Our children often struggle to meet target grades, or achieve their potential. And though you hope their school can give extra support, the reality is that resources are stretched.

Also, many children hate being singled out at school. Getting extra support is often visible where a teaching assistant might work with them in class, or the child is removed from class to work in a learning support unit.

Children often feel embarrassed by this just at the time when they want to be accepted by their peers. On top of this, some children simply don't get on with their teacher. We've even heard of students who have failed a GCSE subject because of it, or their learning has stalled just at a critical stage in their education. 

So, should you hire a tutor? And what's the first step?

Published in Advice for Parents

GCSEs... They're here. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to grow your knowledge, it's also a chance to start making decisions about your future. So use this time to build up your skills and look forward.

If, however, you are dreading the next two years, it coud be that you just haven't got your head round everything yet. Far from being a walkthrough, GSCEs can be fraught with all sorts of hassles unless you keep on top of them.

There will be heaps more work, stacks of assessments, exams and more commitment from you. Don't panic though. Getting yourself sorted from the start will help you make the best of the two years ahead.

To help you tick all the boxes so you hit the ground running, here are some top study tips. Hope they help!

1. Get organised: 

If you're the type of student who shoves paper in your bag and hopes for the best, you'll get in a muddle fast. Instead, buy a cheap file with tab inserts to divide your subjects up. If you do this now, you'll keep all the important information together without losing any vital data. There's nothing worse than wasting time looking for stuff when it could be right there when you need it. 

2. Be disciplined:

Sticking the telly on the moment you come in from school until 6pm might seem like a good idea at the time, but it's time you're wasting. Of course, you deserve some chill out time after being at school all day - but getting into bad habits now can be really hard to break. It's impossible to study GCSEs without working at home. So accept that fact and decide on a routine to help you meet your school commitments AND still have a life. 

4-6pm works for lots of students, as does 5-7pm. Just don't be a lastminute.com else you'll end up rushing. Also, be really disciplined when you do knuckle down. Resist the urge to play the next few levels on that addictive game app, or check out the latest gossip on Facebook. ;-)

3. Ask for help: 

If you're the type of person to just wing it when you confront a problem, you could come unstuck. At some stage, you will hit a problem - something that just drives you bonkers. Rather than letting it get to you, or ignoring it, speak to someone. A mate, your teacher, your parents.

You might even find it useful to have some tuition at home for a while to keep you on track. There's always an answer to a problem. If you leave it, it'll still be there. And, worse, it could come up in your final exams and you'll end up kicking yourself that you didn't grapple with it earlier. 

Remember, if you stick to some routines, you'll free up some time. Make better use of your week day evenings will give you more time at the weekend. Happy days! 

Published in GCSEs

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