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Easter break means easter eggs!

Easter & Bank Holiday Closure Dates 2020

Easter Holidays Closure Dates for April 2020:

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will close for the Easter break between Saturday 4th April and Sunday 19th April 2020.

BHTC will also close on Friday 8th May for the May bank holiday and Saturday 23rd May to Sunday 31st May for half term.

There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during these periods, as Bex will be out of the office and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on maternity leave.

 

Contact:

If you need to contact us via text or email, one of us will respond on Monday 20th April, when we resume our normal business opening hours.

You are welcome to post homework through the door to ensure it is marked in time for your first lesson back after Easter.

Don’t forget to build in little tea breaks to eat those lovely Easter eggs!

Covid-19:

If Covid-19 is still a pandemic by the end of the Easter holidays, online lessons will continue until at least 1st June. Many thanks for your patience and please see my posts on resources for kids not in school and  how you can keep busy at home.

 

maths algebra practice

Resources For Kids Not At School

It is a difficult time for parents and guardians. Don’t feel overwhelmed by being solely responsible for your child’s education: give me a shout if you need a tutor. Meanwhile, here are some things to help you. They are mostly reading, English, maths, German and history.

Key Stages 3 and 4

Free Kids E-books

My English Lit Resource page

German resources (various levels)

My online practice exam questions for English (see the images that are blue-green)

BBC Bitesize

Writing about what you know

Speech writing

Essay writing and more

Creative writing and critical reading

Fiction writing

Poetry

Critical Reading

Grammar

First World War

Maths

More maths

Even more maths

Key Stage 5 and beyond

Health and the Ancient World

Duchess of Malfi

First World War

Mental Health

Also check out my post on how to keep yourself and the kids occupied whilst mostly stuck at home!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update for BHTC

Online lessons only:

In light of the recent advice being issued by the World Health Organisation and the British government regarding the coronavirus, I will be switching to online-only lessons as from tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 18th March) until at least the Easter break.

With exams still thought to go ahead, I understand this will raise some concerns for those who haven’t had online tutoring before. But please be assured that I have years of experience tutoring online and many of my students are currently already online-only.

 

You will need:
  • a laptop, tablet or computer that has a webcam;
  • access to email to receive lesson materials and your online classroom link.
  • to download Zoom before the lesson and I will send you the classroom link via email. You can download Zoom, here.

 

Homework:

Please post any homework through my door that you would like marking that cannot either be typed and sent via email or photographed. For example, test papers. To collect marked homework, please text or email and I will place the homework in a box outside the door. Please note, marked homework will only be left in the box to collect on Thursdays 4-8pm, to avoid as much as possible breaching GDPR laws. if you cannot collect work at the this time, let me know and I will try to make special arrangements.

 

I hope this is all clear to you, but please feel free to get in touch if not.

If you are self-isolating and wondering how to keep the family occupied, check out my recent blog post!

These are the full symptoms and advice on how to reduce exposure, now that the virus has reached Southend-on-Sea

I hope you’re well and this doesn’t affect you or your friends and family. See you online from tomorrow onwards!

Best wishes,

Bex

healthy eating, snacks

Brain-powering Snacks!

The Importance of Food For Your Brain

With exams coming up, it is important to have healthy, but tasty, snacks to make your revision and homework sessions more fun! It can be easy to crave sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks, but here are some tips.

Drink plenty of water or sparkling water! (If you have a craving for fizzy drinks, sparkling water is better than cola, etc.)

Oats are high in protein and fibre as well as containing lots of vitamins and minerals (e.g. manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and B vitamins).

Nuts (unless you are allergic!) are a very good source of protein and natural fats, as well as vitamins and magnesium.

Chocolate that has low or no sugar content, but high cocoa content (at least 70% cocoa), has been shown to improve your mood and contains iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. In small amounts, chocolate can be good for you.

Likewise, bananas, which are high in potassium, are very good for you in small amounts. Make sure your banana is yellow/brown; not still partially green.

 

For a quick snack ideas:

  • spread a banana with peanut butter
  • trail mix: make up a box of dried fruit, nuts, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate squares
  • carrots and hummus

 

Alternately, you could try the recipes below that I use regularly to keep the cravings at bay! Thanks to Sophie at Gut Confidence for sharing these recipes and for giving me permission to share them with you.

 

RECIPES

All freezable. Just make as instructed and put in air-tight containers in the freezer and get out in the morning. These snacks will help with sugar cravings and are full of healthy fats and proteins!

 

Chocolate Nutty Energy Balls (makes about 12 balls)

Ingredients:

  • 125g peanut or almond butter
  • 90g oats or quinoa flakes
  • 50g dark chocolate chips or 50g of a bar, grated
  • 50ml maple syrup (make sure it is the real stuff and not a fake, like golden syrup)
  • 30g chopped macadamia or hazelnuts

 

How to:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. (TIP: you can make a double batch of the dry ingredients and put the spare half in an air-tight container to use when baking in a rush!)
  2. Stir in the nut butter and maple syrup.
  3. Roll into 12 balls with the palm of your hands.
  4. Put in the fridge for 30 mins to chill.

