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10th December 2019

Our blog.

News, tips and views

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21st November 2019

Perhaps one of the best ways in which you can support your child is by understanding the challenges they’re facing. So why not try your hand at our sample 11-plus questions (without the help of a calculator!) to get a taste of the test? Remember, these would be completed under timed conditions so try not to overthink.

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22nd November 2019

From past papers to interview prep, we support children throughout their 11- or 13-plus journey. And we’re proud that many of our students have gone on to some of the best schools in the country. So as exam season starts again, we caught up with a few of our past pupils – and their families – to get their thoughts on the test and how best to prepare.

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21st November 2019

As Christmas cheer begins to appear on our screens and in our shops, the holidays can still seem a long way off for children applying to independent schools around the country. We’re now in the midst of the entrance exam season, with students sitting the computerised ISEB tests throughout November.

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30th October 2019

Once the preserve of expat or military families, international schools are becoming increasingly popular with students around the world. With pupil numbers rising 7% year-on-year, we look at what international schools can offer – and who’s signing up.

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30th October 2019

As we explore the advantages of a global education this month, we look at the mainstay of international schools – the International Baccalaureate (IB). What can it offer, and why are more British schools picking it up?

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30th October 2019

This month, we talk to Maria Rosengren, Admissions Director at Halcyon London International School, about her role, how Halcyon is creating a student-first community, and the advantages of an international outlook.

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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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25th September 2019

As schools around the country settle back into a new academic year, some classrooms may not look – or feel – quite the same. With educational technology, or edtech, on the rise, we look at the latest tools to shake up teaching.

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25th September 2019

This month we talk to James Kassam, Head of Marketing at RoosterMoney, about how the app is helping parents to raise more financially savvy children. Read on to discover more, and to receive your exclusive discount code.

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25th September 2019

In a world where smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, there are thousands of apps out there promising to revolutionise our lives. So this month we thought we’d share a few of our favourites that really can make family life a little simpler.

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28th August 2019

Brainteasers aren’t just good fun. They encourage creative, lateral thinking – and are a great way to keep learning alive over the long summer holidays. So challenge your family to these ten riddles and see who comes out on top.

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28th August 2019

While part of the joy of summer is switching off, doing a little prep before September rolls around will help ensure a smooth start to the new school year. So here are our top tips to ease you into the autumn term.

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28th August 2019

Keeping children engaged with their studies over the summer can be a challenge. Last year is already a distant memory, and September seems so far away. But with ‘summer slide’ a genuine concern, how can parents help their children stay on top of their learning, without sacrificing essential downtime?

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24th July 2019

Earlier this year a new mental health trial was launched in 370 schools across the country. The two-year scheme will teach children relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and mindfulness, in an attempt to help them navigate the increasingly pressured world around them. But it’s not just schools taking part in the trial that are turning to mindfulness as a way to better equip their students – so why is mindfulness taking off in classrooms, and can it really help?

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24th July 2019

Decreased anxiety. Improved attention. Stronger relationships. Practicing mindfulness can be of benefit to the whole family, so here are our top tips to bring your attention back to the present.

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26th June 2019

This month we spoke to A-level tutor James about how to choose A-level subjects, his top revision tips and what he’s learnt from his own A-level journey.

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26th June 2019

A-levels aren’t just the gateway to higher education – they can be the start of your whole career. With so much at stake, here are our top tips to help you make the right subject choices for your future.

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26th June 2019

Choosing which A-levels to take can be daunting, and with many degrees and careers requiring set subjects, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. As the Russell Group launches a new A-level advice site, we look at how students can ensure they pick a winning combination.

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22nd May 2019

Whether still at school or already in higher education, students around the country are preparing for exam season, and for many this means studying until the very last minute. But is this extra revision, at the expense of their sleep, actually doing more harm than good?

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22nd May 2019

Exam season is almost upon us, and with scientists stressing the importance of a good night’s sleep, here are our top tips to help you wake up refreshed and ready to take every test in your stride.

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22nd May 2019

This month we talk to sleep expert James Connolly about the importance of sleep, why he believes it holds the key to living optimally, and how we can all improve our bedtime routine.

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24th April 2019

Rage, despair, breathlessness – these are just some of the symptoms children with ‘maths anxiety’ may face. And according to a recent study conducted by the University of Cambridge, the number of students suffering is on the rise. What’s causing this increased panic around one of our core subjects, and what can we do to help children overcome?

