Greenock Tuition in English and Maths Covering Kilmacolm, Inverkip, Gourock and Inverclyde

New Kip McGrath Tuition Centre Opens in Greenock 2012

The latest Kip McGrath Education Centre has opened in Greenock in November 2012.  Based in the Ladyburn Business Centre at Pottery Street, Greenock PA15 2UH, the Kip McGrath Tuition Centre of excellence for education is now open to help youngsters get to the top of the class in reading, writing and numeracy skills.

Former James Watt College lecturer Richard Harrison and his wife Heidi have brought the highly regarded Kip McGrath tuition programme to the area in 2012.

Richard and Heidi Harrison

From their Greenock base they will give Inverclyde children the opportunity to be the very best by offering first class tuition by qualified teachers to help them maximise their full potential in English and Maths.  The Centre offers tuition for children from Primary One through to Secondary and SQA exam level.

A huge advocate of the Kip McGrath methods, Richard believes that the international scheme can help give youngsters in Inverclyde an even better start in life.

A qualified teacher with many years’ teaching experience,  Richard said: “I have spent the last ten years as a lecturer and before that as a high school teacher. I know how beneficial and important it is for young people to reach a high standard in their literacy and numeracy skills.  This is a great opportunity for them to develop the extra skills they need while working in a friendly and relaxed group environment.”

History of Kip McGrath Education Centres

International tuition provider Kip McGrath, first started in Australia in 1977, caters for youngsters of all ages, levels and abilities delivered by qualified teachers.

Richard added: “It is so important from a very young age that children have sound English and Maths skills. This is an ideal environment to strengthen these essential skills.”

How We Teach at Kip McGrath Greenock Tuition Centre

On the first visit children are given a free educational assessment.  From this, our teachers can target specific areas of weakness and create an individual learning programme for each child. No two children follow the same programme as it is based on their individual needs.

The education centre aims to help children in a way that builds confidence and self esteem.

A mixture of unique resources keeps children engrossed in learning by offering courses in reading and comprehension, writing and spelling as well as English and Maths.  We are delighted to be one of the first centres in Scotland (currently 26 in Scotland) to offer the Kip McGrath Insight online programme which the children love and helps to make learning fun.  However, this is only used as a tool to help children complete tasks and learn in a fun and motivating way and never replaces individual teaching.

Each student attends the centre for an 80 minute lesson per week which includes individual teaching and written and computer exercises to reinforce the subject being learned.

Homework at Kip McGrath Education Centres

Goals will be set and a little homework provided which we encourage students to complete on their own without parental help.  Homework is not a test and results ensure that we as teachers can clearly identify areas that still need work.  Parents marking and helping children with homework, although common practice with school homework, does not help us in clearly marking a child’s progress and understanding of a subject.

The Scottish Curriculum and Re-learning the Basics

As qualified teachers, we understand the Scottish curriculum and can easily identify current working levels of children who are falling behind in school and what is required to bring every child up to the level required to excel in school.  Sometimes children fall behind because they have failed to grasp the fundamentals of a specific lesson and this makes it difficult to progress.  Sometimes gaps in learning have formed and at Kip McGrath, we can highlight these gaps and re-teach the lessons, enabling a child to fully understand and catch up.  Some children have to go back to basics before they can move on but once learned, it is surprising how quickly children can catch up with a little extra tuition.

Contact Kip McGrath Greenock Tuition Centre

Your child is in good hands at Kip McGrath and after the initial call, we will arrange to assess your child’s academic abilities which is currently FREE of charge.  Students are made to feel very welcome and our bright, modern tuition centre and fantastic exclusive resources make learning fun in a safe, relaxing but stimulating environment.

Arrange a FREE Educational Assessment

If you have concerns about your child’s education and wish to talk to a qualified teacher in confidence, you can call Richard Harrison on 01475 745600 or mobile 0794 645 5886.  Alternatively please visit the main Greenock website for more information or click here to arrange an assessment online.


Teaching Jobs at Kip McGrath Scotland – English and Maths Tutors Needed

Teaching Vacancies at Kip McGrath Education Centres Scotland 2012

It has been an exceptionally busy start to the year at Kip McGrath Education Centres in Scotland.  We currently have 26 centres throughout Scotland and we offer tuition to children from primary one to Higher Grade level in English and Maths.

A number of centres have intimated that requests for tuition have risen dramatically this year and as such we need to recruit more Secondary Teachers in Maths and English to cope with demand.

Qualifications Needed

To teach Secondary English or Maths at a Kip McGrath Education Centre, you must be a fully qualified teacher with experience of teaching students at Secondary level.  You need to be a member of the General Teaching Council.

You also need to be a great teacher and love teaching. This is also an ideal opportunity for retired teachers who still wish to teach and share their knowledge with our students.

Each Kip McGrath Centre is owned and run by a qualified teacher and they are responsible for their own recruitment but please let me know of your interest, location and credentials and I will ask them to contact you in confidence.

Please contact myself in confidence at or call me on 0141 571 2517 or 07711 451 400.

