Sarah Ebner, one of our national judges of Dream a Big Dream gives Sam Ruddock, one of our supporting athletes, chance to give thanks to his mum for supporting his dream.

The Times Blogs

I hope that all children have dreams, whether they are big (to “run the world”) or on a slightly more realistic level (my seven-year-old son aspires to be a sweetshop owner). A new writing competition (perfect fodder for half-term) recommends asking your child to write about his or her dreams – and win a prize for doing so.

Dream a Big Dream is aimed at 9-14 year olds and calls for them to write up to 750 words explaining what their dream might be.

To tie in with this competition, I have a guest post today from athlete Sam Ruddock. His dream was to run in the Paralympics and he did just that, at London 2012. Here he explains how his mother helped to make his dream come true.”In late September, I remember being home after the Paralympic Games and walking into the dining room where my mother was…

View original post 747 more words

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Children’s Hour: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

 

Words by Michael Rosen, pictures by Helen Oxbury

Words by Michael Rosen, pictures by Helen Oxbury

 

Children’s Hour: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

With thanks to Lucybird’s Book Blog and her weekly Children’s Hour post.

Our two children have loved this, Michael Rosen at his very best in our opinion. We have spent many bedtimes reading this, and many moments where thick mud has become “thick, squelchy mud” and “squelch squerch”

 

When they were under 5 any cave or dark recess was a potential bear!

The book’s illustrations are by the excellent Helen Oxenbury. A must have book, one that still gets read to, and by, our 7 year old at bedtime.

Here’s a link to a you tube video of Michael performing the story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Revision Tips

Revision Tips

 Again, a huge thanks to Bill Moody, see I told you he was a marvellous font of knowledge, please go and follow his blog.

http://tutorleeds.wordpress.com/blog/page/2/

REVISION - No one likes it!

Time

 

Make an early start. When is a good time to start? The beginning of year 11 will help prepare you for mock exams typically held around Xmas.

 

Use all available time. ‘Little and often’ is a brilliant adage to apply. Make time. Snatch time. Don’t expect to study for hours either but build up from shorter periods of intense revision.

 

Leave revision when you’re feeling good; you’ll come back to it feeling good.

 

 

Effort

 

Link effort and attainment. You get what you work for. This is just as difficult for those who find exams easy as for those who don’t like to try too hard and hope for inspiration. Those students who don’t seem to try hard often come a cropper on exam day.

 

Practise exam questions. Get used to timings. Get used to navigating the paper. Get familiar with the instructions.

 

Use many and varied revision techniques. For example, speak aloud, make notes, come up with acronyms or mnemonics, do drawings, use colour, create mind maps, find study apps like Evernote or pearltrees

 

Learn some material off by heart. Can’t revise for English? Right? Wrong! Learn definitions of things like figures of speech in poetry; learn those persuasive techniques; learn some fantastic vocabulary, learn spellings. In maths, make sure your basic tables and number bonds are so quick so you don’t waste time working out simple computations.

 

Build confidence. Be pleased when things are going well, be proud you’ve identified areas of weakness to tackle.

 

Ask for extra homework. Get a tutor. Read as much quality material as you can and not just about the subjects studied. Keep a written diary. Get your brain in gear for thinking.

 

Team Up

 

Discuss your revision with parents, friends, and school teachers and tutors. Talk tactics, subject areas, success and motivation.

 

Identify likely topics. Professional teachers and tutors can make close guesses as to what might appear based on knowledge of what has been appearing in recent years. Some of them probably even mark exam papers in the summer!

 

Monitor your progress. Know what the specification demands. Keep a check on what you have covered and how well you have done. Motivate your friends to work hard and in helping them, you may get some help back.

 

Don’t stress! Stay fit. Remember exams are just a stepping stone to the next level, not the end of the world. Keep everything in perspective. An English teacher once said: ‘Exams are inhuman.’ However, we have all been through them and there is plenty of help available when you need it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Which Student Are You?

Which student are you?

I came across this article from a wonderful colleague, Bill Moody, the Centre Director of Kip McGrath Adel Leeds, and just had to pass it on.

http://tutorleeds.wordpress.com/blog/page/2/ 


Are you an Einstein? 

