Exam Stress

Exam Stress

In the lead up to exams, you may notice your stress levels increase.

Exam stress can start when you feel you can’t cope with revision, or feel pressure from your school or family. You might worry you’re going to fail or you won’t get the grades you need but we’ve got advice on coping with this.

It can seem daunting to talk about stress or anxiety. You might feel like nobody else is feeling this way.

But bottling up stress and trying to deal with it on your own can often make the stress worse.


When we feel anxious, we often give ourselves negative messages like: ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m useless’ and ‘I’m going to fail’.

It can be difficult but try to replace these with positive thoughts such as: ‘this is just anxiety, it can’t harm me’ and, ‘relax, concentrate – it’s going to be okay’.


You might have been predicted certain grades or put into a higher set, and feel if you don’t get the grade you’ll let your teachers or parents down.

Remember, exams are important – but they’re not the only way to a successful future. Lots of people achieve success in life without doing well in school exams.


If the stress gets to a point where it is overwhelming and is affecting your day-to-day life, try and speak to someone about it. Your school should have a service where you can speak to people about your concerns and will be able to offer more advice on how to manage it. If that seems like too big a step, open up to a family member or a friend about the pressure you feel.

You’ll be amazed to know that you aren’t alone in feeling like this.


Student Minds have published 5 tips to beating exam stress:

1. Keep it in perspective

  • Lots of people will tell you this, because it’s true – exams aren’t everything. Whatever happens in your exams, you can still be successful in life afterwards. So if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, try to keep things in perspective.
  • Employers don’t just look at your exam scores. They’re just as interested in your attitude, your transferable skills and how well you’ll get on with other people.
  • Exam success doesn’t define you as a person. Everyone copes differently in different situations and there’s so much more to your personality than how well you can respond to an exam.
  • Think about how far you’ve come already. You’ve already done incredibly well to get to university, and stopping or failing exams at this point isn’t ‘throwing away’ your past success.
  • Once you’ve done an exam, try to forget about it. There’s nothing you can do about it, and worrying won’t change your mark.

2. Get that organised feeling

  • Picture your exams as a time-bound project. Are the exams 60 days away? That’s your 60-day challenge. Best of all, there’s a definite end point.
  • Work out the basics: which exams you have, how the marks are allocated, and how much you have to learn for each one. Don’t expect to learn everything; but having in mind where you’ll get the marks can help you prioritise.
  • Break your revision down into small chunks, and form a plan. Once you’ve got a plan, you won’t have any more dilemmas at the start of the day about what to work on.
  • Schedule in plenty of free time to unwind, and protect this time. Nobody can work all day every day. If you give yourself plenty of rest you can do the same amount of work in half the time or less.
  • Equally, don’t panic if you go slightly off schedule – tomorrow is another day.

3. Get into some good habits

  • These habits will help you concentrate as well as reducing stress:
  • Take frequent breaks. Psychologists say we can only concentrate properly for 30-45 minutes. You could use a technique like Pomodoro, that helps you to take regular breaks. When you do take a break make sure you don’t stay at your desk, you could go for a walk or even just make a cup of tea!
  • Eat well. Keep a good blood sugars level to avoid highs and lows of energy, by eating slow-release foods like bread, rice, pasta, fruit and veg.
  • Drink lots of water. People often underestimate how much hydration helps!
  • Think about when and where you work best. Not everyone is a morning person, and some people don’t find the library a productive place to work. There’s no one best place or time to work – it’s about what works for you.
  • Keep active. Even a short walk will do. Exercising is one of the quickest and most effective ways to de-stress. Fresh air will clear your head and perk you up.
  • Try to get about 8 hours’ sleep a night. If you’re stressed about not being able to sleep, there are lots of ways to aid a good night’s sleep.
  • Find activities that help you relax. Maybe it’s a hot bath, watching a TV show, or a creative activity. Schedule this down-time into your timetable.

4. Avoid bad habits

  • Check out this brilliant article on how NOT to cope with exam stress. Here are some highlights:
  • Don’t set yourself ridiculous goals. Nobody can revise 10 topics in a day! Avoid setting the day up to be a disappointment.
  • Don’t cut out all the enjoyment from your life. It’s tempting to decide you’ll just knuckle down to work and “focus”, but this is counterproductive – it’s impossible to focus without giving your brain rest by doing other activities.
  • Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol and drugs impede your energy and concentration in the long term. It’ll also make it more difficult to get that much-needed sleep.

5. Get support from friends and family

  • Don’t be put off by friends saying that they are doing huge amounts of revision. As already mentioned, that’s probably not actually a productive or efficient way of working long term. One of the key reasons people feel exam stress is due to comparing themselves to other people.
  • If you can, discuss with your parents what they are expecting you to achieve. Parents with steep or unrealistic expectations will just add unnecessary pressure. It’s helpful to let them know what you think you have the capacity to achieve, and to insist that the best way to get there is to have support from your parents, not pressure.
  • If you’re feeling really worried or anxious, chat to a good friend, family member, or tutor. It helps to get it out of your system, and they may well be able to help think about practical strategies to deal with exam stress.



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Right Tuition Academic Scholarship Scheme



The RTC Academic Scholarship Scheme is designed to help four of the most academically capable children in the Rochester and Tunbridge Wells communities.

We assess children who attend our Year 4 into Year Five exam and offer the highest achieving students a 30% discount on our Year 5 course and Easter mock exam.

This is a fantastic opportunity for parents of bright and motivated children. It is our way of rewarding those parents, who make great efforts to support their child’s learning, enabling them to meet their full potential and recognising the importance of challenging the mind. In our small group settings, it is so important to encourage high achieving children to work to their full potential, and they, too, have a great role in helping to bring up the ambitions of the whole group.

The students who pay full price for classes at our centre are not tested before they join and so have varying abilities. However, a large percentage end up achieving scores which place them in the top 25 percent of the country by the time they transition into secondary school, most of them grammar. Our schools are not highly pressurised environments, we simply have the advantage of small groups (no bigger than 10) and consistent teaching staff, along with meticulous marking methods and excellent parental communication.

If the parent and child, accepted onto this scheme, are interested in taking the 11 plus, we will give them a 30% discount on our Easter mock exam to make sure they have all the necessary skills and in order to prepare them emotionally for the experience.

If this is of interest to you, please get in touch to book the Year Four into Year Five assessment.

A Lesson in Fun!

A Lesson in Fun!


In my experience, the fundamental characteristic amongst our nation’s great teachers, which enables them to be considered as some of the world’s very best, is the sharp wit and broader appreciation for the part played by humour within an engaging and invigorating classroom setting.

Just as we can all acknowledge the dire consequences of having a teacher that possesses all the charisma and humour of a wet flannel, we, too, can very much relate to the fond memory of a teacher that captivated an audience and inspired us to develop an inherent curiosity and an overall desire to learn. Within the present environment of high stakes testing, budgetary challenges and increased demands on educators and pupils alike, it is important to remind ourselves that, when humour plays a central role within lessons, individuals, as well as the class as a whole, benefit together.

A teacher’s razor-sharp wit is a vital catalyst towards building a healthy learning relationship through the joyful confluence of head and heart.

Moreover, a lot of recent research points towards the way in which humour can reduce stress and tension in the classroom, which, in turn, improves the ability of pupils to retain information and encourages an enhanced level of understanding. Above all, a teacher’s sense of humour can achieve a collective sense of pleasure and appreciation through the positive, emotional experience that the students share with each other and the teacher. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that our current education system has a tendency to shackle teachers to some overly strict parameters in which to operate; thereby reducing the potential for creative expression and overall fun to be enjoyed.

At The Right Tuition Company, we place the highest importance upon our fantastic teachers, both Primary and Secondary, feeling the freedom and flexibility to put their-own amusing, creative stamp on the lessons they teach.

Teaching is about establishing a strong line of communication and trust between pupil and teacher. The quickest way to achieve this goal is by making a pupil smile, laugh and become excited about learning. Learning should never have to be perceived as a chore; however, the prevalence of wit can have a lasting impact upon a child – be that turning a corner in the learning process or, quite simply, allowing a renewed approach and increased confidence to unfold.

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Preparing Your Child to Handle Criticism

Preparing Your Child to Handle Criticism


As a parent or teacher, it’s important to spend time thinking about how to frame feedback for kids. Whilst the desire is to avoid upsetting them, we all recognise that over protecting a child sets him or her up as very vulnerable when it comes to venturing out of the home.

“The trick is to get your child to learn how to handle criticism gracefully and learn from it,” says Parents advisor Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.


The first step is not to be afraid to offer criticism yourself. Imagine you have always been praised and never received feedback on how you could improve; you would certainly be taken aback if a teacher or new friend told you had done something wrong or suggested you did it another way. It’s your responsibility as a parent to introduce feedback to your child and to teach them the tools for reacting appropriately.


Praise where praise is due… and in proportion. This study highlights the adverse impact of inflated praise on children especially those with low self-esteem.


“…inflated praise decreases challenge seeking in children with low self-esteem and has the opposite effect on children with high self-esteem. These findings show that inflated praise, although well intended, may cause children with low self-esteem to avoid crucial learning experiences.” – Brummelman et al. in study, “That’s Not Just Beautiful—That’s Incredibly Beautiful!”


Once a child is familiar with criticism it’s important you help prepare your child to deal with it when it arises. Here are a few steps:


Talk about feelings.

The emotions you feel when receiving criticism are instinctive and, as it often is with children, the reaction might be disproportionate. Rude retorts, crying or complete withdrawal are all perfectly normal and it’s your job to try and help your child to unpack why they react in this way, so that next time they can better deal with the criticism and move forward from it. Asking them how the criticism made them feel helps them to understand it and allows them to recognise the feeling in the future.


Equip them with tools.

Giving examples of how to deal with criticism can be super useful. Every scenario is, of course, different but this article covers some good examples of criticism and what appropriate responses might be – definitely worth a read so you have some suggestions ready should a similar situation arise.


Body language.

It can be tricky to get everything right but what you say is just as important as how you say it. When preparing to talk to a child, uncross your arms, put yourself eye level with the child, smile and keep your face relaxed. If you are tense when you hand out criticism, they will be tense when they receive it.


Good, Better, Best.

Never Let it Rest,

Until the Good is Better

And the Better is Best.


No one likes to be criticised but it’s a hugely important part of learning and by helping your child to understand how to cope and respond can only set them up for better self-awareness and personal development in the future.


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Bedtime Reading

Bedtime Reading

The Importance of Bedtime Reading

It can be tough in busy, adult life to find time to read. Often the key is to create a daily routine, picking up a book at the same convenient time, every day. For your child, routine is especially important and as the parent, that routine must come from you.

Bedtime reading has a huge number of benefits from improved vocabulary and attention span, to the intimate, calm time which improves the child’s capacity for emotions like love and trust.

There’s a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been regularly read to and kids who have not,” says G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., chief of the child development and behaviour branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD.

The benefits are multi-faceted in that not only can your child learn from the contents of the book but also from the activity of reading itself.

Here are a few steps to help generate a love of reading from your child:

  1. Make reading a part of every night’s bedtime routine and don’t skip on it. If it’s getting late, choose a shorter book but don’t rush, remember this is calm time.

  1. Engage, bedtime reading shouldn’t be passive. Sure, pre-reading age, you will be the one saying the words. However, pointing out things from the text that are also shown in the pictures, helps children with association. Putting on voices for different characters is fun and will help your child’s imagination to bring the story to life.

  1. Let them choose. Even as adults we have favourite books that we hold dear, so let your child choose which story he or she wants each night. Yes, this might lead to the same few books being read over and over but repetition allows them to recognise patterns and sequences which can help develop logic skills.

  1. Make new books a treat. Aside from the fact books are often cheaper than the latest toy, you will likely more value and learning from them. They are certainly healthier than sweets! If your child has been good, reward them with a trip to a local bookstore where (with a little guidance), they can pick a new book for bedtime reading.

It’s vital that you continue to encourage your children with reading as they progress. It can be a hard jump from cosy, bedtime reading at home, to having to read in class or bringing home set reading that “has” to be done as homework. Children who struggle with reading or start to recognise they are behind their peers, can easily associate reading as something they are bad at and will not want to do it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this but as much as you can try, keep reading fun. Finally, don’t forget to lead by example and find some quiet time with a book of your own!


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Get Reading!

Get Reading

Here at The Right Tuition Company, we think that there is nothing better than reading a good book! There are hundreds of great book choices out there!

Here is a list of some of the most loved children‛s books from the past 100 years. They are suitable for children aged 9-11.

Please go to www.booktrust.org.uk to find out more about each story or to search for recommended books suitable for younger and older children.

Don‛t forget, your local library is a great resource for books. If they don‛t have a book you‛re looking for, they will find it for you.

Happy Reading from The Right Tuition Company!


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Why Choose Extra Tuition?

Why Choose Extra Tuition?

There are many reasons for investing in private tuition. Here are 10 things you can expect to benefit from:

1. Much smaller student to teacher ratio

Because private tuition takes place in small groups or one-to-one, students are able to focus better and are taught in a way that specifically meets their own unique needs. Here at Inicio, students attend in groups of up to six children, but teaching is always one-to-one.

2. The right tutor

At school, you don’t have a choice about your teachers, but we match the child and the tutor following our first meeting with the child. This means students have a mentor who teaches in the most effective manner for their learning styles.

3. Extra review

Often in school there is only a limited time to review a child’s work and understanding. That may not always be enough. Having a private tutor gives students an extra chance to review the areas in which they may be struggling.

4. Peer Discussion

Our small class learning environments encourage students to share ideas and discuss.

5. Test practice

For students who struggle with studying for tests, private tuition helps them to develop better study skills and ultimately to perform better in exams.

6. Confidence

Because tutors develop a more personal relationship with their students, they are able to see and cultivate the potential within them. This is all too easy for teachers in school to miss, especially if a child is well-behaved or of average intelligence. This gives students increased confidence in their studies.

7. Saves parents and students time and effort

Parents with busy schedules don’t always have time to help their children with school work. Having a private tutor takes the pressure off (although we would always encourage parents to spend time with their children wherever possible!).

8. Stronger drive to perform to their very best

Because private tuition means the instructor is really focused on the success of the student, students are far more likely to have an increased drive to perform to the very best of their ability.

9. Safe environment for open discussion

Sometimes students may not be as willing to ask questions in a large class, but working with a private tutor gives them more confidence and the freedom to speak out.

10. Students get taught by innovative methods

Because private tuition is one-to-one, tutors are willing to experiment with new teaching styles that work more effectively for the student.


If you feel you or your child could benefit from a private tutor in Rochester, Tunbridge Wells or Sevenoaks then why not visit one of our schools to see for yourself and to talk with our friendly staff about the options available.

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Parents Tips, Tricks and Tools Event

Parents Tips, Tricks and Tools Event

Parents’ Tips, Tricks and Tools Event

We are excited to be launching our Parents’ – Tips, Tricks and Tools event. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques to encourage your child to study to the best of their ability.

We need to be more proactive in involving our young people in conversations about how they can approach learning. Here at The Right Tuition Company, we believe that from a young age, children need opportunities to learn about applying the right learning technique for the right task. These are teachable, learnable skills that we will equip you with at the event.


Parents’ Tips, Tricks and Tools

  • Revision of basic Maths topics such as fractions, decimals, averages, etc and how to explain these to your child;
  • Memory games, repetitions and methods to help your children to retain facts;
  • Ideas on how to create fun exercises at home to improve vocabulary;
  • The power of positive reinforcement!

Dates and times:

Rochester – Sunday 6 or 13 August 3.30pm – 5.30pm.

Cost: £15 per person. Limited spaces – booking required.


Homework And Assessment

Homework and Assessment

Homework and assessment need a PR revamp! These are two cornerstones of a child’s academic development. The former should never be treated as a chore and the latter should be approached without a smidgeon of fear.

Assessment of a child’s current level of progress can be experienced in a variety of ways; formal feedback from an education professional, tailored testing in order to identify areas of relative strength and weakness, national testing, group consultations between parent, pupil and teacher and, of course, homework itself. Assessment is essential towards, both, the achievement and recognition of progress.

Homework is a pivotal factor in enabling a child to consolidate the knowledge and skills that they have learnt in the classroom. Furthermore, not only does homework increase their capacity to become a productive, independent learner; however, homework, also, offers a parent an immediate insight into what their child is being taught and how well they are processing these ideas.

Ultimately, these two components should be embraced as a perfectly normal, yet vital, part of a child’s successful journey through education. Homework and assessment are the glue that unite all three parties – teaching professional, parent and pupil.

Here are six bullet-point suggestions for how to get the most out of these two vital areas of academe:

  • Resist the urge to do your child’s homework for them. This does not offer a true reflection of a child’s understanding of a topic. As a teacher, homework is the gateway to understanding whether a child has grasped a topic sufficiently.
  • Adhering to the principle of ‘little and often’ is the best approach. It is not a good idea to sit down for hours on end at a time. This will lead to a loathing of learning!
  • If possible, homework should be completed in a quiet space, wherever this can be found. Studies have shown that changing the place in which you choose to complete your homework encourages a fresh and revitalised approach.
  • Welcome assessment as a mere learning tool. It is the first stepping stone towards a child’s academic improvement. Confidence can be gained from the recognition of areas of achievement and, moreover, progress can be targeted in a systematic way by an assessment’s identification of gaps in knowledge.
  • Discuss assessment with your child in an open and relaxed manner. The greater the dialogue, the more a child will realise that assessments are not horrible tests; rather, they are helpful guides towards realising one’s full academic potential.
  • Constructive criticism, conveyed in a positive and correct manner, is not an enemy. Perfection is an idiotic pursuit, as it can never be achieved. Strive for progress, not perfection.


Spring and Summer Workshops and Revision Courses

Spring and Summer Workshops and Revision Courses

Rochester Workshops, Mock Assessments and Revision Courses

Call or email to book you place: 01634 814420 / rochester@right-tuition.co.uk

1. Year 5 / 3 hr Revision Courses
Tue 30 May – Maths revision (Revising Decimals, Fractions, Averages, Area, Perimeter, Volume, Percentages)
Wed 31 May – Problem Solving Workshop (Learning different methods and approaches to Maths problems)
Thu 1 June – Creative Writing (Revising Story, Script, News report, Diary, Letter, Leaflet formats)
Fri 2 June – Imagination Workshop (learning how to generate initial ideas and to plan relevant plot lines for creative writing)
Sat 3 June – Kent Comprehension and SPaG (revising technique)

2. 11+ Mock Assessments 
Medway and Kent paper sets available and include comprehensive report and post-assessment consultation.
Revision and assessment are open to registered and external pupils.
Mon 24 July
Tue 25 July
Wed 26 July
Morning and afternoon sessions available. 

Tunbridge Wells Workshops, Mock Assessments and Revision Courses

Call or email to book you place: 01892 800492 / tunbridgewells@right-tuition.co.uk

1. August 11+ Revision Courses
Tue 1 Aug – Fri 1 September
10-12pm Maths
12-1pm Verbal Reasoning
1-2pm Lunch
2-3pm Non Verbal Reasoning
3-4 English

2. 11+ Mock Assessments

Sun 4 June 10am-1pm

Sun 16 July 10am-1pm

Sevenoaks Workshops, Mock Assessments and Revision Courses

Call or email to book you place: 01732 441023 / sevenoaks@right-tuition.co.uk

1. 11+ Mock Assessment

Mon 29 May 10am-1pm