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24th April 2019

Alongside literacy, a good grasp of mathematics is one of the most important skills we gain at school. From navigating future finances to toting up the bill, it touches every part of our daily lives – so as anxiety around maths increases, here’s how we can help children to master the subject.

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24th April 2019

This month we talk to maths tutor Joshua about the importance of the subject, how students can overcome their anxiety and why his mantra is ‘practice, practice, practice’.

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21st March 2019

With the rise of globalisation, evolving technologies like social media and the increasing ease of international travel, the world is getting smaller. But as different countries and cultures become more accessible, language learning in the UK is still lacking. How can we address this linguistic deficit and ensure we continue to play a part on the world stage?

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21st March 2019

Whether you’re looking to learn a language from scratch, or brush up existing linguistic skills, here are our top picks for the most important languages to learn this year.

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21st March 2019

This month we talk to language tutor Timothee about why it’s important for children to learn another language, how he suggests students improve their linguistic skills, and which language he’d choose to speak fluently.

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27th February 2019

Already recognised as a valuable academic discipline, environmental science is gaining momentum as the subject of choice for students looking to make a positive impact on the world. But what does it involve, why does it matter more now than ever, and where can a degree in environmental science lead?

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27th February 2019

From melting ice caps and raging wild fires, to plastic waste and air pollution, the world around us is increasingly under threat. But as global catastrophes continue to grab headlines, the study of environmental science is stepping up. What can this relatively new subject teach us, and how are schools harnessing the field to make positive change – both for students and the planet?

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27th February 2019

This month we talk to environmental science tutor Vasiliki Kioupi about how she approaches this critical subject, and what parents can do at home to encourage an environmental conscience in their children.

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23rd January 2019

This month we talk to Richard Maurice, Lead Geography Consultant for the Harris Federation, about the importance of geography, his passion for the subject, and where it can take today’s students.

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23rd January 2019

Geography teaches us about difference – different countries, environments and people. And in today’s increasingly diverse world, that’s more important than ever. So here are our top tips to inspire a love of geography at home, that will see your children go far.

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23rd January 2019

As we head into 2019, many countries are facing a year of instability. Political shake-ups, power shifts and economic upheavals loom – and yet many of today’s students lack an adequate understanding of the world that waits.

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19th December 2018

Whether we’re supporting students overseas, or busy families here in the UK, we’re always looking for new ways to put technology to work. Here’s a sneak peek at how we bring a digital dimension to our lessons.

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19th December 2018

This month we talk to Tom Hamilton Stubber, Director of Operations at TutorCruncher, about the benefits of technology in tuition – and what the future holds for education in a digital world.

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19th December 2018

Traditionally behind the curve when it comes to emerging technologies, the education sector is finally beginning to harness their potential. As a result, classrooms are undergoing their biggest makeover in decades, and students are benefitting from a newly immersive experience. As 2019 looms, what are the top trends likely to impact learning in the new year – and beyond?

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19th November 2018

According to a survey conducted earlier this year, increasing numbers of secondary schools are cutting back on the creative arts. Fuelled by funding pressures and limited resources, what’s the true cost of cutting creativity from the curriculum?

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19th November 2018

With creativity coming under threat in secondary schools around the country, we share our thoughts on why the arts matter – and how you can ensure your child receives the well-rounded education they deserve.

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19th November 2018

This month we talk to drama tutor Charlotte Wyatt about the important role the arts play in education, and how cultivating creativity benefits students across every discipline.

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24th October 2018

This month, Figtree founder Ariana shares her thoughts on what makes a great tutor, how she goes about finding the right fit for Figtree – and who she’d most like to see join her team.

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24th October 2018

As the demand for private tuition grows, so does the wealth of tutoring talent on offer. From retired schoolteachers to young graduates, English experts to maths masters, the tutoring community is wonderfully diverse – but what does it take to become part of the Figtree family?

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24th October 2018

The private tuition industry is booming. Increasing competition, over-stretched schools and an ever-increasing pace of change are prompting parents to turn to tutors to give their children the edge. But with a proliferation of agencies, freelancers and online giants all promising results, what should parents really be looking for when choosing a tutor for their family?

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19th September 2018

This month we spoke to Kian, a Figtree student and keen tennis player about the benefits of tuition, his hopes for the future and why he’d most like to have dinner with Roger Federer.

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19th September 2018

September – the time of year when children across the country leave the nest and head off to university. But why are increasing numbers choosing to fly that bit further from home and attend colleges in the US? With a 31% increase in British applications to American schools over the last four years, what’s driving students to look Stateside for their further education?

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19th September 2018

This month we reported on the rising number of British students heading to America for their further education. But how do you decide whether this is the right direction for you? We spoke to our US college advisory team to find out what students need to consider when choosing to study abroad.

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23rd August 2018

Get your brain back into gear and get ready for the new school year with our fun, family riddles. Shown to improve memory and boost mental agility, see how many you can solve.

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23rd August 2018

As September approaches, our thoughts inevitably turn to the new school term – and for some, this can be a time of intense anxiety. With children and parents potentially feeling overwhelmed by the impending change, we share our top tips for beating those back-to-school blues.

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23rd August 2018

While the new school year heralds new opportunities, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult time for parents and children alike. With a recent study revealing 61% of parents struggle to sleep at this time of year, what’s causing such anxious nights and stress-filled days?

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25th July 2018

The stressful summer exam period is over, but following the introduction of a new GCSE assessment structure, many students are facing an anxious wait to results day.

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25th July 2018

With this year’s 16-year-olds the first to sit the majority of their GCSEs under the new system, we spoke to some of our Figtree students to find out how the changes affected them – and what year 10 pupils can do to prepare.

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25th July 2018

Give your brain a workout this month with Figtree’s quick-fire quiz. Perfect for long car journeys or rainy afternoons, you’ll need the whole family to crack all twenty questions.

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20th June 2018

According to a survey from activity app Hoop, one in four parents suffers from ‘FOSH’ – fear of the summer holidays. And with increasing numbers of families relying on two, full-time incomes, it’s no wonder that the expense – and sheer logistics – of the summer holidays strike dread into parents’ hearts.

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20th June 2018

Get your summer off to an entertaining start with our fiendish family brainteasers. Designed to get everyone thinking, these riddles are a great way to give the mind a workout and have some fun at the same time.

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24th May 2018

First established in the late 1960s, the International Baccalaureate (IB) was once the preserve of globetrotting families and diplomats’ children. But with 155 schools in the UK now offering the IB to its pupils, and universities placing increasing value on IB applications, the higher education landscape is looking decidedly more global.

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24th May 2018

With increasing numbers of schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of A-levels, how do pupils decide which route to take? A necessary step to further education, it’s vital students make the right choice to ensure they get the very best from their last two years of school. Here are our thoughts on how the two stack up – and what to consider before making a decision.

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24th May 2018

Figtree tutor and One Degree volunteer, Rudi Moghaddam talks to us about maths, mentoring and the magic of a little self-belief.

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19th April 2018

Last year saw the introduction of a new assessment structure for GCSEs across England. Part of a parcel of revisions to the curriculum initiated in 2014, the bulk of the changes to GCSEs come into effect this summer. So what exactly is happening, and what does it mean for students preparing to take their exams in just one month’s time?

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19th April 2018

Studies have shown that stress can adversely impact children’s exam performance. So with changes to the GCSE assessment structure coming into full force this year, proactively coping with stress is more important that ever. Here are our top tips on how to spot – and stay on top – of exam anxiety.

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19th April 2018

Established English tutor, accomplished writer and passionate founder of Figtree’s first creative writing class, Khaled Naim is helping children rediscover the joy of the written word. We talk to Khaled about his tutoring career and how creative writing can benefit students across the curriculum.

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21st March 2018

Whether it’s in preparation for an exam or for support in a specific subject, to boost your child’s confidence or boost their chances of entry to a top school, the decision to start private tuition can be a difficult one.

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23rd February 2018

The Internet continues to revolutionise the way we live at an extraordinary pace, with digital technology now an integral part of family life.

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23rd February 2018

This month, we’re looking at why increasing numbers of students and parents are switching on to the benefits of online tutoring. With the trend clearly here to stay, here are our thoughts on how technology is changing tutoring for the better.

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23rd February 2018

This month we talk to Rishi Sankar, our resident 11-plus expert, on how his former career at the BBC has shaped the tutor he’s become.

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19th January 2018

Social media has become a huge part of the way we interact in the digital age, but a recent report by Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield paints a worrying picture of young children dependent on ‘likes’ and comments for personal affirmation.

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19th January 2018

This month, we reported on a study into social media use by Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield. Her findings raise considerable concerns about children’s increasing dependence on ‘likes’ and comments for acceptance and affirmation. But with social media here to stay, is switching off the answer?

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19th January 2018

This month, we talk to Figtree tutor Aoife Loftus about what makes her tick and the secrets of a successful tutor-student relationship.

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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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