Are GCSEs worth UCAS Points and do Universities look at your Grades? 

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With all this work going towards GCSEs and A Levels, the majority of students and parents want to know how GCSEs contribute to the university application process in the UK.. Here, I will provide you with a simple explanation. 

 

What Are GCSE Grades?

GCSEs (General-Certificate of Secondary Education) are subject-based academic qualifications. English and Welsh students study for GCSEs usually in year 10 or 11. GCSE grades usually are predictive results for the university application committee you are applying to, mainly for indication of how well you are predicted to do in A-level or other advanced studies in their schools. 

For example, five B grades and five C grades at GCSE would translate to a predictive CCD grade at A-level studies. Meanwhile, straight A grades in GCSEs could translate as a suggestion that AAA at A-level.   Some universities require at least one A grade in a particular subject at GCSE for you to be able to attend A-level or other advanced studies. If your GCSE results are lower than a C you may not be able to continue that subject at A Level. For this reason, it is best to be aware of your GCSE grades while applying for specific A-levels.  A lot of universities want to see at least a C grade in English if you wish to study there, no matter what course you're applying to do. Some universities are asking for certain GCSE grades in specific subjects. However, if you are disappointed at your GCSE grades, you may still be accepted to a university you wish to attend. Some committees look for an excellent AS-level performance and may accept the student with one even if he or she has disappointing GCSE grades. Don’t forget to explain the context in your personal statement when applying, if this is the situation.  

Please note, since the reforms in 2014 AS Levels are stand-alone qualifications and do NOT contribute to the A-Level grades. This means that many schools don’t offer AS Level qualifications, and they prefer to stick to the A Level curriculum and have one final exam at the end of year 12.. 

 

What Are UCAS Points?

UCAS points allow universities to be able to compare points that are indicating different qualifications set by UCAS points tariff. Around a third of the courses are known to make reference to the tariff. It is noteworthy to include that not all of your qualifications gain UCAS points. In fact, in a lot of the cases, only the top level achievements are counted.  The general scope of qualifications that attract UCAS points is quite vast. For this reason, a student’s UCAS points will depend on a lot of variables and are highly contextual. With this in mind, it is essential to check UCAS’ list to learn precisely what your score is.  

 

So What Is the Relation Between Them?

Both GCSE grades and UCAS points are valuable things to consider for selection committees. However, there is hardly any relation between them. GCSE grades are not worth any UCAS points. And UCAS points do not affect GCSE grades. A-level, AS Level exams and IB diplomas are the essential for UCAS points as well as case dependent qualifications.  GCSE grades, on the other hand, are useful for you to eliminate courses and select where to apply to with better knowledge. Selection committees use GCSE grades as predictive scores that give suggestions on your potential in A-level or other advanced studies.  So for that reason, you should be aware of your GCSE grades and where you can apply, while also checking UCAS to see if your qualifications attract UCAS points or not and to what degree.

Am I entitled to GCSE Special Considerations and Rescheduling?

GCSE special consideration and reschedule

The Joint Council of Qualifications (JCQ) which is the main body that is concerned with administration and assessment of GSCE exams in the United Kingdom; has come up with various measures to ensure fairness to all candidates sitting the exam. Some of these include giving disadvantaged students special considerations and rescheduling examinations when they feel the environment will not be conducive. It is important for the students and parents to have an idea of when it is possible for students to get special considerations and reschedule their GCSE exams.  

 

Who is eligible for special considerations?  

The Joint Council of Qualifications gives directions on which candidates should be eligible for special consideration and must be applied for following a specific examination series. Candidates who are eligible for special considerations must have prepared and covered the whole of the syllabus but fail during the performance of the GCSE assessment. This could be due to the following adverse circumstances not under their control.  

- A Candidate's illness, accidents and injuries during the GCSE assessment should make the candidate eligible for special consideration.  

- If a case of domestic violence during the assessment of the GCSE exams occurs, a candidate can request special consideration as a result of trauma suffered. 

- Events that are accidental and the fault of the exam supervisors or administrators such as being given the wrong GCSE exam material during the assessment.  

- A candidate is eligible for special consideration if they suffered a disturbance during the exam assessment eg. Where a candidate or a supervisor may be using a recorded material in the examination room.  

- If a student is participating internationally in a recognized competition during the duration of GCSE assessment, they can request the exam body to have them in line for special consideration.  

 

Who is not eligible for special considerations?  

The Joint Council for Qualification states clearly that a student will not be eligible for special consideration if the preparation or the performance of the GCSE exams is affected by any of the following reasons;  

- Illness for a very long period of time or some difficulties during the covering of the course and preparation of the GCSE examinations.  

- Learning problems that might be associated with permanent disabilities. eg. blindness  

- Bereavement which could have occurred more than six months prior to the assessment of the GCSE examinations.  

- Any minor domestically associated inconvenience, like moving house, lack of sufficient facilities, just around the period of the assessment of the GCSE examinations.  

- A disturbance that is not major in the GCSE examination room caused by fellow candidates or exam supervisors, eg. the mobile phone ringing in the room.  

- If a candidate makes a mistake of not taking the GCSE examination due to alcohol or drug abuse. 

- If a student fails to attend the GCSE exam because of having a misleading timetable. 

 

When can the GCSE examinations be rescheduled?  

Though its relatively hard for the GCSE assessment dates to be rescheduled, there are certain major reasons that the Joint Council for the Qualification has set in order to have them rescheduled. 

These include:  

- The GCSE exams can now be postponed to avoid the clashing with important celebrations or events such as the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan. It was claimed by the Muslims candidates in the past that most of them could not comfortably tackle the exams since they were on fasting period of the month.  

- In case of terrorist attacks, eg. bombing of schools and colleges or their vicinity, the Joint Council for the Qualification's board, sits down and comes up with ideas on whether or not the exams will be shifted to a new date. 

As educators we want all our candidates to perform excellently at their GCSE exams, given the importance GCSEs have on their futures. It is the best to be aware of instances so that students and parent can take appropriate measures. This goes a long way in helping students prepare well for this great task ahead.

How to Write a Speech - English GCSE Exam

How to write a speech English gcse

A speech is simply an official verbal presentation that is meant to achieve a certain goal. The aim of making a speech or even writing one, could be to convince the target audience to buy your idea or even pay attention to your subject of discussion. In an exam setup, an examiner might ask you to write a speech on a particular topic, or you could be asked to imagine yourself being a leader and you need to give a speech on a particular subject. Here are a few tips to help you score top marks in your GCSE English exam.  

Have a good opening statement.  

Always begin writing your speech in a way that is catchy. An introduction that will captivate your target audience. A good opening statement is fairly brief. Introduce yourself to the audience, mention in brief, concise points what you will be talking to them about.   

