Saturday, October 7, 2017

Year 1 Phonics test

Year 1 Phonics test: All you need to know

A phonic screening test is a type of test that is conducted to evaluate whether the child has learned phonic decoding or not. This will be done by comparing the results to a specified standard. The results of the test will also highlight the children who still need help for the improvement in their skills. Support will be provided by the government or the parents to that children. However, if the child passes it, it will mean that they have a detailed understanding of the phonics.

The phonics test was introduced and implemented in June 2012. The test is designed in a way that it effectively highlights the current phonic information of the child. Teachers and parents will be able to know whether the child is progressing at a satisfied pace or not.

What is included in a phonics check?

The phonics check consists of two different sections. These sections contain 40 words check as a whole that is used to assess the current knowledge related to phonics. Also, it will highlight the knowledge attained through the reception and year 1. The child will have to read four different words from a single page to the teacher to complete the test.

There is a common question in the mind of several parents, related to the compulsion and the type of phonic check. The answer to this question is, it is not a formal process of analyzing the abilities of your child. Instead, it is used to analyze the skill or learning level of the child. This is done just to make sure that they are performing up to the mark. Before the start of the activity, children will be asked to practice few words so that they can have a better understanding of the activity which will be carried out.

The focus of phonic check:

The phonic check is conducted to check certain points which are explained below:

  • Whether your child is able to sound out and blend graphemes to read simple words.
  • Whether they can read a selection of nonsense words. These words are also referred to as pseudo words sometimes.
  • Whether they are able to read phonically decodable one and two syllable word. For example, sand, cat, windmill etc.

The inclusion of nonsense and pseudo words:

The phonics check includes some words that are nonsense and pseudo. These are basically those type of words that are decodable i.e. there is no meaning attached to them and they are not the actual words e.g. snorb or brip. The pseudo words or the nonsense words are included into the test to analyze whether the child can recognize them or not. They are usually shown to the kids with a picture of a monster and they have to tell their teacher about the details of the monster.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to prepare for the SATs

How to prepare for the SATs

SAT exams are taken by year 2 and year 6 students. It helps the students, as well as the parent, know where the child stands. Along with this, the more important role of these SATs is that it judges the school in comparison with the National Curriculum to find out how the school is performing. SATs help maintain a quality education throughout all primary schools.

SATs have developed a pretty intimidating image. However, it is not a very difficult test. You can easily help your child ace it with little effort.

What the test is about

SATs for primary students take place during May. This means your child would appear for the exam during the summer term in school. It will be a basic level test that would test the knowledge your child learnt at school.

The exam has two parts. One of these is held in year 2 when the children are aged 6-7 years. The second part of the tests is in year 6 when the children 10-11 years old. For both these exams, the contents include English grammar, English reading and Mathematics.

You don’t need to especially worry about preparing your child for these particular exams. In fact, it will be better if you don’t spend extra time teaching them before the exam. This way you can find out the accurate results of how much your child learnt by their own in school. If you want your child to score well in the SATs, make sure you help them throughout the years every single day. Help them understand concepts when they learn them. Making them cram a few days before SATs just so they score well will not be an effective method of teaching. Secondly, since the results will also be a representation of the school performance, the school teachers will provide most of the preparation material and help.

If you want to help your child, you should incorporate activities in everyday habits like mental math games, story reading, etc. Try to help your child learn new words. To prevent your child from panicking during the SATs, make them attempt past papers that you find online.

What do the results imply

Firstly, you should not worry about the results. It will not affect your child’s admission procedures in the future. The exam’s sole purpose is to find out how well the school teaches and how much your child learns. It will be a comparison of same-aged children who would have received similar education up till this point. If your child scores badly, it would mean you need to help them catch up since they are lagging behind the rest of their friends.

The result is calculated in such a way that a score below 100 would mean below average performance in that particular section. Similarly, a score above hundred would indicate over average performance whereas a score of 100 will show that your child’s performance is as expected at this age.

If you are concerned about the SATs or would like a free trial please get in touch.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

What is SPAG?

What is SPAG?

SPAG stands for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. SPAG is useful for every child due to several reasons. The consideration of grammar, spelling, and punctuation is essential in every aspect of the life. Apart from developing the cognitive skills and learning abilities, there is a need to write and produce the thoughts in an effective way. Just understanding a concept is not enough, learning to write it in a right way is also important. The quality of written communication will be increased only by considering SPAG.

As your children are in the age of learning, they have the ability to learn all the new concepts and techniques. Considering SPAG for your children should be done due to the following reasons:

  • It will allow your child to understand the right spellings that should be used.
  • Understanding of the usage of punctuation at the right time.
  • Accurate usage of grammar.
  • Ability to present information in an effective way so that it will suit its purpose.
  • The use of an appropriate style of writing and use of terminologies where they are needed.

Why does your child need to improve SPAG?

Your child needs to master several skills to become a person with all the expertise. One of the most important aspects to master is to have the right grip on the SPAG. Text communication is important no matter if they are doing it for some informal activity or for solving formal exams. The right written communication is the key to their success whether academic or professional. The effective knowledge of SPAG will help them in understanding the right use of every single word. This will further allow them to communicate in an effective way.

As far as the short term success is concerned, the ability to spell a word in a right way, the ability to use the punctuation at the right point and ability to write with the appropriate grammar is essential for the assessment process. Their success will depend on the right usage of SPAG.

Consider this scenario as in the example where you child will be attempting an essay question. The question solved with the wrong grammar and punctuation will not get good marks for them. On the other hand, if it is solved with good punctuation and grammar, it will be easier for the examiner to read it. Also, it will make the content of your child much more persuasive and engaging.

Note for the parents:

If you are planning to teach your children about SPAG, it should be noted that relying on the applications will not resolve the issue. There are times when these applications suggest something wrong even if they are right. These corrections are often misleading and will have a negative impact on your children. This is why there is a need to monitor the learning process.

For more information on how StudyBox Tuition can help your child with SPAG please contact us for a Free Trial

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Tips for Passing 11+ Exam

Do you want your child to attend State Grammar schools in England?

To attend the prestigious Grammar schools your child will have to pass the 11+ test. The 11+ plus test is taken early in the last year of the primary school. Parents often think about whether they should do it and how to prepare for the test. To help you, we have a guide that will increase the chances of success for your child.

Take a look at the tips that will help your child pass the 11+ test.

Find out What Exam Board Will Administer the Test

There are 2 boards that administer the 11+ test, Center for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) and Granada Learning (GL). The location of your house will determine the test your child will appear for. Though the format of the exam is similar, the material your child needs to study is different.

Preparing for the Exam

No student can pass an exam without studying for it. For passing the 11+ exam, children will need a regular study routine. They must start the preparation 12 months before the exam. With the help of a study schedule, your child can identify their weaknesses and strengths. So, the study schedule must be well planned.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you should burden your child with studies. According to experts, it is better to space out learning plan into small amounts. This is will make sure your child is not overwhelmed. At the age of 10 or 11 years, children have trouble focusing on study for more than half an hour. This means half an hour study every night is what your child needs.

Cover Every Aspect of the Exam

Irrespective of the Exam Board that administers your child’s test, they will be tested on the same subjects. The subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Verbal and non-verbal reasoning

The learning plan of your child must cover all the topics. For English the following topics will be tested:

  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Literacy
  • Sentence structure

You can work on these topics with your child by writing and reading exercises.

As far as non-verbal reasoning is concerned, it will include topics about shapes and spatial awareness. You can focus on studying mirror images, addition and subtraction and various Maths games. They will help your child prepare for non-verbal reasoning.

Moreover, for verbal reasoning, your child will be asked different questions. You can help your child build vocabulary and practice papers can be of huge help. For Maths, your child must have a solid understanding of numeracy and Maths concepts. This will include the material covered in the Key Stage 2 of Maths course.

Prepare for Both Formats

The 11+ exam has 2 question formats, standard and multiple. The multiple choice question includes selecting the correct answer from given options. While the standard format requires a written format. Your child must prepare for both the formats.

Therefore, it is the extra effort that makes a real difference. For passing the 11+ exam, these tips are what you need.

For more information on how StudyBox Tuition can help prepare your child, please request a Free Trial

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

How to tell if your child needs a tutor

How to tell if your child needs a tutor?

Does your child struggle to do homework?
Do you have to push them in doing it?
Have you tried to help but end up arguing?
As a result if, you answered yes, it’s probably time to get the help from a tutor.

Most children at some point will display signs that they are struggling to keep up with school work or homework due to a number of reasons.
Not all are signs students need extra help, therefore we have put together a short list to help you find signs that your child probably needs a tutor.

Six signs your child needs a tutor:

1. The homework excuses:
Your child may exhibit extreme emotions when it’s time for homework. first of all, they will try to avoid the situation by doing anything else.

2. Avoiding school:
Not wanting to go to school can be another sign that your child is finding things difficult, as a result, they may need some extra support.

3. Not doing well in tests:
A bad score in one test may be a temporary issue, consequently, bad test scores on a regular basis can indicate a bigger problem.

4. Loss of confidence:
Avoidance of schoolwork is usually a sign that your child has a loss of confidence, therefore it is important to restore confidence quickly.

5. Poor time management:
Time management is the key to get success. A student who has issues in managing their time and getting homework done will benefit from a tutor.

6. Hopelessness:
Especially relevant is to look for signs of hopelessness. This will include signs of getting disappointed and not having enough confidence.

The above are sure signs your child probably needs a tutor or at least an assessment to get more advice.
Why not take us up on our offer of a Free Trial today.

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Mental maths, why is it important for children?

Mental maths, why is it important for children?

Every child can train their brain for mathematical calculations.

There is a specific part of the brain that performs this function but if it is not developed properly at an early age, it can become a challenging task.
For this reason, it is important to develop the ability to do mental maths in children while they are still young.
The best age considered for this is between 5 to 10 years.
This will develop their ability to perform basic arithmetic rules at speed without using pencil or paper.

7 reasons why doing mental maths is important:

• Enhances children’s ability to concentrate.
• It stimulates children’s interest in maths.
• Improves the self-confidence of the child.
• Helps with the application skills in maths.
• Helps to reduce mistakes in problem-solving.
• Strongly associated with better memory skills.
• It stimulates both sides of the brain.

There is a need to create number sense in a child:

This means that students will be able to perform each calculation in their head with ease.
Number sense is essential to achieve the goal and allows a person to incorporate estimation, place value and measurement.
This will further result in increasing the ability of children to memorise the facts of maths with ease.
Practising all the calculation is the first step and developing speed for doing it, again and again, is the second step.

One of the major benefits of mental maths:

Children will be able to understand the mathematical concepts instead of just reading them.
Maths is logical and it should be solved with logical steps.
These logical steps can be learnt and practised and are especially relevant with mental maths.

In Conclusion:

If children have a better understanding of the mental maths concepts,  they are more likely to approach maths with a positive outlook.

It must be noted here that when it comes to mental maths, the duration of exercises does not matter a lot. Instead, the frequency is what matters so doing them on a daily basis is essential.

At StudyBox, we believe that mental maths is the key to confidence. Click here for a Free Trial today.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Tips to keep your child’s mind active over the summer holidays

Tips to keep your child’s mind active over the summer holidays

During the holiday season, learning can easily take a back seat. Especially when you and your family are in the midst of the holiday festivities and are enjoying some well-deserved fun in the sun. However, if you want to make sure your child is still learning and developing their academic skills during their break, there are lots of strategies you can use:

Give them some screen time

Believe it or not sometimes allowing your child to engage with technology at home is a good thing. There are loads of free and cheap educational apps available on tablets and phones and games available on the internet that are designed to encourage and develop a number of academic areas. If you know your child needs to work on their reading or mathematics skills, find a reading or maths app or a computer game that is both fun and a learning opportunity.

Have some fun in the kitchen

One the easiest and most hands-on ways to encourage your child’s learning and development is in the kitchen. Cooking and baking together, for example, will enhance their reading and their math skills as they read recipes and gather and measure out ingredients. There are also lots of easy and safe science experiments available on the internet that you can conduct in the kitchen which will help embed the scientific principles that they may have already learned in the classroom.

Go on a day trip

If you and the kids are feeling a bit of cabin fever, why not take a day trip? At the beach or the park, they can experience and learn about nature and the environment while getting some much needed fresh air. Or you could go somewhere historical where they can learn about the history of their region or country and discover more about the world they live in.

Go to the library

One easy and free way of entertaining your kids during the summer holidays is to take them to the local library where they can choose the stories they love. Letting your child guide their own learning, will also teach you what their interests and passions are and allow you to nurture them as they grow up.

Play with your kids

Last but not least, play with your child! Let them make up games and give them free reign to let their imaginations run wild! And if you can, join in the fun! Stimulating their creativity will allow them to be better learners and eventually more productive and motivated adults.

The professionals at Studybox can give you advice on how to encourage and develop your child academically at home. For a free no-obligation, free trial just click here  or fill in our contact form for more information.

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