31-12-2018 – A letter to my pupils … and their parents

Master C – in the past year, you’ve tackled your SATS and succeeded brilliantly. You took on the challenge head on and persevered to achieve great things. You have transitioned into high school and break through all the barriers in front of you to become a fantastic young man.

Miss K – You are such a kind and funny young lady. You recognise your difficulties and work hard to overcome them realising that every small step adds to the bigger goal. I’m proud of your positive attitude to learning and can’t wait to see what happens in 2019.

Master K – You have become a fluent reader, a brave writer and you are now beginning to grasp the challenges of becoming a maths wizard. You have recognised ways that help you to learn and are starting to take risks in your learning. Keep being brave in 2019.

Master R – My oldest pupil and possibly one who has made the most progress. You are like a learning sponge, every skill and technique we’ve worked through you’ve absorbed and used brilliantly. I’m so proud of your achievements and your effort to explain Rugby to me!

Master H – My Fortnite guru! You are progressing well and we will have you ready to face those dreaded SATS in no time! I blame you and your sister for my new Christmasaurus obsession. Keep working hard and we’ll get there!

Miss C – My gigglebox! You don’t half make me chuckle in our sessions. Your reading is developing well and your writing is coming along too! You are doing well on Reading Eggs and the more lessons you complete, the further on your journey we get! (nom,nom,nom,nom)

Mr T – You definitely keep our lessons active and we cover so much in an hour each week. Your enthusiasm for learning is amazing and you put in so much effort to learn as many skills as possible! Keep it up, T!

Miss C – A brilliant effort, a never ending enthusiasm to learn. You are starting to believe in yourself and it’s showing. You are on target and soon your writing will match the others. Well Done C!

Lastly, thank you to all the parents, who welcome and support me and my pupils to engage in whatever weird and wacky sessions help them to learn. I cannot wait to see what happens in 2019!



It’s Super Saturday!

Sorting our Miss C on her @readingeggs journey and embracing her being an #eggsplorer, all Baseline tests complete ready for her journey to begin, 8x times tables, reading comprehension and spellings!

PiXL progress and acknowledging #success as well as #failure – using the idea of Walt Disney who didn’t instantly succeed but had to persevere and work hard to achieve. A touch of mindfulness practice too, was great to see Christmas creeping in as well.

Maths madness – Singapore Maths, Column addition and 100 Square, in love with how Master K is utilising many different methods to problem solve. A bit of phonics rehearsal with Teach my Monster to read followed by some SATS question rehearsal from practice papers to familiarise him with how they look.

Last but not least, Mr T, who is also looking at his @readingeggs map and throwing himself into being an #eggsplorer. Looking at sight words, spelling and independent writing… telling tales of handprint adventures and aliens.

Now home in the dry!


So … this evening was a short one as Master R took an hour out from his evening with friends to work on his Shakespeare introduction. It’s a subject I’ve always enjoyed from Twelfth Night to Midsummer Nights Dream. Was great for discussion and research this evening! Well Done 👍


My Friday nights are spent with Master R, who challenges my teaching with his creative and questioning mind. After a few weeks of Animal Farm, last night went back to creative writing, my favourite!

But writing with a twist… by being restricted to a 100 word limit, the importance of planning and word choice definitely was the order of the evening!

Useful Resources – Reading Eggs and Mathseed

Even when tutors are on holiday, we can’t switch off and whilst browsing the onsite magazine of a certain well-known UK resort – Centre Parcs pointed me in the direction of this fab resource. Offering a month free trial, I used elements of Reading Eggs aimed at 3 to 7 years, Reading Eggspress for 7 to 13 years and Mathseed aimed at 3 to 9 years old.

As a tutor, I’d love for my pupils to pick up a solid physical book but I understand that many would prefer an electronic device. Reading Eggs has an extensive library of over 2,500 books that allow the reader to read independently or have voice assistance to confirm their blending and pronunciation.

The lessons encourage the children to progress over a map earning eggs or seeds to customise their avatars and travel around the world offering a geographical element also. For me, it offers a great dashboard where I can view their usage, progress and difficulties allowing me to support them as they develop their skills.

Reading Eggs Overview video

K’s Amazing Progress

I met K almost a month ago and cannot believe how amazing his progress is.

In the top half of this picture, you can see reversals of letters, phonetic attempts at familiar words and in some places, markmarking when faced with words he didn’t know.

Two weeks later, with a refresher in Phase 2, 3 and 4 sounds – sentences were beginning to emerge with pictorial representations to help him. Still the occasional reversal and needing some finger spaces to clarify words but a fab start!

On to the amazing “Mega Man”, where K chose all his features by writing a sentence first and then creating his person.

His letter formation is much clearer. He is starting to structure sentences with adjectives and using a conjunction to extend his thoughts because his writing has a purpose to create a character.

So very proud of his effort and hope it continues as he heads back to school too!

A busy few weeks…

I’ve had the pleasure of starting with seven new pupils ranging from five to twelve years old.

Over the next week, I will be meeting five new pupils too!

It has given me a new respect for Ipswich and some of its lovely aspects. I’ve been able to pop into Christchurch Mansion and Holywells Park. As well as walking along the developing waterfront, I’ve been spending more time in town than I used to and remembering nice restaurants and cafes, parks and buildings.

A new doctor …

With the announcement of the new #doctorwho – I’d like to quote a previous regeneration. “We’re all stories in the end; so make it a good one, eh?” It is a blessing that my #tutoring gives me as I’m able to help my pupils write their story and gain the skills to continue on their own. #ipswich #education

Trust Yourself

Trust Yourself. You know more than you think you do.

Dr Spock

It’s a quote I use with my pupils quite a lot (usually once I’ve explained who he is!)

Boosting my pupils’ confidence is one of my key aims. There are many quotes I could throw around along the lines of “If you believe it, you can do it!” And motivation is important too, but self-esteem is a huge help to confidence, motivation and success.