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Ash Tutors' Blog

Keep up to date with educational and parental news and tips from Ash Tutors!

All you need to know about the eleven-plus exam

​Read time: 3.4 minutes

Have you ever wondered why despite many areas of the UK not using the eleven plus since the early 1970s there are still local authorities and private schools admitting pupils based on selection?

It might surprise you to learn, there are even now, 165 remaining grammar schools in various parts of England and 70 in Northern Ireland (and many more independent schools), and so the eleven-plus examination continues to thrive.

These days, the 11 Plus examination is taken by some pupils in their final year of primary school in order to get into their first choice grammar school. Private schools also use versions of it to 'screen' their intake of pupils, predominantly to ensure they only take on the highest-achieving pupils.

Amongst other areas, the examination predominantly assesses the child's capability to solve problems using verbal and nonverbal reasoning, writing and mental arithmetic. However, it should be pointed out that the sort of examination will vary from local authority to local authority or within the actual school itself. 

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Healthy snacks that are easy for kids to make...

​Read time: 4.7 minutes

We have searched the globe high and low! Well OK, we've searched the internet and our own recipe books to be precise and put together a small selection of healthy snacks that are both quick and easy to make but above all, (mostly!) healthy. So go on, treat yourself and the family to a lunch box full of healthy snacks.

There's no doubt about it, kids are going to love getting involved in making their own healthy snacks. Who knows, maybe they will even add a few secret ingredients of their own? One of my youngsters makes the most delicious pasta sauce by adding honey into the mix!

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Home schooling is on the increase

​Read time: 4.7 minutes

While there are no exact figures, it is estimated that there are around 75,000 home-schooled children in the UK and this figure is increasing every year. One of the reasons why the figures are estimated is because children who never start school are not likely to be reflected in the statistics.

Even more surprising, is that although taking children out of school for holidays is illegal, despite having an otherwise good attendance, and despite the possible educational content that travel allows, it is perfectly legal to remove your child from school and teach them at home, without any teaching qualifications and without any requirement to follow the National Curriculum. Bizarre.

So why is homeschooling on the increase?

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Thoughtful Mothers' Day gifts for kids to make

It's time to get crafty with the kids because mums love nothing more than a homemade gift on Mothers' Day. Best of all, with our choice of homemade gift ideas, they are all so easy that anyone can make them!

The trick will be how to direct your little darlings to this blog post, without being obvious about it! Perhaps that's a job for dad? :)

Fabulous hug cushion

Basically, all you are going to do is to trace and cut out felt hands before using a hot glue gun to stick them to a cushion. If you don't have access to a hot glue gun, you can use stick on with Velcro or iron-on mending tape.

Take a look at the full tutorial here:

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10 ways to organise family life using Evernote

Read Time : 6.2 minutes

So what exactly is Evernote? Well, some people will tell you that this tool is their digital brain! Others will tell you it's a cloud-based software tool which will keep all of your important things and store them in the cloud instead of locally on your mobile device or laptop (it can do that too of course).

For both the professional and the casual, personal user Evernote is one of the best tools to help you stay organised. It will most certainly change the way you organise your personal day-to-day projects as well as business projects. Once you start with Evernote, you will probably find yourself using it more and more and rely on it to keep your life organised and running smoothly.

You can store anything that you need to reference at a later date and once you start using it, you will find Evernote quickly replacing your current physical filing methods. (Note from Geoff: Ash Tutors is 100% paperless, all stored in the cloud!)

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Things to do in London during the half term

Read Time: 6.7 minutes 

Planning a trip to London with the kids during half term? Take a look at these 10 top places to visit, all of them are FREE with the exception of the HMS Belfast. However, there is a 2 for 1 offer available if you travel to London by train. I promise you, these places will keep the whole family entertained come rain or shine. Please do check the official websites for opening hours as some of these attractions are not open every day.

On a personal note, I do have three favourite places that I can easily visit time and time again when I am in London. They are the HMS Belfast, Sir John Soane's Museum and the Novelty Automation Arcade. The latter are both in Holborn and within a 2-minute walk of each other and Holborn underground station. If you like walking and every corner turned is an interesting one in central London, then it is a very pleasant walk from Holborn to the HMS Belfast, passing the famous Forbidden Planet store en route.

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10 Tips for Stress-free Homework

Child anxiety? What about their parents?!

Read Time: 3.8 mins.  

Do you have a tendency to hide when you see your children coming home from school with a bag full of homework? Rest assured you are in good company because it's a well-established fact that most parents dread homework nearly as much as children dislike it.

Here are 10 simple tips and suggestions to help relieve the anguish of homework which you may not have thought of before. These suggestions will help establish a routine and make homework a positive experience. (For the whole family!)

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Fun activities for a rainy day

Fun activities for a rainy day

Read Time: 5.6 mins

So it's raining cats and dogs and the kids are getting bored, and worse still it's only 10 in the morning! When the weather forecast is bleak, turn the day into an adventure with these fun family activities and game13379695.jpg" alt=t's o.ukf-red7o, atrong>>


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