Keystone Tutors Blog

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, was joined by Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, and two leading preparatory school headmasters, Will Brooks from Brambletye Prep and Alexander Wulffen-Thomas from St Philip's School, to discuss different school options. This webinar should provide a fantastic insight into the junior school landscape for any parent considering junior school options for their child.

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Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia to discuss the Oxbridge application process.

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‘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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Ahead of the UK national lockdown announced on 4th January 2021 the Government confirmed that "it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal” due to the disruption caused to education by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In his recent Keystone blog, ‘How to Assess a School’s Academic Performance’, Felix Hamilton provided useful information for parents questioning which academic performance league-tables are the most trustworthy. He also made the point that schools cannot be judged on academic performance alone, a point that I would support wholeheartedly.

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Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by US university specialists, ESM Prep, to compare the US and UK university application processes. ESM College Coach, Rachel Edgell, joined the dicussion to identify key differences between the timelines and requirements, discussing the best way to balance both processes with limited stress and maximum effect.

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Keystone Tutor Tom read History at Christ Church College, Oxford, graduating in 2015. In the interview below Tom covers his inside experience of the application process, the best ways to prepare, and some insights into his work as a tutor helping students gain entry to some of the UK’s top academic institutions.

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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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Securing a place to study, or ‘read’ English at Cambridge University is a challenging task. Extremely able candidates from around the world compete for a limited number of places, and it is essential to prepare for this competitive process effectively. In the article below, Keystone Tutors provide an overview of the best approach to take, some top tips, and even an inside view on the application process from a tutor who read English at Cambridge.

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In the article below, Lincoln College Oxford alumni and Keystone Tutor Rory outlines the best approach to take when applying to study English at Oxford, with plenty of hard-won insights from his own successful application process thrown in! .

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We are often asked by parents which League Table is the most trustworthy and how important exam results are. Although we are firmly of the belief that a school cannot be judged on academics alone, we thought it might be helpful to answer some frequent questions regarding league tables. If you would like to know what other factors you should consider when choosing a school, please visit our blog on ‘How to Choose a British Independent School for my Child.

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Parents who are interested in the top independent schools for girls that are part of the London 11 Plus Consortium need to ensure that their child is well prepared for the entrance exam the Consortium uses. In the article below, Keystone’s expert tutors have compiled a list of extensive answers to the key questions most parents ask about the Consortium and the exam itself, as well as their top tips for preparing effectively and achieving the best possible results.

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The 8 Plus – like its cousins the 7 Plus, 11 Plus, and 13 Plus – is an important hurdle to overcome in gaining entry to some of the UK’s best independent schools. In the article below, Keystone Tutors cover the basics of the exam, its format, and the best ways to prepare for and succeed at this competitive assessment.

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In 2020, the UK Government announced a new visa for Hong Kong residents that have British National (Overseas) status in response to the new security laws being introduced by China.

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Over the years Keystone has successfully helped many families in their search for suitable independent schools for their children through our Schools Advisory Service. We have outlined the key points that you should consider when looking for a school for your child and where to find the information in this article.

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Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) is one of the most popular, and best-known, courses that you can read at Oxford. It has been offered since 1921, and it’s rooted in the view that it’s helpful to approach problems in society from the perspectives of several complementary disciplines and frameworks.

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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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Keystone's Head of Consultancy (Harriet Blomefield) was joined by our Director of Education (Ed Richardson) and Director of Keystone Asia (Jenny McGowan) to discuss what they know so far in relation to summer 2021 exams and what this means for student preparation. They also shared their top tips for setting up effective home schooling.

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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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Harrow School was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and has a global reputation as an outstanding school. Distinguished writers, politicians from around the world, and Nobel laureates have all studied at Harrow. Securing a place at this highly selective school is a tough challenge, and you will find a number of key topics to do with the admissions process covered below.

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As a parent looking for information about how best to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams, you may have encountered the terms CEM and GL and wondered what on earth they refer to! When it comes to the 11 Plus, these terms refer to the main two assessment manufacturers who develop and provide the 11 Plus tests.

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In light of the Covid-19 school closures we thought it would be helpful to list some of our key recommendations when it comes to making home-schooling a success.

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To assist teachers and students in making online lessons as productive as possible we have put together this infographic on the ground rules that students should follow for online learning.

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Past papers are a great resource for anyone preparing to take an exam, no matter how young.

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The 7+ is sat by students in Year 2 for entry into their new school in Year 3. Students typically take the 7+ in January of Year 2, but it is worth noting that some schools require students to sit them before Christmas. It is important for parents to check the admissions section of their intended schools’ websites to confirm dates.

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Historically boys would sit for the 8+ and girls for the 7+. This was based around the fact that it was traditionally accepted that boys mature a little later than girls at this age. Assessing them later meant that they had more time to develop and show their true potential. However, nowadays many schools offer both 7+ and 8+ entry and as such parents have the option to consider which might be most suitable.

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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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For over 6 years, Jon has been working for Keystone, tutoring over 170 children around the world via online tuition. Jon covers some of the key concerns parents often have when considering online Maths tuition in the article below, bringing his extensive experience as both a tutor and a teacher to bear.

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The way the ISEB Pre-Test is scored, and the way the results are used by different schools, can be confusing for parents. The key questions parents have about these tests are answered below.

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There are three types of reasoning tested within the UKiset: Verbal Reasoning: language questions and problem solving with words  Non-Verbal Reasoning: solving problems using shapes, pictures and logic  Mathematical Reasoning: looking at number, value, quantity and sequence concepts.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal