All posts by JK educate

Anastasia, Wimbledon

SEN

‘What a turnaround, Tania came home from school beaming today as she scored 12/12 in her tables test!!! Dana is doing 7 times tables with her now – thank you! I can’t believe the difference Dana’s maths tutoring has made to Tania – she’s improved so quickly.’

Charlotte, London

What Tutors say…

‘I was really impressed with how efficiently your business seemed to be run, and I absolutely loved the ‘vibe’ I got from your company, it struck me as friendly and compassionate but also rigorous which I think is the perfect combination. I’m not surprised you’re so successful with your students.’

How to prepare your child for the 11+ Exams

One of the most frequent questions that parents ask us at Jaderberg Krais is how best can they prepare their children for the 11+ exams? Practice is one of the most effective ways to prepare for exams, so taking past papers will help get used to the format of the questions, and practising timing will ensure that the right amount of time is spent on each section as appropriate.

For this very reason we developed our successful 11+ mock exam. The mock exam is designed to help prepare all Year 5 students who will be sitting their 11+ secondary school entrance exams in Year 6. It consists of four individual tests: verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning, maths and English. The four tests in one day help children to master their time management and develop their ability to stay calm even if faced with some question types they have not seen before.

The standard and content of these tests are authentic and appropriate for 11+ testing. They have been specifically written by 11+ experts and teachers who have created exam papers for a variety of official purposes and we have commissioned them to reproduce the challenges and standards that will be tested in the 11+ selective secondary school exams.

After the mock exam each child’s work is marked and the results drawn up in a report, which provides detailed recommendations for revision and further teaching to achieve potential. Parents have found this to be particularly helpful as it feeds into the last part of their journey for exam preparation.

Remember every child is different, so developing an appropriate and specific study routine that works is essential. If your child studies best in the morning, start early and take a break at lunchtime. However if your child is more productive at night time, then a larger break earlier on will be best and then the evening can be spent working. Recreation should also be built in to the schedule.

Leave behind the exams as soon as they have been taken. There is nothing more to be done to influence them. However, there is a lot that can be done to improve performance in the next exam to be taken – this is where the efforts should be focused.

Vary revision subjects every evening, always starting with those that are hated, then finishing with those liked best.

Having everything ready well in advance of the exam is imperative – not leaving everything until the day before – for example: where to go, or what you’re supposed to bring. Check rules and requirements; plan routes and journey time. If possible, do a test run of the trip; if not, write down clear directions. How long will it take to get there? Then add on some extra time.

What your child eats can really have an impact on energy levels and focus. Keeping the body and brain well-fuelled, by choosing nutritious concentration food such as: fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries, is a good plan. On exam day, a good meal should be eaten before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but it won’t help when the energy levels drop an hour or so later.

Being well hydrated is essential for the brain to work at it’s best, so make sure plenty of water is available throughout revision, and on the exam day.

Encourage your child to take some deep breaths to relax and ignore everyone around in the moments before the exam starts.

Should your child feel unwell during an exam, remind them that they must make sure the teacher in charge knows. They may receive special consideration, especially if there is a valid case and under-performance.

Finally, some anxiety is to be expected and is useful as it will help to keep students sharp!

If you’d like additional support for your child, contact us about our 11+ tutoring services today.

Stop Press

Michael Gove meets Lorrae and Katie to talk education

On 31st March, we were delighted to be invited to a private meeting with Michael Gove, mixing education with politics; Lorrae pictured next to Michael and Katie taking the photo! It was a pleasure for us to meet him and get to grips with educational issues. We were invited to a special pre-interview reception with a handful of other professionals – mainly heads from local state and independent primary and secondary schools. We found this a great opportunity to catch up with our colleagues the heads of: Channing, South Hampstead High School, St Margaret’s Bushey, Akiva and Hasmonean (to name a few) and a really useful occasion to get the most up to date information from schools – please note all Channing lovers… next year Channing will be even more competitive at the 11+ entrance examination stage, as an extra 20 students will be transferring from the junior school.

For the main event, Michael Gove was questioned in front of an audience of around 300 guests who asked him about his views on education. The subject of school libraries, more stringent teacher qualification levels, anti-Semitism, education in China, Academies and Free Schools all surfaced as we expected and Mr Gove navigated himself expertly mostly agreeing with the audience and then offering his views.

Whilst views may vary and opinions divide, it is clear that Michael Gove is a very charming person, a passionate speaker and a highly accomplished politician.

31.03.14

11 + Maths Problems

solving summer holiday workshops….

With CEM and others trying to make 11+ exams “tutor-proof”, more questions are going to need a problem-solving mindset. We have found this to be a relatively weak area for many students who are sitting their entrance exams in September and January, so we are offering a special workshop to address this area with one of our top 11+ maths specialists.

See details below:

JKT Problem Solving and Puzzles Workshop

Two identical workshop sessions will take place at the
beginning and end of the summer holidays.

Workshop 1: Wednesday 30th July 2014.
Workshop 2: Thursday 28th August 2014.
Time: 9am-1pm.

Address: 3 Wisteria Close, Mill Hill, London, NW7 2HZ.

Format: The morning will be split into 40 minute sessions.
Each session will have a theme such as code-breaking,
shapes within shapes, logic puzzles along with more classic
problems such as lines and spaces, and simultaneous equation,
all at 11+ levels.

The first session will start with some teasers that students tackle in small groups. Students will be encouraged to understand the strategy behind solving these. Then they will move onto specific themes for the next sessions. Short breaks will be taken between sessions for students to discuss techniques and successful strategies.

At the end of the morning there will be a general review and students will be given some puzzles and problems to take home – with answers for parents!

The price per child for the morning is £125. If you think your child would benefit from this workshop please contact Katie Krais directly on: 020 3488 0754.

Should I be thinking about a scholarship for my child?

Most scholarships are offered solely on outstanding academic performance of the child – those that come top in their exams
or display a particular talent. No additional examinations are set
for these academic awards and it is not necessary to apply for
them as they will be offered by the school automatically if they
feel it is appropriate.

Specialist scholarships, for example in music, are applied for in advance and your child will be asked to sit an additional test based on your child’s aptitude in this specialist area. The size of the scholarship, sometimes known as an ‘exhibition’, varies depending on the calibre of the individual child and how much the school wants them. Top scholarships usually go up to fifty percent of the school fees, but more common offers are between fifteen and twenty-five percent.

If you wish to apply for a bursary, your child will still have to show academic talent. Bursaries may cover anything from ten to one hundred percent of the school feels. You will be asked to fill in a form which will require giving information about your family’s financial circumstances – a form of means testing – based on:
income pensions tax and national insurance paid out any rent or mortgage that is paid the value of your property other assets, savings and capital liabilities

This is required to ensure that support is provided to those with the greatest need. Schools will consider each case on its own merits taking into account the total family income and assets and liabilities. Schools say they aim to be as sensitive and flexible as possible in allocating the finite funds they have. There is usually a maximum level set for each school with regards to a family yearly income, above which a bursary would not be considered. This level varies from school to school so it is important to find out what this level is before filling in the form. Most schools review their bursaries annually and a change in family circumstances will often result in a change to the amount of assistance that can be provided.

In addition, support is often available for extracurricular activities that benefit a pupil’s education, such as academic trips.

11 + Interview Skills

TOP UP YOUR CHILD’S CONFIDENCE!!!!

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

We know the value that private schools place on their interview selection process. They want to get a close look at whether a candidate would be suitable for their school, complement the other children and be happy.

At JK Educate we believe that it is vitally important for
each child to approach their school interviews with confidence.
That is why we offer a bespoke interview preparation session
with all of our Year 6 students sitting the independent school
exams. Feedback from previous years has shown us that it is
incredibly helpful and reassuring for our students.

All schools interview differently.  Some have individual interviews, some paired and some in groups.  Katie runs through how the interview process works, what types of questions might be asked and how the children might like to consider their answers to these questions. It is really important that the answers come from the children, not from Katie, or the parent, but this preparatory session gives children the time to think in advance about their answers so they will be more confident on the day.  Katie also runs through other top tips for the interview day for students AND parents and also carries out a mock English oral test with the children.

Interview preparation sessions take place in Hampstead Garden Suburb office and cost £200 for the hour. One parent is requested to stay with their child during this hour, so that tips and suggestions can be practised at home before the big day!

If you would like any further information or would like to book a session please call Katie Krais on: 020 3488 0754.

Congratulations to all of our 11+ students!!!

Our students and tutors have consistently worked hard and
the results have been excellent. What has made our results
so successful?

Preparing for the 11+ is an extremely specialised task for the
resilient and not the faint hearted. Children need to be prepared to work really hard, give up lots of their free time, take the knocks as they come and stay focused throughout, knowing they may not make it – despite their best efforts.

Every year is different: schools change the dates and formats of their exams; cohorts are more or less challenging and the competition is becoming increasingly more difficult. Why is that?

It seems to us that parents are becoming even more unhappy with the education offered by some schools and have decided they want to give their children the opportunity for something better.

At Jaderberg Krais, we set about to provide everything for parents and children who wish to take the 11+ exams, helping through assessment to advise if they should consider the 11+ option and if so, how to do it. We provide the answers and the tutoring to make it happen.

It is imperative that all children are assessed before parents decide whether to start tutoring for the 11+ exams. Parents must know with accuracy if their child is clever enough, if they have the potential to pass the exams and how much learning will need to take place and for how long. This is a specialised piece of work and we provide everything you need to know to make the right decision about whether to tutor, when to start and which school exams to sit for.
A priority for us, throughout the whole exam process, is to empower parents to make the right decisions for their children with regards to schools – ensuring that their children not just go to a school where they will reach their full academic potential, but also a school where they will be happy! Children learn so much better in these environments.

As the results are finally out and the school offers have arrived, it is so clear that our original assessments have provided a consistently accurate basis upon which to make the decision to enter the 11+ exams and to tutor in order to be successful.

Times are changing, parents are looking for the right educational options for their children’s secondary schools – and we are here to help!

Well done again to all of our Y6 students who have received their independent and state school offers over the past weeks – the range of offers has been exceptional ranging from Westminster to Latymer, North London Collegiate to Henrietta Barnet and St Paul’s to Queen Elizabeth School. Our children and tutors have all performed to the best of their ability and they deserve the incredible success they have achieved.

04.03.14

Learn more about our 11+ tutoring services today.

Happy at school

How do you know if your child would pass the state selective secondary 11 + exams and then be happy at school?

This question is critical when considering the state selective secondary school options for your child. Are all children suitable for state selective secondary schools? Definitely not. It’s an incredibly challenging exam and journey to attempt.

For the right child, it’s a dream come true: life changing. For the wrong child, a potential disaster; a harmful exercise which may result in lowered self-esteem and feelings of failure for a lifetime.

The only way to approach this is to know precisely how suitable your child may, or may not be. Ask for their current and predicted national curriculum levels in maths and English at school. Better still, have an independent assessment which measures not only current achievement, but your child’s academic future potential as well.

If your child has the potential to pass these exams, then learning the curriculum and the exam strategies should follow fairly easily with effort and commitment by both parent and child.

So, how bright does your child need to be to gain a place at a state selective secondary school?

They need a high level of reasoning ability, to solve complex multi-tiered problems quickly and accurately. They need a high standard at maths and English and able to work quickly and accurately in both subjects. One parents idea of ‘high level’ may be quite different to another’s,  and similarly being on the ‘top table’ in one primary school for maths and English, may not equate with another primary school; it will depend on the cohort of children in the year group.

It is wrong for children to feel like a failure at the age of 11years old, because they were entered for an exam they had no chance of passing and failed to achieve a place at the chosen state selective secondary school. Why would you want to enter your child for a competition they were never going to win? Some say, for the experience, or on the off chance they get in. That is an experience they can definitely do without.

Another way to look at this is from the very bright child’s perspective. This child finds maths and English relatively easy and seems to do very well, always near the top of the class each year. This child is likely to pass the assessment and then have some light tutoring before sitting these exams; the exams are demanding and tutoring preparation makes it less stressful for the child and their parents. This route also ensures coverage of the correct maths and English curriculum that will be tested in September of Year 6. Additional curriculum input is needed to be successful, as the curriculum learnt during Year 5 will not have covered the areas to be examined in sufficient range or depth. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning strategies may also be needed, similarly mathematical reasoning strategies and finding missing vocabulary words in context.

Timing will need to be practised; working at a speed at 30 seconds a question and being able to process fast auditory instructions accurately are also being tested, combined with curriculum knowledge and methods.

From the bright child’s perspective, the exams should feel manageable and exciting, a welcome challenge; almost game-like.

How different is the view from another perspective, a child who hasn’t been assessed, is achieving well in school due to hours of practice, teaching and learning that this child has had over a prolonged period – often years of individual tutoring to keep up this level of achievement. This child is bright, but naturally is just above average, in the lower end of the top 25% of children, rather than the top 5%.

As the exams approach, this child’s levels stay much the same, and little real additional progress is made. The lack of success begins to eat at their confidence and creates a sense of despair, panic, failure and disappointment by the student, and some bewilderment by the parents as they struggle to try and understand why their child is not doing better after all the tutoring and hard work. Often tutors get the blame -the same tutors who didn’t suggest an assessment and are tutoring according to parental wishes rather than professional integrity; an irresponsible approach based on hope rather than facts.

And what happens if that child should be offered a place, by some random multiple choice probability advantage? What then? Possibly several years of misery, as the stark reality of trying to keep up with the work and their peers in this demanding new academic environment quickly takes its toll, resulting in despondency, sometimes deviance and often feelings and fears of failure.

So the question for parents is not just about which schools to choose, but also how do you know if your child would be successful long term with this choice? Not just to pass the exam, but to be happy, to thrive and flourish long term in an environment that should be as near to perfect for them as possible.

Think long term happiness, rather than short term gain.
Your child’s happiness has to be the most important factor.

A naturally clever child in the top 5% will be happy in a state selective school if it is right for them culturally, and they pass the entrance exam comfortably. A child in the top 25% at the lower end, may be happier in their local state secondary school in the top sets working at their own pace without the unrealistic pressures they might have faced.

In the end, both children will sit the same GCSEs and A Levels and have the same opportunities to go to the same universities. Providing the teaching in both school is excellent, and the personal aspirations of the student are realistic and ambitious, your child should fulfil their potential, whichever school they attend.

With your realism, support and belief behind them, they will always be a winner.

Jaderberg Krais offer educational advice, assessments and tutoring for all children, including the 11+.

If you would like more information contact Lorrae Jaderberg and Katie Krais on: 020 3488 0754.

Dyscalculia

To provide an insight into dyscalculia and what it entails, we commissioned a short film‘….Sorry, Wrong Number’ with Professor Butterworth and Alex Gabbay.

Dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.

Children with dyscalculia find calculating using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) difficult. Approximately three to six percent of the population are affected. These children only have difficulties with these aspects of maths, while other areas of their learning are not affected and intellectually they may be average to outstanding. Dyscalculia appears to be prevalent in more males than females.

It is important to discriminate between children with difficulties and those with dyscalculia. For example, some children have poor attention, working memory or special skills and may find maths difficult, but they are not necessarily dyscalculic. They can make progress with maths in a way that children with dyscalculia can’t. ‘Catch up’ is not possible for dyscalculic children, and they need extra help from a specialist teacher as early as possible. They don’t have a natural feel for quantities of numbers (number sense); a conceptual understanding of number or relative sizes; they can’t tell ‘how many’ without counting in ones; see number patterns; or understand the place value system. They experience problems with all aspects of money (an abstract concept), have a noticeable delay in learning to read an analogue clock and managing time. They have memory problems and find it demoralising that they constantly forget what they learn. They do not enjoy number work, so they develop avoidance strategies, such as going to the toilet and offering to do jobs in the classroom!

To address their difficulties.

Dyscalculic children need specially-designed teaching programmes that encourage active participation and make learning maths fun and positive. This can be accomplished by using concrete materials that children can see and feel, to make better sense of numbers, which are very abstract.

What can parents and teachers do to help?

There are activities and strategies that can be introduced immediately, e.g. using computer games or learning through games and game cards instead of drilling arithmetic facts. Calculators may be used instead of memorising. Many people who do not have facts well-memorised, may still be very good at maths.

Try to focus on your child’s understanding, especially of quantity, and use concrete materials to help link mathematical symbols to quantity, for example use counting rods (Cuisenaire), number strings, dice, dot patterns, caterpillar tracks and counters.
Start at a level which your child is comfortable with, so that they experience some success, and slowly move to more difficult areas. Provide lots of practise for new skills and concepts, and reduce the need for memorisation by linking facts using logic. Ask a lot of questions to engage your child and get them thinking about their own thinking. Finally, make learning active, and as much fun as possible!

To find out more about Professor Butterworth’s work, go to mathematicalbrain.com.