My summer holiday: writing a book!

So, what have we been up to over the summer? Well, the answer is: quite a lot. You may have noticed the more streamlined website. Well that was thing number one. Do let us know what you think. The new website was designed in part to help promote a new project: Gather Round. Gather Round offers workshops and training to schools, with storytelling at its heart. Tuition has continued and Ruth and Paul have worked with West of England Homestays, tutoring French students in English for the 3rd year running. We have also done a bit of relaxing fun with … Continue reading

30 second tips: its or it’s?

The first of our 30 second tips went down well, so now it is time for a second. Today, we are looking at its and it’s. This is one which often confuses people. Hopefully this little clip will give you a way to remember which one you use in which situation.  The first series of our course ‘The mechanics of English’ which gives you more strategies for improving your spelling as well as looking at grammar and application of language, is up and running now. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter or contact us, if you want to be … Continue reading

Cooking – an incredible teaching tool

Cooking is a life skill, an educational tool and also just great fun. It is an excellent way to help children of all ages learn. Cooking enables children to work in a variety of curriculum fields simultaneously. From maths to English, science to geography, history to PSHE, cooking can be the tool which helps children practically explore many areas of education and life, often without even noticing they are learning. I used to teach in a special needs secondary school where cooking was taught both as a subject and as a social activity.  They ran ‘foody-Friday’ where the students planned, budgeted, purchased, … Continue reading

Helping your teenager with English

Whether you are a home educator or your children go to school you are an integral part of your child’s education. Once they get to the teenage years, however, it can be difficult to know how best to help them with their learning. They may see teachers as the only source of knowledge, your own subject confidence may be shaky or feel a little rusty or you may just have run out of ideas. English can be a difficult area to tackle. It is easy to see how those first steps in English, learning to read and write, can be of … Continue reading

What makes a good tutor?

If you want to invest time and money into tuition, you want to be sure that it is good tuition.  You want to make sure that the tutor is good. The big question is, however, what are you looking for and how do you tell?  Here are ten tips to help you choose a tutor. Relationship You need to have a good working relationship with a tutor.  Perhaps the most important things for the success of a learning relationship is that the tutor and tutee can work together. Having a good working relationship can mean different things to different people, … Continue reading

The importance of play

I was reading a paper today, published back in 2012, by Dr David Whitebread from the University of Cambridge. The paper is entitled “The Importance of Play” and it is a review of evidence surrounding children’s need for play. It is interesting to read this report at a time when headlines over the first part of this year have been suggesting that we seem to be heading for earlier and earlier formalised learning and less space for play, as children are not ready when they start primary school. Dr Whitebread’s report opens “‘Play’ is sometimes contrasted with ‘work’ and characterised as a … Continue reading