Margaret Carmichael

Kip McGrath Scotland

GB Olympic Champion Sailor of the Future? Jamie Calder on his way to Fulfil His Olympic Gold Medal Dreams

Jamie Calder – A Remarkable Young Boy with a Bright Future

One of our students who attends the Kip McGrath Centre in Balerno, Edinburgh South has achieved fantastic success in sailing and we would like to showcase his fantastic recent achievements.  Jamie Calder (13) is well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming an Olympic Gold medalist but also realises that his academic achievements are very important and attends the centre for help in English due to his hectic training schedule.

On 11 September 2012, Jamie travelled to Oxford Sailing Club along with another 40 under sixteen competitors for the first of the UKLA GUL Ladder event of the 2012/13 series. He came first!  Jamie has just moved from the Optimist class into the Laser 4.7, which is the same boat used at the Olympics but with a smaller sail. Jamie travelled to Farmoor reservoir in Oxford for his first Laser 4.7 Ladder event, which was also the first selection weekend for the GBR Laser 4.7 Squad. View an article on the results of this day here.

Jamie’s proud dad, Iain Calder, has agreed to be our guest blogger this week and tell us all about Jamie.

Jamie’s Story

As our family have always sailed Jamie has been in and around boats all his life.  He started racing an Optimist dingy at eight years old. The Optimist is the biggest, worldwide, junior class for children under sixteen. More Olympic sailors started their racing in Optimists than in any other class.

At nine Jamie qualified for the Scottish Optimist Squad and a year later he qualified for the Optimist GBR Squad, which is the top thirty sailors in the UK. Over the last four years Jamie has represented GBR at International regattas in Holland, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore and Dominican Republic. Each year the top five sailors from fifty countries are selected to compete at the World Championships. In 2011 Jamie became the fourth Scottish sailor ever to qualify for the World Championships and the youngest at the age of twelve. This year he was the first Scottish sailor to qualify for the Worlds twice.

Jamie’s best results to date are 3rd at the Belgian National Championships, 8th at Kiel German Championships, 9th at Brassemermeer Regatta, Holland, 1st at UK End of Season Championships, 3rd UK National Championships and 30th at Pre World Championships.

The Royal Yachting Association, which is sailing’s governing body, have a structured pathway of classes to identify talented athletes and support them to become future Olympic athletes. Jamie is part of this program with the Optimist class being the start of the pathway.

Jamie Calder

Although Jamie is still only thirteen he has decided to move to the next pathway class as he is getting a little big for the Optimist. He has decided to stick with a single handed class rather than opting to join someone else in a double hander. The class Jamie is now sailing is the Laser 4.7. The boat is an Olympic class although the junior sailors use a smaller mast and sail, with the view to move up first to the radial rig at youth level (under 19) and then the full rig Olympic class.

Having been part of the GBR Squad for the last few years Jamie was keen to continue at this level in his next class. We therefore travelled down to the first GBR Squad qualifying event at Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford last weekend.  Having not raced the Laser he was very much looking forward to the challenges a new class brings. Unfortunately due to a lack of wind there was no racing on the Saturday but a good breeze on Sunday allowed three races to be completed. Jamie finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the races which meant he won the event overall. The second and final Squad qualifier takes place at the end of September at Rutland Water, a reservoir one hundred miles north of London. After this event the Royal Yachting Association will select the top twelve sailors to train together at various venues around the country, including the Olympic 2012 venue at Weymouth.

Winning at Oxford has given Jamie a great start in his new class and he is very much looking forward to the training and competition ahead to try and achieve his ultimate goal of an Olympic gold medal.

Jamie Calder

Jamie has been very lucky to have received the support of several sponsors in the past to help with the cost of competing at this level and would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank the following:

RYA Scotland, RYA UK, Sports Aid, Ground Developments Ltd, Kitchens International, Pensato Capital, Zhik, IBI Sailing, Olimpic Sails, North Sails, James Miller Trust and Royal Forth Yacht Club.

Iain Calder.

Technology of the Future in the Classroom – Glimpse into the Future

Thanks to our Dunfermline Centre for sharing the above blog. What a fascinating insight into the future of technology.

Dunfermline Tuition at Kip McGrath Education

Technology in the Classroom

The advancement in technology within schools is incredible!  Whiteboards and ipads are becoming commonplace with ICT an important subject in the classroom.  Many children are coming home and showing their parents how to navigate a computer!

A Tablet and a Pencil!

I was watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie the other day (which was a favourite TV programme of mine from my childhood) with my children and they were very confused at what a writing tablet was for.  They were very amused to see the classroom environment from those days and astonished at the basic materials children had.

My youngest asked me “Dad, did you have to use a writing tablet when you were at school in the olden days?”  Needless to say I found this highly amusing.

Nevertheless, it made me think about the advancements in technology in schools even…

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English Education v Scottish Education? Which is Better?

Michael Gove

The English and Scottish Education systems are completely different and certainly in recent weeks, Michael Gove, The Education Secretary has come under attack.  There are many articles such as this “Michael Gove has made a cruel mess of exam grades”.  The English education system does seem to be in a bit of a turmoil but is the Scottish education system really much better? 