Use very good English

Good English is mandatory for your examiner to give you good marks. One way to make sure that you write using fewer mistakes is having fairly short sentences. Avoid very long sentences. Ensure that you have topic sentences for each paragraph. Each paragraph should be structured to discuss a different point. 

Remember to use 1st person

When writing your speech, always ensure that you write using the 1st person. This means, use “I” as you write. However, you can involve the audience and use “we” where it is necessary. Address your audience directly as if you were actually talking to them.  

Use persuasive language

Your tone of writing should be informal and persuasive. You need to be convincing enough for the audience to even listen to whatever you have to say. In a writing exam, express yourself I the most persuasive way you could, imagine you were actually facing the examiner.  

Focus on the topic

When writing a speech in an English exam, always stay focused on the topic you have been asked to write about. Never derail from the subject of the speech you are writing. This will make you lose marks.  

Some of the language techniques that you can apply include the following:  

Rhetorical questions

Use rhetorical questions to make your speech captivating. This will also be useful in making the audience to think and hence attentive.  

Use repetition

Repetition is for emphasis. Repeat your theme or whatever main point that you have until it becomes memorable.  

Write using emotive language

Use contrasting words and phrases.  Use the list of three. The human brain easily remembers things in three’s. 

Writing a good speech is fairly simple, all you need is practice, practice and more practice before sitting for your GCSE English Exam. 

The following acronym might help you remember some of the points we have discussed and help you score highly in your English exam. 

P-ersonal anecdote. Use personal anecdotes in your speech to make it catchy and interesting. E-motive language. R-hetorical questions. F-acts that are real. E-xaggeration C-omparison T-one of voice that is persuasive.

PERFECT!

Are GCSEs and iGCSEs the Same?

are GCSEs and igcses the same?

In the UK there are two main qualifications that are used for students who are 15/16 years old. These are the iGCSE and GCSE qualification. There are UK schools that use then interchangeably but a high number of parents are always asking to know the differences that exist between the two. Here are a few points that seek to explain the difference that exists between these two major qualifications in the UK.   

Similarities  

GCSE and iGCSE are similar in a number of ways. These two qualifications are level as they were designed to check a student’s completion of the “Key Stage 4” of the national curriculum in the UK. Both are done after the completion of the UK Year II when a student attains the age of 16. However, there are no age restrictions on the above as they have been sat by students who were older or younger in the past. A high number of employers and education institutions view both as equal qualifications.   

GCSE  

GCSE is traditionally studied in UK schools over a period of two years. There are some schools that allow their students to complete it in a year but this is not common. GCSE exams are usually sat in the month of June and those who do not pass get another chance to do their re-sits in November of every year. This qualification is often linear and students cannot be enrolled at any time of an academic year as the coursework is normally submitted all through the year.  

iGCSE  

iGCSE was formally introduced about 25 year ago in order to give overseas students who did not have English as their first language a chance of sitting for the exam. The biggest difference between these two forms of qualifications is the lack of coursework for those who take iGCSE. This makes it possible for students to join at any given time without worrying about the submission of coursework. 

The iGCSE is becoming more popular in the UK due to a number of reasons. First, there is an increase in the number of overseas students who do not have English as their first language. Secondly, the exam marking of the GCSE English in the recent past years has greatly contributed to its popularity.   

Differences Between iGCSE and GCSE  

The common question that parents draw from these two types of qualifications remains to be what is the difference between them? Well there are a number of key differences that exist between the two. The iGCSEs have less coursework when compared to the GCSEs. iGCSEs tends to have a few administrative hoops to contend with and this makes them popular with students who wish to prepare for them online. iGCSEs are more challenging when compared to GCSEs and from the time they were launched in 1988, their standard and content have been quite a challenge. The iGCSEs have not been subjected to the same pressures that mark the regular GCSEs to become easier. iGCSE do not have their marks recorded in the UK GCSE League Tables. The GCSEs and iGCSEs offer diverse subjects e.g. iGCSEs are not offered in Ancient Greek or Latin.  

In summary, the difference between GCSE and iGCSE is the lack of coursework. This makes it easier for iGCSEs to study at any time of the year. Apart from this fact, there seems to be no real disparity between the two as most education institutions and employers alike view them as equivalent.

How To Revise For and Ace Your Biology, Chemistry, Physics Exams

Revise of physics, chemistry, biology gcse a level ib exams

 

 

 

 

 

So you’ve spent several years studying everything you need to know to pass your chemistry exam which is now rapidly approaching! However, now it boils down to it you’re starting to panic. Do you really know everything you need to and will you be able to put it down on your exam paper if you do when it comes to it? 

The only way to answer this question is to do some thorough revision. Sometimes though, even the word revision can induce fear in students’ hearts. Where do you start? What should you revise, and how should you do it? Well, fear not, the following is a guide on how to revise successfully.


What should I revise?

In order to know what you should be revising you will need a copy of the syllabus for your exam board. If you don’t have a copy you’ll be able find the specification on their website (for example Edexcel, AQA, OCR.) 

Once you have a copy you should go through it line by line marking the things you need to go over. This may include things like:
• Metals and their uses
• Crude oils and fuels
• Plant oils and their uses
• Changes in the earth and its atmosphere
• Fundamental ideas in chemistry

Highlight the points you fail to remember when you go over the topic. There is no point in learning what you already know!

Be sure to practice examples of the calculations that come up.


Note making

Making notes is absolutely crucial when revising for an exam. You should not, however, copy from your textbook word for word as this only helps you memorise what you have read and not learn it. Writing notes in your own words helps you recognise what you know and what you don’t. 

Follow the syllabus as you revise and make notes, only moving on to the next section when you have fully understood the section you are currently studying. If anything within the syllabus is unfamiliar you can always refer back to your textbooks.

Feel free to draw diagrams, note equations and scribble formulae etc. that make it easier for you to understand your notes. At the end of each section of your syllabus, run through a few practice questions and check your answers. Wrong answers are a good indication that you need to revise an area again. Don’t fret if you don’t get it all right on the first go, every time you go over the bits you have difficulty with, you’ll remember a little bit more.

Flash cards

Flashcards that denote formulas, equations, facts etcetera can prove to be extremely handy when it comes to your revision. These can be displayed to reiterate things you have revised, or you could get friends or relatives to read from them, show you them, in return for you explaining them. 

 
Flash cards are also essential for remembering the equations and definitions that you will need to know. If you do not know these basics you will lose marks on your exam paper.


Sitting past papers

Most importantly it is recommended that you sit old papers as part of your revision. Aim to do all of them by the exams come around. There are only so many possible questions for them to ask! If a question comes up in several past exam papers, chances are it could be in yours. Past papers are a fabulous way of training your brain to think the same way as the examiner.  Furthermore, they give you a good idea what to expect in your actual exam. 

Always time yourself when sitting an old paper as in actual exam conditions you will be timed. Also, you should make sure you always write down your answers and don’t complete the exam mentally. This will help you when checking your answers to see where you have gone wrong with any incorrect ones. It will also indicate areas that you need to do more revision. In your actual exam showing your workings are extremely important and you may lose marks if you do not do so.


Reward yourself

Positive reinforcement equates to confidence and you WILL need to go into your exam with as much confidence as possible. Writing things like “pass’ or a grading such as “87%’ on past exam papers you complete will give you a sense of great achievement. Keep track of your scores and watch your marks get higher and higher.

 

How To Revise For GCSE, A Level And IB Exams

GCSE, A Level and IB revision

When it comes to exam revision for GCSEs, A Levels and IB exams, you need to first have a lot of will power and determination, especially if you're aiming to get top grades. When you're studying, it is worth finding the ways that work for you, methods that can help you train your brain to remember more information with ease. Below are some tips and techniques to help you get higher marks in your GCSE, IB and A Level.

1. Practice By Using Past Papers
If you're looking to get good grades and feel confident going into the exam room, you should definitely try practise past papers. Make sure you have done all of the practice papers available by the time your exams come round. Former GCSE students claim that the main reason why they succeeded is because they practiced a lot of questions. There are only so many variations of questions on the same topic, so if you’ve done them all then you are less likely to get a nasty surprise. You will also become more familiar with the question style, time pressure and the format of the exam.

2. Create A Timetable To Help You In Your Revision
A revision timetable is actually very important and helps you save time. It also helps you identify various subjects you need to prioritise so that you can succeed in your GCSE, A-level and IB exam. Below is an example on how you should allocate time to various subjects. Put your exam dates in your calendar and work backwards to create your revision timetable.
- Maths 57 hours
- Biology 17 hours
- Physics 41 hours
- Languages 48 hours
- History 24 hours
- Geography 32 hours

Some subjects may need more attention, but don’t neglect the subjects you’re doing well at. They give you a good opportunity to get some high grades.

3. Take Breaks When Studying
You should never force yourself to study. When you begin to feel tired or stressed, it’s your brain telling you to take a break. Studying with your full focus and attention takes a lot of brain power. Take a step away from the books and return after 10 minutes of doing something completely different.

4. Adapt To Different Subjects
You should never use the same method to study all subjects. Exam revision for GCSE, A Level and IB requires you to adapt and acknowledge that each subject is different in its own way. Each subject presents a unique challenge that should be dealt with in a different way.

If you're preparing for a German, French or Spanish exam, consider using flashcards. Flashcards can also be used in various science subjects. If you're looking to improve your math skills, consider taking an online quizzes frequently. When revising for an English exam, consider using mindmaps.

5. Try To Understand Your Learning Style
Each person has a unique style of processing information and there is no single method that works for everyone. You need to understand whether you are a writing, reading, auditory or visual learner. Experiment with different methods early on. You’ll notice that there might be a peak time where you care most engaged and can retain the most information.

6. Work With Your Classmates
If you find it difficult to grasp a particular subject like Geography, then consider seeking help from some of your classmates. You can also try to divide the study notes among your classmates so as to try and minimize the workload. Practice explaining concepts to each other. If you can teach it, you know it!
Sharing notes or resources is the best way to revise and within a short period of time, you'll be able to grasp most of the important concepts that used to give you headaches.

Good luck!

How Exercise Improves Your Brain And Helps You Study

exercise improves your brain and study

Not only can you keep your brain in shape with reading and school work, but like your muscles, your brain benefits from daily physical exercise. Mental tasks keep the connections in your grey matter sparking and active, but you probably didn’t know about - or highly underestimate – the positive effects a solid session of cardio and bench pressing can have for your brain.

Ever go on a long walk, and have a sudden idea or epiphany occur to you? That might have been because your body and brain were actively working together, helping you to solve a problem. You can have many more moments like that if you participate in extracurricular activities that involve physical exercise.

As your heart rate goes up, it pumps more blood into the brain and powers it with more oxygen. When the heart and muscles are working at a high capacity, they release hormones that run up to the brain and feed it. This helps the brain grow more cells.

Brain cells can only grow or make new connections - they are some of the only cells that cannot divide and reproduce. That’s why it’s so important to take care of the ones you have!

Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to rewire and modify its connections. It’s the very reason why we can mentally grow, learn, mature, and retain memories. Exercise heightens this process by stimulating the growth of connections throughout critical regions of your
brain. In fact, physical activity can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and can improve cognitive function for patients with mild cases.

Physical activity has such a strong impact on brain performance, many people take up jogging for the “runner’s high” that reduces levels of stress hormones as effectively as anti-depression medication. Once you start a lifestyle of exercise, you just might become an addict!

A study from Stockholm further demonstrates how running not only combats depression, it causes the cells in the hippocampus to grow - the brain region that lets us learn and retain memories.

How to use exercise to help you study

You can see changes in your mental abilities as soon as you drop the weights or step off the treadmill sweating and panting. A study from The Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia shows us that it takes only 20 minutes of moderate body motion to produce demonstrable results for increased memory retention and improved information
processing.

Here are the best physical exercises for your brain:

- Aerobic exercises that work the heart and lungs, such as jogging, swimming, or cycling, for extended periods of time increases the amount of oxygen to your brain; it also produces proteins that strengthen the brain’s information processing capacity.

-  Exercise in the morning before school or work - the brain has just received a replenishing rest, and once physical activity has driven up brain activity, you’ll have better focus to
study and tackle complex problems the rest of the day.

-  Use circuit training exercises at the gym - they put your body and brain through intense endurance exercises, driving up your heart rate and redirecting your focus.

-  If you don’t like the gym and you think exercise is a waste of time, try dancing or martial arts - both require heavy physical and mental involvement, and will heighten your cognitive
strength more effectively than a regular workout routine.

Before you study or begin an assignment, take twenty or thirty minutes to clear your mind with a jog around the neighborhood or some kickboxing. If it’s late afternoon and you’re feeling tired, a quick round of pushups or jumping jacks will awaken the heart and provide a boost of mental energy.

The Education System - Broken or Obsolete?

One of our biggest missions here at Love Learning Tutors is to evolve and improve education in the UK, and positively impact the lives of 1 million students.

The current education system isn't broken... it's just obsolete.

We've been through it ourselves, so we know how it was back then. And having students who are part of it today, it's clear to see how little it's developed. The system and methods have stayed pretty much the same for decades now and although it may have been beneficial 50+ years ago, it isn’t proving as beneficial in this day and age.

In fact, the increase of pressure and workload being put on students is proving highly problematic, causing a rise in mental health issues amongst other things, such as lack of engagement and unwanted behaviour.

Although I wasn't entirely interested in all my school subjects, I was still a top student and I chose to carry on studying long after I had finished my formal education.
The things I've learnt since (in the real world, through mentors and through books), have proven essential to my success and happiness in life. But these things were never taught to me in school. And this is still the case today.
For us, this must to change. And so we’ve creatively weaved and incorporated these insights and nuggets of wisdom into our methods of tutoring and the knowledge we impart on our students.

