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Maths GCSE Tuition Helps Georgia

Georgia is taking her GCSEs next year and she wants to achieve good grades in all of her subjects and needed some maths GCSE Tuition. Like many students Georgia leads a busy life. She has an interest in the performing arts and has participated in local amateur dramatic productions. The last production she was involved in was a musical. Her mum told me that she is very aware of the issues effecting the world which leads to some very interesting debates over the diner table.

When she leaves school Georgia would like a career in drama. She is realistic enough to realise that she will need a lot of luck as well as talent to make it in that industry. She is also considering a role in teaching – perhaps drama, English or both which means she needs to go to college and University.

At school Georgia has strengths in the humanities. She likes English and history amongst the other subjects she is studying and has a talent for Spanish. Her mum told me that her teachers are pleased with her progress but she has difficulty with maths. Georgia understands that maths is an important key subject.

“I need to achieve a good grade in the subject to pursue my goals.”

Georgia’s bother had previously attended a Genie Tutors. He found it very useful so Georgia started with a Maths GCSE Tuition class in Harborne. Before starting with Genie, Georgia was due to sit the foundation level maths exam. Her teachers predicted grade 5.

Maths GCSE Tuition Means Progress Achieved

Working with Georgia her tutor took her back to the basics of maths. She made sure that Georgia had a good understanding of the underlying principles of the subject before moving on to the more complex areas. Georgia now has a newly found confidence with maths which has resulted in her moving from the foundation level GCSE exam to the Higher paper.

Georgia is obviously delighted. She is now pushing for higher grades with her newly found skills in Maths. Her parents are also tremendously pleased with the improvement.





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Birmingham Grammar Schools – How to Apply

Grammar Schools in Birmingham

There are eight Grammar Schools in Birmingham:

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School for Boys

King Edward VI Aston School

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls

King Edward VI Five Ways School

King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls

King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys

Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls

They all:
• Offer an outstanding rounded education
• Achieve top position in national league tables
• Offer an excellent range of extra-curricular activities

Which is best for my child ?

All of the Grammar schools in Birmingham offer outstanding academic opportunities for their students. After school and extra – curricular activities cater for most interests. The best way to find out what a school is like and gauge suitability is to go and visit it. The dates of school open days are given on the individual schools websites (Links above).


Entrance to Grammar schools in Birmingham is mainly by test. There are a few other criteria that schools use in conjunction with test results in offering places. To be eligible to take the test your child needs to be registered. This can be done online

Criteria for Registration

If your son or daughter was born between 1st September 2007 and 31st August 2008, you can register them to sit the test for entry in September 2019. There is no need to live in Birmingham to attend Birmingham Grammar  schools but before applying think about  the travelling time for your child on top of a very full school day.
There are 1272 placesexce available for children aged 11 in September 2019. Grammar schools are extremely popular and entry is very competitive. Not every child achieving the qualifying score can be offered a place.

If you intend that your child sits the test in September 2018 for entry in September 2019 you must submit the  Test Registration Form online by 4pm on Friday 29th June 2018.

The Test

This year the test will be held on Saturday 8th September 2018.

The entrance test is made up of two separate tests. Each lasts approximately 50 minutes and is
be divided into smaller, individually timed sections which test:

• Verbal ability

• Reading comprehension

• Non-verbal ability

• Numerical ability

Most of the questions will take a multiple-choice format.  The scores for each section are standardised to take account of differences in age and then added together resulting in a total rounded score which is used to make offers.

Special Arrangements

If your child has a disability and/or requires additional resources to sit the test, please ensure that The Grammar Schools inBirmingham is notified by email via You willbe asked to complete a form describing your child’s disability/needs and to supply detailed medical evidence. The completed form needs to be returned by Wednesday 20th June 2018.

If your child is unable to sit the test on Saturdays for religious reasons, an alternative date can normally  be arranged if you submit a supporting letter from your religious leader.
Supporting evidence for any alternative date requests must be submitted by 29th June 2018.


You will receive your child’s test score in writing by Friday 12th October, together with the minimum scores required for entry in the previous 3 years.

Having this information available before you complete your child’s Local Authority preference form will enable you to make an informed decision about the likelihood of your child obtaining a grammar school place.

Preference Application Form

The Local Authority preference form allows you to list the schools, in order of preference,  that you would like your child to attend. You can apply to more than one Grammar School and up to 6 schools in total.

All Local Authorities operate an equal preference system. This means if your child meets the criteria for two or more schools,your Local Authority will offer you a place at the school you have ranked highest on the Local Authority preference form. If you put a grammar school first on your Local Authority preference form, but your child is not successful in the entrance test, you will not put at risk your chance of being offered a place at any other school you have listed. Your child’s application for other schools will be treated in the same
way as every other application. For example, it will depend on the distance between your home and the school for most community schools.

Preference forms must be submitted to your home Local Authority by 31st October 2018.


To maximise chances of getting a good score in the test and therefore securing a place at Grammar School children need to be properly prepared to take the test.

Details of familiarisation questions and the format of the test will be sent to you upon receipt of your completed registration form.  A range of publications designed to assist preparation for school admission tests are available from leading bookshops or online. In addition or as an alternative Genie Tutors offers 11+ specific tuition groups at its Tuition Centres throughout Birmingham. These specialised groups are run by fully qualified teachers with  experience in teaching pupils the skills needed to achieve a place at Grammar School. If you are interested in discovering how Genie can help your child achieve the scores they deserve please get in touch.

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The Summer Slump – How much do your children forget during the summer holidays

How much school work will your children forget over the summer holidays ?

Yes, I know, the summer holidays are not here yet and I’m thinking about the new school year. This is because the period between the end of the summer term and the start of the new school year is vitally important in helping your child achieve the grades they want and deserve.

Educational professionals know that our long summer school holidays lead to a “summer slump,” where students forget some of what they learned over the school year. What does the evidence say about summer learning loss.

It’s complicated

There is no one straight answer to the question of how much will my child forget over the summer? A systematic review of 39 studies published in 1996 found summer loss equals about one month of classroom learning, and students tended to regress more in maths skills compared to reading skills.

A 2007 study by  John Hopkins University examined data from a nationally-representative sample. They found the achievement gap at year 10 mainly traces back to differences in summer learning activities during years 2 to 6. Those that undertook some form of continued learning during the summer break forgot less than those that didn’t. A 2011 study found students can lose up to two grade levels of reading skills due to summer reading loss by the time they reach year 7.Now that’s a lot!

What can I do to reduce how much my child forgets ?

The evidence clearly demonstrates that summer learning loss is a problem So, what are the solutions?

Harvard University published a study  in 2013 that found summer holiday reading activities for children in year 1 through to year 9  improved reading abilities.

In a study published in June 2017, 6 and 7 year-olds who participated in a structured reading program at their local YMCA showed no signs for summer reading loss.

Children do forget skills and knowledge learned in the previous school year. But if families and educators encourage children to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer, students may not only maintain, but improve their knowledge.

Now is the time to start thinking about a summer learning scheme for your children. Whether you play maths games on a car journey trying to calculate how many miles are left or are using online resources such  as , or remember to keep it fun. Children learn so much more when they are enjoying what they are doing.

You might also consider having a look at how Genie Tutors can help reverse the summer slump. Genie Tutors is open though out the summer holidays and can provide your children with an hour a week of maths and English tuition to help them keep on top of their academic achievements and give them a good start for the new school year.

Think about it – how are you going to help your children this summer?

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How Can You Avoid Exam Anxiety


Experiencing exam anxiety is normal. As long as the levels of anxiety or stress do not overwhelm you it can be beneficial. Normal levels of anxiety can aid your performance.

Anxiety can cause:

  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Short temper and irritability
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Poor appetite or comfort eating

Causes of Anxiety

Take some time to think about why you might be feeling anxious. Once you understand what is causing your anxiety you are better able to reduce its effects. There are lots of causes of anxiety and stress where exams are concerned:

  • Being a  bit of a worrier by nature
  • Being poorly prepared for the upcoming exams
  • Bad experiences in previous exams

Reducing Exam Anxiety

If you are a bit of a worrier by nature or had bad experiences in past exams your levels of anxiety can be reduced by making an early start of your revision. Six to eight weeks before the exam is probably soon enough. Take enough time to do yourself justice. Remember revision is just that- it is about seeing something again and refreshing your knowledge. It is not about new work. If you have worked at a steady pace throughout the year revision should be straight forward. As you revise you will see that you know than you thought you did. This will help reduce your levels of anxiety and stress.

Before the Exams

It is only natural and perfectly normal to feel anxious before exams get under way. Remember, everybody will feel similar emotions. Even top performers in the world of entertainment feel very anxious before their performance. You are therefore in good company!

Planning your revision timetable will help you. Make your plan and stick to it ! Read our blog on revision for tips .

  • set aside plenty of time for revision
  • sort through your notes and focus on essential material
  • Be active in your revision – make notes and summaries of notes
  • Revise for short periods of time so that you stay fresh and focussed
  • Break up your revision timetable between subjects and tasks
  • Mix  reading notes with writing summaries and testing yourself.

Take Proper Breaks

Studying 24/7 is not a good idea. You will become exhausted long before the actual exams. Instead try to divide your days into 180 minute slots. Three of these slots gives you a 9 hour day. Revise for one slot, rest for the next slot and revise for the final slot. Try to take one day a week off – no revision at all!

Try to keep up with your other activities. It is important that you get the balance between study and leisure. Avoid anything that promises ‘unlimited energy’. There is no such thing and having too much caffeine in you system could be detrimental to your sleeping.

Try to exercise regularly. Swimming, Jogging, Football etc will help take your mind of study and your exams and reduce anxiety. There are also a number of simple meditation techniques that can help you relax and reduce your levels of anxiety. The following link provides some useful information and simple techniques.


Panic the Night Before

Sometimes you have been feeling calm during your revision period. Then panic sets in the night before.

  • Learn in advance how to relax. The meditation techniques mentioned earlier will help.
  • Try to use humour to help you beat negative thoughts. Remember thoughts are just thoughts and not reality.
  • Do your best to be well prepared.
  • However anxious you may feel try to avoid last minute revision. The night before or outside the exam room will not usually help.
  • Make sure you know when and where the exam is
  • Have everything you need – pens, pencils, calculator – ready to take with you.
  • Take some light reading with you – just in case you have to wait to get into the exam room.

Panic Attacks During the Exam

If, as you sit at your desk, you start to feel the panic rise, what can you do?

  • Make yourself comfortable and take a few deep breaths. Take a minute to focus on the positives. You have revised properly – now is your opportunity to show what you know. Tell yourself that you can do it.
  • Most people get tense at this time – it is natural. Your task is now to do your best – show the examiner what you know!
  • Take time to read through all the instructions and questions. Do this at least twice. Make sure you have a good understanding of the questions and how you need to answer them.
  • Pick out the questions that best relate to the revision you have done. Do not rush this. If you can’t decide on all the questions you are going to answer start with the ones you have picked and come back to the other later.
  • Plan your answers. This is really important. Five minutes spent on planing a rough answer will help your thoughts flow.
  • Decide whether you want to tackle the easier or more difficult question first.
  • Manage your time. Know how many marks per minute you can get and don’t spent too long on each question. In a 2 hour exam you should spend no longer than 30 minutes on a question that has a maximum of 25 marks.
  • Avoid perfectionism. It is good to check spelling and punctuation but nobody is expecting perfection.
  • If you feel your panic or anxiety is getting worse stop, put your pen down, close your eyes and breathe slowly for a few minutes.
  • If you feel unwell tell the invigilator and ask if you may leave the room for a few minutes. Taking a few breaths of fresh air and sips of water may be all you need to help you calm down.

How Can I Get Help?

You can talk to Genie Tutors.

Genie Tutors has five Tuition Centres in the Birmingham area. The centres are located in HarborneEdgbastonKings HeathNechells and Sutton Coldfield. Each centre offers after school tuition and exam revision support in Maths and English up to year 12.

All Genie Tutors centres are OFSTED registered and inspected which means parents can be assured that their children are receiving the highest standards of care.

All Genie Tutors Birmingham centres are staffed by qualified teachers. They are experts in their field and selected on their ability to motivate and inspire confidence in their students – key factors in helping develop a thirst for learning and developing potential.

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The Importance of Revision

What is the Importance of Revision?

As we approach the exam season students thoughts should turn to revision. What is revision and what is the importance of revision? According to the Collins English dictionary revision means ‘to read things again’. This implies that you have read and understood your study material at least once prior to starting revision. So if you haven’t you need to get a move on ’cause time is running out!

The importance of revision is twofold. Firstly, it helps you to remember facts, figures,topics and methodologies that you have covered some time ago. Secondly, If done correctly it will help increase your confidence and reduce anxiety – you will be well prepared for your examination.

So How Should I revise?

Begin by organising your work space and your study material. If possible separate the area you intend to use for study from that in which you relax. Try to keep your ‘entertainment gadgets’ out of sight when you are studying.

Make a revision plan, include all the subjects and areas covered by your upcoming exams. Make sure that your plan is realistic. Give yourself enough time to revise properly as well as breaks for relaxation. The revision plan needs to be flexible enough to allow for some things taking longer than expected.

Revise subjects and topics that make you feel anxious earlier on in the revision plan. This will help reduce anxiety because you will feel that you have more time to deal with them. You don’t need to tackle the difficult areas first. Revising subjects you know well will boost your confidence – but  don’t put off the difficult areas until the last minute.

Make Notes

Active revision is far for effective than passive. So make notes as you revise. Make further summaries of the notes. They act as very useful prompts for your memory. Review these notes and summaries regularly. Read them out loud and test yourself on each area you cover.

Make use of past exam papers. Get used to the type and style of questions asked. Practice answering the questions previously asked.

Look After Yourself

Revision is hard work. Make sure that you get enough sleep and take time off to be with your friends and exercise a little. Rest, relaxation and making sure you stay fit and well are very important elements of the revision programme. Don’t revise into the early hours of the morning. You might feel that you are dedicated and working hard but ‘overdoing’ it is counter productive. You will perform much better after a good night’s sleep.

Coping with Exam Anxiety

Anxiety about your up coming exams is perfectly normal. Everybody suffers from it to some extent. Anxiety about examinations stems from a fear of the unknown. What questions will be asked? Will I be able to answer them? Have I done enough work to pass? Will I get a good enough grade? I think I’m going to fail !

Put all these thoughts behind you, because that is all they are – just thoughts – concentrate on the here and now. Work out your revision plan. Start your revision. Work to your timetable methodically. You will begin to realise how much you already know. How you can answer previous exam questions and answer them well. How areas that you perhaps found more difficult are falling into place because you are giving yourself time to understand and learn. As you move through your revision plan your anxiety will lessen because you are in charge. You are controlling the situation rather than the situation controlling you. Your confidence will grow and believe it or not, if you are diligent and follow your plan you might even look forward to the tests ahead ! This shows the importance of revision – it helps reduce exam anxiety.

How Can I Get Help?

You can talk to Genie Tutors.

Genie Tutors has five Tuition Centres in the Birmingham area. The centres are located in HarborneEdgbastonKings HeathNechells and Sutton Coldfield. Each centre offers after school tuition and exam revision support in Maths and English up to year 12.

All Genie Tutors centres are OFSTED registered and inspected which means parents can be assured that their children are receiving the highest standards of care.

All Genie Tutors Birmingham centres are staffed by qualified teachers. They are experts in their field and selected on their ability to motivate and inspire confidence in their students – key factors in helping develop a thirst for learning and developing potential.