 

 

Cranberry + Hazelnut Bark

Ingredients:

  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)

 

How to:

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, break the chocolate into pieces then microwave for about 2 minutes. Check every 20 seconds and stir, then take out as soon as it’s fully melted. (It might be done before 2 minutes depending on your microwave.)
  1. Add about 3/4 of the nuts and cranberries and stir together. Pour onto the baking tray and spread out with a spoon until it’s a flat slab with even thickness.
  2. Sprinkle the rest of the nuts and cranberries over the top
  1. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes then  carefully cut into smaller pieces with a sharp knife.

 

 

Cinnamon & Banana Oaty Bakes (makes 8)

Ingredients:

  • 100g rolled oats
  • 2 bananas, mashed (very ripe ones are best)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 60g raisins

 

How to:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C  and grease a baking tray
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (TIP: you can make a double batch of the dry ingredients and put the spare half in an air-tight container to use when baking in a rush!)
  3. Add mashed banana and stir throughly.
  4. Spoon 8 mounds onto the baking tray
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown, then remove and let cool.
  6. Keep what you can eat in 3 days in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer. (If you don’t freeze these, they need to be eaten within a few days due to the banana!)

 

Fantastic Freezer Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 200g coconut oil (melt so that it is liquid)
  • 30g cacao powder
  • maple syrup
  • Sea salt

 

How to:

  1. Mix the coconut oil and cacao powder in a bowl
  2. Add maple syrup and sea salt to taste.
  3. Freeze. Keep in the freezer until you are ready to eat them!

 

If you love making these treats, I also love the Rawtarian chocolate brownies, freezer cheesecake and chocolate shortbread, as well as Brendan Brazier’s Salt and Vinegar Kale Crisps. I suggest you check those out next! Happy baking!

Bex, Harper, tutor, Southend, Westcliff,

Christmas & New Year Closure

Christmas & New Year Holidays Closure Dates!

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will be closed for the Christmas & New Year break.  Our break will be between Friday 20th December 2019 and Monday 6th January 2020 (inclusive). There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during this period, as Bex and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on annual leave.

 

Contact

If you need to contact us via text or email or send homework via email, you shall receive a response on Tuesday 7th January when we resume our normal business opening hours. Many thanks for your patience.

 

Happy Christmas and New Year!

The Benefits Of Keeping Aquariums On your Mental Health 

It may not seem like an obvious choice at first. However, keeping fish and shrimp can have a positive effect on your mental health. This article explores these benefits and how fish can improve your home or your study space. 

 

Improving your mental health

Keeping fish or shrimp falls under ‘animalassisted therapy’. In most cases either dogs or cats are used in this type of therapy. However, fish can have positive effects as well.  The biggest advantages to fish (or any animal), is that they connect you with nature. A 2005 study showed that contact with nature can provide a populationwide strategy for the prevention of mental health issues.  

 

So, what is it about fish specifically that can help us with our mental health? As well as connecting us with nature, fish live in water, and water has many therapeutic benefits. Many people find the sound and visual effect of running water very calming. In fact, you can achieve the same effect just sitting and looking at the water in the sea or a lake.

 

Owning a tank

You can have all the benefits of fish and water by owning your own tank. Fish owners all state that overall the most stressful part of owning fish, is generally the initial set up. Yet, many owners agree that the benefits outweigh any of the initial stress. However, it is not always practical to own your own fish.  If you are unable to own your own fish tank, then you can still gain all these benefits by visiting fish. Maybe you have a local fishpond or aquarium? Even just the occasional visit has been shown to greatly improve a person’s mental health.  

BHTC vision and values

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching pride itself in putting clients’ mental health first. I strongly believe in the therapeutic benefits of fish, shrimp and water snails, which is why there is an aquarium in the BHTC study and coaching space. These delightful, calming creatures are, therefore, incorporated into our sessions, wherever possible. For example, in coaching, the relaxing sound of water flowing can relax you enough to explore areas of your life in greater detail.

In terms of tutoring, often children can be nervous about coming to a tutor for the first session and it provides common ground and opportunities for conversation that isn’t exclusively focused on them. This can help calm tutees and make them feel relaxed. BHTC also allows clients to bring their own slippers to wear, if they want to really feel at home!

 

If you would like a calming environment to learn or to re-evaluate your life and achieve your big goals, then BHTC is for you! Drop me an email (hello@bexharper.com) to find out more!

Back to School!

BHTC will open its doors again on Monday 9th September at 4pm to begin the new school year!

