Entrance Assessments - BE PREPARED
NIKKI MILLER WITH GEORGE HAWKINS MBE, DIRECTOR OF STEP AHEAD TUTORING & EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
Most Independent Schools in and around Edinburgh hold assessment days in December and January. Many parents like to know that their child will not be daunted by an entrance assessment. I asked George Hawkins, Director of stepaheadtuition.com, about how parents can best prepare their child before the day. George has provided a free downloadable example of entrance assessment questions specifically for P7 pupils for entry into Senior 1:
We also asked George about seeking a tutor to fill in any gaps in your child's learning.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF TUTORING? It helps with the fundamental value of nurturing and developing every child’s potential to the utmost. The power of one-to-one tuition encourages children and increases their confidence. It helps them to feel motivated to learn and develop a passion for study and to discover a genuine love of learning, possibly for the first time in their lives.
IS TUTORING ONLY FOR PUPILS WHO ARE STRUGGLING AT SCHOOL? No, but it does ease the minds of parents who are concerned that their child isn’t keeping up. That notwithstanding large numbers of very able youngsters are tutored who are already achieving well, but whose parents feel that their children’s potential may not be being realised or that they could be extended further. Also, many youngsters are perfectly able but lack self-confidence.
IS THERE AN OPTIMUM AGE FOR TUTORING TO BEGIN? The principles above can apply to children of primary school age, young people of secondary school age, older teenagers, college or university attendees, young adults, and/or indeed any adults who believe that learning is a life-long continuous activity.
FOR HOW LONG DO CHILDREN USUALLY GET TUITION? Just as the tutoring is one-to-one, individual requirements vary. Some have a short burst of sessions in order to prepare for an exam or test or to master a particular need, whilst others have sessions for weeks or months, just like going to Scouts or swimming club, and it becomes part of the fabric of their lives. There is clear evidence that continuity and consistency of sessions is important in making progress. For that reason, tutoring can be continued in school holiday periods, especially during at least part of the long summer break.
WHERE DOES THE TUTORING TAKE PLACE? As individual requirements vary: (i) the tutor can go to the client's own home or (ii) or in the tutor's home or (iii) through Skype or FaceTime. Because of Covid19, currently most tutoring is being done electronically, which is equally effective.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILDREN TO STUDY OR PREPARE? The key to success is ensuring that sufficient time is available for adequate preparation. Few youngsters have a study plan or the necessary rigour which is exactly what needs to be in place, both in order to advise and help the pupil reach their full potential.
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO IF THEY FEEL THAT THEIR CHILD MIGHT BENEFIT FROM TUITION? www.stepaheadtuition.comreflects sound practice and vast experience, and offers a no obligation telephone chat so that a child’s needs can be discussed. Many parents leave it too late and live to regret not having put a programme in place earlier.