Jay Shetty, 30 years of age, is an Award Winning Host who used to be a Monk. Currently partnered with National Geographic and Huffpost, he has a mission of making wisdom go viral. And he’s doing amazing with over 1 billion views on his videos to date.

His recent video may shed some light on this important topic...

 
 

We notice there are a lot of people complaining about the education system in the UK. And a lot of people are talking about wanting it to change. At Love Learning Tutors, we are taking it into our own hands and initiating change within our company, with the intention of a wider spread effect down the line in schools across the UK.

If you have any comments on what you’d like to see in the UK education system, please do send us an email with your suggestions and we will go about making it happen.

7 Simple Steps To Manage Exam Stress

exam stress management

More often than not, students find themselves in great distress around the examination period. Over the years, research has revealed that there are various ways in which you can cope with exam associated stress. Some of these ideas may sound very ordinary but have been proven to help students stay calm and prepare better.

Recognise stress symptoms
It is crucial that you recognise the signs of being under stress in order to take action. The symptoms to look out for range from loss of appetite, not sleeping well, forgetfulness, increased stomach pains and headaches among others. If you experience any of these, it may be time to be proactive about managing the situation.

Watch what you eat
Your diet plays an important role in stress management and this is no exception during exam preparation. Eating a balanced diet gets you in a good mood for studying and helps recover the energy lost during the period. Further, you should steer clear of foods that contain excess sugar as they may create mood imbalances. The brain loves good fat! Eat lots of omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel and dark leafy greens and avocados.

Stay physically active
Taking part in physical activities is a tried and tested way for students to survive exams. Exercise helps clear the mind and boosts energy levels. Therefore, make the the time to go jogging or for a kickabout with your mates when preparing for their finals.

Get enough sleep
Sleeping habits tend to go hand in hand with the level of exam stress a student experiences. It is crucial to get enough sleep to rest your brain and wake up ready to tackle the exams of the day. Make an effort to finish studying early enough so you can get at least 8 hours of sleep before waking up the following morning.

Talk to someone
Find someone to talk to concerning the fear you have and the pressure you are facing during the examination period. You should avoid keeping stress locked up inside. Instead, share your thoughts with your parents, tutors or study partner. This is guaranteed to get that heavy load off your back and will make you feel less anxious.

Organise your study environment
Look for a place that is free from distractions and choose it as your designated study spot. The library is a popular option as it sets the mood for serious studying.

Be your own person
It is important to realise that you have different abilities to those of other students. You should create a study plan that suits you and your unique way of doing things. Don't be tempted to compare yourself with others who may seem to know it all as this may increase your anxiety. You are your only competition, try and improve on your personal results each time.

All in all, the most important thing for any student to remember is that exams come and go and should not spell disaster.

Best of luck!




6 Study Tips For Exam Success

pass your exams

School life is great. You make tons of new friends, join your favourite club or team, go on school trips, and prepare for prom. But then there are exams and everyone, including you, has to sit them.  

IB, A-level and GCSE exams can be quite stressful. The results play a prominent role in your future. If you are preparing for any of these exams, the guide below is a blueprint for exam preparation and revision.


 

Create a timetable

The successful person you admire did not come into success by chance. They sat down and planned long before they saw any signs of progress. This rule applies to exams too. 
Create a timetable that balances your time equally on all subjects. For example, if you are revising for three exams, start with your weaker topic and study it for two hours. This gives you ample time to break it down into bitesize chunks, and will alleviate the stress you feel around the topic. For the other two subjects, take one hour to revise each subject. Just because they come easier to you, don’t dismiss them.

With a timetable, you ensure that each subject gets the attention it deserves.
 


Use mind maps

If you are having difficulty recalling what you studied from your notes, use mind maps to improve your memory. Mind mapping allows you to connect ideas so that you can memorize information easier and faster. The more connected the memory, the easier it will be to recall.
 


Take short breaks

Ever heard of the Pomodoro method? This method of working or studying involves studying for a span of time, say thirty minutes, then taking a short 5 minute break. 
This method has proved to be quite popular among students because the mind remains alert for the entire study duration. No one wants to stare continuously at a book for four hours. It's not productive.


Recognize your learning style

There is no ultimate study method that every learner can use to succeed. We are all different. You need a different strategy from that of your friend to pass your exams. 
There are auditory, reading/writing, and visual learners. Determine what type you are and use this to your advantage. Also, note that some people tend to study better in the morning and others are more productive in the evening. Determine which group you fit in and set your timetable according to what you discover about yourself. 


Collaborate with others and seek help

To excel at your exam, it is of great help to work with a strong team. Be proactive and join a study group. Practice explaining concepts to each other. If you can teach it, it’s committed to your memory.
If there is a part of the revision material you do not understand, you can consult members of your study group, your teacher, online sources or YouTube. We also make tutorial videos, so let us know if there is something you’d like us at Love Learning Tutors to explain.  

 

Study ahead

You might have come across a meme of a guy trying to study for an exam with a ton of books open in front of him. The guy is trying to study for exams that are to start the next day. 
You do not want to be that guy. Studying ahead keeps you prepared. Start studying now and avoid the panic. 


Exams are part and parcel of your school life. They are important. By following the study tips above, you'll be well prepared for your exams when they come round.

 

iGCSE Edexcel Chemistry - States of Matter

Hannah Ogahara explains States of Matter 

Here is The transcription...

Hi, I’m Hannah from Love Learning Tutors and I am here to help you with your chemistry and get you off to a great start. If you get stuck, please check out our videos and see if there is something to refer to. If it is not there, just let us know and comment. Say, “Hey guys, we really want to know this…”, and we’ll be happy to oblige. So to start off with, I’m going through the GCSE, iGCSE Edexcel Specification. The reason I use the spec is in theory, if you can do everything on the spec from top to bottom, you’ll know everything to pass your exams with flying colours and get those 9s.

To begin with, from the tip top, we’re going to start with states of matter. By states of matter, we’re talking about solids, liquids and gases. You might have seen these before, they’re really nice easy marks if you get the question.

Let me quickly explain, in solids the particles are very close and are in a regular pattern. In terms of movement they’re stuck, they can only vibrate in the position they are in.

Liquids, they are a little bit further apart, but still relatively close together. They are random, and they flow (they can move) unlike the solids. This is relatively slow.

Lastly we have gases. They are furthest apart, their movement is also random and they flow more quickly.

As you can imagine, you’ve probably seen with the water example with ice. To go from solid to liquid we need to increase the temperature and give the particles more energy. Solids have the least amount of energy, if we ice more energy (we heat it up), it becomes a liquid. If we give water more energy it will become water vapour, a gas. So with each step, the particles gain energy to turn into the next state.

