26th February 2024

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21st December 2023

Our 11+ group courses are now in full swing, and we’re delighted to have received wonderful feedback from students and parents alike. If you haven’t yet joined us, or would simply like a refresher, we’re adding new dates for 2024 – and expanding our offer to include preparation for the 7+ exam. Entry to the […]

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17th March 2023

The summer term will soon be upon us, bringing with it the start of exam season for our International Baccalaureate (IB), GCSE and A-level students. To avoid a last-minute dash to the finish line – which can hamper achievements and increase stress levels – we’ve put together a three-step approach to help get exam preparation […]

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09th February 2023

A new year ushers in new opportunities for learning, and here at Figtree we’re gearing up for another twelve months of carefully tailored tuition and expert consultancy. Working with children as young as four, all the way to university (and beyond), we’re equipped to support our students through every educational milestone. So this month, we’re […]

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21st December 2022

With the holiday season nearly upon us, now’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on successes shared with tutors, team members and all of our Figtree families. So, as we swap the pear tree for Figtree, and French hens for French lessons, we hope you enjoy our ‘Twelve Months of Figtree’ – with very […]

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20th October 2022

The 11+ has marked a turning point in children’s education for almost 80 years. But while the central premise of the so-called ‘transfer test’ has remained the same, it has evolved significantly over the decades – accelerated in recent years by COVID-19.   At Figtree, our dedicated 11+ team has supported children on their way […]

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05th August 2022

Having studied for her undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Oxford, biomedical scientist and Figtree tutor, Claudia, is perfectly placed to guide prospective students through their Oxbridge applications. We asked her what students need to do to stand out, and how her support can help streamline the process.   Why did you decide […]

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05th August 2022

You’ve made the decision to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. You’ve scoped out the courses, colleges and cities. Investigated teaching staff and interrogated league tables. But how do you make the Oxbridge dream a reality? With thousands of applications from top students around the world, you’ll need to see off tough competition to secure that […]

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14th July 2022

The holidays are finally upon us, and while children definitely deserve a well-earned break, it’s worth planning a little learning to avoid the dreaded ‘summer slide’. Read on to discover our tips for everyday education, and how a few targeted top-ups can help prepare students for the coming academic year.   What is summer slide? […]

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06th July 2022

This month, we’re diving into the challenges of university applications. Where to go, what to study, how to stand out – we know it’s a fraught time for students and parents alike. But with a little preparation now, we can help de-stress the process and secure that coveted place. We’re experienced in supporting students applying […]

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25th April 2022

This summer, Winchester College will hold a two-week digital programme for the curious, ambitious and open-minded. The aptly-named Catalyst course is designed to give students the skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving world, and will encompass interactive lessons, online seminars and one-to-one coaching to help students challenge their thinking. The course has been developed […]

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25th April 2022

Extracurricular activities have long provided a way to stand out and broaden horizons beyond the school gates. But with competition for top university places growing, they’re now essential to securing a spot in further education – and navigating the job market that awaits. From short summer accelerators to ongoing programmes, there are plenty of ways […]

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13th April 2022

Marking two years since the COVID-19 pandemic upended all our lives, we spoke to Figtree Founder, Ariana, about the way in which the learning landscape has changed – and how our tuition and educational consultancy can guide families through challenges, old and new.   Before we begin, can you tell us a bit about yourself […]

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30th July 2021

With the school holidays stretching out ahead – and international travel still touch-and-go for most – here are our top tips to help you keep children entertained over the long summer staycation. Go wild at the Eden Project The South American tropics come to the South West, as the Eden Project showcases the wonders of […]

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17th December 2021

As many of our students focus on preparing for their school entrance interviews, we wanted to reflect on the critical skills gained through proper practice – and how a good interview technique can stand students in great stead throughout their academic careers, and beyond. First impressions School entrance assessments are often the first time that […]

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04th February 2022

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and at Figtree we believe in bringing together experience from all walks of academic and professional life to further our students’ development. From qualified surgeons to accomplished filmmakers, it’s this breadth of expertise that enables us to tailor our tuition to every child. So this […]

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22nd October 2021

As children approach the mid-way point of their first term back, we wanted to look at how students have readjusted to classroom life. And with exams back on the table, what families should be focusing on next. While the pandemic still looms, September marked a much-needed return to normality for most. Guidance on social distancing […]

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29th April 2021

We understand the recent reports of sexual harassment and assault in senior schools have caused great concern for parents. And while an emergency review is underway, with the education watchdog Ofsted set to visit a number of institutions where allegations have been made, we wanted to share some pointers for parents currently considering secondary schools […]

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29th April 2021

This month we’re in recommendation mode – looking at some of the latest tools and platforms to support students through school and onto further education. And with recent allegations causing widespread concern for parents and children, we wanted to share some advice to help families starting to look at their secondary school options.   For […]

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24th March 2021

Easter is around the corner and before we know it, the summer term will be upon us. With teachers set to decide GCSE grades by 18 June, we wanted to focus on how to make the most of the final few months – including the Easter holidays ahead.   GCSE grading explained   After last […]

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05th March 2021

Beccie is an experienced psychologist working in a National and Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service at The Maudsley Hospital in South London. She works with young people of all ages, specifically between the ages of 13 and 18, who have a range of complex needs. With the return to school looming, we asked Beccie […]

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05th March 2021

This is certainly a time of mixed emotions. Whether you’re counting down the days, feeling uneasy about the week to come – or perhaps a bit of both – here are our suggestions to make the return to school a positive experience for everyone. A problem shared… You’re probably not the only one feeling anxious […]

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05th March 2021

The long-awaited return to school is finally here, but we understand for many it brings its fair share of anxiety and conflicting emotions. So as lockdown lifts, we wanted to lift the spirits by focusing on everything children have to look forward to – and how we can help make the return to classrooms smooth. […]

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17th February 2021

The online dilemma   Following on from Children’s Mental Health Week – and increasing reports citing the profound impact of COVID-19 on children’s wellbeing – we wanted to share some strategies to help families take care of their emotional needs this month. One of the biggest concerns we’re hearing from parents is the increased amount of […]

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21st January 2021

With all the focus on school closures and homeschooling, it’s easy to forget that parents are missing their usual activities (and little luxuries) too. So we thought we’d share a few of our favourite things to help lift lockdown spirits. Enjoy! Food and drink Wake up and smell the sourdough, with a doorstep delivery from […]

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07th January 2021

As schools close and exams are cancelled, the following few months are set to be a turbulent time for students and parents alike. Here’s our guide to surviving another lockdown – and how you can put the right strategies in place now, to ensure success for the remainder of the academic year.   Get ahead […]

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18th December 2020

The school closures earlier in the year had an impact on every student, but for those preparing for the 11-Plus, it was a particularly stressful time. As the Year 5s looked set to miss their last full term before exam season, and Year 4s faced the prospect of entering their final year of preparation on […]

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20th November 2020

At Figtree, we’re always looking for new ways to equip our students for the challenges ahead. And while our creative writing class is focused on preparing children for the 11-Plus, the ability to write passionately and persuasively is a skill that will stand students in good stead throughout their academic career.   Developed specifically for […]

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16th October 2020

We are in close contact with many of the schools our students are considering, and are following government guidelines carefully, so that we can provide the most appropriate support for each child. We are receiving updates all the time, as each school tries to navigate the ever-changing circumstances driven by the pandemic. We’ve included some […]

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16th October 2020

Interviews are likely to play a bigger role in the selection process this year, so adequate preparation is critical – particularly as they will probably be conducted online. All of our 11-Plus tutors receive regular training and resources to build students’ confidence for the interview, with practice questions and top tips (be yourself, be truthful […]

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16th October 2020

Like most things in this extraordinary year, the 11-Plus is set to look a little different. Recognising the ongoing disruption – and the requirements for social distancing – many schools are shifting their approach. In what we know is already an anxious time, we wanted to focus on navigating uncertainty, and reassure families that we […]

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10th September 2020

This month, we talk to Katie Denyer, Career and Wellbeing Coach.   Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? I am a certified coach helping people slow down and think differently about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. My clients typically feel as if they’re “not […]

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10th September 2020

September may mark the return to school, but it’s far from a return to normality. With many children anxious about missed time, or new challenges ahead, here are our top tips to help navigate the coming months. Know the signs of stress Loss (or increase) of appetite, trouble sleeping, appearing withdrawn or tearful and repeating […]

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10th September 2020

The return to school has brought great excitement, but also its fair share of anxiety. There are new rules to learn, new processes to follow – all while getting back up to speed after more than five months out of the classroom. So, as the long-awaited term gets into full swing, we look at some […]

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13th August 2020

Students across the country have been opening their A-level results, and for many it’s been an exciting moment. The numbers achieving A and A* grades are at a record high, with independent schools in England witnessing the greatest improvement, at 4.7 percentage points. However, late changes to the system and concerns over the moderation process […]

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30th June 2020

Alongside the direct impact to learning, school closures are taking their toll on children’s mental health too. As the Childhood Trust warns of increasing risk of mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, we look at ways we can support during this emotionally turbulent time.  In its recent report, the Childhood Trust warned that the ongoing […]

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30th June 2020

With most pupils unlikely to return to school until September, a recent report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has raised significant concerns about the effectiveness of online schooling. As the long summer stretches ahead, we take a look at how families are coping across the country. Headteachers have said a third of […]

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30th June 2020

While recent news suggests online schooling may be missing the mark, there’s growing evidence around the ability of tuition to fill the gap. And here at Figtree, we’re already seeing the benefits of additional, dedicated support. Here’s how our one-to-one and small group sessions have helped students over lockdown – and a sneak peek into […]

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30th June 2020

At Figtree we’ve always been committed to diversity and equality, but we believe that true change will only come when we all step up to play our part. That means recognising our own unconscious biases and having the courage to confront them. As Jennifer Eberhardt, author of Biased, explains: “Unconscious bias is not a sin […]

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24th July 2020

Finding the best way forward With the disruption to schooling this year, many parents are wondering how their children will cope with the new term – and what they can do to help prepare for September. So this summer, we’ll be offering our academic assessments for children across the board, providing critical insight into progress […]

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20th May 2020

As families face another school break at home, we wanted to share a few ideas to keep everyone happily occupied. From our very own Figtree student’s book review channel on YouTube, to the very best banana bread recipe, we hope our suggestions will help with half term planning. Ria the reader’s book reviews Nine-year-old Ria reads her favourite […]

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22nd April 2020

We understand that school closures have been particularly stressful for GCSE and A-level students, with changing – and often conflicting – guidance adding to this anxiety. With that in mind, we wanted to share the latest updates from two major exam bodies and reassure our families that no matter which process your school eventually implements, […]

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19th May 2020

Life before lockdown I only started at Habs in September, and although I was very excited it did seem daunting. Only one other person from my primary school was going, so at first I was nervous, but everyone was very welcoming and I found my feet within a week. I really like the amazing sports […]

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07th April 2020

In this week’s update, we’re focusing on support for our youngest students. For early learners, primary school is a formative experience and any time out can be particularly challenging for young children. We’re here to help keep critical learning on track to mitigate the risk of falling behind and ease the load a little for parents too.

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31st March 2020

In these extraordinary times, our commitment to learning stays exactly the same. With schools closed and travel plans put on hold, the next few weeks will undoubtedly be challenging for parents and students alike – so we hope our regular posts will equip you with strategies to stay ahead and shape a new routine. From […]

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30th October 2019

What is private tuition? In a nutshell, private tuition is a way to continue education beyond the classroom, or another formal learning setting. It can cover one or more subjects, and is designed to improve the student’s ability and confidence in a particular area.   A tutor, with the relevant academic expertise, will work one-to-one […]

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19th December 2017

Last month, the North London Independent Girls’ School Consortium announced they’d be scrapping the 11-plus exam from 2019. Concerned about the wellbeing of children in the face of pushy parents over-prepping, the 12 schools in the group will instead ask for a verbal reasoning test and an interview with applicants.

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