Entries by AS - Admin

Gaining Certainty in Uncertain Times

Once again, we find ourselves locked down in the unfolding story that is Covid-19. No sooner are we gaining hope of a return to normality than we’re back to square one. At least this time around, education is to continue, for the moment anyway. My thoughts are constantly returning to gaining certainty in uncertain times. […]

Back to School with a Difference

As I type this, the rules are still changing on the subject of Coronvirus and schools. Masks or no masks is the topic of the hour. On or off, in communal areas only and what age groups? These are just some of the questions being discussed. After a hugely long break in regular education, this […]

Covid-19 and an Opportunity to Give Back

To be accurate, the title should probably read ‘accelerated opportunity to give back’. Here at MST, I’ve been providing accessible private tuition for some time. We’ve looked at several ways to help more people, regardless of budget, including a potential collaboration with a major London university. Covid-19, for all its downsides, has presented us with […]

Covid-19 and Maths

As we hunker down in our homes and wait out the worst effects of Coronavirus, we’re bombarded with an endless flow of statistics, predictions, graphs and charts. Of course, being a maths tutor, I’m interested in the relationship between news of Covid-19 and maths! Everything we see on the news in terms of Covid-19 data […]

Happy Pi Day!

Did you know today is Pi Day? Yes, the 3.14…. has a day all too itself. Why today? It’s the 14th day of the 3rd month, which I suspect hangs together better for our US cousins, but there you are. It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday, so quite the coincidence! Pi Day was […]

International Women’s Day 2020

This Sunday sees International Women’s Day 2020 and what a shame it falls on a Sunday. OK, I do understand that it’s always on the 8th March, but wouldn’t it be lovely if schools and employers were able to recognise it ON the day and to drive home the message of equality? It’s all too […]

World Book Day 2020

World Book Day is here once more, and in many households, it’s greeted with anything from a sigh to last-minute panic. As if parents aren’t busy enough, they need to conjure up a costume of a book character from a stock of very little! Of course, there are some parents that relish World Book Day […]

Things to do with kids in London – February Half Term

The February half-term is upon us once again, barely moments after we’ve adjusted to life in 2020. As ever, keeping our children occupied is the challenge of the day, so here are a few ideas for things to do with kids this half term. We’ll take a look at various activities throughout the capital, but […]

2019 – My Year in Review

As seems to be the case as we get older and have children of our own, the year flew by and we share a collective excitement, or apprehension, about the year and decade to come. 2019 had plenty of discussion points, one of which I shall make a point of not mentioning! However, here is […]

Good intentions and top exam results

Here we go again with another election. The headlines are full bluster and promises of better things to come. Jam tomorrow, as my elders would often say. It’s truly fascinating to watch political adversaries sell their souls in the pursuit of power. In other shock news, I couldn’t help but think of good intentions and […]

Learning to Thrive in Any Environment

It came as no surprise to me that the school I attended in Moss Side, Manchester, was branded the worst school in the country. There was a long list of problems and challenges to support that label! However, from that rocky start I discovered that it’s all about learning to thrive in any environment. This […]

Mock Exams – Preparedness is Key

I know it sounds obvious that preparedness is key when approaching a major event, but it’s amazing how often important things are left to last minute. Every year, looming mock exams strike fear into hearts of students (and parents), upon the realisation that they probably should have started revising somewhat earlier! As someone wiser than […]

English Tuition and Understanding the Question

There’s little that’s more soul destroying than sitting an exam, having given your all, only to realise that your chances of top marks have been undone by not understanding the question in a key section of the paper. The ability to comprehend the question and to interpret complex questions such as those that are multiple […]

Maximising Grades

There’s a tendency to focus on what we’re good at and to continue to improve our strengths. However, huge differences can be made with just a few tweaks to academic weaknesses, especially when it comes to maximising grades. It’s tempting to keep accentuating the positives because it’s easy. You’re already building on a strong foundation. […]

English Tuition – From Brain to Paper

As native speakers of the English language, it may come as a surprise that many students seek additional support to master this particular discipline. English tuition is becoming more popular and a common reason for this is that even the most articulate of pupils can struggle getting their words into proper written form. A case […]

Affordable Private Tuition

The subject of private tuition has often been a thorny one, especially as until recently it has been regarded as the preserve of the better off. However, affordable private tuition has never been as accessible as it is today. A quick search on Google will show that there’s a plethora of choice, appealing to all […]

Back to School

In the blink of an eye, the summer holidays draw to a close and we ready ourselves to go back to school for another academic year. Depending on where your children are in their academic careers, this can be an exciting or unnerving time, and maybe a little of both! For those that are finally […]

Online Tuition: Is it Right for You?

After many years of delivering one to one private tuition in person, I’ve been surprised by an apparent lack of enthusiasm for online tuition. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of online tuition and whether it’s right for you and your needs. We live in an online digital world where we’re surrounded by WiFi-connected […]

Things to do with kids this Summer

As we get deeper into the summer holidays the lack of routine and siblings spending lots of time together can create more than a little fractiousness. For us parents, as much as we love our cherubs, it can be a bit of a nightmare! So, I thought I’d pull together a list of some things […]

Consistency Wins The Day

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that every year I say that for the vast majority of students, cramming is not the answer to exam success. In fact, in life generally, consistency wins the day over short bursts and fads. Despite billions being spent around the world on the latest dieting […]

The Show Must Go On

There have never been as many elements competing for our time and attention. Ringing phones and pinging apps bombard us with interruptions and information all day long, 7 days per week. Instant access to news and events also means we’re subjected to a variety of cliff hangers, doomsday scenarios and tales of human endeavour everywhere […]

More than tuition

The subject of private tuition has been a thorny one for a variety of reasons for longer than I can remember. In recent times, extracurricular tuition has become commonplace, rather than the preserve of the few as it once was. With more parents, taking their first steps in private tuition, I thought I’d put together […]

Life After Exams

Such is the pressure of exam season, it’s easy for a student to forget that anything else of much importance exists. As stressful as GCSEs and A Levels can be, it’s worth trying to maintain a little perspective. I know it’s can be easier said than done sometimes, but it’s worth remembering that there is […]

Exams and parental stress

Exam time is upon us once more and if you’ve a revising student in your home at the moment, it’s likely to be a highly-strung environment. We see lots of articles about helping students cope with exam pressures. Indeed, I’ve posted plenty on this very blog. However, I’ve noticed that there’s very little in the […]

Mindset of A Champion

While not an avid golf fan, I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the story that unfolded last weekend at The Masters in Augusta. Tiger Woods, derided and written-off as a spent force, triumphed once more and reclaimed the coveted Green Jacket. Coming back from adversity is no mean feat and it made me […]

Nature Vs Nurture

The topic of nature vs nurture proves to be a surprisingly emotive subject whenever it arises! Most of us that have ever given any thought to it have a personal view on this. In this article we’re going to briefly explore this topic and I’ll share my own experiences to date. I was prompted to […]

Exam Stress Busters

If there’s one thing that will derail a student’s exam hopes, it’s falling victim to pre-exam anxiety. As the date of the first exam looms, uncontrolled panic can undo even the most thorough of revision in double-quick time. It’s for this reason that each year I like to share my favourite exam stress busters. The […]

How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Why is an article labelled How to Stand Out From the Crowd opening with a reference to an animated movie you may wonder? There’s a scene in The Incredibles, where the bad guy, Syndrome, says “because if everybody’s super, then nobody is” (or similar, it’s been a while!). If you haven’t seen the movie, Syndrome […]

Survival of the Flexible

We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ which is liberally applied to many areas of life when discussing competition. As we look to the future, it’s likely to be a case of survival of the flexible, especially in the workplace. We’re not talking yoga classes here, it’s about adaptability to the rapid […]

Pre-Exam Stress Season

Here we are again. Once more into the breach dear parents! With the half-term at an end, academic focus will be on GCSE and A Level exam revision. With it comes hitherto unimagined levels of angst for many households. If this is your first time, it will certainly be memorable! And if you’ve been through […]

How can we help more girls to study STEM subjects?

Work to increase the number of girls studying STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering, and maths, is bearing fruit. An analysis by software company Exasol has shown that the percentage of female students studying STEM-related subjects at A-level rose from 6.5% to 11.8% in the last five years alone. The news comes after several government and […]

Private Tuition – Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

As all too many parents find out the hard way, private tuition is an unregulated industry. While there are some distinct upsides to this, as let’s be honest, the educational overlords can be rather chaotic, there are some very real disadvantages too. The main issue is that anyone can set themselves up as a private […]

100 Not Out

If I have my numbers correct, and as a Maths tutor you’d hope I do, this is my 100th blog article. Time certainly flies and as a cricket lover, I thought I’d celebrate this century edition of 100 not out with a look at how things have changed in the world of tuition. A far […]

Lessons from Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing, where have you been all my life? Or rather, where have I been all of yours?! As a recent Strictly convert, I’ve been both amazed and impressed by the transformations achieved by the celebrities taking part, especially those with no dance experience. As I watched in awe, it struck me that we […]

MST’s 2018 – A Year in Review

It seems a few short moments ago that I was at my desk writing about 2017. This past year has been similar from the perspective of continuing to take MST from strength to strength. Of course, we are only as successful as our students and I’m delighted to say that once again this year, we […]

Merry Christmas from MST

As someone who, like most parents of school age children, lives his life by the term, I’m still amazed that Christmas is upon us once again. If your home is anything like mine, it is already filled with unbridled excitement at the impending arrival of Father Christmas and of course a present or two! Christmas […]

Things to do in and around North London this Christmas

Well, Christmas 2018 is almost here and it’s come around rather quickly hasn’t it?! Seemingly moments after the start of the new academic year and here we are. As exciting as the festive season can be, children thrown together for long periods of time, high on non-routine foods and the expectation of the imminent arrival […]

Educational Journeys

I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems that every year, many secondary schools (and some primaries) organise trips to far flung places. When I was a youth, my school journey was a week on the coast, or maybe somewhere as exotic as the Isle of Wight! Nowadays, it’s more likely to be Borneo […]

Recognition of Excellence

Here at MST, we’re in the fortunate position of having waiting list for our services and we are blessed with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to testimonials from happy clients. The recognition of excellence and hard work is always appreciated! It isn’t often we talk purely about ourselves. For the most part we […]

The Impact of Private Tuition

In last week’s blog, we discussed how private tuition has become a regular feature in our children’s education, with more than 40% of children in London having been privately tutored at some point. We were then interested to see The Guardian newspaper quoting similar sources and asking for people’s opinion of the impact of private […]

Private Tuition – The new normal

As far back as 2016, The Sutton Trust said that in London, 40% of pupils were receiving private tuition. At the time, that represented a sharp rise and current figures show that across England and Wales, 27% of secondary students are being privately tutored. Which of course means that for every 4 pupils, at least […]

Why it’s OK to fail

Did you know that the American inventor, Thomas Edison, was responsible for registering over 1000 patents? Although most people will know him for inventing the light bulb and how it took 10,000 attempts to get it right. It was in considering his story recently that I was reminded that it’s OK to fail at things. […]

Things to do: Halloween and Fireworks Night

The precursors to Christmas are upon us. First Halloween and then Guy Fawkes, or Fireworks Night, and then the countdown to the big day. Then of course, we’re into 2019! So, following on from my previous article, I thought it would be fitting and useful to have a look at where to celebrate Halloween and […]

Things to do during Half Term in North London

Another school holiday is upon us, seemingly minutes after the new school year began! The autumn half term can be a tricky one for keeping kids entertained. The weather is becoming unpredictable and we need options of both indoor and outdoor activities to hand! If you’re in my part of the world you’re probably thinking […]

The false economy of buying cheap

Just recently, I was surprised and somewhat annoyed to find that some relatively new footwear has started to fall apart. Not just a loose stitch here and there, but just falling apart. For those of you that know me, I go most places by bike, so it’s not like I’ve been running marathons in them! […]

Gaining Entrance to Prestigious Schools

Have you ever wondered how many ventures are never attempted because they seem too difficult? I do, and one of the subjects that comes up often is around gaining entrance to prestigious schools. Each year there are various articles published that tell us which schools are the most difficult to get in to. I can’t […]

How to write a personal statement for university

In and ever more competitive world, your personal statement remains a key opportunity to differentiate yourself from the other applicants. With that in mind, I’ve put together this article to give a qualified opinion on how to write a personal statement that will get you noticed. This isn’t the traditional overview of wordcount and proofreading. […]

A Level Studies – Mind the Gap

In a previous blog, we talked about crossing the chasm between primary and secondary school. A large change which often remains unmentioned is the transition from GCSE to A Level studies. This step up should come with its own warning sign such as Change Ahead. Or maybe Mind the Gap. Why? Up to the commencement […]

How to find a good tutor

It’s that time of year where the intentions to find a tutor over the summer become a reality and parents begin to realise that the best tutors get booked up well in advance. Here at Maths and Science Tuition, we’ve been in the fortunate position of having a waiting list for quite some time. As […]

The X Factor?

I have to say, I love this time of year and not for the reason you may be thinking! The end of a great summer break, culminating in another year of stellar exam results and being a part of my students’ success stories is one of my favourite times. Once again, dizzy heights have been […]

GCSE Failure – It Gets Better!

If you’re feeling a bit low after disappointing GCSE results this week, don’t despair! Educational progress and aspirations need not stop with GCSE failure. I can tell you from personal experience that in hindsight, getting tripped up by my first attempts at GCSE exams was one of the best things to have happened to me. […]

Turning Talent into Gold

The recent European Athletics Championships, held in Berlin recently, delivered some amazing personal and team performances. While there’s a lot to be said for the correct focus and mindset to conquer the nerves of the big stage, the successes we witnessed were all based on thorough and lengthy planning and application. Turning talent into gold […]

Keeping kids and teenagers amused this summer

We’re now well into the summer holidays and you may already be wondering about keeping kids and teenagers amused this summer. While it’s probably been refreshing not to have to dash around for the school run, or repeatedly ask your teenager to get out of bed, the summer routine may have already lost some of […]

The Doctor Shortage

Unless you’ve been on an extended news sabbatical, you’ll know that the UK is experiencing an extremely serious shortage of doctors. The doctor shortage isn’t necessarily new news, but it’s getting worse, with Brexit making it harder still to fill vacant positions. With a lack of international talent, we need to be producing our own […]

Friendship Groups for Enhanced Learning

This year MST has introduced group tuition to our private tuition services portfolio. One of the concepts that’s proved successful has been the idea of friendship groups. I thought it would be a good idea to clarify what friendship groups are and are not, and how they differ from regular group tuition. As the name […]

Time to Relax and Recharge

And breathe. The school year has finally drawn to a close and it is time for weary students to forget about school (mostly) for the next 6 weeks or so. I’m sure for many students and parents it’s been a long and seemingly endless school year! Now is the time to relax and recharge. Much […]

Writing our stories

As we all get over the excitement of England’s World Cup challenge, there have been a few things that have stuck in my mind. The main one was that after one of games, Gareth Southgate spoke about how he’d been working with the players about mindset and how they get to write their own stories. […]

Making the jump up to Secondary School

As we approach the end of another academic year, there will be mixed feelings of trepidation and excitement about making the jump up to secondary school. There will inevitably be a few tears, as friends and class mates go their separate ways, not only for holidays, but potentially to different secondary schools. This time also […]

The Hidden Costs of Cheap Tuition

As many of my regular readers will know, the discussion around cost and what is perceived as expensive, is something that features quite regularly. One of the reasons for that is that when it comes to private tuition, like many other things in life, you really do get what you pay for. Yes, I know […]

Priorities: Wants Vs Needs

With lives that are busier than ever, we constantly prioritise (often ruthlessly!) to have any chance to fit it all in. Naturally, the juggling act often boils down to competing factions of those things we need to do, and those we want to do. As a private tutor, I find that investment in private tuition […]

Degrees of Success

Degrees of Success In these heady times of exam stresses and the ongoing pressures of our education system, it’s worth taking a step back to acknowledge that a degree is no guarantee of success. It may surprise you to find a private tutor saying this, but I firmly believe we need to maintain perspective. It […]

The Stigma of Private Tuition

I sometimes feel that there’s a stigma associated with private tuition. That may surprise you, coming from a full-time professional private tutor, but it’s something I’ve become more aware of recently. I’m lucky enough to come into contact with people from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. It could be argued that many of […]

Guest Blog: Accountancy isn’t always boring…

This week we’re lucky enough to have a guest blog from Laura Bessell ACA, Group COO at Argonon. People often find it unusual that I chose to become an accountant: “You don’t seem the boring type”, they tell me. Well, it may surprise you to learn not all accountants are boring and that I have […]

Exam Stress?

For the past 4 months, I’ve been writing and talking about impending exam stress. I’ve provided tips to both parents and students alike, as well as providing revision guides, cue cards and various other elements to help in this stressful time. Meanwhile, I’ve been working with students of various levels of ability, to prepare them […]

Maintaining forward momentum

Most of us grow up being told that practice makes perfect. In my experience, that statement is only partially correct. A truer statement is that practice is vital to maintaining forward momentum, or improvement. For many, unless you’re practicing consistently each day, our practice sessions are more about maintenance than enhancement. A far more factual […]

Unlikely Heroes

Everyone loves an unlikely hero story. From Rocky Balboa to Harry Potter’s Neville Longbottom, watching someone move from obscurity to success is extremely heart-warming. However, it’s in real life that even more inspirational characters show that hard work and dedication really does pay off. Just this week, the Boston Marathon produced some unlikely heroes of […]

I don’t pay for tuition….

I was speaking with someone recently, who is a father of two teenage boys. We were discussing academic achievement and the benefits of private tuition and it became clear that there were several other drivers at play. The father said to me, “It didn’t really matter to me whether the boys were Einsteins or not. […]

Motivating your teenager

I’ve had several requests to talk about ‘motivating your teenager’, so here goes! At first, I thought, hey this will be easy because I was a teenager once. Yet, I was looking at life through a completely different lens in those days! It also occurred to me that while I spend much of my days […]

Tuition and my secret weapon

As a private tutor, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a great many breakthroughs and triumphs with my students. Yet, every student arrives as a new face, unsure of what to expect of private tuition in general and from me, in particular. Will I be strict, or will they be able to understand my […]

Teaching English and why it matters

You’re probably wondering why a Maths and Science tutor is writing about English? Apart from also providing English tuition here at MST, I also happen to think the ability to read and to write well is becoming increasingly important. The regular English language as known by the previous generations has been under assault for many […]

Private Tuition – What are you buying?

When it comes to investing in high quality private tuition, like many things in life, not all offerings are created equal. There are plenty of part-time tutors and actors who teach whilst ‘resting’ that typically charge fees in the lower range. Because tutoring isn’t their full-time profession, they can probably afford to treat it a […]

Social mobility, education and me.

We hear so much about social mobility and education, although I can honestly say I haven’t seen evidence of it amounting to much in practice. More often than not, someone in a position of power or influence is seen on the TV, or quoted in the press, as having ideas about making life fairer. And […]

Student Stress and Exam Season

There’s no getting away from it. If you’re the parent of a teenager who’s approaching GCSEs, you’re probably in for a bit of a torrid time! Student stress and anxiety will be having a moment in the spotlight. As a full-time private tutor, it’s fair to say I witness numerous Jekyll and Hyde scenarios each […]

GCSE Preparation – Don’t be like Brexit!

With Christmas now a fading memory, the countdown to GCSE exams is underway. A new year has dawned, but this year will be no different from any other in one respect. There will be a great many students for whom GCSE preparation is unplanned, left too late and becomes chaotic. And to those students, I […]

Collaborative Learning and Group Tuition

Until recently, much of what I’ve written has been about the power of one to one tuition. However, here at Maths and Science Tuition, we’ve also been experiencing the joys of collaborative learning with our students in the form of our group tuition classes. Why group tuition and why now, you may be asking? As […]

Easter Revision Course for GCSE Maths

Here we are in 2018 and the countdown to GCSE exams is well underway! Following the success of last year’s Easter revision course, we will be running our intensive Maths workshops in April. Our intensive Maths GCSE revision course covers all key topics of the GCSE Maths syllabus (all boards) and we’ll be working in […]

Mo Farah – Sports Personality of the Year

I was truly delighted to see Mo Farah named Sports Personality of the Year over the weekend. It’s always wonderful to see people achieve based on their own talent and persistence. As a private tutor, I like to reference role models as inspirational figures for my students. It’s important to be able evidence those that […]

From Kevin the Teenager to Motivated Student

As a private tutor, I have the pleasure and the privilege to work with an amazing set of young people. Each and every one I see is, or becomes, a highly motivated student. The great results and academic success of my students is the result of a working relationship that we establish and build over […]

Tutoring and Confidence

As is well documented throughout my website, as a full-time professional private tutor, a happy side-effect of my work with students is the boost in a child’s confidence. Over the years, a large number of bright and capable students that have come to me for tuition, have started the process with their self-confidence in tatters. […]

Group Tuition

From January 2018, I will be offering Group Tuition for GCSE Maths. I am seeking to make high quality, professional, private tuition accessible to more families and students and group tuition makes this possible. While the vast majority of my students come to me for one to one tuition, I have extensive experience of delivering […]

Stressing Mock Exam Performance

As the mock exam season approaches, students often fall in to three categories: Fully prepared and confident, full of panic or simply hoping for the best. Putting aside the hoping element, for hope is not a strategy for success, let’s focus on those in panic mode for a moment. Stressing over mock exams is the […]

Private Tuition: Better than any Black Friday deal

Here at Maths & Science Tuition, we don’t engage in the Black Friday sales. The reason for this (other than we don’t need to!) is that we believe our private tuition services offer better value that any Black Friday deal available. In this article, we’ll expand on what we mean by that. Over the next […]

Is your child an academic Lewis Hamilton?

I recently put a very popular post on Facebook, congratulating Lewis Hamilton on his 4th Formula One World Championship win. It was an amazing achievement for Lewis and for his support team. It was this latter point that started me thinking about where champions come from and the journey they take en route to success. […]

Making a difference as a private tutor

It’s fair to say I know the value of a great education. You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s an obvious point of view, bearing in mind I’m a professional private tutor. Like many students, and like many young men in particular, I was on course to be distinctly below average in terms of academic achievement. […]

Why everything you think you know about internet safety is wrong

Digital technology has changed everything in our lives, including parenting. A whole new set of risks faces our children, from cyberbullying to pornography, sexting to self-harm. It’s not that young people have changed, particularly; but the internet amplifies many of the risks they face already and provide new, scary forms for their expression. The result […]