Keystone Blog


14 December, 2014

Keystone Director Will Orr-Ewing was featured in today's Sunday Times article on tutoring over the Christmas holidays. In the article Will emaphsised that balance was important for holiday revision programmes. Click here to read the full article.

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14 December, 2014

Keystone Director Will Orr-Ewing was featured in today's Telegraph article on tutoring over the Christmas holidays. In the article Will urged schools to move their entrance exams back by a month to allow children to have a proper break over Christmas. Click here to read the full article.

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7 December, 2014

Holding crucial entrance exams in early January is causing parents and students unnecessary anxiety over the Christmas period. “More and more providers are offering Christmas holiday tuition,” said Will Orr-Ewing, director of Keystone Tutors, a highly respected tutoring company. Mr Orr-Ewing says that most tutoring business would prefer to close over Christmas.

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26 October, 2014

Keystone Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, has appeared on both BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio London. In interviews for the two programmes he discussed the tutoring landscape in London and warned parents about the dangers of using unqualified tutors for very young children.

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24 October, 2014

Keystone Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, has appeared today on LBC Radio. In interviews for the programme he discussed the tutoring landscape in London and warned parents about the dangers of using unqualified tutors for very young children.

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22 October, 2014

Keystone was featured in today's Telegraph warning parents about taking on unqualified tutors for very young children. Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, commented, "In many cases tutoring is done by graduates who may have excellent academic credentials but no experience of working with very young children. There is a lazy assumption that the younger the children are the easier they are to teach but the reverse is actually the case.

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22 October, 2014

Keystone was featured in today's Independent warning parents about taking on unqualified tutors for very young children. Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, commented, “Three or four is far too young an age for a child to be tutored. The youngest appropriate age we advise is seven, and then only once a week and by tutors who are experienced primary specialists.” Click here to read the full article.

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19 October, 2014

Children as young as three are being put under strain because the private schools market is so competitive that parents feel they have no option but to hire tutors, experts have warned. Keystone has warned that parents should approach tutoring for younger children with caution. “In many cases tutoring is done by graduates who may have excellent academic credentials but no experience of working with very young children.

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26 September, 2014

The global reputations of leading independent schools are being tarnished by unscrupulous education advisors who are charging overseas parents tens of thousands of pounds for poor advice that fails to secure places for their children, a leading tutoring firm has warned.

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26 September, 2014

Keystone's warning regarding unscrupulous placement agents was reported on Yahoo news.

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26 September, 2014

Keystone Tutors was featured today in the Times warning parents about poor advice and bad practice amongst educational consultants. Click here to read the full article.

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26 September, 2014

Keystone Tutors was featured in today's Telegraph warning parents, particularly from overseas, about the poor practice of many school placement agencies.

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6 August, 2014

In my consultations with parents from outside of the UK, I am often asked to clarify the Common Entrance. What is it? How important is it? What is the best way to prepare for it? This overview aims to clear up any misunderstandings. What is it? Common Entrance was established in 1903 and it has been the standard entrance exam for many of the United Kingdom’s most respected independent schools since then. Its 11+ and 13+ exams are currently used by 250 senior schools.

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11 July, 2014

We were delighted to be nominated as a finalist in the Education Investor awards in the Tutoring category.

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6 July, 2014

Whether poem, essay, novel or tome, literature should accompany you wherever you go this summer. We thought we would recommend some summer-themed literature for you, all of which are suitable for pupils older than 14. At the end, we have recommended one foundational book per subject discipline in case you also want to use this summer to “get ahead”. Summer Corkers Bonjour Tristesse.

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26 June, 2014

At Keystone we believe that, in the hands of a good teacher, online learning can be a match for learning in-person. However, if there is one concern that our tutors most often voice about their online classes, it is that they find it hard to check on their pupils’ note-taking. Lessons themselves are obviously crucial; without revision from one’s notes, however, their effect is drastically diminished.

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18 June, 2014

One of the secrets of Keystone’s online tutoring success is that it relies on the age-old relationship between a teacher and pupil. Facing their pupils head on, Keystone’s teachers use our online platform to convey their knowledge and instructions directly. By placing all our trust in the quality of our teachers, we feel that the geographical distance between the teacher and pupil is more than compensated for by the chance of a genuine intellectual relationship.

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29 May, 2014

It is the lot of every Latin teacher to answer, each and every year, the same tedious question from the class wise guy: “What’s the point of learning a dead language like Latin?” Keystone has some fantastic Latin tutors, and we thought we would reply on their behalf: 1. It is the root of English, and other Romance languages.  About 10 percent of the Latin vocabulary has found its way directly into English.

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9 May, 2014

Exams have a way of creeping up on you, don’t they? It was not long ago that you were starting the academic year, and now your final exams are just weeks away! It is easy to get caught up in the stress and panic of the final weeks, but few things more imperil successful exam performance than unnecessary worry. As such, we thought we would share a few final pre-exam tips that our students have found useful in the past. Go for a stroll.

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14 April, 2014

Some of the most common mistakes that Keystone’s tutors see relate to exam technique. So many marks are lost by students who have not read the question properly and answer the question they thought they read, or wanted to read. Here are a few tips relating to GCSE exam technique: You may not know this, but if you cross out a correct answer (and don’t replace it with a wrong answer) the examiner can give you credit for it even though it’s crossed out.

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3 April, 2014

Parents often ask us whether we can help them prepare their children for UK boarding school pre-tests. What are they? These tests were first introduced by Eton College almost ten years ago. Where Eton leads, other schools tend to follow. A reaction to the growing number of candidates applying for each place, they are designed to help schools screen prospective applicants one to three years in advance of their actual entrance examinations.

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28 March, 2014

With the Easter holidays on the horizon, many Keystone students are gearing up for those final few months of GCSE revision.  Here are Keystone’s NINE top tips to help you with the process: Take responsibility. Teachers, tutors and parents are all on hand if you need support, but remember: no one can revise for you; it’s down to you. Be ambitious. Most adults work over eight hours per day.

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10 March, 2014

The march of Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR) is relentless. More and more schools, it seems, are choosing to screen students using reasoning examinations, believing them to test for innate, as opposed to coached, ability. At Keystone, we are often asked what parents can do to help their children prepare for such examinations. Does practice help? Most teachers agree that students' scores are improved by exposure to the format of VR and NVR questions.

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7 March, 2014

At Keystone, we are often asked the difference between GCSE and iGCSE. GCSE and iGCSE are certainly very similar. Both qualifications are at the same level: they are designed to test the completion of the UK National Curriculum's "Key Stage 4". They are usually sat at the end of UK Year 11, in the year a student becomes 16. They have no age restriction, though - and have been sat by many students younger and older.

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3 March, 2014

“We will soon be nothing but transparent heaps of jelly to each other.” So wrote the furious New York Times in 1877 at the introduction by Alexander Graham Bell of his new invention: the telephone. New technology is often met by such scepticism – and rightly so. Online education is just such a technology, and it is not surprising to see some parents and teachers respond to it with uncertainty.

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21 February, 2014

When I started tutoring almost ten years ago, one of the first things I did was search the Internet for information on the examinations I was preparing students for. The 11+ left me bamboozled. The 11+ is a loaded term, which means different things to different people. The frustration for Keystone parents and students is that much of the public 11+ information and material is not written with them in mind. This post tries to clear up some of the muddle.

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1 January, 2014

We were so pleased to receive such a positive review in the Good Schools Guide. The review described, 'a very professional operation... We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of Keystone's fan club, both parents and tutors.' You can read the review here (requires a Good Schools Guide subscription to view the entire article).

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In the press