It is now January and the children have returned to school and at this time parents often start to think about the year ahead. For some parents this could mean exams or tests for their children. However, no parent I have ever met wishes to add additional pressure onto their child, but often wants them to feel confident with the new challenges that are going to face them this year at school. Therefore, many choose to turn to a tutor to help them. January is often a popular time to engage a tutor but why tutor and which one?

Why Tutor

People choose to engage the services of a tutor for several reasons, they could feel that their child is falling behind and know that now is the time to ensure they overcome any misconceptions. For others they know school choices, particularly secondary schools, can be hard. Many schools now ask children to sit an exam, even if this is just a means to group the children once they enter the school. However, parents wish to give their children the best possible chance to secure the school and band they feel is best for them.

Often, parents would rather help their children at home using the array of study books that are already on the market, but this is not always possible. You, yourself may not feel confident with the subject matter or you may have time constraints or other children to consider. I work with many parents who have battled with their children to complete additional work or have tried in vain to help them understand a topic area and as you obviously want to be a good parent first these battles blur the lines between parent and teacher causing longer term clashes.

What to look for in a Tutor?

If you do want to hire a tutor remember to check a few key areas first:

  • Are they qualified and experienced in the age group of your child? At G.Y.M we only hire qualified teachers who understand the curriculum and the strategies to ensure effective lessons.
  • Do they have a DBS check? This is a government system which checks people have no criminal record. You should ask to see your tutors DBS check.
  • Does your child feel comfortable around them and enjoy their lessons? If not, then they won’t be learning.
  • Do they understand your child, their learning style, goals and thus applies appropriate strategies to ensure that they make good progress?

Key Dates in 2020

Whether you are looking for a tutor to work with your child or not here are some key dates parents need to be aware of:

  • 15th January 2020 – Primary School Application Deadline     (Children aged three and four years old).
  • 2nd March – Secondary School Offers Day     (Year 6 children)
  • 16th April – Primary School Offers Day     (Children aged three and four years old)
  • May – Key Stage One SATs tests period     (Year 2 children)
  • 11th – 14th May – Key Stage Two SATs test     (Year 6 children)
  • 11th May – 9th June – GCSE Exams     (Year 11 pupils)
  • 8th June – Phonics screening test     (Year 1 children)
  • 8th June, last 3 weeks – Times table tests     (Year 4 children)
  • 20th August – GCSE results day    (Year 11 pupils)
  • September – Grammar and Wandsworth Test exams     (Year 6 Children)
  • 31st October – Secondary School Application Deadline     (Children leaving Year 6 and starting Year 7)
  • November – Lambeth Secondary School banding test, only applies to some Lambeth schools     (Year 6 children)


We hope you have found these dates useful and if Growing Young Minds can offer any assistance through weekly tuition, advice or our Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Summer Courses, please do contact me on 0203 4226119 or email [email protected].



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