Case Study

Ryan at Genie Tutors for 11+


Ryan is a Year 5 pupil who will be taking his 11+ this September.


His mother, Diane, enrolled him in private tuition in December last year to give him some grounding in all his subjects and help improve his exam techniques. “Al has always been pretty good at school. In fact, he’s excellent at maths but his literacy has never been quite so good.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I was becoming acutely aware that the 11 plus was fast approaching and it now includes some creative writing, so we probably needed to start making improvements sooner rather than later. We live way outside the catchment area for the nearest grammar school, so Al can’t just rely on a mediocre mark – he’ll have to pass with flying colours in order to get a place. We enrolled him with Genie Tutors in December and he goes for an hour and a half each week.

He really enjoys it and it helps that he goes with a friend. They learn in a small group of around five children and the lessons cover everything they’ll need for the 11 plus, so it’s a really good mixture of maths, literacy, comprehension, creative writing and verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

The tuition is also giving him some good grounding in exam techniques so it should stand him in really good stead come September. Obviously, we won’t be able to fully evaluate the progress he’s made until he’s sat the exams, but he’s doing so well in his mocks, I’m very optimistic. It seems that with every exam, I can see improvements, even with his literacy. Often, he would get results that were quite near the top of the class, but now he’s regularly right at the top and as you can imagine, that’s given him a huge confidence boost.

He was recently given a Level 6 maths paper to tackle. It was one that only a few pupils are given because there aren’t many who can cope with the higher level. He got an amazing result and it’s a real reflection on what he’ll be able to undertake next year.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][us_cta title=”Learn how to get results like Ryan” color=”custom” bg_color=”#fd8209″ text_color=”#000000″ btn_link=”|||” btn_label=”Request a call back”][/us_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]


School Report – Maths Conquered

Problem Solved: how tutoring helped an 11-year-old boost her Maths in her school report

Proud parent Winnie sent her 11-year-old daughter Ayden to Genie Tutors hoping to improve her maths grades. With an entrance exam to a local independent secondary school looming, as well as the long anticipated year 6 school report, getting Ayden’s Maths up to scratch was more important than ever. This final report could make or break her secondary education. As Winnie told me, ‘… secondary schools have high expectations. They work at a high level.’

Ayden has always been interested in English and has a natural passion for books and reading. However, when it comes to equations and sums she’s always found it more difficult to focus. She would neglect her maths homework and slip behind in class as a result. Teachers became frustrated and warned Winnie that, although her daughter was a bright girl, she could seriously fall behind if she didn’t begin to pay attention to her Maths. Winnie was determined that this would not be the case. When the family relocated to Birmingham, Winnie chose Genie Tutors on a recommendation from a friend and enrolled Ayden for extracurricular maths classes.

Soon her daughter began to settle in and her Maths gradually started to improve. This was largely thanks to her tutor, Azam, who she has begun to develop a bond with. ‘She’ll always ask Ayden to give the reason for her answer whether it’s right or wrong’, explains Winnie. Ayden’s school also began to give her ten minutes of maths homework a day. These small chunks, in tandem with the tuition she received at Genie Tutors, rapidly gained results. ‘I think the reason the tuition and extra homework have helped so much is that it’s kept Maths at the forefront of her mind’, said Winnie.

When Ayden arrived home with her end-of-year school report in her bag, Winnie opened it with anticipation. Ayden had always received praise from most of her teachers – she was worried because she knew that Maths had been a problem.

The report was brilliant, stating that Ayden had improved in leaps and bounds, and not only had she reached her target grade for the year but had exceeded it in all subjects. How did Winnie feel when she opened that glowing report?

‘Amazing. She’s a bright child. The school reports were saying that, however they were saying her Maths could let her down. She’s good at learning, she’s good in a classroom environment, but her Maths could let her down. So when I got her grades, I was really pleased. She’d also just sat an entrance exam for a Solihull School – a local independent school and passed. Ayden will continue to attend Genie Tutors after she starts her secondary education, something that is being recommended by her new teachers at Solihull School.’

Would you recommend Genie Tutors? ‘Yes, it’s helped. She needed extra help for Maths at school and I’m impressed with Ayden’s progress.’

We wish her the best of luck!

Could your child benefit from extra tuition so you can get a great school report like Ayden? If you’d like you see your child make progress every week, click here to contact us for your free trial session.

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Preparing for KS2 SATS Tests – in a nutshell

What’s it all about?

If your child is in year 6, chances are the hot topic at this time of year is the impending KS2 SATS Tests, which take place in the Summer term. For many children, this will be their first experience of public examinations and they will naturally be feeling nervous and maybe even scared at the prospect of facing the tests. As parents, you’re probably just as nervous, wondering what it’s all about and how you can help.

Why do we have KS2 SATS Tests?

The true purpose of KS2 SATS Tests is to help you and your child, as well as the teachers, to establish the strengths and weaknesses which will make sure your child is placed in the correct sets to gain the support they need to achieve future success.

Your child’s main target is to do as well as he/she can. The results from the SATs will provide secondary schools with information which will be used to establish which sets your child will go into when they start in year 7.

Preparing for SATS exams

Schools follow the National Curriculum, and teachers will provide children practice with past exam papers and sample activities to familiarise them with the exam procedures, but supposing your child needs a little more help?

Many parents don’t feel able to help as much as they’d like to. Perhaps you don’t feel qualified, or confident enough, or maybe, like most of us, you don’t have the time or inclination to encroach on family time by insisting your child spends his / her spare time working at home.

You can help most by talking with your children and making sure that they don’t feel unduly pressured. There are some excellent websites like,  where pupils can practise multiple choice questions online in all the relevant topics.

Let us ease the pressure

Have you considered the benefits of tuition? At Genie Tutors, we offer support which focusses directly on your child’s needs and concerns. They have the opportunity to mix with other like-minded children and to have their questions answered promptly, with immediate feedback on their work, including help with homework and exam practice, leaving you free to spend your family time on the ‘fun stuff’, because we all know they need plenty of that too.

Click here to request your free trial and find help for your child preparing for SATS exams.

When are the SATS?

The KS2 SATS Tests begin on 8th May 2017, which, at the time of writing, is a mere 110 days from now.

Date Activity
Monday 8 May 2017 English reading
Tuesday 9 May 2017 English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: questions
English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling
Wednesday 10 May 2017 Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic
Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning
Thursday 11 May 2017 Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning



Resolve to Make 2017 your Year for GCSE Exam Success

New Year Resolutions for students facing SATs and GCSE Exams

At this time of year, many of us take the opportunity to make improvements in our lives. Giving up bad habits, taking up good ones; setting ourselves new goals and planning for ways to fulfil them. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that we can apply these practices to education, with a view to helping our youngsters plan for success in their exams this year. Whether your children are preparing for 11+, SATs or GCSE exams over the next few months, here are a few resolutions which will help them to achieve their best results.

Setting targets

Make sure you know what you’re aiming for. By now, schools will have covered most, if not all, of the syllabus content for SATs and GCSE exams.  Now is the time for filling the gaps and making those resolutions to help you get organised for success. Each resolution should begin with “I WILL”, leaving no room to back out of our good intentions. Above all, our resolutions need to be realistic.  Nothing but disappointment can be generated by setting goals which are beyond our reach. So, set a realistic target to aim for, something you can achieve within the next few months; then plan the route to achieving it.

 GCSE Exams – English Example

Resolution: I WILL raise the standard of my essay writing.

Steps to success:

  • Read the question thoroughly (and any supporting sources or texts).
  • Plan my response, remembering P E E structure for paragraphs.
  • Ensure that my essay has a strong opening and a clear conclusion.
  • Check my grammar and punctuation.

KS2 Maths SATs Example:

Resolution: I WILL improve the accuracy of my number work.

Steps to success:

  • Make a chart of Times Tables, and post it where I will see it every day. (Learn the tables by heart.)
  • Practise number bonds up to 100.
  • Ask my teacher or tutor for extra help on topics I struggle with.
  • Write down how I work out word problems. It will help me to understand the process.

There are many other possibilities, but these examples will help to demonstrate that no step is too small to be useful, and no target is insignificant. Taking the right steps now will make a massive difference to your child’s study skills and subsequent progress.

Extra Help is Available

Of course, no-one has to face this alone. Whether you are studying for GCSE Exams, for SATs or for the 11+, there is always help available. For further details of how we can help, you can request a call back from a Tutor at Genie Tutors.


BLOG EDUCATION Fun Games Recreation

Christmas Family Games for Kids

Christmas is almost here, so I’d like to share a few ideas about Christmas family games for kids that can be played anywhere with a minimum of fuss and preparation – ways to get the whole family involved in fun activities that are also helping the kids to learn.

There will be loads of electronic and traditional board games around, I’m sure; but our games don’t require any batteries, power supplies or special equipment and are great fun for children and adults.

Christmas 60 seconds

Slips of paper containing Christmas topics (shopping, presents, decorations etc.) are placed in a Santa hat. A player has to draw a topic and then talk about it for one minute. This can be timed with a smart phone or stop watch. The other players have to ‘buzz’ in if there is any hesitation, repetition or straying off-topic.

Christmas 20 Questions

Christmas words (with pictures for younger children) are placed in a Santa hat. Players take it in turns to pick a word and keep it concealed while the other players ask 20 questions to try and guess the word. The player holding the word can only answer “yes” or “no” to the questions.

Christmas Alphabet Challenge

Each player needs a pen / pencil and some paper – the game is to see who can be the first to find a Christmas themed word or phrase for each letter of the alphabet. For younger children, this game works well as a spoken game where players take letters of the alphabet in turn to come up with a word.

(It’s harder than it seems – last year, my family invented the Christmas Zebra as we couldn’t think of a ‘Z’ word!)

I went Christmas shopping …

Of course, even Christmas games for kids have to remember that Christmas isn’t Christmas without any presents, so here’s a shopping game.

Player 1 starts by saying, “I went Christmas shopping and I bought an apple for Anne”.  Each subsequent player then has to repeat the previous player’s list and add a gift and its recipient beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. Eg: I went Christmas shopping and I bought an apple for Anne, a bike for Brian, a car for Chris, etc.

What’s left in the stocking?

A number of festive items are laid out on a tray and the players have to look at them for one minute. Then, the items are removed and placed in a Christmas Stocking. The youngest child goes first and removes one of the items without letting anyone else see it. Everything is then laid out again and the first person to spot which item is missing gets to remove the next one.

The list goes on …

The possibilities are endless, so why not go ahead and create your own Christmas family games for kids?

Of course, we’d love to hear from you if you’re seeking tuition for your children at any level. You only have to click the link to request a call back.

All that remains now is to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year from Genie Tutors.


OFSTED Childcare Vouchers for Tuition

Did you know that you – as working parents – can save up to 40% of the cost of tuition with Genie Tutors and OFSTED childcare vouchers? As long as you, or your partner, are in employment, getting childcare vouchers for tuition is easy!

Child Care Vouchers – for Employed Parents

OFSTED Childcare vouchers are available to employed parents, for use solely at approved centres like Genie Tutors.

How the scheme works

The childcare voucher scheme was introduced, following a Government initiative, to allow working parents to set aside up to £55 per week, or £243 per month, from their earnings to pay for vouchers for childcare. This ‘salary sacrifice’, as it is called, is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance deductions, which means that you will SAVE money and get more vouchers.

Let’s look at some figures

Of course, everyone’s situation is different, so these figures aren’t set in stone, but here are a couple of examples:

If you pay tax at the standard rate, it’s possible to save over £900 per year. Higher rate tax payers could still save over £600.  That’s a lot of extra support for your children.

You’ll find more detailed information here:

Once you’re enrolled in the scheme, you can use your vouchers to help pay for childcare, after school clubs and activities, or even tuition, reducing your cash outlay.

Using your vouchers

Approved childcare providers, like Genie Tutors, are more than happy to accept OFSTED childcare vouchers as payment, enabling more children to receive the benefits of additional support as they work towards their goals in education.

Want to know more?

To find out more about using childcare vouchers for tuition, why not request a call back from Genie Tutors and discover what we can do to help you and your child feel the benefit of your salary sacrifice.

Some useful links


Mock GCSE Exams Don’t Have to be a Real Pain

Are you feeling the pressure?

The nights are drawing in and year 11 pupils everywhere are screaming and tearing their hair out. No, it’s not the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse – or even the latest dance craze – it’s the realisation that the Mock GCSE Exams are almost here and that the ‘real things’ are just around the corner.

Tips and tricks to ease the pressure.

As a tutor, I’m often asked for advice about revision techniques that actually work. Parents and students are all seeking a sure-fire route to GCSE exam success. The Internet is full of revision websites, offering everything from free chatrooms and discussion forums to online activities and worksheets. A particular favourite of mine is where you can practise almost any subject at all levels, but there are scores of similar sites and finding them can be an education in itself.

How Can Tuition Help?

Tuition can provide a great deal of support with revision. In a small group, led by a specialist teacher, it is often possible to address those finer points that may get overlooked in the more pressured situation of the school classroom. It’s easier to share ideas and discussions in small groups and the tutors have more time to work with you as an individual on aspects of the subject which you find difficult.

You hold all the answers …

In the end, the real key to GCSE exam success lies within you. You’ve put in the work; you’ve attended the classes. Now all you have to do is stay calm and show the world what you’re made of. A few notes of the key points, a bucket load of self-belief and you’re on your way.

The Night Before

Let’s face it – what you don’t know by now, you’re unlikely to learn in the next few hours. The night before an exam is not about intensive study. It needs to be about preparing yourself, physically and mentally, for the challenge ahead.

I always advise my students to restrict the last-minute cramming to a quick read-through of their notes. Other than that, it’s best to make sure that you have all your equipment ready and try to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Nothing hampers your performance quite like falling asleep.

And finally,

It’s exam day! Make sure you get up on time, have a good healthy breakfast and above all – DON’T PANIC! You can do this, and the ‘mocks’ are meant to show where you need to apply the ‘tweaks’ to get your best possible grades in the finals.

We’re right behind you – Good luck!

For further advice about GCSE Exams, contact Genie Tutors and find out how you can plan for success and achieve the grades you need…


You’ve had Parents Evening – What Next?

How to turn a bad parents’ evening into success

It’s a shock when the school says your child is under-achieving. We’ve all been there – but how can you help?

The Starting Point:

You’ll probably have some targets set by the teacher, maybe a list of recommended books; but do you really know how to go about giving your child the right support and encouragement?

Have you thought of having a chat with your child to make sure that the targets are agreed and understood?  This will put you in a better position to move forward together towards success.

The Key to Success:

Your child is unique and there may be many reasons why success isn’t happening right now. In a class of 30 pupils, the average teacher rarely has the time to address every child’s individual needs.

It may be a good idea to reinforce the idea that there is a point to learning, apart from in the context of school. There are many ways adults can demonstrate the value of education without delivering a lecture.

  • Reading, writing, doing puzzles (crosswords, word search, Sudoku etc.)
  • Educational games.
  • Cooking, shopping, measuring etc.

All of these emphasise the value of basic numeracy and literacy, and can be a great source of fun for parents and children to do together.

A Little Expert Help:

Of course, sometimes you need to call in the cavalry. Many children benefit from the opportunity to study with friends or older siblings.  Sometimes, the answer is to seek tuition from someone with the knowledge and skills to help your child fill the gaps and overcome the present difficulties. A private tutor can help your child to address those parents’ evening targets, and you – as parents – to cut through the jargon and be a real support. At Genie Tutors, we can help.

Working Together

Genie Tutors are here to offer support, advice and encouragement to you and your child, as you take those crucial steps towards success.

We work with parents and pupils to meet individual needs and tutors are available for individual feedback after every session – you’ll never have to wait until parents’ evening again – so you can share your child’s success, every step of the way.