You might expect to see state symbols in your equations and such. Get used to thinking, in their state, as I’ve seen them in the lab, what do they look like? For example Fe (iron) is a solid at room temperature, water is a liquid, and Oxygen is a gas. Don’t forget that most gases travel in pairs.

 

GCSE English Literature - Unseen Poetry Tutorial

Catrin Harris shares her Top tips for analysing GCSE English Unseen Poetry. 

HEre is the transcript...


Hi I'm Catrin, 

Today we're going to learn how to approach the unseen poetry in the GCSE exam. So you're sitting in the exam room and you are presented with a poem you've never seen before.  The first thing you need to do is read that poem; read the poem, read the title and read who the poet is. Then read the poem again, don't pick up your pencil, just read it and see what you can take from it. And then read the poem for the third time. On this third time pick up your pencil circle any words that you think are important, any rhyming structures and then you can proceed and write about it. When you want to think about writing about the poem, you want to think about the content. So what is being said in the poem? Now, this isn't the most important thing, but it is important that you understand something about the content of the poem if you're going to write about it. Don't worry if you don't get everything that's fine. So you want to be thinking about the content. Is it a poem from a sister to another sister? Is someone writing about their experience with the war? Is someone writing about going shopping? What's happening in the poem? 

Connected to the content is the theme. Is there a certain thing that the writer is trying to get the reader to think about?  The poet might have a specific agenda that he or she wants to approach. Are they talking about global warming? Are they talking about love? Are they talking about upset feelings? What are they talking about? The content and the theme are preliminary; they're the things you need to do at the start. But then you need to do get to it. You need to be thinking about the mood of the poem. Is it happy? Is it sad? How does it make you feel? When you read that poem for the first time, how did I make you feel? It can be a very personal response, but that personal response can aid you in your later writing. 

Then you need to approach three main things; form and structure, language used in the poem, and imagery. So when you're sitting down in the exam with your pencil waiting to go through the poem again, these are the three things you want to be looking out for. Firstly, what is the form of the poem? Is it one long verse/one stanza? Or is it four? Is it five? And why do you think that might be? If it's two perhaps there is a shift between the two verses. Perhaps one is happy and the other is sad. Perhaps the reader finds out something halfway through, sorry the writer... So, what is the form? That's really important to understand the structure of the poem. Then we talk about the structure, you need to think about any shifts that happen throughout. Does it start addressing the reader directly and then the end is more personal? Is it very open the whole way through? What's the structure of the poem? These two can really help you get your head around what the poem is trying to say.  Another thing that's quite important is in the form and structure section is rhyme. As you know, poems do not have to rhyme but they sometimes do, and if they do, why is the poet made that decision? Why are they rhyming? Does it create pace? Does it make it seem more lyrical/poetic? That's really important to think about, but remember, poems that have to rhyme.

Then onto language, the poem is made up of language and that can be really important to look at. You've got your nouns, adjectives, adverbs. What you need to do as an analyst is to think about the different ways that the poet has used language in this poem. Have they used a lot of verbs to make it a very exciting poem? Have they used short, small language to make the poem seem exciting, seem important, or perhaps even quite scary. Have they used everyday language like you'd use in the shop or have they used particularly descriptive, poetic language to describe a landscape. This is the language section, which is quite a big section when you think about English. Then the final section, imagery, is almost a bonus section. Sometimes in a poem the poet might decide to use a simile; comparing something to something else. For example, it was as black as night. Sometimes they may choose to use a metaphor describing the head teacher as a demon because they're scared of them. They might also choose to use personification and they're talking about how the kettle sang. The kettle doesn't really sing because it is an inanimate object. So those are three examples of uses of imagery that the poem could be using. You think about that. It's a bonus point because often the amount you said about form, structure and language will suffice. But imagery, if you can spot any imagery get it in there because it is really important.

What you need to remember, when looking at these three things, is that the poet has done them for a reason. If the poem is in the middle, you got the poet on one side and reader on the other. So what does the poets put into the poem to make it reach the reader? If he's put in a lot of negative words, negative phrases, and then that goes into the poem. When the reader reads it, they feel those negative emotions. So you need to think about why the poet did things. Everything that happens is done for a reason in a poem. You have to think about the effect of it. So if the kettle sings in a poem, why does the kettle sing? Because he wants to show that the kettles really loud, or because the kettle is quite melodious perhaps, or because the kettle is a comforting part of the kitchen. There's a reason for it. So that's where the final technique comes in, PQD, Point-Quote-Development. You make a point, say, the poet /or narrator /or the voice is sad. The quote, she says "she's crying". Development, (the is the important bit) you need to think about, what else can you gain from the poem, that says/that could explain why the poets crying and that's the development. So you make a point, you quote it (in the quotation marks) from the poem, and then you need to develop it. Link it to other areas of the poem, link it to the wider context. If you think that this is about the war, why must she crying? Develop it in that sense. 

That's the structure. You want to get the poem in front of you, read it, read it again, and then start going through with the pencil. You then want to generally get some idea of content and the theme. You want to think about your own personal response. What's the mood of the poem? And then you have these three important things to look at and use this technique Point-Quote-Development. That's all good luck :)

How to Revise – Does Listening to Music Help?

how to revise with music

If you go into a library nowadays, the chances are most people will have headphones on. It seems a little odd, didn’t they come here for somewhere quiet? Does listening to music while you are revising help? Well, the studies in this area would suggest the answer is maybe: The effect of listening to music will differ depending on the person, the music and the task you are trying to complete.

You might have heard of the Mozart Effect; the idea that when babies listen to Mozart and other classical music they become smarter. However, the original research paper, from which this phrase was coined, does not support these claims. Using only 36 adult students, the authors from the University of California found that listening to Mozart only appeared to improve performance in spatial reasoning tasks for up to 15 minutes. This information is only useful for you if you have a shape visualisation test coming up.

There are many studies into the effect of music but, even though these papers do draw valid conclusions, be aware that they will often not be relevant to you because they are looking at the effect of a specific type of music on a very specific kind of task, usually using university students – who will already by skilled at learning. So can music help your GCSE or A Level Revision?

Like everything that you do when revising, it is important to reflect on whether what you are doing is really helping you. When it comes to music you want to consider the effect that you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to lift your mood or calm yourself before studying? Give you brain a break? (Dancing to a favourite tune is one of my favourite study-break activities.) Do you need some ambient, steady noise to cover up disruptive coughing and other occasional sounds? The effect of the music will differ depending on whether it is your favourite song or not. You might struggle to write an essay when listening to music with words. When revising you can test out these different conditions and find out what works best for you.

There is one proven way that music can help you with your revision and that is memorization. There is something magical about a rhythm and a beat to help you remember things. Can you remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs but struggle with the periodic table? Get creative and set what you need to music or if you are short on time, the chances are someone will have made a song about it already on YouTube.

Read more: BBC, Learning Scientist, The Independent,

THESE REVISION TIPS WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY ZOE OGAHARA. SHE IS A MATHS, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND HISTORY TEACHER WITH US AT LOVE LEARNING.

How To Approach Problem-Solving

GCSE A Level maths Problem Solving

The phrase problem solving has been a buzzword in education in recent years. Containing more content, it is an express aim of the new-style GCSEs to train students to become better problem solvers. However, whilst a lot of time in the classroom is spent learning topics, problem solving skills are different. It comes one step after learning the relevant skills or concepts. Problem solving technique is the art of pulling up the right information at the right time and processing it in such a way as to arrive at a logical solution. Sound complicated? You might be glad to hear you get better at it with practice, and anything is possible if you can break it down into smaller problems.

The following is an approach developed by the mathematician George Polya in the classic How to Solve It (1945). Whilst this model was developed for maths problem solving you will probably find that it is useful for other subjects.

STEP ONE – Understanding the Question

Do not skimp on this step because it is crucial to everything that is to follow. If the rest of your solution is not working out, you might need to go back to this step.

-        Do you understand all the words in the problem solving question? Can you rewrite the problem using your own words?

-        Could you represent the problem as a picture or an equation?

-        Can you work out what are the parts that you have, and what are the parts you are missing?

STEP TWO – Devising a Plan

Arguably the most difficult step, in a maths paper this is also where you could get the majority of marks (always show your working!).

-        What are the series of steps that will get you from your known things to your unknown things?

-        Strategies include solving an equation, spotting a pattern, guessing and checking.

-        Have you seen a similar question before?

STEP THREE – Carrying out the Plan

Once you know what you need to do to solve a problem, doing it is the easier part. If your previous plan was logical, it shouldn’t fail you.

-        Proceed with care, the biggest loss of marks for the strongest and weakest students is making unnecessary mistakes. Are your decimals in the correct place? Have you done the simple things correctly?

STEP FOUR – Looking Back

Aaaaaaaaand… check your work. This is not just check that you have carried out the addition correctly, this includes making a sense check. Is your question about the age of children, but your answer is 147 years? Something needs to be redone.

 

Best of luck out there! May you find the solution to every problem you encounter…

THESE REVISION TIPS WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY ZOE OGAHARA. SHE IS A MATHS, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND HISTORY TEACHER WITH US AT LOVE LEARNING.

How To Ace Your Spanish Coursework And Oral

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Spanish coursework is around the corner. Specifically, the Spanish Oral. Be it GCSE Spanish or A Level Spanish, fear not, my gift to you is five handy tips to help you through!

 

1. MIND-MAPS. In preparation for the day, create mind-maps of the various topics you’ve covered in Spanish class over the term. Your teacher should give you a general topic, health for example, and it’s your job to think of sub-categories to try and get an idea of what could be asked of you. A good place to start is looking at positives (eg. sport) negatives (eg. unhealthy eating) and then your personal approach (what do you do?). Make a mind map full of useful phrases and vocabulary, then have fun with making sentences to link them together.

 

2. Learn how to stall in Spanish (it gives you that extra thinking time if a question isn’t quite what you were expecting). Instead of “ummmm” use “eeeeh” (in that Spanish accent) and instead of “well…” use “bueno” or “pues.” These will help you to sound Spanish when you are working out what exactly it is that you are trying to say.

 

3. Stalling done, it’s probably time to think about what you can say that will give you some extra marks. Link words are important for getting those marks for continuity and structure. Here are a good few examples:

También (as well)
Además (also)

Pero (but)
Sin embargo (however)
A pesar de (despite)

Porque (because)
Debido a (due to)

Entonces (then)
Así que (so)
Por lo tanto (therefore)


4. Be sure to pop in the magic ingredient – THE SUBJUNCTIVE! Here are a few phrases which I have always learnt before oral exams to gain a few extra marks. Slip them in whenever you can, your teacher will be very impressed!

Sea como sea (no matter how)

Ojalá sea pronto (I hope it’s soon)

Cuando este hecho (when it’s done)

 

5. Finally; relax, be calm, you’ve got this. Take a deep breath and walk into that Spanish Oral as if you are Enrique Iglesias or Penelope Cruz. Keep your cool, there is nothing stopping you!

 

¡Buena Suerte!


THESE REVISION TIPS WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY CATRIN HARRIS. SHE IS A SPANISH, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND HISTORY TUToR WITH US AT LOVE LEARNING.

 

 

 

How To Write An Essay (For Any Subject)

English essay writing GCSE A Level

 

Essays are designed to be daunting tasks. They require long answers, they invite complexity but are very easy to overcomplicate. whether you are writing an english essay or economics. Whether you are looking at your coursework or sitting an exam, breaking down the process into small and doable chunks will help you approach the question with confidence. No matter the subject, the type of assessment, or whether it is school, university or professional work, these steps will always be necessary for essay planning and writing.

 

SECTION ONE – PLANNING

 

1.     Do you understand all of the words and ideas in the question?

What is the command word? Is the question asking you to compare / examine / analyse? Is it asking why or how? This should have a great effect on how you answer the question.

Is there a word or idea that requires specific background knowledge on the subject? If so, note down what it means to make sure you are clear for yourself. Additionally, you will need to explain these ideas in the introduction to make sure the reader understands you.

 

2.     Remember your primary aim is to ANSWER THE QUESTION! You will hear that bit of advice all of the time, but it will always be true.

Hopefully you know something about the topic at hand. Try answer it in one sentence. One completely evidentially unsupported sentence. This is a really useful exercise because it helps develop clarity in your argument and you can use it as the first sentence.

A teacher once told to consider the ‘What? How? Why?’ and this has stuck with me because it is so useful. This works whether you are analysing language, art or even historical events. First you are thinking about what the author does / what does it look like / what happened? Then how does the author / artist / actors achieve that? (What techniques?) Lastly, why did they make that choice? Why did it turn out that way?

You might also be familiar with PQA (Point Quote Analysis) or PEE (Point Evidence Explanation). The idea is the same every time you want to introduce a point. Probably only about three maximum a paragraph depending on the essay.

 

3.     Split your evidence into at least three main areas of supporting evidence.

This is the tricky part and will probably take up the bulk of your planning time. You asserted an answer to the essay question in your introduction. Now you have to explain why anyone should believe you. Think carefully about this part, the more coherent your argument the easier the essay will be to write. The essay structure need not be complicated. Concentrate on one main area per paragraph.

 

SECTION TWO – WRITING THE THING

 

4.     Use simple clear language

Consider George Orwell’s six rules for writing (taken from Politics and the English Language, 1946)

a)     Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. [i.e. avoid clichés]

b)     Never use a long word where a short one will do.

c)     If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

d)     Never use the passive where you can use the active.

e)     Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

f)      Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous [break these rules if it is worth it]

The main point here is that your priority ought to be explaining the ideas clearly, not showing off your extensive vocabulary or grammatical flair.

