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Coronavirus & Online Tutoring

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Creating the Perfect Revision Environment

With so many subjects to study and exam dates looming, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to revision. Creating a space that is as revision-friendly as possible is the first step, but even this can be daunting to approach. Luckily, there are many tips and tricks to help you create an environment that will make you feel productive, motivated and ready to face the dreaded exam hall. 

 

Be Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your revision area, so being comfy is a must. You should be using a table or desk with enough space (dining tables are a great choice) and your chair should have enough support to stop your back getting sore. Don’t be tempted to work from your bed as this can make it a lot harder for you to get a good night’s sleep, meaning you won’t be as refreshed and productive the next day. 

 

Organise & Declutter

A messy environment is a stressful one. Before you even attempt to revise, you should make sure your space is neat and tidy. Give yourself enough room to work, and move any stray papers, books or notes out of the way. Having any stationary, supplies or snacks you might need handy will stop you getting up and disrupting your flow of work. When you’ve decluttered your space, try to keep it tidy so you can get to work straight away each revision session.

 

Manage Your Time

Sticking to a revision schedule is the best way to stay on track and make sure you’ve covered everything before the exam, so it’s important to manage your time properly. A clock should be visible from your work space, preferably a digital one. Avoid using your phone, and keep your revision schedule close by so you always know what you should be doing and how long to spend doing it.

 

Pay Attention to Noise Levels

When it comes to noise levels, everyone is different. Some people need absolute silence to work, others need some form of background noise to keep them on track. If you work best with limited noise, find somewhere quiet to set up your revision space. This could be your bedroom, the dining room, or even the local library. If you’re revising at home, make sure you let your family and friends know so they can keep the noise down. If silence isn’t for you, try listening to some relaxed music with no vocals. Movie soundtracks work brilliantly for this. Coffee shops can also be a great place to study, as long as distractions are kept to a minimum.

 

Limit Distractions

Distractions are everywhere, but there are some simple ways to help you keep them at bay and stay focussed on your revision. Your phone is likely the biggest distraction, and the easiest way to fight the temptation of replying to messages or scrolling through social media is to put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode (or switch it off entirely) and put it out of sight. Try putting it in a drawer or another room, or even giving it to someone else to look after until you’ve finished studying. If being apart from your phone is too much, or you are using it as part of your revision, you could try one of the many apps (such as Stay Focused) that block social media temporarily, so you can work through your revision without worrying about temptations. Switch off the TV, and make sure people around you know you’re working and need to focus.

 

Get To Work!

Following these tips is the easiest way to create an organised and productive study environment, and you’ll be able to focus on the revision itself. Remember to eat well, drink lots of water, get enough sleep and take plenty of breaks to ensure you keep your body and mind as healthy as possible to keep that productive and refreshed mindset.

The Benefits Of Online Tuition For Younger Students

Online tuition for younger students is nothing new. Families in rural areas, through geographic necessity, have experienced the advantages of online tutoring for many years.  However, more recently, the widespread travel and human interaction challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought it to the attention of a far larger audience. As a result of the global pandemic, the traditional at-home 1:1 tuition market will probably never revert to form. Why? Quite simply, as a result of the availability and flexibility of online tutoring.

 

Technological advancements have ensured that our ability to communicate and educate online has never been easier. There is an outstanding choice of immediately available (and typically free) online tutoring platforms, including; Zoom, Skype, Bramble, Google Meet, Blackboard, GoToMeeting, Webex, Moodle, Microsoft Teams…and many others!

 

Younger students, from 5 years old and upwards, are increasingly within their comfort zone online. They are becoming more comfortable and capable in using online technology, and, more importantly, enjoying it, using it to communicate and learn effectively. Is this a good thing?  Of course! The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced almost everyone to embrace online learning, and to expand their understanding of what can be achieved online. The future use and day-to-day impact of online activities, particularly with regards to education, has been altered irreversibly. Younger students should be encouraged to engage with education online; it is their future. Most university lectures have been delivered online since the first lockdown and most schools have provided online teaching, to varying degrees, during this same period. It is essential that students, from an early age, are encouraged to become online specialists – it will broaden and accelerate their learning like nothing else before. For an example of the online capability that opens new horizons for students, take a look at the free App ‘Google Arts & Culture; it is a great example of a ‘game changer’ in online education.