Typical C Grade and Above Candidate

 

Knows that half the battle with revision is starting

Creates a revision timetable

Uses a variety of revision techniques

Systematically reduces notes to key words

Learns a whole range of material relating to a topic

Uses a variety of approaches to starting revision that are effective

Knows that little and often is the key to effective revision

Listens to soothing background music

Systematically learns material thoroughly

Learns all topics equally well

Treats all topics the same way

Concentrates well

Knows the link between effort and attainment

Uses any opportunity to revise eg unexpected teacher absence

Completes their coursework before it is time to start revising

Revises for all subjects equally

Discusses revision with parents and friends and teachers

 

 

Typical Grade D and Below Candidate

Leaves revision until the last minute

Sets aside time for revision but does not use the allocated slot

Constantly rewrites notes in full

Has lots of excuses as to why they cannot revise ‘tonight’

Writes out a model answer on a topic and attempts to learn it by heart

Puts off revision entirely

Revises too much and gets put off

Starts to panic

Thinks that simply reading through material counts as revision

Learns the first topic well

Avoids topics they don’t like

Revises favourite subjects only

Is distracted easily

Uses revision time as a chance to catch up on their course work

Does not discuss revision with anyone

 

 

Whichever category you are in it’s important to talk about revision, as we always remind you, we are hear to help.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New SATs for Yr.6 in 2013. Are you ready?

New SATs for Yr.6 in 2013.  Are you ready?

Major changes have been made to the 2013 SATs exams for Key Stage 2 pupils in the UK.  This year is the first time that children will be doing the spelling, grammar and punctuation exam. There will be no writing paper. Here are some basic facts you need to know:

 

1.  In all state primary schools in the UK, SATs exams are held in May.

2.  Children in Year 6, will be assessed in Maths and English (spelling, grammar, punctuation and reading) externally.  Levels 3-5 of the national curriculum will be tested.  There is an additional level 6 paper for children working above level 5.

3.  English writing will be assessed by your child’s class teacher throughout Year 6 based on the work your child completes in class.

4.  English speaking and listening will be assessed by your child’s class teacher.

5.  There are 3 Maths tests; mental maths, non-calculator paper A and calculator paper B.

SATs exam results come out in July. The average Year 6 child is expected to achieve a Level 4b in Maths and English.  The teacher assessments are passed on to Secondary schools for them to decide ability groups in Yr.7.

How do we help at Kip?

We understand that English skills need practising.  With the introduction of the new spelling, punctuation and grammar exams, this is now even more essential.  The skills needed to improve in these areas need to be registered in a child’s long-term memory.  We’ve seen many children who get 10 out of 10 in their weekly school spelling tests, but spell incorrectly when using those same words in a sentence (indeed we have one of our very own!)  One of the reasons is that the spellings have been crammed and learnt for the test, registered in the short-term memory and then forgotten.  Long term memory can be improved by repeated exposure and that is what we ensure happens at Kip. So to help a child remember a spelling for example, we would use our Kip resources to get him/her to learn them, use the words in sentences, use the words in stories, put the words in alphabetical order, think of rhyming words, draw pictures to illustrate the words or write out the words in different colours.

 

Punctuation and grammar have to be learnt in such a way that they become a habit. This may sound ‘old school’ but it works. It should be learnt so that the child doesn’t have to be reminded to use capital letters and full stops and if they do forget, then there’s a niggling thought in the back of their mind that something is missing from the sentence. At Kip we encourage your child to ACT on that ‘niggle’. Whether they are 6 or 16 this kind of rigour is vital.

 

The key to our success at Kip is that we are able to identify and then focus on the gaps in learning specific to YOUR child which classroom constraints often make difficult.

 

Repetition is also important. Sometimes your child will understand straight away, whereas at other times it may take weeks to conquer a topic. For example, converting fractions to decimals and back again takes time and constant repetition until properly mastered. As experienced teachers we know when to move your child on. You can’t do a somersault until you’ve mastered a forward roll!

 

The exams are just 3 months away. Give us a call if you think we can help.

 

When we got our first look at the sample of the new English test we were astonished at just how close our resources matched up with the questions. We have always promoted the idea that we’re traditional and old fashioned in our approach and now it seems that Education Minister Michael Gove agrees with us!.

 

Here are just a couple of samples. In each case the top picture is a SAT’s question, the picture below is a Kip McGrath exercise, some are computer based, some are worksheet.

 

1) Singular and plural words

 

2) Homophones

3) Tenses

 

4) Correct verbs

 

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/assessment/keystage2/b00218030/gps-sample-materials/gps-3-5-sample-materials

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kip McGrath Competition Encourages Young People to Dream Big.

Kip McGrath Competition Encourages Young People to Dream Big.

 

Kip McGrath Education Centre Ashford is inviting young people aged 9 to 14 years to get involved in a national competition called Dream a Big Dream. The Ashford Centre wants to hear from young people about their Big Dream for the future. Whether they want to save the rainforest, fly to the moon or become a world-renowned author, the competition aims to encourage young people across the country to write passionately about their hopes and aspirations.

 

The Competition is inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is supported by three remarkable young athletes who hope to represent Great Britain in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. These athletes have all shared their Big Dreams in specially created videos to help inspire young people.