Firstly, we are almost fully-booked, so get in touch if you haven’t secured your tutoring slot for September. We’ve only got these times left:

  • Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm (fortnightly)
  • Wednesdays 4:00-5:00pm (weekly)
  • Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm (fortnightly)

Get in touch via email ASAP to book! Contact hello@bexharper.com for more information or to book one of these times.

 

Secondly, don’t forget to let me know which literature texts you are studying for GCSE, your examination board or other important information.

So, I’ll see you week commencing 9th September! Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Your Words: Improve Your Child’s Wellbeing and Education!

I tutor English Language and am life coach. So I am very interested in language use. In particular, I am fascinated by how the language we use around children affects the way they perceive themselves and others. First, let’s explore a little some ideas I have come across recently. These are approaches that encourage your child to be resilient. Second, we’ll look at using gender-neutral language. Through this approach, you allow your children to believe in themselves, due to avoiding gender bias.

Growth Mindset Language

Growth Mindset is a theory from educational practice that states that children should not be praised for what they achieve, but how hard they work. Some people think this is impractical. They believe giving praise to children who never achieve high grades is creating an unrealistic view of the world for those children. However, my response to this view is twofold. Firstly, I believe strongly that the people making these claims do not understand growth mindset theory. Secondly, they also do not understand the potential damage done to the children’s confidence. If children get consistently low grades and also see others being praised instead of them, this increasingly makes them feel worse about themselves. 

Growth Mindset is saying “Well done for completing all the questions” when a child works slowly and doesn’t normally finish. It’s saying “Excellent! You remembered your folder today!” when a child manages to get organised, who doesn’t normally manage this. Growth Mindset literally makes kids want to keep doing the things you are praising them for. Then it starts to become automatic and you can start to set them new goals. “George, well done for remembering your folder today. Tomorrow I’d like to see you remember your homework!”

 

How Can Parents Use Growth Mindset Language?

Praise your kids who don’t normally do their chores, when they do them. Growth mindset is almost like the opposite of nagging. Children love praise. Nobody likes to be told off, but it is necessary sometimes. However, try to limit your nagging or telling off to a ratio of 1:5 – with 5 lots of praise for every nag! Use language like: “Well done for being kind to your sister and sharing with her” or “Great job that you wiped your feet before coming in today!” In particular, with education, you can praise children for completing their homework and taking an interest in their after-school clubs. 

A little goes a long way! They will start to believe in themselves!

 

How You Can be a Language Role Model

Don’t say to your kids “I wasn’t any good at maths, ask ____”. Studies have shown that kids can interpret this as “Well if Mum / Dad isn’t good at this, how will I be?” You can be a language role model by saying to your kids: “Okay, shall we research this online and see what we can find?” or “Do you find maths harder than other subjects? Do you want a tutor to support you and make you really confident?” This way, you are actively helping to find a solution without putting yourself down. You are not telling your child “I feel anxious about this and can’t help”.

 

Avoiding Gender Bias

Many studies have shown how little girls mostly get compliments that reflect their appearance. For example: “you’re so pretty” or “your dress is beautiful”. Boys, on the other hand, get complimented on how well they do things, rather than expressing their emotions or how they look. To improve your daughter’s chances of doing well, praise her for things that she accomplishes as well as how she looks! Likewise, boost your son’s confidence by commented on both his great achievements and decisions, but also how well he expressed his feelings. 

 

Moving Forward

This is just a whistle-stop tour of how language can help your child. If you are looking for coaching or a tutor to help boost your child’s confidence, then drop me a message to see if I can help! Email hello@bexharper.com for more information.

Revision Time!

It’s time to revise! Don’t panic! Check out:

Good luck! 🙂

2019 AQA GCSE REVISION WORKSHOPS: KEY INFORMATION

AQA GCSE REVISION WORKSHOPS: 

Dates and Times

  • Unseen Poetry: Sunday 12th May, 10:00am-12:00pm
  • An Inspector Calls: Sunday 12th May, 1:30pm-3:30pm
  • English Language Paper 1: Sunday 19th May, 10:00am-12:00pm
  • English Language Paper 2: Sunday 19th May, 1:30pm-3:30pm

What do the workshops include?

  • Never-seen-before exam questions to give you a real exam-simulated-environment.
  • Exam practice question walk-throughs & techniques to boost your grade.
  • Small group workshop for focus (i.e a maximum of 5 students per session).
  • Complete and detailed, individualised feedback on how to improve!
  • Workshops take place in Westcliff-on-Sea, only 5 minutes walk from Southend-on-Sea high street!
  • Experienced tutor and qualified teacher, with lots of enthusiasm!
  • Free drinks and nibbles for students.

I need this! How do I book my place?

  • Email hello@bexharper.com to book your place. Early booking is recommended.
  • You can pay by bank transfer, Paypal or cheque: £40 per two-hour workshop.
  • I look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions meanwhile, feel free to email me!