The High Achievers' Post

Your ultimate guide to transforming your child's academic performance

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Prepare your son or daughter for world class higher education institutions

  • One effective way to teach work ethic and the ability to work independently is to give your son or daughter a domestic-related task to complete. For example, you could tell him/her that it is their responsibility to make sure the household bills are paid on time and properly this month. This could involve running a few errands, such as going to the bank or to the post office to find out how to pay the bills
  • Another good way to teach your son or daughter how to be more independent is to say to them that, for the next month, they will be responsible for everything of theirs in the house.This

Intensive Revision over the Christmas Holiday

GCSE or A-level

17th to 24th December 2022

Two-Day and Three-Day courses over the Christmas break to Boost GCSE & A-level Performance.

See the link here for more details        

www.ExcelinKeySubjects. com/Christmas-revision/

See more detail on the back page

I don't think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it.

– Mike Ditka, football coach

Gaining entry to the top universities

We live in a highly competitive world and university entry is a decisive factor for a successful career path for any young person. Getting into the top educational institutions, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, LSE, UCL, Warwick, Durham, King’s College, and so on can be a competitive task as spaces are scarce and demand is high.

But fear not.This month’s newsletter is packed with tips on how to prepare early to maximise your son or daughter’s chances of gaining admission to one of the best universities in the world and to having a head start in life.

Preparation starts early

  • GCSEs matter. Getting all A*-C grades and preferably, in fact, all A*-B grades in every subject at GCSE level is vital.This not only looks great on your son or daughter’s CV but boosts their chances of doing well at some of the hardest courses at A-level.
  • A-level course choices are crucial.The truth is, some A-level courses are weighted differently and respected more or less in comparison to others.

The Thing About High Expectations

We pointed out on a number of occasions prior to the release of GCSE and A-level results that it would be more difficult to get top grades this year. This was proven by the significant drop in grades from last year. This year’s results are in sharp contrast to last year’s results which soared to an all-time high as top grades were awarded by teacher assessment, using a system of grade inflation brought on as a direct consequence of the disruption in education caused by Covid-19. In fact, the fall in GCSE grades has been described as a return to prepandemic normality, though we’re not quite there yet.

While we always expect the best and highest grades from our students and encourage parents to do same, we cannot but say at this point that sometimes reality doesn’t match expectations. If your child did not accomplish the grades expected, it is not the end of the world. This year’s fall in grades from last year is not an accurate indicator of how hard students worked as the government did warn that there would be a drop in grades, and, in fact, the Schools Minister, Will Quince, recently stated that lower GCSE results in 2022 are very much part of the plan to normalise the education system again.

Do not guilt-trip your child/children into working harder this year. Yes, it is good to encourage them but always remember to encourage them with the positive without constantly reminding them of the negative. Having said this, the role of your child in ensuring they excel in their exams is not in any way diminished as expectations for exam success should always be balanced with hard work on the student’s part.

The main concerns at this point should be what lessons can be learnt from the experience so far? And how best can students use these lessons to their advantage moving forward?

The best way to avoid disappointment this year is to recognise your child’s academic capacity. Know their strengths and weaknesses and how best to help them overcome those weaknesses and build on their strengths. This could be in the area of their subject combination and their relative interest in each subject. Pay attention to their performance in tests and homework assignments as these are little building blocks whose outcome will in one way or the other influence overall performance at the end of the day.

Another important lesson is to have realistic expectations regarding your child’s performance. Know what they have achieved in the past and what they are capable of achieving with the right combination of enabling factors. This includes a conducive learning environment and intensive private study which they will need to begin as soon as possible to get the most out of it. The highest grades are very still much attainable, starting early enough is key!




Give them this. In preparation for the best universities, many youngsters are somewhat lost and unsure as they have just come from an education system that is many times highly reliable on spoon feeding by teachers who are just teaching to the curriculum and to exams, so as to boost their own results. You can prepare your son or daughter for university by reading our action tips above.

Early preparation for a good university

Best A-Level Subjects That Prepare You to be a Successful Law Student

Wondering what A-level subjects will best prepare you for success as a university law student? Here are a few you should definitely consider and why;

English Language and Literature – It’s a no-brainer that, to be able to speak confidently and make clear points and firm arguments to persuade others, you need to know how to communicate effectively using proper spoken English. Also, because being a lawyer is as much about writing as it is about speaking, you need to have a firm grasp of the rules of English grammar as it relates to writing as well. Your communication skills will be greatly enhanced as a result.

To be quite honest, no one can get very far as a law student or even become a good lawyer without a good foundation in English and Literature. Literature gives you an appreciation of context and the ability to form your own unique opinion about what you read. You will be required to read and analyze a lot of intellectually stimulating material in university and will most likely write a lot of essays as a law student. To avoid struggling with this, you must take these subjects very seriously.

Being a lawyer is about making sound arguments supported by concrete points and defending your position on potentially contentious matters.

It involves a lot of research which is something you’ll need to get good at to become a good law student and ultimately a good lawyer. In summary, you literally need to fall in love with English language and Literature.

History – To know where you’re going, you need to learn where you’re coming from. The A-level subject of History will teach you how everything that happens today is inevitably linked to the past and how these connections affect the world that we live in. As a potential law student, History, a subject with a very wide-ranging scope, will teach you to appreciate precedent, which is not just a life principle but also a legal principle. The ability to render basic sequential and logical arguments in a clear manner is another skill that you will learn as you study.

Foreign Language Subject – This could be French, German, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin or Portuguese. The aim of offering a foreign language A-level subject is that learning a second language is mentally stimulating and it will further help you appreciate and understand the rules of English. It might seem like an uphill task at first but, as you stick with it, it will help stimulate your comprehension ability. I personally did not take a foreign language A-level subject but I did take French at GCSE and can say that I found it stimulating and that has helped me in my study as a law student.

Mathematics – I know this might come as a surprise to you but Maths definitely deserves to be on this list. You learn critical thinking skills with Maths. You also learn to develop problem-solving skills. As a lawyer, you’re going to be expected to solve problems and proffer workable solutions to your clients, so this subject should definitely be a strong consideration.

Please note that Maths is not one of the primary subjects that is required but, if you enjoy Maths and you are good at it, you should consider it. However, if you are not mathematically inclined, you are better off focusing on subjects that you are likely to achieve top grades in.

You may be wondering about A-level Law and why it wasn’t listed here. Well, this is because there is no strong reason to believe that taking A-level Law will help you become a better law student. Many thriving law students never offered law at A-level and have no regrets about it.  The truth is that you can do just as well without this subject.

If you’re unlike me and are science inclined, you’ve probably considered a science subject as well. While there’s no strong argument in favour of this, I understand that offering an A-level science subject like Biology, Physics or Chemistry, which requires advanced calculations and memorisation, can be just the right amount of challenging to help you build resilience, which you will definitely need as a law student.

Choosing the right A-level subject combination can be difficult but a pro tip is to choose subjects you have a genuine interest in. That way, even when it’s hard, your interest will sustain you and keep you working at it until you come out on the other side with flying colours.

Best of luck to you!

Mr Musty's Column

Should We Give Gen Z Some Credit?

There are different areas of day-today life in which young people are found wanting, and we parents are so frustrated that we get emotional sometimes when trying to get them to do things. The list is so long, and it ranges from the difficulty in trying to have a civilised conversation that is not monosyllabic to persuading them to get out of bed in the morning. This is not to speak of the endless attachment they have to their mobile phones and our failure to get them to attempt some sort of digital detox.

Despite their perceived shortcomings, Gen Zs are doing some great things. For example, regarding climate change and various socioeconomic issues plaguing our world today, Gen Zs make up the largest number of activists. There is more information available to us now about what to do and what not to do to protect the environment and make the world a safer place to live in, and young people are more aware of this than any other generation and are leading the charge all over the world, in line with the SDG goals. They also learn a lot about other cultures either by reading or through social media and are more open than their parents to people that may be different from them. Also, many Gen Zs have a reformist mindset and believe that there’s always a better way of doing things, especially when the ‘old way’ may not be working or yielding positive results anymore. They are not afraid of change and trying out new things or new ways of doing things.

Even if they are afraid of failure, they venture anyway, doing it afraid. Now, is that something that can be said of those of the older generation?

In addition, when it comes to academics, even though they face a lot of pressure to succeed, they have been able to achieve commendable feats. This, even in the wake of a global pandemic which rocked the educational system.

On another note, whilst I am a dreamer or perhaps an idealist as well, I’m also aware that, sadly, the recent educational achievements that have been welldocumented are not being experienced by children in all parts of society. There is a growing prosperity gap in society between the Haves and the Have Nots.

If you will permit me to generalise for a moment, it is apparent that certain demographics of society are not making as much progress as the others. The widening gap in both education and income are a concern that society must address if it is to prosper.

Some of the issues that the young people of today will have to deal with as adults of tomorrow will be different from what we have dealt with or what we are dealing with at present. Human society is evolving all the time, and some of us are more fortunate to live in a part of the world in which there are more possibilities than in other places.

I am an optimist and I believe that, despite the gloom we hear in the media, the future is bright and young people of today will thrive. The knowledge, skills and experience that they are developing now, together with the vast resources that will be available to them in the future, will enable them to prosper.


  1. Saturday classes – our flagship programme for GCSE, A-level and KS3 in core academic subjects– more information on this page
  2. Intensive Revision – two-day (GCSE) or three-day (A-level) per subject during school holidays
  3. Excel iLearn Flex – flexible, live online teaching – limited to Physics, Chemistry and Biology GCSE at present.