Keystone Tutors Blog

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Interviewing for a Place to Study at Cambridge University Cambridge University, founded over 800 years ago, supposedly by scholars fleeing from irate townsfolk in Oxford, is one of the world's greatest universities and a historic seat of learning. Graced by the stunning architecture of its colleges, and filled with keen minds from around the world, Cambridge is an amazing place to study your chosen subject.

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Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, are joined by our Director of Education, Ed Richardson, and Harriet Blomefield, Keystone’s Head of Consultancy to discuss the 11+.

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What is ‘Pod’ learning and why is it increasingly popular?   The Corona Virus Pandemic has changed many people’s views on home-schooling and with the ever-changing advice on schools, it is a path that is of interest to many parents.

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Interviews are often considered to be the most intimidating and mysterious elements of the Oxford admissions process. This guide is designed to demystify the Oxford interview process so that you can approach your interview as confidently as possible.

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The ISEB Common Pre-Tests are very commonly used by senior independent schools as a part of their admissions process.

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Advanced Level qualifications, better known as A Levels, help students enter universities or colleges or careers related to the subjects they choose to study. Originally introduced in the UK in 1951, they are also offered in a range of Commonwealth countries, and are normally studied over the course of a 2 year period. Most students will study either 3 or 4 A Levels between the ages of 16 and 19.

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And it had all seemed so simple. For the past several years, from 2016 to 2019, Cambridge had joined Oxford in setting all the candidates who applied to the university to read history, or joint honours degrees involving history, a written assessment that was taken at the same time as the Oxford HAT – about a month before the interview stage. This exam, known as the History Admissions Assessment (HAA), consisted of two one-hour papers.

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GCSE Results Day 2020 is finally upon us! We thought it might be helpful to share some top tips to help you to navigate the day.

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With A level Results day almost upon us, here is a helpful guide to ensure you are appropriately prepared. This is an exceptional year, what with the cancellation of examinations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is therefore very important that students are aware of what options are available to them.

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The UK education system can be confusing, especially for international families whose children are being educated elsewhere. This blog aims to give an overview of the system and to define the key terms you might see when conducting research. Before reading the rest of the blog do take a look at our Educational Roadmap linked here, which will allow you to determine which UK school year your child is in. The age cut-off date is September 1st in the UK – e.g.

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Places to study at medical schools in the UK are highly sought after, by both domestic and international students, and require a great degree of commitment from prospective applicants. Understanding just what medical school involves can really help you decide whether it’s right for you and, once you’re sure it is, give you the very best chance of securing a place at the school of your choice. You can also download our Applying to Medical school guide as a PDF.

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What is the UKiset test? The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) is a 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.

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UK independent schools tend to have defined entry points and clear processes from registration to assessment and interview.

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What is Sixth-Form entry? The key entry points for independent secondary schools are 11+ (Year 7), 13+ (Year 9) and 16+ (Year 12). Out of these, sixth form is arguably the most competitive entry point, particularly if your child is seeking to move into one of the top UK independent schools. However, an increasing number of children move schools at sixth form, these two years of school providing an often-vital bridge between school and university.

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Parents often ask us which books their children should be reading. In some respects, it’s the wrong question to ask – are there any books children shouldn't  be reading? – but with children’s free-time seeming ever to shrink, there is certainly merit in searching out the best.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, is joined by Olly Hopwood (teacher at Westminster School) and Jonny Timms (Deputy Head at Caldicott Prep School) to discuss strategies parents might employ to prevent learning loss over the summer holidays.

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Keystone Director of Education, Ed Richardson and Client Manager, Poppy Dundas, are joined by Andy Thompson, Education Consultant and Director of Oxford Myrtle. Andy looks after a number of families who are home-schooling their children for a variety of reasons. The panel discuss home-schooling, drawing on their experience at Keystone and answering the common questions that arise.

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Finding the right tutor can be a real game changer for your child, it can help to overcome areas of concern, and to unlock their academic potential. Looking for the right one, though, can be a minefield, and a stressful one for both you and your child. Below we answer some commonly asked questions that should make the whole process much easier.

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We are running a series of free online webinars throughout June. We're delighted to be joined by a range of leading guest experts for each webinar.

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For this event Keystone Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing is joined by Sophie Wade and James Darley to discuss how the employment world will look after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Through our recent discussions with families who live abroad and have children studying at British boarding schools, we have compiled a list of their FAQs:  .

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Keystone Director of Education, Ed Richardson is joined by Andrew Mackenzie, Managing Director of Africa and Asia Venture – experts in GAP year travel for over 25 years and Dr Jonathan Burbidge, housemaster and teacher at St Edward's School. Here they will be discussing the possibilities of a gap year and how this might be different from the normal in the context of Coronavirus.

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For this event we are delighted to be joined by US university specialists, ESM Prep. Harriet discusses the potential impact of the Covid-19 crisis on higher education in the US as well as broader application strategy.

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For this webinar Keystone Consultant Harriet Blomefield is joined by former Westminster School Head of Sixth Form, David Hargreaves and Keystone Director of Asia, Jenny McGowan. They share their insights on applying to Oxford and Cambridge.

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Keystone has built its reputation on providing supplementary tutoring: filling in gaps in a child’s education. Using excellent tutors teaching one-on-one, we also provide home-schooling support effectively and efficiently, often teaching years of curriculum content in a few months. There was a time when most education was conducted in this manner.

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In this webinar Keystone Education Consultant, Harriet Blomefield is joined by David Hawkins from The University Guys to discuss applying to universities outside the UK. They discuss a range of options including applying to universities across Europe, Asia and the US.

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We are running a series of free online webinars throughout May and June. Our focus is on university applications, both in the UK and overseas as well as related webinars on "The post Covid-19 graduate employment landscape" and "How to plan a GAP year in a socially distanced world". We're delighted to be joined by a range of leading guest experts for each webinar.

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Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Harriet Blomefield, our lead consultant answer key questions relating to this year's GCSEs and A Levels. The recording took place on 17th April and was correct at time of recording.

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Like the rest of the country, we have been rocked by the unfolding crisis caused by COVID-19. We are especially aware of the disruption caused to families across the country by measures such as the closure of UK schools and limits placed on movement outside the home. Scaling up a comprehensive online offering is naturally a huge task for schools.

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Online tutoring is becoming more and more popular with students of all ages. Five years ago, 18% of Keystone’s lessons were delivered online; now this is 60% and we expect it to increase further. Here we answer typical questions we are asked about the phenomenon.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal