Tutor view: Lucy Spencer, Education Boutique

Non-verbal reasoning can absolutely be taught – don’t panic if your child finds it tricky at the beginning, says Education Boutique’s founder Lucy Spencer.

Top tips for maths: Percentages, decimals and fractions are key to everything! If you are starting out in year 4, my top tip is to nail your times tables and fractions, decimals and percentages understanding early. 

Top tips for English: Creative writing strategies are key. Develop a bank of great sentence starters, descriptive phrases for feelings and plan loads of stories!

For creative writing and comprehension – the workbook for the Cadwaladr Quests that Education Boutique wrote with S.L.Ager is fantastic for varied, in-depth practice.  I really rate Examberry resources as well as Bond Online and Atom Learning for online practice and revision.

Top tips for verbal/non-verbal reasoning: Non-verbal reasoning can absolutely be taught. Don’t panic if your child finds it tricky to start. Employing a tutor who specialises in it for a couple of sessions can help to teach all of the strategies and then it’s just practice, practice, practice!  Oh and the Cadwaladr Quests by S.L.Ager for verbal! 

Are you now offering online tutoring? Yes, Education Boutique is continuing to offer one-to-one but has had huge success with our online virtual school programme. We were delighted to be featured in the national press! 

How are children responding? Wonderfully! They love the fact they can re-watch sessions. 

When should a child start preparing for the 11-plus?  Very difficult to answer that as every child is so different. Education Boutique is a big believer in no last minute panics and spreading the preparation out over time. There are lots of great activities and steps parents can start taking in year 3 but we suggest more formal preparation should start towards the end of year 4. 

How many hours a week does a child need to study? Again, a difficult question to answer as you have to mix it up. Games, apps, audio books, more focussed revision and eventually past papers. Definitely little and often!

Best materials to use: Schools tutored for: I specialise in ISEB Common Entrance Pre-test, independent school 7+, 11+, 13+ and GL, CEM and CSSE grammar. 

How long have you been a tutor? 4.5 years before which I was a teacher in Dubai and UK. 

Price of tuition per hour: Online group webinars are as little as £3 per session or 45 mins and lessons are stored in an account for parents for three months to rewatch. We also have a variety of one-to-one tutors, with prices starting at £45. 

Website: Education Boutique  and you can read our review at The Good Schools Guide.

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