016

It’s that time of year again and here is some advice to help you to navigate GCSE results: Keep Calm! For some unknown reason (!) results days tend to imbue a certain sense of anxiety or even panic.

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19 August, 2016

Originally, the 7+ was designed for girls who traditionally mature older than boys, for whom the 8+ was designed. Recently, some boys’ schools have started using both exams. We would recommend opting for the 8+ if your child is a slow developer, giving another year to grow in confidence and prepare for assessment.  Remember that failure at this age can be damaging to confidence, so unless your child is a robust character trying the 7+ first may not be wise.

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17 June, 2016

Many parents are often stuck between choosing A-Levels or IB for their child. Here is a nifty table that clarifies the key differences.   A-Level IB Course Length AS Levels are a one-year standalone qualification.  A Levels are a two-year standalone qualification.

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14 June, 2016

We're delighted to support a new nature-based creative course launching this July.

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27 May, 2016

Dear Parents, Welcome to our Summer Newsletter from all of us here at Keystone! We know from personal experience how dreary and unwelcome most newsletters are, but we hope you forgive these quarterly missives from Keystone with their abundance of useful and stimulating information. What’s inside this newsletter? Although many exams are now underway, we thought some parents might find Jenny’s post on last minute revision strategies helpful.

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24 May, 2016

The wide variety of different schools can often be overwhelming and one of the toughest decisions is whether to opt for day or boarding. Listed below are five reasons why parents choose day schools instead of boarding schools.  1. Expense  Boarding schools now come at a vast expense. An analysis by the Good Schools Guide shows that the average annual cost is £27,600, before allowing for any extras. In comparison the average day schools cost £11,709 per year.

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11 April, 2016

Keystone has been a pioneer in online tutoring, successfully conducting thousands of hours of online tutoring sessions over a number of years. In this post, experienced online tutor, Daniel Glorioso answers frequently asked questions about online tutoring. Keystone has also put together a video on online tutoring in which you can see lessons in action. Please let us know if you have any other questions not covered here.

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In the press

Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal