• Mary-Jane Heckley


Updated: Aug 11, 2021

The pandemic has bought many changes to the curriculum for all subjects with some parts being omitted. I ensure that I keep up to date with these changes and work closely with schools. I refer to the National Curriculum and the resultant schemes of work produced by exam boards to also help me with closing gaps. Kent test follows the GL system.

I do not believe in assessing students immediately; sometimes they will wonder why they are undertaking tuition if it is organised by the school or parent/carer. Therefore, they might be anxious, scared or resentful and annoyed that some of their free time has to be given up. After all students ’educational needs were compromised by the pandemic, so why should they bother?

It is at this point in the first session, the student immediately feels at ease. I realise most people would feel, if the first task they had to do if they were learning anything, was a test. How boring! What a turn off!

I rather engage students in simple tasks and get a dialogue going which enables me to find out what the students’ interests are. This means that I can tailor tasks in the future towards their interests. I can also assess through the dialogue and body language what the potential of that student is without doing any tests. Assessment can come later.

Once a rapport has been built I ensure that gaps are filled in Maths and English as expected by the National Curriculum. As the Kent Test contains some subject matter not in the National Curriculum I cover this and then concentrate on speed for Non Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Maths, also ensuring literacy is covered. Students should not expect perfection immediately as their speed and proficiency will improve with time.

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