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Past Blog Posts

Entrance Exams - Does your child need a tutor?

June 11th, 2017 by Sara

In recent years there have been many debates regarding the standard of British schools. We are seen as a world leader in education by many countries abroad but at home teachers and parents sometimes disagree. By the time children reach the age of 9 many parents are frantically researching which top independent or grammar school their child could obtain a place at.

Once they know which school they would like their child to attend the next task is to evaluate their child's current level at school taking into account their strengths and weaknesses. Most parents have a pretty good idea which subjects their child struggles and excels at but a teacher or private tutor can help identify exactly what kind of help is needed. The school's website often provide past exam papers and indicate what would be seen as a pass mark, this gives parents a good indication of the school's standard and if their child would be able to pass the ... Read More »

How we occupied the kids before computers

June 6th, 2017 by Sara

Hooray! School has finished and summer holidays begin. No doubt your children are looking forward to all the fun activities they can do with their family and friends during the 6 weeks holidays most schools enjoy in the UK. Some parents may feel overwhelmed with organising and brainstorming ideas to keep their children occupied whilst having fun, not to mention the cost often involved in taking them to theme parks, leisure centres or similar venues.

First Tutors have put together 7 retro low cost kids games to keep your little ones learning and active.


Hopping on one foot is a complex movement and promotes not just physical coordination, but balance and cognitive development too. The game as we know it today dates back to the 17th century and is even believed to have been played by Roman children. It can be played alone or with several players and involves tossing a small object (stone/pebble) into numbered triang... Read More »

7 Tips For Coping With Exam Stress

June 2nd, 2017 by Sarah Adams

During exam season, it is common to feel nervous and stressed before and during the big day. High stress levels around exam times can effect performance. Here at First Tutors, we've put together some tips to help you recognise when you are feeling stressed and learning to manage these stress symptoms.

Recognise When You Are Feeling Stressed

Have a break from revision and chat to someone who understands the level of pressure you're feeling. Having someone to talk to about your work can help. Whether it be support from a parent, private tutor or study buddy - talking it through can help put things into perspective. Common stress symptoms are: irritability, panic, fatigue, insomnia, chest pains, and increased heart rate.

Sleep Well

Get ... Read More »

8 Reasons to use online preparation tests for the 11 plus exam

May 17th, 2017 by Stephen McConkey

Preparation for the 11 plus exam can be difficult and time consuming for both the parent and the child. Parents frequently look for new and different means to interest their child and online practice provides one such method. Stephen McConkey, retired headteacher and author of the Learning Together range of 11 plus books gives us his thoughts on why online practice may work for you and your child

1. Short, sharp, pressure free practice.

Online platforms can be used in a wide variety of ways and at a time of day that reduces pressure on both the child and parent. They can be used anywhere and at anytime - even on holiday. A computer is very patient even when the child is making the same error again and again!

2. Generic practice is suitable for most 11 plus exams.

Many of these sites, especially the good ones, will prov... Read More »

5 tips for building reading skills

February 15th, 2017 by Anna Michaelidou

Reading can often be a chore especially as children read at school so many don't want to read at home. Whether you are trying to encourage your child to read to build their reading and vocabulary skills, to open up the wonderful world of books and their benefits or whether they need to read for homework, our tips will ensure that reading never has to be a chore again.

1. Create a reading routine

Have a time in the day that is saved for reading and try to incorporate the same time every day. This way your child will get into the habit of reading every day and hopefully will start looking forward to that reading time.

2. Create a reading place

Whether it be a pile of cushions and pillows, an indoor den or simply snuggled on the sofa under a blanket, creatin... Read More »