Keystone Tutors Blog

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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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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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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In light of the Covid-19 school closures we thought it would be helpful to list some of our key recommendations when it comes to making home-schooling a success.

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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.

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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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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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An increasing number of independent schools have recently put pre-tests in place, which has caused a flurry of panic among parents and children alike. These tests are usually online and taken when a student is in Year 6 and/or 7. Students who perform well are then offered a conditional place, subject to passing their Common Entrance in Year 8.

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11+ and 13+ interviews for UK independent schools can be a daunting prospect. The best and easiest way to approach these is remembering that the purpose of the interview is for the interviewer to learn more about you. They are not designed to catch you out and there are rarely right or wrong answers. Below is some advice which we hope will help to both prepare and relax you ahead of any upcoming interviews.

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Whilst Keystone does not encourage piling too much pressure on to yourself or your child, it is important to recognise the importance of the 11+ exams. For most children, it is their first ‘proper’ exam and can have a significant impact on at least the next seven years of their lives. It is therefore important to ensure the process is as stress free and as positive an experience as possible.

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This article, by Keystone Founder, Will Orr-Ewing, was originally published in Absolutely Education magazine.

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What did the old exams look like? This year’s (2018) examinations consisted of a paper based English and Maths examination. What will the new exam look like in 2019? At the moment, nobody knows definitively. The consortium have said that the exams will be as follows in their statement: “a one-hour long bespoke cognitive ability test including reasoning and Maths.

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Keystone's founder, Will Orr-Ewing, and Director of Education, Ed Richardson, share their insights on tackling entrance interviews for independent schools.

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If I were to ask whether all of you have been interviewed before, some of you might say that you haven’t and that you are finding the prospect of having an interview at a senior school rather alarming.

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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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Boarding schools are exceptionally expensive, but if you are in the lucky position where it is an option, is it the right choice for your child? Each child is different and whilst some children thrive at boarding school, others loathe being away from home. Either outcome could have a lasting effect so sending your child away from home is something to consider carefully.

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The internet has been abuzz with a Maths problem that has everyone stumped. It was set by the Singapore and Asian School Math Olympiads. The question (and solution) are below.

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Parents often ask us whether we can help them prepare their children for UK boarding school pre-tests.

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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.

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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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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal