06th March 2021

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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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