 

5.     Give yourself enough time to get the words down.

This particularly matters in an exam, but also applies when working on an essay at home. Don’t let yourself spend half of your time on your first paragraph and have no time for a conclusion. Give yourself manageable targets; this may be one paragraph every ten minutes (in an exam) or a paragraph every half day.

 

6.     How to write a conclusion

Conclusions are hard. I mean, you’re done and are probably ready to never look at the thing again! Work with this urge and keep it concise and clear.

-        Restate your argument

-        Mention any strengths or limitations to your argument (state them without apology, you have done your best in the circumstances after all).

-        (Optional) Mention what you might research next, what possibilities have your investigation opened up? What is the larger context of this question? What are the implications of what you have talked about for the genre / other events / cultural movements?

 

Best of luck out there and remember to take it one step at a time!


THESE REVISION TIPS WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY ZOE OGAHARA. SHE IS A MATHS, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND HISTORY TEACHER WITH US AT LOVE LEARNING.

How To Revise – Making A Revision Timetable

girls revising for exams

Everyone I know has experienced that feeling. It hits the night before a deadline or exam, it’s an overwhelming feeling of regret, disappointment and anger; ‘if only I had started this sooner…’, ‘if only I had more time..’, ‘I could do this better if…’

I absolutely hate this feeling and genuinely live in fear of it, which is why planning how I will do my revision, and now my work, is so important to me. As a teacher and tutor, I have been very surprised by how many students do not plan their revision. If you are wondering how to revise for your GCSEs or A-Levels, this is a small thing that can make a large difference. It is not just about avoiding the last-minute panic, but also ensuring that all topics are covered, and being able to feel calm and in control. The following are some tips to help you in planning independent work so that you can feel confident when that deadline or exam finally comes around. You can also find a revision timetable template to help you get started.

1.     The earlier the better – As soon as you know what you need to do and for when, then is the time to start planning. If think about it, throughout your school life your teachers have thought about and planned specific programmes of lessons. When planning your own work, you are aiming to continue that structure to continue learning as effectively as possible.

2.     Take the time to make your revision plan – I have been told this looks like procrastinating, but making a well-considered plan, and maybe making it look nice, will take a bit of time. Besides, it is very cheering to have a colour revision timetable on the wall. For me this is part of my pre-work ritual, but maybe try not to get too sucked into making it look nice. Maybe take a morning for it. But no more. Click here for template. 

3.     Plan in time to test and review, as well as revise and learn – Reading and making revision notes is one thing, actually learning, memorising, and improving your exam technique are different skills. Using quizzes and practice exam papers are very important to make sure that your revision is effective in helping you do well in your exams. Write into your plan when you will be testing yourself on topics you have already revised. As a good rule of thumb, revisit a topic briefly one day later, and then one week later. In the week before the exam, you should only be doing practice papers and quizzes.

4.     Plan in time to rest and have fun – Throughout whatever stressful time you might be going through, always remember that you are only human, and you need things that all humans need, including food, fresh air, exercise, sleep and company.  These things are not wasted time; if you are pacing yourself, you are making sure you are able to revise effectively. Remember the Pomodoro technique; 25 minutes on, 5 minutes break, or 2 hours on, 30 minutes break.

5.     Reflect on how it is going – It is hugely important to be honest with yourself when thinking about what has been working and what does not. Some people enjoy watching TV during their breaks (a one half-hour episode might be the perfect length of time for a break) but others do not have the discipline to watch just one episode. If that second person is you, you are going to have to try something different. You might want to try a motivational app such as Coach.me or Way of Life (disclaimer – I have not tried these myself!) Are you getting as much done as you thought you would? Are you getting enough rest? This is your revision plan, you have the power to adjust it to make sure you are getting the most out of it. 


THESE REVISION TIPS WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY zoe Ogahara. sHE IS a maths, english, french and history TEACHER WITH US AT LOVE LEARNING.

Top 10 Memory Tricks For Revision

 

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Did you know that you can “trick” your brain into remembering information? All you have to do is make a few changes in the way you approach your revision. So with no further ado, here are Love Learning Tutors’ favoured methods of revision, perfect for keeping key ideas in your noggin during exam season, whether you're doing your GCSE, A Levels or IB exams!

 

1) Organisation: If you are revising from muddled and unclear notes then your memory will be just as muddled and unclear on the subject. Group your revision notes into topics. Rewrite your notes if need be to make them clearer and more streamlined. Use colours to highlight key information and actively associate the colour with those ideas to make it easier to remember. Use a maximum of three colours, anymore and you will probably get confused between them. Don’t take this in the opposite direction either; don’t waste time making your notes look pretty, after your exams, you won’t need them anymore!

 

2) The Pomodoro technique: revise for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break. After 2 hours, take a 30-minute break. Start over. The reason for this is that your brain will retain a certain amount of information input. After 25 minutes, your information retention (your ability to remember stuff) decreases. Taking a break and doing something else for five minutes gives your brain a chance to “reset” and take in more information once again. Cramming is for fools!

 

3) Reward Yourself With A Treat! This works particularly well with the break in the Pomodoro technique. If you have a more immediate motive for revising, then you will pay greater attention. However, beware it does not become a distraction or the main purpose of your revision. However, you will need to discipline yourself, have you really earnt that biscuit yet?

 

4) Chunking: group similar information into chunks, then group the chunks into bigger chunks! Try putting information into groups of threes, you’ll remember it better. Consider using colours and different fonts to set your chunks apart. If it is a particularly key idea, consider using a mnemonic to memorise the order of it eg. (Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain)

 

5) A picture is worth a thousand words!: Most of us will remember a picture better than words, and second, the more senses you involve in learning or storing something, the better you will be at recalling it. This is why speaking out loud instead of simply reading is also more effective as you are exercising two revision techniques at once. With this in mind, draw key ideas so that they become memorable and clear to you! Draw diagrams of the links between ideas. A simple spider diagram can demonstrate a great deal of complex information. Draw a map to show how to answer particularly tricky questions!

 

6) Build a “Mind” palace!: This technique teaches you to use markers within a room to recall key information by associating it over and over again with that object. If you use the same space very often or If you know where your exams will be held (Hall/Canteen/Gym) then you can base your ideas on that room.

 

Example: I need to memorise the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) for a test. I look at the room the test is in (My history classroom) and I associate those three ideas with three objects within the room. I might choose my teacher’s comfy chair to remind me of “executive” (it looks like an executive’s chair), I might choose the classroom rules to remind me of “legislative” (legislative means to do with rules or laws) and I will choose my teacher’s desk to remind me of “judicial” (from a certain angle, the table looks like a judge’s raised desk).

 

7) Use your everyday space: How long do you spend looking in the mirror each morning, brushing your teeth or combing your hair? Now imagine you had a post-it, revision card or key note with information that you always forget stuck to the side of the mirror. This could be as simple as a key definition or as complex as a diagram of a cell. Take into account how long you will be in that area (There’s no point putting up more material than you can revise in the five minutes it takes you to brush your teeth!)

 

8) Use your public space: You are more likely to recall information that you have revised in multiple locations. Additionally, your home space undoubtedly contains many distractions whereas if you set yourself the task of studying at your local cafe or library, you have a singular purpose for being there. You can’t leave without studying!

 

9) Don’t just memorise content! Practise it! You are far more likely to recall information if you have actively used it in different contexts. Instead of reading and rereading the same sentences, try rephrasing the information and writing it down. Your chances of recall are much higher if you interact with the information. Discuss it with your friends! Unsure of how something is applied? Google it!  Apply what you have learnt into different situations. Teach your family about meiosis or the cold war, you’ll be surprised by their interest or by what they may know. Consider how you could research or revise information in new and informative ways.

 

10) Keep your body healthy: Although it may seem beneficial to prioritise revision ahead of all things, your ability to revise is influenced by your physical and mental health, So, make sure you have a good amount of sleep, exercise properly and eat healthily! It is also important (if difficult) to keep a positive mindset during exam period. To combat the exam season blues, make sure you can see progress in your revision by taking a moment to consider the topics you have mastered so far, draw on the support of your family and friends and don’t forget to treat yourself to a bath or a hot cocoa. Best of luck for your exams! 


 

These revision tips were brought to you by Mark Comfort. He is an English and French teacher with us at Love Learning.

 

 

 

Top 7 Fun Activities To Do In August

 

We’ve come to the last hoorah of the summer holidays! Here are our fantastic recommendations to do with the kiddos in London before the term kicks off in September.
As the weather is notoriously changeable during August we have a selection of indoor and outdoor activities for you.

Catch Me If You Can

Imagine you’re Tom Cruise making a quick escape on a 225m zip wire in a speedy 30 seconds. Take in the cinematic view of the Thames, Big Ben and the London Eye whilst flying through the sky. They claim to be the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest in the world.

 Adults £22.50, students £18.50, children 8+ years £16.50, family ticket £58.95.

https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/detail/zip-world-london


Do The Robot

Book tickets to the Science Museum’s Robot Exhibition. Check out the humanoid collection spanning from the 16th century to date, and learn about where, when and why people attempted to build robots.


Weeeee! - What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Come hurtling down the world’s longest tunnel slide and take in the views if you can keep your eyes open. Designed by the artist Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the ArcelorMittal Orbit stands 114.5m tall.

 Adults are £12, concessions are £10, children are £6, £32 family ticket (two adults + two children). Book in advance for the following prices £10/£7/£5/£26

http://arcelormittalorbit.com/


Stars In Their Eyes

Learn about how other animals see at the Natural History Museum’s Animal Vision and get creative making your own set of eyes.


Climb To The Top

Walk up O2 Greenwich. It will be a challenge but so are all things worthwhile. The 360° views at the top serve as a great reminder of how vast and magical London is. You are clipped so it is safe. The walkway is 380 metres long, takes you 52 metres above the ground and takes 90 minutes.

Ages 9+, minimum height of 1.2m. Tickets from £30

https://www.theo2.co.uk/do-more-at-the-o2/the-climbs


Swim Like A Fish

Accessible and affordable to all, the Olympic Pool designed by Zaha Hadid is a beaut. You may even spot Tom Daley there from time. Book yourself into the competition pool while your child has a ball of a time at Aqua Splash, an inflatable obstacle course.

Aqua Splash is 8+ years, £7.50

http://www.londonaquaticscentre.org/ 


Mini Golf Adventure

Dragon Quest Adventure Golf is not only child friendly but it caters to the whole family. Enjoy a fun day out in the sun (while it lasts) and follow the luminous dragon foot prints around their exciting course full of twists, turns and surprises.

Under 4s are £3, Under 12s are £6, Ages 12 and over are £8

https://www.worldofgolf-uk.co.uk/golf-centres/croydon/dragon-quest/

Now go out there and enjoy the remainder of your British Summer with these Top 7 Fun Activities To Do In August.

 

9 Ways To Help Your Children Through The Exam Period

 

Parental support has been shown to be 8 times more important to a child's academic success than social class. You don’t need to be an expert to make a significant difference to your child’s academic career. Below are some quick tips on how to support your child through their exams.

 

Help Plan

help-plan

Create revision timetables of 1 hour sessions with a short break at the end. Be specific about which topic your child will study in each session. Put the exam timetable in sight and make a checklist of materials/instruments your child needs to bring with them each day.

Ensure they have all essential materials and stationary.

Pick up any revision guides that they may need and buy fun exciting stationary. Lots of colours, post its and fluorescent tabs can bring joy to ongoing revision.

 

Make The Home A Calm Environment

make-the-home-a-calm-environment

It is often said that our mind is heavily influenced by our surroundings, so do your best to create an oasis of calm at home.
It is a good idea to have a chat with other family members and request that they be more understanding and make a few allowances as the child taking exams will be under extra pressure. Under all costs do your best not to nag during this period. 

 

Be Present

be-present

During study leave, be around the house as much as you can. Exam preparation can feel isolated at times so having someone there to discuss progress with and have some banter can make all the difference. Be there to discuss how exams went but encourage your child not to do a post mortem and compare with friends after exams as this can be counter productive.

 

Fuel For Thought

Fill the fridge with nutritious snacks and make sure your child continues to eat with the family. This helps them break away from the books and maintains their spirits.

 

Keep Moving

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Encourage regular exercise. You can go to the gym together in the morning, play table tennis or even a brisk walk around the block a few times a day will make a big difference to their ability to concentrate.

 

Timing Is Key

timing-is-key

Help your child figure out which hours they find most productive to study. Ensure past a certain time that they go to sleep, and where possible, discourage late night cramming.

 

Get Their Mind Prepared

Ask good questions to get them thinking about the next paper.
For example, “What topics might come up?” or “Are there compulsory questions?”
Remind them that exams aren’t everything and that you’ll be proud of them if they do their very best. 

 

Celebrate Together

celebrate-together

Organise something fun you can do together at the end of the exams. This has been a stressful time for all of you, so it is nice to celebrate all the hard work and effort you’ve put in.

 


We hope this helps a lot of you out there!

Please know we're here if you have any specific questions for us, or are in need of any advice. We'd like to help you all as much as we can, that's what we aim to do through our blogs. However, if we don't answer specifically the challenges that you're experiencing personally, please reach out to us so we can do our best to provide support.

Until then, enjoy your May! The sun seems to be slowly creeping through the clouds more and more now, so the weather will most definitely brighten up the next few months for us!