 

Sam Ruddock T35 sprinter, who represented GB at the 2012 Paralympic Games

Kike Oniwinde javelin thrower who is ranked in the top five in GB

Rachel Johncock 100m sprinter who represented GB in the World Junior Championships

 

Athletes Rachel, Sam and Kike inspire pupils to Dream a Big Dream

Athletes Rachel, Sam and Kike inspire pupils to Dream a Big Dream

As Simon Fisher, Centre Director at Ashford, explains:  “We work with amazing children everyday at the Centre and experience first hand the potential they have to do great things. Dream a Big Dream is a great opportunity for Ashford young people to set their mind to what they want to achieve in the future.”

 

The Competition is being organised by Kip McGrath Education Centres which provide tutoring to students in English, Maths, reading, writing and comprehension. All Centres in the Uk are operated by qualified and experienced teachers who have a passion for teaching and helping young people to reach their potential.

 

One of the judges, Sarah Ebner, journalist for The Times said:

“I’m delighted to be involved with Dream A Big Dream, not only because it’s so creative, but because I can’t wait to know about the dreams of the young people who enter, and to be inspired by what they hope to achieve in the future.”

 

Entrants to the competition have a chance to win some amazing prizes including a professional bound book featuring the winning entries, £100 Amazon vouchers and a signed certificate of congratulations from the athletes.

 

The competition runs until 22nd February 2013. The regional winners will be announced on 8th March and the national winners on 22nd March 2013.

For more information, contact Simon Fisher, Kip McGrath Ashford, Unit 2 Murston Business Centre, Norman Road, Ashford, TN23 7AD. Telephone 01233 626333 or email simon@kipmcgrathashford.co.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Hello Simon! …

“Hello Simon! I just wanted to let you know that I got my B in Maths and I’m overwhelmed! I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence in myself now that its been proven that I’m quite good at it. I’ll be sitting a re-take in March in which I’d hopefully achieve my A grade. Thank you for all your help; especially with Surds!” B

This came in as a direct message from one of our past students, just shows what a fantastic job we have!

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

It’s crazy to penalise schools for closing due to snow.

A very sensible point of view from Times Educational Blogger Sarah Ebner (and parent) about school closures.

http://blogs.thetimes.co.uk/section/school-gate/96606/its-crazy-to-penalise-schools-for-shutting-due-to-snow/

It’s crazy to penalise schools for shutting due to snow

January 22 2013 11:01AM
 

So, the education secretary is ready to “penalise” schools for closing because of the snow. I despair (although I am intrigued to know just what kind of penalties he’s thinking of).

Schools don’t shut for no reason. Headteachers generally try their best to keep their institutions open, especially if children have exams to take. But they need to take decisions in the best interests of staff and pupils – and this includes safety issues.

When you’re in London (as Mr Gove is) you can forget that there is snow (and a lot more of it) across the rest of the country. Most of the schools which were shut yesterday (and many of those closed today) are in the north-east, East Anglia and the Midlands. Is it really wise to open a school in areas like these? In Durham for example, forecasters are expecting another 10cm of snow today. Many in the area are saying that they have no desire to leave their houses.

(please follow link for the rest of Sarah’s article)

 

Headteachers do not take closing a school lightly, have to make the decision based on the information available at the time, and in good time to inform parents of the decision.
As a parent and teacher I can see all angles. On Friday our son’s rural village school was open, but we received a message that with the forecast worsening we could choose to collect our children in the afternoon if we so desired/needed. On Monday the message was that the school was open from 10.00am, allowing time for staff to get to school and the caretaking staff (one, Mr Pyle) to attempt to clear the paths etc. The school was open, about half of our son’s classmates were able to attend. A school can never win, we are always thankful that we get clear messages.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Times Blogs

So, the education secretary is ready to “penalise” schools for closing because of the snow. I despair (although I am intrigued to know just what kind of penalties he’s thinking of).

Schools don’t shut for no reason. Headteachers generally try their best to keep their institutions open, especially if children have exams to take. But they need to take decisions in the best interests of staff and pupils – and this includes safety issues.

When you’re in London (as Mr Gove is) you can forget that there is snow (and a lot more of it) across the rest of the country. Most of the schools which were shut yesterday (and many of those closed today) are in the north-east, East Anglia and the Midlands. Is it really wise to open a school in areas like these? In Durham for example, forecasters are expecting another 10cm of snow today. Many in…

View original post 332 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kip McGrath Ashford achieves Diamond Centre status!

We’re really proud to display a new certificate today. Kip McGrath Ashford “has achieved a level of excellence ” and is now recognised as a Diamond Centre.

We would like to thank all our parents and their children for making our job such a great one!Diamond Status

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments