Keystone Tutors Blog

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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.

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‘What shall I do when I leave school?’ is just one of several 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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As an avid Podcast listener, the More or Less Podcast has long been a weekly essential. The Podcast looks to explain the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life. I was particularly captivated by a recent episode, in which the Podcast investigated the truth behind claims made by The Times that “48% of A level results are wrong”.

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Unsure about how to monitor your child’s education, or keen to have an unbiased opinion regarding progress and future goals? .

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Maybe you’ve just finished your GCSEs and have decided to enter the brave new world of Philosophy at A Level. It might feel both exciting and a little daunting to be beginning a brand-new subject in Year 12, rather than continuing one, such as Physics or English, that you’ve studied for some years.

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Coaching4Careers deliver coaching for businesses, universities, schools, charities and committees in the UK and internationally. Their experienced consultants help people at all levels to identify their strengths, so that they can build a career based on their natural talents and passions. They also help schools and their students with career planning, including getting the most from work experience assignments. Find out more here.

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Coaching4Careers deliver coaching for businesses, universities, schools, charities and committees in the UK and internationally. Their experienced consultants help people at all levels to identify their strengths, so that they can build a career based on their natural talents and passions. They also help schools and their students with career planning, including getting the most from work experience assignments. Find out more here.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson and senior tutor Jon Gale discuss UK Engineering Degrees.

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What is the MAT? The Maths Admissions Test (MAT) is the admissions test used by Oxford for degrees in Mathematics. If you’re applying for a Maths or Computer Science degree at Oxford or a Maths degree at Imperial College London, you must sit the MAT just after beginning year 13 in late October/early November.

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Any candidate applying to study Modern Languages at Oxford or Cambridge will have to sit a written paper as part of the admissions process: The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) at Oxford and the Modern and Medieval Languages Admissions Assessment (MMLAA) at Cambridge. There are big differences between the two tests, from the structure and what they are testing to when they are sat. This blog covers the Cambridge MMLAA. You can read our blog on the Oxford MLAT here.

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the first part of the National Curriculum for children aged 3-5, therefore covering both Nursery and Reception. During those years children will be assessed regularly in seven areas of learning: three ‘prime’ areas (Communication, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) and a further four ‘specific’ areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design).

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In some areas of London some children as young as 3 are already embarking into the mad and unsettling world of 3+ assessments.  Assessing for nursery entry has long been a feature of prominent Pre-schools in New York but has thankfully been more of a rarity on this side of the pond. Some schools use this assessment to select children for nursery classes, usually linked to sought after independent schools.

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Choosing a nursery is often a daunting experience for new parents as their main frame of reference will be dim memories of their own nursery experience! The increasingly competitive London nursery scene now means that parents in the most sought after areas are forced to make selections on nurseries before their child has turned 1 or even, in some cases, before they have been born.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson and senior tutor Jon Gale discuss their top tips for effective revision.

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Keystone's founder Will Orr-Ewing and Director of Education Ed Richardson share their insights into applying to university in the UK as an international student. If you are looking for support with your university application then contact us.

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George Orwell is famous first for novels such as Animal Farm and 1984, but he also wrote a number of brilliant and insightful essays. His written English is clean and unambiguous, and therein lies the beauty. In his essay “Politics and the English Language”, Orwell writes that “the great enemy of clear language is insincerity” and communicates 6 rules to help keep your writing clear and concise.

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Rory Maybery, Keystone Professional Tutor and English graduate from Lincoln College, Oxford discusses his interview with Keystone founder, Will Orr-Ewing. Rory shares his experiences of the final month of preparation before his interview. He talks about the benefits of practice interviews; what to read ahead of your interview; as well as how to approach the interview process itself.

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We have worked closely with Stephanie Cheah at Waypoints for a number of years and all the more so since establishing Keystone’s office in Singapore in March. Waypoints offer UK boarding schools consulting to families in Singapore and organises the British Education and Schools Show in Asia, which runs for the second time later this month.

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Diana Stewart-Brown, head of Keystone’s Singapore office, considers why overseas parents are attracted to UK independent schools.

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Parents today take a more active interest in their children’s education than the generation or two that preceded them, so that it’s not unusual for those of us working in education to be asked our views on a “growth mindset” one day or the “outdatedness of the 19th century factory model of education” the next.

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What is it and why have many schools adopted it? The Cambridge Pre-U was launched in 2008 and is an equivalent course to the A Level studied in the final two years of school. It aims to offer more depth than the A Level and prepare students more appropriately for university.

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WHY is the Personal Statement important?  The personal statement is a 4,000 character (one page) document in which you have the opportunity to show admissions tutors that you are ideally suited to study your chosen course at undergraduate level. The lion’s share of a UCAS application is formulaic (e.g.

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Over the last decade, gaining entry to UK independent schools has become increasingly competitive. Below, Diana Stewart-Brown discusses some of the biggest factors.

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Choosing a prep-school in London is often a daunting process and whilst you likely have some fundamental pre-requisites set in stone, we have listed a few points below which you might not have considered.

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When Keystone offers advice on choosing schools, we aim to recommend schools which will best prepare a child for adult life, both academically and socially.

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Keystone's Director of Education shares his thoughts on making an effective revision plan.

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As a tutor I have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of students, but despite the differences between them I often encounter some of the same issues over and over again.

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It’s that time of year again and here is some advice to help you to navigate GCSE results.

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We're delighted to support a new nature-based creative course launching this July.

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The wide variety of different schools can often be overwhelming and one of the toughest decisions is whether to opt for day or boarding. Listed below are five reasons why parents choose day schools instead of boarding schools.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal