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It’s safe to say the last year has been tumultuous at best and education of all levels has been greatly affected. With the disaster of this year’s exam results it's no surprise that both teachers and students are sceptical of the government's recent decision for GCSE and A level exams to still go ahead in the summer term. Given the amount of schooling students have lost and the disruption to their learning, many teachers, students and parents believe that exams should be scrapped altogether with some arguing that teacher assessed grades would be a more fair way of grading students. 
 
As it stands today schools and colleges will remain open during the current second national 4-week lockdown period and most likely afterwards too, even if the tight restrictions continue, and the government have stated that GCSE and a-level exams will go ahead in the summer term. However the Department of Education confirmed at the beginning of October that most GCSE and A-level exams will take place three weeks later than usual in 2021 in an attempt to give students more time to prepare. 
 
However, what this does mean is that one English and one maths GCSE exam will still take place before the May half term in order to “help manage disruption”. All other exams will be sat after June 7 and will continue until July 2. The government has also planned to engage with schools to address further potential disruptions and provide solutions to these. But again this will leave schools waiting more than 6 weeks to hear the ministers’ “Plan B”. 
 
Here at Marvellous Minds, we will continue as planned to get our students ready for their exams, regardless of when they take place, but these are uncertain times and we would love to hear what your opinions on the governments actions are and whether you think exams should still go ahead? 
Wellbeing for Education Return Programme
At Marvellous Minds Tuition we are passionate about developing our student's writing skills. That's why we cover Creative Writing as part of our in-house English curriculum and also run regular Creative Writing workshops with local schools and libraries. 
 
Recently our students have been busy using fun and imaginative ideas and literary devices to help add flair to their writing. We have listed some ideas below for writing tasks your child can enjoy getting stuck in to!  
 
 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
 
Charlie is adding a new room to his chocolate factory and you have the golden ticket to see this new and exciting room! 
 
Describe the weird and wonderful inventions you can find in this room. Remember to think about the five senses. What can you see, smell, hear, taste and touch? 
 
We would like to see you use some lovely adjectives and descriptive writing. Please also use some literary devices such as similes. * 
 
*This exercise can be adjusted depending on a student's age group and level. It can also be linked to relevant learning objective such as use of grammar like verb, adverb, conjunctions, punctuation or watever else you would like your studens to develop and use. 
 
Wellbeing for Education Return Programme
As schools across the country are preparing to fully re-open again for the new academic year the government has announced an 8 million pound backed programme which will provide schools and colleges the resources needed to support their staff and students with the emotional impacts of Coronavirus. The programme will be led by trained mental health professionals and experts and made available from September. 
Children Summer Reading
Summer is a great time for students to pick up and get lost in a fabulous book! 
 
Here we have listed some books that promise an exciting read for students around year 5 and year 6. These books will also help boost students' vocabulary! 
 
Happy reading! 
Developing your child's writing skills
One reason many parents come to us for tuition is to help develop their child's writing skills. Writing forms a part of the English curriculum for all year groups and schools focus on grammar, creativity and different writing styles and techniques to help children build their skills in writing. 
 
Helping children enjoy and develop a flair for writing early on will lay the foundations for later years when they will be expected to use more sophisticated language and writing techniques and write longer pieces at school, such as essays. However, writing is by no means limited to the school environment, most people will need to use writing skills in their daily lives, whether that includes writing an email, a letter or a CV. 
11 Plus preperation

11 Plus Preperation 

For those students preparing for the 11 Plus in September the summer will be a crucial time to prepare for the entrance exams ahead. Most students who are entering year 6 in September and planning on sitting 11 Plus exams have not been attending school as usual since the end of March so will naturally be anxious about the upcoming tests and how to best prepare. But with preparation and the right approach to tackling the exam the 11 Plus process doesn't need to be a stressful experience. 
Homeschooling

Win one week free at our Summer Club 

You may have seen on Facebook last week that we are running a competition with a prize of one week's free placement for one lucky winner at our summer club in our private tuition centre in the Arcade in Bedford. Our summer club is offered to students aged 5-16 and runs Mondays to Fridays throughout summer. The days consist of exceptional tuition in the core subjects, tailored to a student's individual needs as well as fun and educational activities such as drama, arts and crafts, creative writing, and science experiments. 
Rewarding good behaviour in the classroom
In classrooms it is often the case that students' poor behaviour is recognised and rewarded with instant attention. This can fuel said behaviour and even encourage it because students who display poor behaviour repeatedly are often met with lower expectations to do well from their teachers, a reputation for being 'naughty' and often also admired for this 'naughty' badge from peers. This can serve as a form of recognition for students who, for different reasons, are acting up in class. Those students who are working quietly and diligently are often overpowered by this type of behaviour and the great work these students do can go unnoticed. 
National Tutoring Programme
The government recently announced a National Tutoring Programme to support disadvantaged students who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The programme will make high-quality tuition available to state-maintained primary and secondary schools across the country, helping students who have missed out most on their learning as a result of school closures. 
 
 
 
Developments in schools reopening
With plans for a wider opening of schools where all primary school children would return before the summer break now having been scrapped by the government some children won't be back at school until September, at the very earliest. 
 
After the initial reopening of schools at the beginning of the month saw reception, year 1 and year 6 children return to school, the government had plans for a wider reopening with further primary year groups as well as some secondary pupils able to return to school this academic year. These plans are now not materialising in the way ministers first announced. 
 
 
 
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