 

Younger students, who may find it difficult to ‘keep up’ in class, now have exceptional resources available to them at any time online, with the vast majority costing nothing. This is a massive resource!  So many parents are desperate to help their kids to keep up in class, but things may have moved on so far that they are often not able to keep up themselves!  

 

Many parents of both primary and secondary school students report struggling with supporting home learning. Almost 60% of the parents of primary school children and nearly half of the parents of secondary school children report that they are finding it quite or very hard to support their children’s learning at home.” (source: joint IFS & IoE survey, May 2020). Providing regular 1:1 online tuition takes the pressure off parents and provides them with the peace of mind that the fundamental educational stepping stones are being accurately and effectively addressed.

 

1:1 online tutoring has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity ever since the first lockdown. It was the only way available to 1:1 tutors to immediately overcome the stringent social distancing rules. What it also did was to force a swathe of older tutors who had never contemplated online tutoring to try it…and they love it! Feedback from tutors who have engaged in online tutoring for the first time is overwhelmingly positive. They have been surprised and impressed with the ability of younger students to focus and retain their interest online. Many tutors have developed their own ‘tricks of the trade’ to help younger students to remain engaged. These have included introducing a couple of 3-minute general knowledge quizzes, swapping jokes at the end of a topic and discussing the celebrity they would most like to invite to tea! These relaxing interludes also help to develop a positive and motivational bond between the pupil and the tutor. Increasing the use of exciting pictures and bright colours is another way of retaining interest during an online lesson. Reducing the typical one-hour lesson to 40 minutes is another option some tutors promote.

 

Online education and tutoring also tends to be less stressful; no last-minute rushing around to tidy the house before the tutor arrives, no requirement for tutors or pupils to drive across town to attend lessons. It is safe (all tutors should have an Enhanced DBS certificate) and comfortable to partake in online tuition, and younger students will often feel more relaxed and confident in asking questions when they are in their own home. Mum and Dad also have the option of sitting-in on online sessions if they believe this would benefit the student.

 

The 2 most powerful benefits of online tutoring for younger children of 5 years and upwards are:

  • Teaching is focused specifically on their individual abilities, with the goal of developing their skill set at the optimum pace.
  • One-to-one focus completely eliminates distractions experienced within a classroom setting.

 

With the immense changes that have been forced upon us, these adaptations are not going away any time soon. Online tutoring at home has turned a negative into an overwhelming positive, opening up new opportunities and avenues for learning, even for students who find a traditional classroom setting challenging. Home Tutor Connect are experts in this new rapidly expanding field, and can help your child find the perfect tutor to help them thrive in this new environment.

Essentials For Getting Back On Track

In this month’s blog post we take a look at educational workload and the fundamentals for getting back on track to your best standard. It doesn’t come as a surprise to say that the pandemic impacted the education sector drastically, with a sudden switch from face-to-face learning to lessons through a screen. Zoom, Google Meet and hangouts have become a major part of everyday life for many students across the world; so much so, they have been a wonderful tool and will be a cog in the educational system for years to come.

Being a student can be tough enough, but with such a change to normality, some may feel as if there are knowledge gaps in certain topics. Below we take a look at a few key points to help with getting back on track –

Creating a productive workspace

The environment you choose to study in can hugely impact your mood and motivation. The best place to start is by choosing somewhere comfortable. Once you’ve picked a perfect spot, here are some key points to think about –

  • Use some background noise – e.g the radio, a podcast or even a tv show you’ve seen plenty of times!
  • Keep your workspace organised
  • Keep hydrated
  • Plan your study sessions
  • Set yourself study breaks
  • Add some inspiration to your desk, maybe a potted plant or a funky bit of art!

Using all or a combination of the above will help with productivity and motivation.

Having a positive mindset

Having a positive mindset is the backbone to success. Whichever stage you are at on your educational journey there will be hurdles to overcome. There may be times that you come to a certain topic that you just can’t get your head around, but by taking on the challenge with a positive mindset you will remind yourself that failing is all part of moving forward, not that you aren’t capable. Instead of thinking “I can’t do it” think “what can I do differently?” and this will result in less time spent beating yourself up and more time focused on progressing.

Time Management

Whether you’re someone who plans everything down to the tiny details, or you see where the time takes you, having a simple time management plan in place can work wonders. Here are a few tips on how best to manage your time…

  • Create a schedule
  • Allocate time for specific tasks
  • Keep a to do list and check them off once complete
  • Be realistic with what you want to achieve in the time allocated
  • Focus on one task at a time

By setting realistic goals that you want to achieve, you will be able to assign time slots and stepping stone tasks in order to reach them.

Tutoring

Tutoring is another fantastic tool which will assist in personal and educational development. By connecting with someone who is highly qualified in the topic you’re focusing on, you will open up doors to better understanding. Tutoring could be featured in your weekly schedule; allocate a time and a date to go through your work with a highly qualified tutor. Here at Home Tutor Connect, rapidly identifying and effectively addressing weaknesses is the key to passing exams. One-to-one tutoring accelerates this process, providing tutors with the time to impart hard-earned pearls of wisdom and top tips to help students achieve stronger results.

How Has Lockdown Impacted Education?

It’s fair to say that nobody was expecting the pandemic to hit and to hit so hard. People have missed out on all kinds of events, activities and not seeing their nearest and dearest, but how does this translate into the world of education?

It was expected that the education industry would take a hit as normal routines were completely turned upside down. Each generation of students have all had their own obstacles to overcome during this pandemic, in this blog post we are going to take a look at the impact on young children and their language skills.

According to the BBC, there is more and more evidence to show that young children aren’t quite where they would normally be when it comes to language skills and development.

Ongoing research shows that an increased number of four and five year olds are needing extra help when it comes to language development. This age range is a crucial time for gaining language knowledge and a lot of it will have come from spending time with grandparents, going on playdates and socialising with others. But of course, due to national restrictions this has all been put on hold for safety reasons and to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

According to the BBC ‘Of 58 primary schools surveyed across England:

  • 76% said pupils starting school in September 2020 needed more support with communication than in previous years
  • 96% were concerned about pupils’ speech-and-language development.
  • 56% of parents were concerned about their child starting at school following the lockdown in the spring and summer.’

 

Why would a tutor be beneficial?

As children grow up they may still show signs of knowledge gaps due to missing out on crucial educational opportunities whilst locked down during the pandemic. We have a number of tutors that provide engaging tuition from KS1 through to 11+ that are on hand to help build confidence and identify any key knowledge gaps that your child may be showing.

There is a humbling number of intelligent people available for tutoring but we search for the additional, critical people skills which generate step changes in performance; patience, active listening and a genuine interest and appreciation of each student’s challenge.

Exam season – what’s happening?

With the pandemic continuing to unfold in 2021 the assurance and understanding of whether exams would go ahead was once again unclear for many students. Plans for what should have been exam season have now been set in stone, with recent news explaining the government has announced the Summer 2021 examination series will not go ahead as planned. It will instead follow the process of 2020 examinations. This means that teachers will determine the grade of their students based upon a variety of evidence that has been verified by your school or college.

How will I be graded?

Following in the footsteps of 2020, all students will be assessed by their teachers initially. The assessment submitted by your teacher will then be reviewed by the school or college. There are many ways your teacher can assess you, these are based on:

  • Your overall performance level throughout the duration of the course
  • Assessment on non examination content e.g coursework
  • Work you have produced throughout your studies, from class work to homework
  • Teachers may provide a test for you to complete to confirm their decision

You will be advised which pieces of work will be assessed by your teachers, it is important to mention that the evidence provided will be quality checked.

How best to prepare students for exams

As mentioned above, this year overall grades will be awarded after being assessed internally by teachers. This means that the work you are currently undertaking will be used to help determine your overall grade.

In order to best prepare and to make sure your work is at the highest level, having assistance with your studies will better your chances of earning a good grade. The core subjects are the most sought after qualifications and are a standard when it comes to applying for jobs and progressing with certain courses. Most employers or colleges ideally look for 5 GCSE’s graded 4 / C or above including the core subject of English, Mathematics and Science.

For more information about the up and coming exam season follow this link – https://bit.ly/3nqyfAT

Using a tutor is highly beneficial as sometimes during class, questions can be missed or overlooked. With the year that has gone down there may be particular knowledge gaps in certain areas and subjects. A tutor will help smooth over any knowledge gaps which will in turn not just boost confidence but allow students to push their understanding to its full potential.

When is GCSE / A-Level results day?

This year AS and A-Level results day will be given out on the 10th of August 2021 followed by GCSE’s results being handed out on the 12th of August 2021

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Whilst some agencies focus on numbers, we focus on quality.

Our tutors are selected based on their integrity and ability to inspire. If, for any reason, you do not wish to continue with your tutor after the first lesson, we will pay for your first lesson with another tutor, no questions asked.

Selecting excellent tutors is our most important job. We receive thousands of applications, all of which are carefully reviewed. Most of these applications are rejected after the first reading as they do not have the required qualifications or experience, or they are grammatically poor and contain inconsistencies. Our experience has shown that high-quality tutors submit high-quality resumes which reflect the pride and job satisfaction they gain from tutoring.

Personal interviews are the next stage and are the key indicator as to a tutor’s suitability. We look for several critical qualities but, above all, we look for organised, natural communicators with empathy. Some interviewees have an arrogance that does not sit comfortably with students who enjoy enthusiastic, inspirational and engaging lessons with their tutors.

All our tutors have an Enhanced DBS certificate and we always take up references. The time and resources we devote to selecting our tutors give us the confidence to offer you our 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed commitment, no questions asked.

A-Level & GCSE exams 2021 – the latest update from the Education Secretary

A-Level & GCSE exams 2021 – the latest update from the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and The Department for Education – Monday 12th October.

 

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and The Department for Education have today (12/10/2020) confirmed the following:

  • The 2021 GCSE & A-Level exams will go ahead, albeit most will be delayed for 3 weeks to allow schools additional teaching time.
  • The Summer exam series will start on 7th June 2021 and end on 2nd July for almost all GCSEs and AS/A-levels.
  • However, one Maths and one English GCSE exam will be held, just before the May half-term, to give any year-11 pupils affected by Covid-19 the best chance of completing a paper in each of these core subjects. All other exams will start after 7th June and end on July 2nd.
  • Results for the 2021 GCSEs and A-Levels will be published within a few days of each other; A-Levels on Tuesday 24th August and GCSEs on Friday 27th August.
  • The DfE has confirmed there will not be any further content changes beyond those already announced.

Received your A-level and GCSE teacher assessed grades but didn’t get the results you were hoping for?

 

This year has been out of the ordinary in many ways. Even more so for young adults and students that were due to sit their exams. This is a huge milestone in every teenager’s life and for those who didn’t get to take them, we empathise with you. We understand that due to the recent conditions, this has put a strain on the education system and left teens unsure of how their future will unfold.

This year, the GCSE, AS and A-Levels were originally being calculated based on mock exam results and overall coursework grades that have been redeemed so far in order to provide an overall grade. However, due to a recent Government U-turn, the Education Secretary has announced that pupils will receive their teacher assessed grades.

For those of you who didn’t get what you were hoping for…

First of all, don’t beat yourself up! This has been a whirlwind of a time and nobody saw it coming. If you didn’t get the results that you were hoping for, fear not. Here at Home Tutor Connect we’ve been where you are now: faced with the daunting task of finding a quality tutor, often in a hurry. Identifying professional, safe and effective one-to-one tutoring can be a challenge and we understand this, from personal experience. Our platform brings together students, parents and tutors who are looking for professional, empowering and inspirational tutoring.

For most, A-level and GCSE Results Days are stressful days, having waited for months to finally open that envelope, and we understand that it can be disheartening if you didn’t get the teacher assessed grades you wanted.

Wanting to take your exams?

There is still the option to ‘resit’ your A-levels and GCSEs if you are not happy with the grades you have been awarded.

A-Level ‘resits’:
  • Deadline for entries is Friday 4th September
  • Exams start on Monday 5th October
  • Exams finish on Friday 23rd October
GCSE ‘resits’
  • Deadline for all exam entries, other than English Language and Maths, is Friday 18th September
  • Deadline for English Language and Maths is Sunday 4th October
  • Exams start on Monday 2nd November
  • Exams finish on Monday 23rd November

Students will not be expected to pay for these ‘resit’ exams.

There are plenty of options available to choose from in order to progress. Going from GCSE to A-Levels is a big jump, even more so due to the current situation and the impact that COVID19 has had on the education industry. Here at Home Tutor Connect, we can make that jump even shorter by offering outstanding home tutors. All our tutors have been interviewed to assess their suitability and reliability for private tutoring and all are DBS and reference-checked.

Finding a tutor that’s right for you

Our tutor profile provide you with all the information you need to identify the ideal match. Hourly rates are clearly displayed and this is the rate you pay…there are no hidden extras.
There is a humbling number of intelligent people available for tutoring but we search for the additional, critical people skills which generate step changes in performance; patience, active listening and a genuine interest and appreciation of each student’s challenge.

Rapidly identifying and effectively addressing weaknesses is the key to passing exams. One-to-one tutoring accelerates this process, providing tutors with the time to impart hard-earned pearls of wisdom and top tips to help students achieve stronger results. Their goal is to make challenging subjects accessible and enjoyable and to be the student’s pathfinder.

Sources:

Coronavirus & How it has Affected Education

 

During the past few months the whole world has gone through an unexpected change, that change being Covid 19. This has included the education sector, with the world on lockdown students have needed to completely readjust their learning. Pupils have needed to take up learning from home but when learning new topics it’s vital to have the time and space to ask those all important questions and talk through topics. Although Covid has massively affected the education system, going forward we hope these changes will only improve the system.

 

How has Covid affected learning?

Pupils have needed to completely readjust their learning, including those from early learning all the way to higher education. Many students were already studying at home, taking online tests and getting a further understanding into the topic that they are studying. But a lot of students have missed out on that all important 1-1 time with their teachers / tutors. This is vital for students to further their knowledge and progress.

It has also opened up new opportunities, people have needed to find new ways of learning including getting an online tutor. Covid has affected the education system in many ways and has shown that we can still learn even from remote areas.

 

Why may a tutor be beneficial?

Tutoring will always be beneficial in any topic within the education system. But with these unprecedented times even more so. By getting a tutor you will once again have that 1-1 access that a student needs. Here at Home Tutor Connect we have a variety of tutors all specialising in different subjects, mainly the key core subjects. The core subjects of English, Maths and Science are key to progressing onto further education and for getting a job. We offer online tutoring, and we understand that choosing a tutor who is right for you or your child is very important and that’s why we want to make it as easy as possible.

 

Why choose Home Tutor Connect?

Why should you choose Home Tutor Connect? Our platform brings together students, parents and tutors in the Buckinghamshire area who are looking for professional, empowering and inspirational tutoring. You can browse through our list of tutors, once you have found the right tutor you can send them a message with your requirements and they will get back in touch to get the ball rolling.

 

All of our tutors have been interviewed by us to make sure they meet the highest standards and have all had enhanced DBS checks. Home Tutor Connect is also a member of The Tutors’ Association.

Have a look at our tutor profiles or alternatively, call Dominic our specialist adviser in Buckinghamshire on 0203 858 0250.