Keystone Tutors Blog
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.
If your child is planning to take the 11 plus exam, and is looking for ways to prepare for the English section effectively, the article below is for you! Keystone’s expert tutors have helped students excel at taking this paper, and the guidance below aims to distil their best practice into a simple, practical set of top tips.
It’s important to plan your preparation for the Maths section of the 11 plus thoroughly – and the guide below will help your child do just that. Keystone’s tutors have enormous breadth and depth of experience in tutoring children for the 11 plus Maths paper, and their best advice is summarized into the brief, practical tips that follow.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are often amongst the hardest papers to prepare for when tackling the 11 plus exams. Below are some brief tips that will help your child deal with what may be unfamiliar and challenging questions, based on advice from Keystone’s experienced tutors.
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.
There's a lot of anxiety surrounding ISEB Common Pre-Tests. Parents I speak with are often concerned about the lack of example questions provided from ISEB themselves – a familiar tool for preparing for many other important tests. This lack of predictability is precisely the point of the Pre-Test. It's a test which can't be beaten simply by doing mindless, repetitive preparation.
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.
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.
What counts as a good UKiset score depends greatly on the school a candidate is applying to attend, and also varies according to the three sections of the test. The following points can act as a rough guide.
Michael has been working for Keystone for over 3 years, tutoring students online in English. In this short question and answer article, Michael covers some of the key concerns that parents often have about the effectiveness of online tuition, based on his own extensive experience. He also talks about some of the tools and techniques that can be used by tutors and students to get the most out of online tuition.
Online tutoring has been a popular option for many years – but how effective is it? What are the key differences between online and in-person tuition? Is it right for your child? In the article below, one of Keystone's most experiened online tutors Alexander, answers parents’ most frequent questions about the advantages of online tutoring.
It is difficult to recommend one vocabulary list for the UKiset, as it can be taken by students at any age between 9-and-a-half to 18 years old. As a profiling assessment, it measures a student’s level of academic English which is then judged against peers of the same age.
Past papers are a fantastic way to prepare for any kind of exam - but UKiset do not publish them, sadly! Fortunately there are a number of ways to prepare for the different sections of the test, and any candidate taking the UKiset would be well advised to practice using the resources and tips below.
Keystone has today published a report that analyses the education backgrounds of individuals who feature in Who's Who and Who Was Who. Analysing 66,000 datapoints from the Who's Who database we have been able to see some fascinating the trends as to which schools are educating the "nation's elite".
Keystone's Who's Who Report has featured in today's Tatler. Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, produced the report that analyses the education backgrounds of individuals who feature in Who's Who and Who Was Who. Analysing 66,000 datapoints from the Who's Who database we have been able to see some fascinating the trends as to which schools are educating the "nation's elite".
Keystone's Who's Who Report has featured in the Telegraph. Keystone published a report that analyses the education backgrounds of individuals who feature in Who's Who and Who Was Who. Analysing 66,000 datapoints from the Who's Who database we have been able to see some fascinating the trends as to which schools are educating the "nation's elite".
Keystone's Who's Who Report has featured in the Dail Mail. Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, produced the report that analyses the education backgrounds of individuals who feature in Who's Who and Who Was Who. Analysing 66,000 datapoints from the Who's Who database we have been able to see some fascinating the trends as to which schools are educating the "nation's elite".
This webinar, co-hosted by Keystone Tutors and Wild Search, brought together a distinguished panel of experienced educationalists to challenge some of the assumptions which are often made regarding schools.
What is HSPS at Cambridge? Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge is a three-year BA Hons degree in politics, international relations, social anthropology and sociology. Although students can focus on one of these areas from the start, HSPS is also the broadest and most flexible political and/or social science degree at Oxbridge.
In recent years, many independent senior schools that have put pre-tests in place have purposefully designed them with as little transparency as possible. It is for this reason that the tests are often computer generated and no past papers are issued. As such, no tutor can claim to have in depth knowledge or experience of the tests themselves, in their current form.
Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, was joined by Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia to discuss University Interviews. They also provided some top tips to aid the process.
What is a gap year? A gap year, sometimes known as a ‘year out’ is typically a year long break taken between completion of Year 13 (Upper Sixth) at school and the start of college/university. In the United Kingdom the practice of taking a gap year became popular in the 1970s. The year out was seen as an opportunity to gain life experience through travel and volunteering.
Download our guide to Oxford and Cambridge interviews, featuring top tips from those who studied at Oxford and Cambridge.
Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, was joined by Dee Francken, former Senior Teacher at the North London Collegiate School, and Steph Kitson-Smith, one of Keystone's most experienced tutors, to discuss the 7 and 8+.
Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, delved into new forms of schooling for the 21st Century. Will was joined by guest speakers, Jonathan Noakes, who is Head of Teaching & Learning at Eton College, Sam Rogerson, Co-Founder and Head of Lexicon School and Hugh Dickinson, Founder of Concept Education.
Keystone’s Director of Education, Ed Richardson are joined by Charlie Bostock, Registrar at Uppingham School and Philip Lough, former Headmaster of Windlesham House School, The Hall, and Westminster Under School to discuss their top tips for school entrance interviews.
Dear Parent, I hope you, your family and friends are all okay. The start of a new academic year usually brings a 'back-to-normality' vibe for me; I wish it were more so this year. We have all been besieged by articles on 'how x will change post COVID-19'. I am yet to read anything really convincing on what will change in education.
What is the TSA? The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is a form of assessment used to measure aptitude in critical thinking and problem solving. The TSA can be a requirement for gaining entry to top universities (including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL), as well as a handful of independent schools, who produce their own modified version of the exam (sometimes called a Critical Thinking test) for 16+. Download our Guide to the Thinking Skills Assessment.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
The ISEB Common Pre-Tests are very commonly used by senior independent schools as a part of their admissions process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keystone was featured in an article in Business Insider on the impact of Covid-19 on private tutoring. Read the full article here.
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.
UK independent schools tend to have defined entry points and clear processes from registration to assessment and interview.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. By most higher education institutions and employers, they are seen as equivalent qualifications.
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.
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.
Keystone was recently mentioned in Forbes in a piece covering the fall of international students applying to UK schools and universities. Keystone's head of consultancy in China, Felix Hamilton, contributed to the article. He observes, "I think there inevitably will be a short term drop in demand". You can read the full article here.
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: .
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.
Keystone Founder and Director was interviewed by The Exam House about the future of school assessments and exams. Listen to what he has to say here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keystone Tutors was featured in today's Telegraph piece on private tutoring. The piece described Keystone's unique approach to employing tutors full time: "Exclusively employed by Keystone, this highly-trained posse of 33 (so far) do almost half of Keystone’s tutoring and are a far cry from other agencies, whose tutors are freelance, often working across multiple agencies." Read the full article in The Telegraph.
Our Director of Education, Ed Richardson shares his top 10 tips using the acrostic ONLINE TIPS.
Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, joins our lead consultant Harriet Blomefield to discuss their top tips for revising.
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.
This blog is based on information available at time of writing (27th February 2020). As the school closures in Hong Kong have been extended until April 20th it seemed a pertinent time to write with what we hope will be helpful information during this uncertain time.