New Academic Year - 2020-21 (Online)

Effective GCSE and A-Level teaching in Core Academic subjects

Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology - at both GCSE and A-level. In addition, we also cover History, Economics and Psychology for A-level.

✬ A combination of both small-group and one-to-one teaching


✬ Long established, with a proven track record of helping GCSE and A-level students to achieve the top grades in core academic subjects


High quality and dedicated teachers – those whom top private schools would be proud to have. These professional educators possess a history of bringing out the best in young people.


✬ All our lessons are now delivered online via Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

BENEFITS OF THE COURSE

Effective small-group tuition – led by a competent teacher – some of the very best teachers of A-level and GCSE

Courses led by Expert Teachers who help identify and improve students’ areas of weakness

Salient topics are taught and questions attempted on those topics

Reinforcement of key aspects of the specification – teaching to gain a better understanding of the concepts

Your child ends up with a much-improved subject knowledge and mastery of exam technique

A realistic chance of improving by one or perhaps two grade boundaries. Yes, even at this stage of the exam  preparation

 A boost in confidence in problematic areas of the specification

Drastically reduced stress and anxiety in the weeks and days leading to the summer exams

A focus on mastery of exam technique, so your child is able to apply their knowledge more effectively    

Mr. McManus BEd (Hons) MA(Ed) NPQH)

Our Senior Physics Teacher and Head of Science speaks about the impact of the Saturday Classes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. He talks about the benefits the revision classes bring in maximising students’ potential and enhancing their understanding of the topics – allowing them to obtain top exam grades in Triple Science and Combined (double) Science.

Mr. J Smith MA Oxon – Mathematics

In this short video, Mr. J Smith compares the differences between the two-day or three-day intensive revision courses and the regular, weekly Saturday Classes for GCSE and A-level students. In his explanation, you can see the benefits for each of the two courses, and how they can help in making a difference to students’ understanding and examination performance.

A message to a caring parent

Dear Caring Parent

Re: Continued academic progress for teenagers irrespective of the pandemic

I hope you and the family are well and keeping safe. Now that many schools have a mixture of in-person and online learning, I trust your child is managing the transition from the older norm to the new learning environment well.

The purpose of this message is to do three things:

  1. discuss matters surrounding the current situation with respect to schools, exams and the pandemic.
  2. Present some facts, most of which you already know. At the same time, I am sharing my own view of the situation, some of which you may find useful in guiding your own child
  3. Inform you of our plans for this academic year and the justification behind it.

It was really good to see children returning to school in September. We recognise that we live in uncertain times at present, as no one is absolutely certain if and for how long all school children will continue with full in-school teaching.

For the young people, learning has to go on irrespective of what COVID-19 does; however, it must be done in a safe environment.


There will be examination in 2020 – says the government.

The government’s position now is that there will be GCSE and A-level examinations in the summer of 2021 in England. The government is correct in providing clarity on this, as we now have a clear position to work towards.

The fact is that no one, not the government or any person or institution, can say with absolute certainty where we will all be with respect to coronavirus come next summer. I think the chances are 90% that the exams will go ahead.

It surprised me when, in the middle of May, both Cambridge University and Bristol University moved all their lectures online until the summer of 2021.

From what we are seeing before our eyes at present, those two institutions appear to have been proved right.  Although I was shocked at the time, about how quickly the decision was made on moving the whole of the next academic year online, when one thinks about it, it is certain that, irrespective of what the government says, confidence will never be fully restored and many people will not go back to living their lives the way they used to before coronavirus for at least one year.

I really feel for those young university students at the moment, as what they are experiencing makes many of them feel they are missing out on a crucial part of their lives. I consider the first year of university a time that will live in one’s memory forever.  The truth is there is no easy solution for governments or institutions anywhere in the world on this important matter of managing people during a pandemic.

Although I am on the side of protecting the most vulnerable and allowing life for the vast majority to go on as normal as possible – it can only be done with sensible behaviour and safety precautions. The issue is that too many people feel a sense of entitlement and behave in a manner that I consider selfish and irresponsible. In must be said that this is a minority of people, but still too many and they make things difficult for authorities to manage and get the balance right for everyone.

A lot of people will maintain social distancing for at least another year – or perhaps two – irrespective of a cure or a vaccine being found. Even if both vaccine and cure are found very quickly, effectiveness of medicine takes a long time to be fully established, and, more importantly, for trust to be gained by people.


Online lessons at Excel in Key Subjects for now

At Excel in Key Subjects, for the above reasons, we have decided to base all our plans for the coming academic year on teaching online. Ideally, we would like a situation where we ask our students to come in to our centres for a tutorial session two or three times a year. This will be to have face-to-face tutorials with the teachers or to do tests. It must be noted, however, that both of these activities can be conducted remotely. In fact, we have done all of those things successfully online at the start of this term, and we will continue to do everything online for now.

We are only thinking about this possibility of some sort of in-person lessons at some point in order to break things up a little and give a different experience from just learning in front of computers!  We will constantly assess the position and follow government guidelines.

We are very fortunate that we managed to get online teaching going very quickly at the start of the lockdown and this has continued in the autumn. We are also very pleased about how effective the teaching we have been providing via online video lessons has been. Having said that, there can never be any room for complacency, as we must keep finding ways to further improve the quality of education we deliver.

The variation in the quality of online education being provided by schools is something many parents find difficult to comprehend, as too many schools are providing sub-standard quality of teaching. There has been some improvement, but considering that we’ve had this situation for over six months now, the quality of online teaching should have improved much more.


Algorithm, Teacher assessment and examination – fairness?

The cancellation of GCSE and A-level exams this summer, and the fiasco created as a result of the algorithm-predicted grades created a great deal of anxiety in the minds of so many parents and students. The replacement, teacher-predicted grades, is a little better than the algorithm, but by no means as fair as an examination.

The fact that people, on the whole, are reasonable and understand the reason why examinations have been cancelled does not remove the perception of possible injustice and unfairness in teacher assessment.

There is an awful lot to celebrate in modern Britain, as the vast majority of teachers are fair and considerate and there are some checks and balances in place. However, it is still not good enough, as not only will mistakes be made, but people will be partial. The only thing that I consider fair is an exam of some sort. Even if 99% of teachers are fair and reasonable (not that I think the figure is anywhere near 99%), 1% making judgements about young people’s lives and awarding unfair grades is still unacceptable.

One thing that we have learnt from the exams having been cancelled and teachers predicting grades is that it favours young people who consistently perform well throughout the year. Students who are the so-called mavericks are likely to lose out, as they will be predicted and awarded lower grades than they may perhaps have obtained, had they taken the actual exam.

What should happen now is that internal tests by schools should be taken more seriously by all parties. With tests being conducted under exam conditions and proper records being kept by teachers. This means that, in the event that teacher assessment is needed again, it will be based on solid and verifiable evidence. This needn’t be excessively more time-consuming, provided it is managed well by schools.

Dates for 2020/21 Academic Year (Online)

Term 1 19th Sept
Teacher Introduction
Interview
26th Sept
D & A Test
3rd Oct
D & A Interview
10th
Oct
17th
Oct
24th
Oct
Half Term
31th Oct
No Classes
14th
Nov
21st
Nov
28th
Nov
5th
Dec
12th
Dec

Term 2 Open Day
2nd Jan
9th
Jan
16th
Jan
23rd
Jan
30th
Jan
6th
Feb
13th
Feb
20th
Feb
27th
Feb

Term 3 6th
Mar
13th
Mar
20th
Mar
27th
Mar
3rd and 10th of April
Easter Break - No Saturday Classes
There is an Easter Intensive Revision
17th
Apr
24th
Apr
1st
May
8th
May

GCSE & KS3 – fees per term (8 Saturdays after the Diagnostic and Alignment) Saturday Classes

5 subjects4 subjects3 subjects2 subjects1 subject
[English, Maths & Triple Science][Maths, English. & Combined Science][Maths & Combined Science –OR English & Combined Science OR Triple Science][Maths & English OR Combined Science][Maths OR English]
Total for Term 1 including Diagnostic and Alignment – a total of 10 Saturdays
£1,631£1,401 £1,139 £844£582
Term Payment for each of Term 2 and Term 3 (8 Saturdays in each term)
£1,226 £1,046£834£589 £327

A-level – AS or A2 – fees per term (8 Saturdays after the Diagnostic and Alignment) Saturday Classes

 

4 subjects3 subjects2 subjects1 subject
Total for Term 1 including Diagnostic and Alignment – a total of 10 Saturdays
£2,379 £1,931 £1,418 £920
Fees for each of Term 2 or Term 3 – a total of 8 Saturdays for each term
£2,024 £ 1,626 £1,163 £665

Diagnostic & Alignment (compulsory – paid Term 1 only)  – the first two Saturdays – assessment, interview and profile included

 

5 subjects4 subjects3 subjects2 subjects1 subject
£405£355£305£255£255

 

 

 

Intensive Revision fees

(2 full days per subject for GCSE and 3 full days for A-level)

Number of Subjects GCSE & IGCSE    A-level

AS & A2

1 £365    £645
2 £695    £1,265
3 £995    £1,765
4 £1,285    £2,325
5 £1,555    £2,750

 

Additional Information on Lessons and Fees

GCSE - effective small group tuition (online lesson via Microsoft Teams/Zoom/Skype)

2 teaching sessions per week and a milestone assignment

GCSE – Y11, Y10 or KS3

  1. 40 minutes of small group teaching
  2. 60 minutes of homework assignment set mainly exam questions, based on topic(s) covered in the lesson
  3. 10 to 15 minutes of one-to-one tutorial (live video session)– dedicated to addressing individual student's weaknesses
  4. Milestone work set and marked, with written feedback provide.This should be work that is focused to the need of individual student and in theory, it should not be the same for all the student in the group.

A-level - effective small group tuition (online lesson via Zoom/Skype)

A-level – for first or second year

  1. 60 minutes of small group teaching
  2. at least 75 minutes of homework assignment set mainly exam questions, based on topic(s) covered in the lesson
  3. 15 to 20 minutes of one-to-one tutorial (live video session)– dedicated to addressing individual student's weaknesses
  4. Milestone work set and marked, with written feedback provide.This should be work that is focused to the need of individual student and in theory, it should not be the same for all the student in the group.

Milestone Task

At the end of the teaching session, questions are set in what we call a “milestone task” piece of work.

The student is expected to do the milestone task by answering the questions and submitting them, either by e-mail or into our online portal. We expect the work to be printed out and in handwriting, as this reflects the way the actual GCSE exam will be done. Practising in the form of writing on paper is vital, as part of the exam technique training.

The work is expected to be done and submitted within 48 hours. The teacher will check all the work.

The second session – the tutorial. This is teaching for about 10 minutes for GCSE and KS3 and about 15 to 20n minutes for A-level. The tutorial session is when the teaching consultant goes through key elements (usually about 15 to 20 marks’ worth ) of the questions that were set. The teacher will explain the answers and also ensure that some of the work is marked – with written or verbal comment provided.

The student will have access to the video of the teaching session for up to one year after the course has ended.  This will be on our online platform.

Diagnostic and Alignment (D&A) is compulsory irrespective of when a student starts. This session takes place before the start of the actual lessons. The diagnostic session requires a student to sit for a test based on the subject(s) in which the student is enrolled. The test enables us to know the strengths and weaknesses of the student. The diagnostic is followed by an interview with the subject teacher(s). The teacher asks quite a number of questions to the student based on his/her performance in the diagnostic test and on his/her past exam results and school reports. This is also an opportunity for the student to express himself/herself. Post-interview, we create a specific profile of the student and the process of alignment starts. By alignment we mean the process of placing the student in the group that represents attributes similar to him/her.

In simple words, the student will be placed in a group of other students with the same academic level. After the D&A, the most appropriate learning package reflecting the unique requirements of the student is designed and the student is taught according to that plan.

Due to the uncertainty over COVID-19, all Saturday classes are planned to be online, and these fees are set accordingly. However, we hope to hold the diagnostic tests and also to have one-day tutorial courses at a centre – once every term or so. This is provided it is safe to do so; if not, those will be online as well. In the event that Social distancing is completely removed, we will review the situation and consider rescheduling for courses to be in-centre, face to face courses or we will set separate courses in centres. Parents who prefer for their children not to come to the centre will be offered an equivalent service online, and we will try to the best of our ability to make the experience and value as close as possible to in-person learning. These fees are purely for online courses.

The most popular combination at GCSE and KS3 are English, Maths and Combined Science (for those who are taking Combined or Single Science). This is treated as 4 Subjects at EIKS. It usually results in five GCSE exam grades: two for English, two for Science and one for Maths. Only Triple Science students who are also taking both Maths and English will pay for five subjects. They will spend 6 hrs 15 minutes studying each Saturday and obtain six GCSE exam grades at the end. For all students, a full academic year consists of a period of Diagnostic and Alignment (the first two Saturdays). This is followed by three terms, each term consisting of 8 Saturdays.

The usual payment method is to pay the D&A and first term’s fee as initial payment. Thereafter, payment for the second term and then the third term three weeks before term starts. A monthly payment option is also available.

How to Pay: 

  1. Online bank transfer using the details below
  2. Telephone banking or paying in cash at any branch of Barclays Bank
  3. After the initial fee, subsequent fees can be paid monthly by standing order
  4. Card payment
Bank Details: 

  • Account Number: 5 3 1 1 4 0 3 1
  • Sort code: 20 23 98
  • Account Name: Excel in Keys Subjects

Referral Policy:

A parent or student who introduces us to another parent will receive a voucher of at least £50 or the parent will receive a discount of up to 5% (whichever is greater) on the next instalment of fees they are paying. If a parent wants to enrol a second child, there is a 10% discount on the whole fee for the second child.

 

Rules on fees

  1. Our policy has always been that if someone enrols and pays for future academic years, the fees at the time they enrol apply – with all the usual rules
  2. Full payment for the academic year – 5% discount
  3. Termly payment – No discount for termly payment, but they will pay this year’s fee for all three terms and any increase in fees within the academic year will not apply.
  4. Monthly payment – only available if joining 6 months before the end of the course.
  5. Monthly instalments are also available for those who are studying more than two subjects and committing to the full academic year or the remainder of the year from when they start. A payment of £5 applies per instalment and
  6. payment is by standing order only on the 28th of each month and all the fees ideally need to be completed by 28th March but by 5th April, of the academic year at the very latest.
  • The only way we take card payment for monthly payment is that, when you make the first payment, you are authorising us to take payment on the 28th day of every month and the payment will be deducted automatically each month from your card without contacting you. However, an invoice will be sent to you to confirm payment

A minimum of one term’s notice, in writing, is required if a parent wishes to withdraw their child from the Saturday school. This is for those who are paying for the full academic year or termly. No refund is applicable for those who pay monthly, irrespective of when they choose to leave or reason for leaving. Please ensure that you read the terms and conditions for full information. Monthly payments are not applicable for Intensive Revision.