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Reading List for children in Year 3 and Year 4 (Age 7 and 8) Children studying for the 8 plus exams are moving on from the initial chapter books and early reading series they may have looked at during seven plus preparation and are starting to choose more sophisticated titles. Books at this age are starting to get longer and tackle a broader range of subjects.

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Reading List for children in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 (Age 9 to 11) Children studying for the 11 plus exams are at a key point in their school reading journey. They are starting to develop the independence and autonomy to seek out their own reading books and decide how to incorporate reading into their daily routine.

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St Paul’s is an independent boy’s school set within 45 acres of open space in Barnes, South West London. The school was founded in 1509 by John Colet with the vision to provide an outstanding all-round education to prepare boys for a successful future. The school welcomes all academically eligible students, regardless of either economic or social circumstances.

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For children in Year 3 and Year 4 The best way to help children in Year 3 and 4 prepare for the 11 Plus is to ensure they have solid subject knowledge in English and Maths. Alongside this, children of this age should be developing key learning skills, which will ensure academic success in exam conditions.

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In order to excel in the 11 Plus, children need to have a wide vocabulary to draw on. Good vocabulary knowledge will help in all aspects of the English exam (reading, writing, verbal reasoning) as well as in the interviews. Comprehending the reading part of the exam requires knowledge of what the individual words mean and what they mean within the context of the particular comprehension.

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Students taking the 13 Plus will be expected to use language effectively in all areas of the English exam, as well as in interviews. The exam will likely test candidates understanding of an unseen passage from a novel, play, poem or from another genre. At this level, students are assessed on their understanding of the text, as well as their analysis and evaluation of it.

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Vocabulary plays a crucial part in all aspects of communication; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Children taking the 8 Plus exam will need to have a good range of vocabulary to call on in interviews, and when completing the reading, writing and reasoning aspects of the entrance exams. This age group will be developing their use of logic and understanding of cause and effect.

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Six to seven year olds expand their vocabulary at a rapid rate, learning 5-10 words a day. While these are mostly learnt indirectly through everyday experiences, such as through discussion and reading, direct teaching can consolidate and improve a child’s vocabulary knowledge in readiness for the 7+ exam.

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Is it getting harder to win a place at the best universities in the UK? In 2020 ... Oxford received more than 23,000 undergraduate applications for 3,300 places. Cambridge received more than 20,000 undergraduate applications for around 4,500 places.

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UK boarding schools boast a long tradition of excellence in education. There are a number of options for boarding including: Weekly boarding: Students will live at school Monday to Friday and spend weekends withtheir parents. Flexi boarding: Parents can choose how many nights a student spends at school or at home. Full boarding: Students live at school all the time apart from exeat weekends (designated weekends each term where students can leave) and school holidays.

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Keystone works extensively with families looking to relocate to the UK from abroad or apply to a UK boarding school.  Our Consultants use their in-depth knowledge of the British education system and entrance exams to help families all over the world find the right UK school for their child.

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For this event Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by David Feinburg, an experienced US advisor, to discuss university applications.

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There are a great variety of resources and materials available online for Pre-Test and 11 plus assessments. The most reliable are from Galore Park, although some schools do offer sample papers or links to the types of assessment they use. Below we have compiled details of entry requirements and links to school specific 11 plus past papers for independent schools in London that are free to download.

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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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Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia, to discuss the application process to universities and how to maximise the impact of the application. They also provided some of their top tips to aid the process.

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What is the CAT4 test? Made by GL Assessment, it is one of the world’s most widely use cognitive ability tests. CAT stands for Cognitive Ability Test and it is used in schools to understand developed ability (i.e. where a child is now) and likely academic potential (i.e. where a child could be).

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In this webinar Harriet, Keystone's Director of Education, and Sabine Hook, a specialist nursery consultant, discussed the following key questions: How do you decide what the best option is for your child? When should parents start thinking about nursery schools and when do they need to register? How do you start the search and What do you recommend looking for in a nursery? What questions should parents ask when visiting a nursery? Is the Ofsted report a good place to find out.

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Oxford has 39 colleges, Cambridge 31. You can leave it to chance and make an open application, but most people expect to direct their application to one of them. In some ways, it seems an unnecessary distraction. After all, no one presents Formula One drivers on the starting grid with a wine list expecting them to choose which champagne they want to be sprayed with on the podium.

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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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What is the IB Diploma? The IB formerly known as The International Baccalaureate Organization or IBO was founded in 1968 and offers international recognised qualifications for students from 3 to 18.

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UK universities are incredibly popular with students from Hong Kong, and Keystone Tutors has extensive experience in helping these students to gain admission to their desired university. This invaluable guide covers key facts and tips about the application process, how to choose the right university and course, and the costs and fees involved.

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What are GCSEs and IGCSEs? The General Certificate in Secondary Education or GCSE is a subject-based academic qualification taken by students in the UK at the end of their compulsory education in Year 11 (age 16). They are typically studied over a 2 or 3 year period, starting in either Year 9 or 10 depending on the subject, exam board or school and finish with a set of examinations at the end of the course.

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Application to top UK universities is highly competitive. It is often not enough to simply have strong set of academic grades; admissions tutors will expect you to be able to communicate your enthusiasm and commitment to study your chosen subject at undergraduate level. This can be done most prominently in your personal statement, and also at interview, for those courses and institutions that do so.

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Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia to discuss the application process to universities in the UK. They also provided some top tips to aid the process.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, was joined by guest experts Clare de Lotbiniere, a BACP Accredited Psychotherapist, and Robert Batt, CEO and Clinical Director of The Recovery Centre (TRC), a leading mental health support clinic in London, to discuss supporting school-aged children with their mental health. More Detail on our guest panellists: Clare has worked in state and private education sectors, working with both students and staff.

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This report, by Keystone's Head of Education Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, explores the educational backgrounds (undergraduate degrees and secondary schools) of 'successful' people under the age of 40. To support this research Keystone collated just under 1,000 young people (aged 40 or under) who have been noted for making a recognised impact in their fields of work: business, politics, the arts and so on.

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Keystone’s Director of Education, Ed Richardson was joined by Andrew Mackenzie, Managing Director of Africa and Asia Venture – experts in GAP year travel for over 25 years, and Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield. The panel discussed the advantages and disadvantages of a gap year.

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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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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal