Guide for Parents – Helping your child to get ahead

Below we address some of the questions we are often asked by parents of 12 and 13 year olds.

If you have a question not discussed below, please contact us and a member of our team will get back to you promptly.

  1. How can I best support my child?
  2. What is the recommended way to use LST Resources?
  3. What level and topics do LST Resources cover?
  4. Who are LST?
  5. What is the 13+ Common Entrance exam?
  6. Do you provide resources for other subjects?


How can I best support my child?

Every year we hear of the difficulties faced by parents – we understand that there is very little support or guidance at this first, critical time in your child’s education.

Our aims are:

  • Confidence: To allow your child to build their scientific and mathematical confidence
  • Results: To improve your child’s academic performance, giving them the best educational opportunities to get ahead
  • Enjoyment: To share and instil a deep interest and excitement for Science and Maths

Our resources have been developed for:

  • Intelligent children aged 11-13,
  • Who are not receiving adequate support from their school
  • And want to improve their Science and Maths beyond the classroom.

We have found the greatest problems faced by these children are:

  • Their natural ability is not identified, nurtured and developed,
  • They are losing marks in exams and homework – but there is no clear advice on how to develop study skills or exam technique
  • They become bored and distracted in class by the dry, fixed pace of Science and Maths teaching.

From our experience, the key to success at this age depends on:

  1. A structured and progressive approach to content learning
  2. Regular “open book” homework and “closed book” testing
  3. Key topics identification for focus


1. A structured and progressive approach to content learning
We have found this to be the  most effective way for children to develop their Science and Maths skills.

Structured LearningThere is a significant amount of material for your child to learn – and it is naturally difficult to know where in the textbook one should start.

A structured approach:

  • breaks down material into manageable topics that can be focussed on in one study session
  • ensures that you have a deeper understanding of your child’s weaknesses and strengths – for example “working out the area of a triangle” rather than “Mental Maths”
  • gives you the confidence as a parent that all of the required topics will be covered, reviewed and revised and in good time

Progressive Learning: Each new area builds on the previous content. For example, there isn’t any point testing simultaneous equations if basic algebraic manipulation has not yet been mastered – this leads to time being wasted and result in decreasing confidence.

A progressive approach to content learning and testing allows your child to:

  • feel mastery over each topic in turn.
  • develops a solid basis and scientific and mathematical confidence
  • enjoyment of the subject naturally develops.


2. Regular “open book” homework and “closed book” testing

Regular sessions: We suggest sessions take place at the same time each week and in the same, quiet location e.g. 2-4PM on Saturday afternoon in the study. This helps your child develop good study skills which will be very valuable.

Every year we hear from parents concerned with their child’s academic progress: “My child says that they are doing their homework online, but I’m worried they get distracted and are browsing the internet, wasting precious time at this age.”

We strongly advise against children working on the internet during study sessions – as we have found children tend to become distracted and can equate the internet with browsing and games.

“Open Book” Homework: allows your child the opportunity to become familiar with the content on their own terms and time using their textbook , Study and Revision Sheets.

“Closed Book” Testing: To determine whether topics and approaches are entering into your child’s memory. ‘Closed book’ testing allows the areas that have not yet been internalised and remembered by your child to be identified. Also allows your child to familiarise and become comfortable with exam conditions.

3. Key topic identification for focussed reinforcement
Every year we hear from parents concerned with their child’s academic progress: “My child is intelligent and has the potential to get far ahead with Science and Maths – but I fear they are being held back at school.”

A knowledge of your child’s ability in different topic areas allows you to provide:

  • Support for weak areas – Ensure that your child does not fall behind in key areas
  • Stretch opportunities for strong areas – Ensure that your child’s talent is nurtured and they are not held back. There is no reason why your child should be held back in stronger areas.

Some areas of the syllabus are more fundamental and important than others. Areas that have not been mastered can be identified and focused on before progressing.


What is the recommended way to use LST Resources?

From our experience, we have found that the following teaching framework works well with these children:

  1. Print off the Weekly Worksheet for your child to work through over the weekend – and let them work through it at their own pace and with our Study and Revision sheets or textbooks . Ideally this should be at the same time and place each weekend to develop good study habits.
  2. Check through your child’s work on Sunday evening easily and quickly with our worked solutions.
  3. Set at least one past paper every month for your child to work through under exam conditions. Check through the exam with our worked solutions and notes to determine which areas might need additional focus.
  4. Use our study and revision sheets for your child to review any areas that they haven’t performed well.   Our study sheets break down topics into smaller, understandable chunks. Revision sheets identify the key areas. Colour coded by topic and numbered by level to allow learning to be easily structured.
  5. Use our 13+ Holiday Workbooks during the holidays to ensure your child doesn’t fall behind while away from school. The workbooks include extra homework sheets, worked solutions, mark grids and calendars – allowing you to structure your child’s learning at home over the holidays
  6. If you feel that your child might benefit from one-to-one focussed assistance, we also organise in-person and online tutoring.


What level and topics do LST Resources cover?

We use the ISEB syllabus as our minimum. The syllabus can be downloaded from the ISEB website.

We will provide further details regarding how we divide and structure the content shortly.


Who are LST?

London Science Tutors are specialists in Science and Maths Education. In addition to educational guidance and personal tutoring, we publish materials and resources for use by children at home and in schools.
Our Common Entrance resources are developed and tested by our experienced tutors – all of whom have strong Science backgrounds from either Oxbridge, Imperial or UCL. From our cumulative teaching experience, we understand the most effective ways to teach and structure Science and Maths material for learning.



What is the 13+ Common Entrance exam?

Common Entrance Exams are taken as part of the admissions process for some selective secondary schools in the UK. They are taken by children for entry at 11 or 13 years old.

The exam paper is written by the Independent School Examination Board and is “Common” to all of the schools that use it. The exam is marked by the school independently.

Our resources are developed to stretch intelligent 12-13 year olds, and have been developed as part of a student’s preparation for the 13+ Common Entrance Science and Maths Exams.


Do you provide resources for other subjects?

No, we specialise only in developing high quality resources for Science and Maths.

Our focus and teaching experience has allowed us to develop a very deep understanding of the problems facing children and parents in Science and Maths. We build and test our own courses and materials for maximum impact and strong results.

Comments are closed.