Less publicised but still causing headaches for many Scottish schools is the introduction of new National 4 & 5 exams introduced as part of the new Curriculum For Excellence and only time will tell if this transition runs smoothly in the next few years.

Why Scotland’s approach to publicly funded education works

I came across this interesting article online by Melissa Benn of the Guardian and I wanted to share.  I would be interested to hear your point of view.

Guardian Article in Full

Last week, a British education minister spoke eloquently of the necessity of a highly qualified teaching profession, free university learning and the vital importance of public education as a “societal, not just an individual, good”.

Michael Russell

No, Michael Gove has not had a radical change of heart over the summer break. The minister in question was Michael Russell, cabinet secretary for education in the SNP government. He and I were sharing a platform at a packed session at this year’s Edinburgh book festival on “the value of education”, with many cogent and passionate contributions from leading academics and educationalists.

The most immediate thing to strike a visitor from Planet Gove is how very different the atmosphere and assumptions are on this subject north of the border. With its proud tradition of the “democratic intellect”, long history of compulsory education and world-renowned universities, the Scots seem genuinely to value their school system.

Here one finds very little teacher-bashing and scant reference to market solutions to social problems. At the Edinburgh event, the overriding concern was how to improve access by poorer students to higher and further learning and keep universities free, despite considerable pressure from an unholy alliance of English newspapers and Scottish conservatives. There is a heartening and robust belief in publicly funded, publicly accountable high-quality education.

Is this perhaps the very reason we in England hear so little about Scotland‘s education system, bar some envious carping at its avoidance of tuition fees? While every fashionable free-schooler or educational conservative has rushed to bash underfunded Wales as proof of comprehensive failure, or bemoaned attempts in Northern Ireland to eliminate its outmoded selective system, there is little discussion of the evident strengths of the Scottish comprehensive system.

In fact, Scotland has deliberately rejected what Russell accurately labels the Germ (Global Education Reform Movement) approach so beloved of the coalition, with its commitment to privatisation, competition and deregulation.

He is rightly scathing of the “three initiatives before breakfast” policy-hyperactivity of the current English government. At the Edinburgh session he declared himself “stunned” at recently announced English plans to allow unqualified teachers into classrooms. Rigorous teacher training is at the heart of the Scottish approach, and there are plans, modelled upon the Finnish example, to require every teacher to possess a master’s in addition to a first degree.

Scotland publishes no official league tables, although individual schools obviously release their results. (Even Wales now publishes the results of secondary schools grouped into one of five bands.) The Scottish government is moving towards greater school self-evaluation and has, over the past decade, slowly rolled out a progressive “curriculum for excellence”, in stark contrast to our own government’s speedily devised, overly prescriptive and increasingly contested programmes for learning.

And it seems to be working. Results for Scottish highers, a formal examination taken between 16 and 19, have slowly climbed over the years and are up again in 2012, with no serious claims of grade inflation. From this year, pilot schemes will be rolled out, with the ultimate aim of each child learning two languages in addition to their own. And only last year, the Royal Society praised the high numbers of Scottish students – 49.7% – who study science to the higher levels, and suggested that the rest of the UK should emulate Scotland in this regard.

Denominational schooling is still a huge issue and while some indicators suggest that Scotland is better at educating its poorer students than we are in England, it remains, like all parts of the UK, dogged by an unacceptable attainment gap based on social class.

Acknowledging this, Russell points to “some spectacularly good practice” on improving the performance of low-income students in Glasgow’s toughest schools. It is an approach, says Russell, consistent with Scotland’s belief in “collaboration rather than competition”. He adds succinctly: “We do not believe that poverty is destiny. But Kipp (a reference to the US Charter model) would not work for us.”

Not perfect but improving: that seemed to be the general, modest consensus up in Edinburgh. Indeed, it may be that modesty and consensus-seeking are the hallmarks of Scotland’s approach, in marked contrast to the “quick fix”, grandstanding approach of Germ guerillas everywhere who deliberately seek to undermine public trust and confidence in the role of the state.

Scotland offers another model, celebrating both the possibilities of good government and education as a public good. As a result, it could well nudge ahead of busy old England in the years to come

Tuition in Dunfermline – How to Help Children Learn Times Tables

This is an excellent article written by our Dunfermline Centre. Click on Read more above to view the whole article.

Dunfermline Tuition at Kip McGrath Education

Why is Learning Times Tables Important?

When a child is learning maths concepts at school, it is very important that a child knows their multiplication times tables as this will help them quickly master maths in the future such as division and algebra.  A child who can recite their times table will find it much easier to complete questions in class and cope with higher levels of maths.

It used to be the practice in schools to learn times tables by rote but this seems to have gone out of fashion.  Parents can help their children at home by encouraging them to practice memorising multiplication tables and try to make this a fun activity with rewards.  This will pay dividends in the future as your child is more likely to be confident and able to grasp new ideas.

As a teacher and dad of three young children, I understand how…

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Dunfermline Tutors in Maths and English

The Kip McGrath Dunfermline Centre is now open at a new location and we would like to wish them the very best of luck in their brand new premises!

Dunfermline Tuition at Kip McGrath Education

Why Parents are Opting for Extra Tuition for Children?

Many children sail through school without any problems and go on to achieve great exam results.  However this is not the case for some children and extra tuition may be required at some point.  The tuition industry in Scotland and the UK is booming and “extra tuition” should no longer hold any so called embarrassment for children and parents.  In fact many children who are tutored are high achievers who want to excel academically.

Does Your Child Need a Tutor?

As parents, trust your instinct.  There are many signs that your child may be struggling or falling behind in class:

  • Do they “hate” school and make excuses not to go?
  • Is homework a struggle for both you and your child?
  • Have they become moody or withdrawn?
  • Are they reluctant to read a book, comic or anything other than the school has…

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Tuition in Ayr – Kip McGrath Tuition Centre Celebrates Relaunch with Grand Opening

Kip McGrath Ayr Education Centre Grand Opening 31st August 2012

We are delighted to announce that Elizabeth McKay is the new owner of the Kip McGrath Tuition Centre in Ayr.  To celebrate the re-launch of this fantastic centre at 21 Wellington Square, an Official Opening Event will be held on Friday 31st August 2012 from 7.00pm until 9.00 pm with wine nibbles and a bit of fun.  All are welcome to come along and enjoy the festivities.

Our special guest of honour is Lorna Dempsey who has just been voted Scotland’s Role Model of the Year 2012 by No.1 Magazine.  Lorna is the founder of the biggest and most talked about events in Ayrshire, Butterfly Events.  Lorna has been organising her events voluntary in aid of Cancer Research UK since 2007, raising £194,000 and more importantly cancer awareness through thousands of people.

She also works full time and volunteers for her local Scout and Girls Group in her village of Dalmellington.  We are proud to support Lorna.  You can find out more about Lorna’s fundraising at and take part in future fun events to raise even more money for Cancer Research UK.

Open Day on 8th September

For those who cannot attend the grand opening, we are also holding an Open Day on Saturday 8th September from 2.00pm until 4.00pm.  This gives parents an ideal opportunity to visit our teachers, view the centre and our fabulous resources and speak to our teachers.

About Kip McGrath Education Centre Ayr

The Kip McGrath Centre in Ayr is run by Liz McKay who is a fully qualified Maths Teacher and has been teaching in local schools since 1981.  Sometimes children need a little extra tuition in English or Maths to achieve their full academic potential.  I love to teach but was finding in the classroom that I was unable to spend enough time with every student in the way I knew would make a difference.  This opportunity at Kip McGrath is fantastic for me because I can devote one to one time with every student and really make a difference very quickly to my students’ education.

I am a Maths Teacher to Higher Grade but I also employ fully qualified teachers to tutor our students in English and Computing up to secondary level.  All teachers are highly experienced in the local school curriculum and Kip McGrath have provided us with fantastic teaching resources to assist teaching including our exclusive new online programme called Insight which the students love.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more, please call Liz McKay on 01292 260101 or visit our website to find out more.  The Centre is based at 21 Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1EZ.

Tuition in Edinburgh – Fantastic Scottish Exam Results at Kip McGrath Edinburgh Central Tuition Centre

Scottish Exam Results 2012

It has been a record breaking year for Scottish exam results according to this article by the BBC.  At our 28 Kip McGrath centres in Scotland, we are also receiving texts and calls from excited students who have received the passes that they have been working so hard for in the past year.  Congratulations everyone!  There are so many fantastic success stories, we can’t possibly share them all so this week we have asked Indleeb Walayat (Indy) of Kip McGrath Edinburgh Central to be a guest blogger and share her and her students’ stories below:

Spotlight on Edinburgh Central Kip McGrath Tuition Centre

Kip McGrath Education Centres has been established in Edinburgh  for many years and we have many centres providing first class tuition in English and Maths throughout Edinburgh.

I am Indy Walayat and I became Centre Director of the Kip McGrath Edinburgh Central Tuition Centre  in January 2009 and since then the centre has grown from strength to strength.  I am a fully qualified teacher and have been teaching since 1991 and have taught from age 3 to adults. Within my employment history, I  have worked as a primary teacher, nursery teacher, Acting Principal Teacher,  teach maths to advanced Higher level and also embarked upon the chartered teacher programme.

I also employ highly qualified and exerienced teachers to tutor our English students.  Most teachers are currently teaching in local schools so have up to date knowledge of the school curriculum.

Summer School 2012

At our very successful summer school we have run sessions throughout the summer. Students from age 4 to adult have attended. Most students have attended to get a head start for the new school term and beat the summer brain drain.

Gallery of Some of our Students

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Our Successes in 2011/2012

Our students have worked incredibly hard this term and we have had record breaking numbers of children attending our centre for extra tuition in English and Maths from primary 1 to advanced Higher level.  These are a few of our proudest moments:

  • Children gaining entry to private school of choice including some gaining 100% scholarship.
  • Students with additional needs such as  autism, dyslexia and dyscalculia making fantastic progress.
  • Students coming to the centre with limited reading now being able to read, spell and write sentences.
  • One student in S2 arriving 2 1/2 years ago with the mathematical ability of a child in P2 now able to enter Intermediate 2 maths exam later this year .
  • ‘H’ who joined Kip McGrath in August last year who has advanced from being at the bottom of the class in P4 with the mathematical ability of a P1 student to now being the average.  Her school reported that ‘H’ had made more progress than any child in the school.
  • Our pre-schoolers enjoying the multisensory approach, working through early reading and writing skills and making a head start to school.
  • Children who initially were unwilling are now writing pages.
  • Children who are new to English well prepared and supported with key skills such as speaking, listening, reading comprehension and vocabulary development.

Record Scottish Exam Results 2012

This has been a fantastic year for our exam students with many students attaining 1’s and A’s in their exams this session including ‘B’. who started attending Kip McGrath to support with Int 2 maths for which she achieved an A and now also achieving A in Higher maths.  Below are a selection of text messages I have received from successful students:
  • Beth got B pass and is delighted as it has been her big worry this year. It was her lowest mark but she thought she had failed and could only Appeal with C from prelim. Now for Advanced Highers and bigger worries. She says ‘Hello and Many Thanks’.
  • Hi thank you, delighted I got a 1 thanks for your help. Megan.
  • Ellie got an a A in Maths.  Thank you for all your effort and hard work.
  • Thanks Indy. Anna was very pleased & relieved to get a B for her English Higher (plus 4 As! In other subjects!). Thanks for your help. Christine.
  • Rebecca did very well and got an A for English. Thanks for your help, Alison.
  • Hi Indy just to say thanks to you and Jim. Victoria got 7 x 1 passes and 1 x 2  pass in her exams.  The 2 pass was for Modern Studies and with your help and Jims she got a 1 for English so so pleased. Thanks, Avril.

Maths and English Tuition at Kip McGrath Edinburgh Central

If you would like to arrange a free educational assessment or find out more about our English and maths tuition at Kip McGrath Edinburgh Central, please call Indy on 0131 610 6110 or click here to visit main website. The Centre is located at 1 Huntly Street, Inverleith, Edinburgh EH3 5HB and covers the areas of Morningside, Comely Bank, Stockbridge, Blackhall, Trinity, Abbeyhill, Willowbrae, Craigleith, Sciennes, Morningside, Marchmont, Bruntsfield, Leith, Comely Bank, Meadowbank & Inverleith.

Alternative Kip McGrath Centres in Edinburgh and the East

We also have highly successful Kip McGrath centres throughout Edinburgh and East and West Lothian.  Please click on the link below to find your local centre:

Edinburgh West – Opening Autumn 2012

SQA Exam Results 2012 – What To Do If You Fail Exams Or Don’t Achieve The Pass You Expected

SQA Exam Results are Announced on 7th August 2012!

There are only a few days to go until the 2012 Scottish Exam Results are received by students in Scotland.  Waiting for important exam results like these are extremely nerve-racking for students and parents alike.  As a teacher of so many exam students, I am also waiting to hear results with a lot of expectations as I know my students were ready and capable of a great pass.

SQA Exam Results Day 2012

Exam results will be arriving by mail on Tuesday, 7th August 2012 for Scottish exam students.  For those who have chosen the option, many students will be receiving their results by an online method.  I remember when my daughter’s exam results came through in the post many years ago and she had just gone abroad on holiday.  I had to wait for over a week until she returned and opened her results!  I was desperate to open the envelope but I managed to control myself and wait patiently.  It was so worth it to see my daughter’s face  when she realised that she had passed in all of her subjects and her hard work had paid off!

What do I do if Exam Results are Not What I expected?

We hope that every student receives the exam result they were wanting but, if for some reason that does not happen, what can parents do to help their children keep their goals on track?

Scottish Exams Appeal

If you have not received the grade that your prelim and course work has expected you to, you can appeal.  Contact your school immediately.  This is advice posted from the official SQA website on who is eligible to appeal and what meets the criteria for appeal:

Before exams take  place, your school or college sends us an estimate grade (the grade they think  you will achieve). To be eligible for an appeal, you need to have achieved an exam grade that is lower than the one your school or college estimated for you. You must also meet these conditions:

  • Your estimate grade needs to be higher than a 7 (for Standard grades) or higher than a D (for Intermediates, Highers  and Advanced Highers)
  • You must have completed all parts of Course that are externally assessed. External assessments are marked by specialists hired by SQA, whereas internal assessments are marked by your own teachers/lecturers.
  • Your school/college needs to send us convincing evidence (eg a prelim) that demonstrates that you previously managed to achieve a better grade than the one you got in the real exam. The evidence must reach us by the closing date.

I have a College/University Place but I didn’t achieve expected exam results.

If you did not achieve the exam results you needed to gain a place at College or University, please try not to panic. There is a course of appeal that you can take and the phone number and email address for Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) are available at  Please talk to your lecturers and contact them for advice on how to proceed.

Another Chance?

At the end of the day, if you do not achieve the results you expected, there are other options available to you.  If you are in 4th or 5th year then speak to your Guidance Teacher and teachers.  Could you benefit from some extra tuition to help you prepare in studying techniques?  If you have not achieved  your goals this time then perhaps there is a reason for this.  Speak to your teachers and talk about your future.  How can they help you achieve your dreams?

There is always another option.  Many students take a year out to travel.  Many students are mature students who return to education in later life.  Failing or scoring poorly on an exam is something that most of us do at some point in our lives.  It is important not to dwell on this.  These things happen!.  The important thing is to decide that this is not going to happen again – I am going to make a plan and talk to my teachers, school, college, parents and this time next year I will be back on track!

Olympic Champions of the Future – How London Olympics 2012 is Inspiring Children

London Olympics 2012 – Day Five

I am thoroughly enjoying watching the Olympics and today delighted in the two Gold medals won by the Great Britain team in womens’ rowing by Heather Stanning and Helen Glover and also of course Bradley Wiggin’s success in the mens’ cycling time trial.  Well done team GB!

Children and the Olympics

There has been so much excitement and chat amongst my students about the Olympic Games and it is great to see children being involved and so inspired.  These Olympic Games have always championed the “athletes of the future” and this was demonstrated at the opening ceremony when seven bright stars of the future were chosen to light the Olympic Torch at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.  After all the hype on social media networking sites, how inspirational was it to choose unknown youngsters for this important role rather than a well known star?  I thought this was fantastic! I already posted my thoughts on the opening ceremony here.

What makes a Future Olympic Champion?

I have been on granny duty this week to George and Katie (both primary age students) and wondered how on earth I was going to keep them entertained.  We have had a few visits to the park and cinema but I have also had to work.  I needn’t have worried, my grandson George is obsessed with the Olympics and is following all sports avidly waving his Great Britain flag.  He is trying to decide before he returns to school what sport he will specialise in and become a future Olympic Champion!

Katie, who is a little younger, is decidedly not interested in the Olympics at all and is growing up very quickly.  Feeling very guilty today at the amount of work I had to do, I asked them “would you like Granny to take you to the park?”  George replied “no Granny, I want to see the cycling” and Katie replied “no granny, I want to find out what happens in my book!”

My heart is full!  I have a future Olympian and a future J K Rowling in the making!  Whether they achieve that or not I will make sure that they have all the encouragement and praise they deserve on their future achievements.

An Olympic Education by Danny Boyle at London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Games Have Begun!

At last the London Olympic games have started and we can begin to enjoy the events.  There has been so much build up and excitement to the games and the whole of the UK has been involved it seems.  I for one, and many of my students, had a wonderful day when the Olympic torch was carried through my town centre!

I was surprised that Danny Boyle had been chosen to direct the opening ceremony.  He is a wonderful director of many great films though not an obvious or safe choice!  However, the ceremony was spectacular, very British with a twist and thoroughly entertaining.

Highlighting the history of Great Britain using fantastic props, and a very well selected catalogue of British music was inspired.  The volunteers did an amazing job and must have rehearsed for hours – how did they keep that a secret?  The industrial revolution segment was amazing.

Very funny and totally surprising moments included Mr Bean playing with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra in a rendition of “Chariots of Fire” and James Bond escorting the Queen to the games, parachute and all!

It was marvellous to see the National Health Service and Great Ormond Street Hospital getting some recognition and I had no idea when watching that the dancers/actors were actually mostly NHS employees who had been sworn to secrecy.


I was then absolutely delighted to see the tribute to British literature, especially childrens’ books being highlighted.  Watching visual images of Mary Poppins and Harry Potter and listening to J K Rowling reading a passage from J M Barrie’s Peter Pan was wonderful.  Children’s literacy and education is an area that I am passionate about and I applaud Danny Boyle for including this in the show.  I am very proud to be British but can I just mention that J M Barrie and J K Rowling are also Scottish?

An Interview with Danny Boyle

The day after the ceremony I obviously read a lot of articles about the success of the Opening Ceremony but I also stumbled upon this interview with Danny Boyle explaining his vision.  Read full article here.

Speaking before the spectacular began, 55-year-old Danny told how he set the  scene with an impression of England’s green and pleasant land.

He said: “It is something which is deeply embedded in our consciousness. We  represent it in a kind of lovely, quirky way.

“Then it becomes part of a much bigger sequence with the transformation into  the industrial revolution.

“It is begun by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who represents the genius engineering  that is present in our country”.

He then goes on to talk about all of the segments in the show.

My Favourite Quote from Danny Boyle

“We wanted to show the delight and importance of reading and writing. If you can read and write, you are free — or you can fight for your freedom”.

I love this!  Thank you Danny Boyle for directing such a wonderful show and highlighting childrens’ literature and what Great Britain is all about!  You have won many Oscars and I am sure you will win many more accolades for the London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Now I have to work out how to watch all my favourite events!

What Did you Think?

Did you watch the London 2012 Opening Ceremony?  What did you think of the show?  Do you think Danny will get a knighthood for this?  Could we be referring to him as Sir Danny soon?  According to this article by a tabloid paper bookies are slashing the odds.  Please feel free to leave a comment.

Summer Fun Activities and Learning at Kip McGrath East Kilbride Education Centre

Summer School at Kip McGrath, East Kilbride Tuition Centre

The last thing children want to do during the Summer holidays is learn and for most children 7 weeks playing in the sun (or rain as may be the case in Scotland) is the best thing for them.  However for some children who have been falling behind in school or moving up into an important exam year, a little bit of learning can be a good thing to keep brains active and be prepared for the new term.

We have therefore decided to offer our students the opportunity to continue lessons during the summer and we have two sessions available every Tuesday from 3rd July to 7th August at 9.30 am and 5.30 pm.  Places are also available for new students who perhaps want to come along and try our Maths and English programmes before the new term starts.  Of course, our summer classes will also include a bit of fun too!

Please contact Margaret Carmichael on 01355 266566 or visit our website at to find out more about tuition at Kip McGrath.

Kilmarnock Tuition in English and Maths At Kip McGrath – Prepare for a New School Year

Summer Tuition at Kip McGrath Kilmarnock

Once again a number of parents have expressed the wish for us to continue tutoring over the summer break at our Centre in Kilmarnock.

Continuing over the summer has the added advantage of allowing your child to catch up even more on their school work, or it could prevent your child from slipping further behind in their English or Maths.

We will also be offering a “Kick-Start” programme into CfE; Standard Grade, Int 2 and Higher Maths and English over the summer.

Primary: (P2 – P7) Maths and Reading, Spelling, Comprehension, English;

Secondary: (S1 – S6); CfE; Standard Grade (F, G, C): Access 3, Int-1, Int- 2, Higher:

Dates and Times of Lessons

The Centre will be closed from Friday 29th June until Sunday 22nd July for refurbishment.

Lessons will be available on Mondays and Tuesdays from 23rd July until 14th August.  There are various 80 minute slots available from to 3.30pm.  Please book early as spaces are limited.

Normal after school and weekend sessions resume on Monday 20th August.

If you would like to enrol your child, please contact Frank Park, Centre Director on 01563 535533 or visit out website at to find out more about our Maths and English tuition.

Paisley English and Maths Tuition at Kip McGrath – Summer 2012

Summer Learning at Kip McGrath Paisley

Do you want to keep your child busy, happy and doing something worthwhile during the long weeks of Summer? We are delighted to say that we are running our popular Summer School once again this year.
We know how much parents wish to keep their children in the learning zone during holiday time. We’re here to help!

Last for 1 hour 30 minutes and are based around key skills of Maths, Language delivered through fun activities. If you have specific areas you wish your child to work on we will happily include these.

Tuesday 4.30-6.00 pm and 6.00-7.30pm

Thursday 9.00-10.30 am and 10.30-12.00am

Your child can attend as many classes as you wish. Why not use our double Thursday classes to help with the problem of childcare? Your child will be safe and happy and ‘in the learning zone’.
Classes commence week beginning 2nd July.

Individual class £25
Double class £45
6 classes £125
6 double classes £240
Cost inludes a snack as well as a small gift for those attending 6 classes. Payment should be paid in advance – this is negotiable.

We are enrolling now
Tel: 07943 803 484  or click on for more information on our Maths and English Programmes.

Summer Fun Activities for Children in Falkirk – Come to our KipCamp 2012!

What’s on in Falkirk for Kids in July and August 2012

Details of the Summer Camp at Kip McGrath Falkirk have been announced.  Running over 5 weeks in July and August, each week is a different theme of fun learning activities designed to  keep brains active, to enhance memory, concentration and communication skills but most of all to have fun.

Parents can enrol their children for one week or all five depending on their interests.  The themes include Suvival Skills, Music & Theatre, Water Sports,  Archaeology, Adventure Planet and Treasure Trail.  To find out more, please contact Janice Rough on 01324 682 077.  To find out more about English and Maths Tuition classes outwith the Summer months, please visit the Falkirk website at

Teaching Safety to Children – How to Keep Children Safe by Child Safety Advocate, Melinda Tripp

We are very pleased that Melinda Tripp, author of “What Should you Do? Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty-First Century” has agreed to be our guest blogger this week.

Melinda is an American teacher, writer, mentor and child safety advocate.  She has taught children, aged from 2 to 13 since 1979 and taught parents, teachers, and students through Abduction Prevention Education and Safety assemblies since 1994.  Over 100,000 children have been touched by her message of safety and empowerment.

Her book has been very well received in America and has 5 stars and great reviews on Amazon.Com.  The book is now available to purchase at

Teaching Safety

We begin teaching children, quite early, how to stay safe.  We tell children, “The fire is hot, keep back, you could get burned.”  We teach them to use a railing when walking down steps, so they don’t fall.  Later it is necessary to begin teaching a more general safety plan, with tailored life lessons in safety.  This will give them an umbrella plan that they will use to help them through the situations that will confront them during their lives.

The lessons taught will be repeated, honed, added to, and practiced for ages 5-13. For parents and teachers situational safety will continue to be a necessary part of teaching as their children and students grow.  They can teach children the skills they need to take on the bad behaviours of others (from young bullying on the playground through the underworld of human trafficking) and situations that are potentially threatening, allowing them to use their plan to act quickly and safely.  If a child is constantly aware of their surroundings, they will be on the lookout for situations that can be avoided.

A child who is in a safe place with their trusted adults is on what I call green light, and can relax and safely “tune out” the world around them.  All people, of any age, who are out and about in the world need to be aware of the world around them, people and the behaviours around them.  This is what we call yellow light, a time to be on alert, and prepared to act.  What then does Red light look like? This is when someone is actively getting to a safe place.  They have acted quickly and used  their observation skills, so they can tell a trusted adult; are able to describe, people, areas, situations and objects readily, so that the trusted adult.

Buy some peace of mind today, we can’t control everything, but we can be in charge of teaching our children to become safer people with, What Should You Do? Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty-First Century , Tate Publishing 2010.  You can be empowering your child with simple, and easy to use strategies tomorrow.

Turn a child’s “fight time into flight time,” making your child just too much trouble to take.

Links for Melinda Tripp

The Book can be purchased from or and is available to download for Kindles.

Summer School Tuition in Ayr 2013 – Get Ready For School

Kip McGrath Ayr Summer School 2013

Once again a number of parents have requested that tuition is continued during the summer break.  We understand that you want to keep your child’s English and maths skills fresh, so we are delighted to run a summer school at our Tutoring Centre in Ayr.  Classes will last for 80 minutes and will focus on reinforcing key skills as well as fun learning activities.  These activities will be tailored to your child’s needs.

We will also be offering a “kick-start” programme into  CfE, National, Intermediate and Higher English and Maths over the summer.

Getting Ready for School

Most children just love the summer holidays but sometimes seven weeks is just too long for children to neglect their studies, especially if a child is moving up to an important year at school or has been falling behind in class.  The parents of our existing students have requested that we open during the summer but classes are open to new students also on a first come first served basis.  As qualified teachers in maths and English, we are able to advise parents at what level their child is working and highlight areas of weakness or any gaps in learning that may prevent children from moving on.  We can also reassure parents if children are working well and on course for their age.

Ayr Summer School 2013

Lesson Times

Our Summer School will run for 6 weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9th July until 14th August 2013.  You can choose to enrol your child for one or two sessions for just one week or for the while six weeks – it is your choice.  The session times available are:

Session One:     10.00am – 11.20pm

Session Two:     11.40 am – 1.00pm

Session Three:   2.00pm – 3.20 pm

Contact Us

If you would like to reserve a place, find out more or talk to our teachers, please call 01292 260101.  Please also visit our website at or join us on Facebook at

We also run classes in normal term time after school and these will recommence on Monday 19th August 2012.  Please see our website for more information.

Goldilocks and The Three Polar Bears – An Illustrated Essay by Finlay Currid (aged 8)

Finlay Currid is aged 8, in Primary 3 and attends the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Falkirk for help with this Reading and Writing.  His teacher, Janice Rough, is so proud of the hard work and excellent progress Finlay has been making she wanted to share his latest exercise with the whole world.  We have to admit we are pretty impressed with Finlay’s story about Goldilocks the Mermaid in the Arctic Circle.  Well done Finlay!!

Please click on the first box below to read the story in full screen!

To contact the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Falkirk, you can contact Janice Rough on  01324 682077 or visit the website at

SQA English Essay Example – Patience by Michael Ahari S4

2008  SQA English Credit Question 11

Michael Ahari is in S4 and attends Kip McGrath Balerno, Edinburgh South for extra tuition in English.  It is days until exam time and we are hoping for excellent results from Michael.  This essay question took only one hour to complete and has not been edited.  Based on his work so far we have a future writer in our midst!


Patience. For some it comes naturally. They can fiddle around for hours on end attempting to piece together an intricately designed car model. Or, they can soak up all of the juicy information thrown at them when reading through a massive book in order to find a specific minute piece of knowledge. However, for others, like me, it does not. The model car would be dropped halfway through in anger and the thick book brimming with facts would not manage to squeeze even a drop of information into my head, having discarded it within five minutes of picking it up. I was quick minded, keen and simply could not find the time to wait. What can you expect from an eleven year old boy? But, as I had come to realise, it was something I would need to get a firm grasp of. Patience is the most valuable lesson I have ever been taught.

I stared at my computer monitor. An error message: “The file has not printed” popped up in the bottom right corner of the screen. The red alert on the printer flashed on an off, on and off, as it briefly lit up the room before disappearing again. This was the third attempt to print my project. And unsurprisingly, the third occasion I had been told that it hadn’t printed. The printer was on, there was ink in the printer and there was paper in the tray. What more did it want? I grinded my teeth together, slammed my fist furiously on the desk, and sighed. A long, stressed sigh.

What was I going to do? Did the computer want me to fail here? I was growing more and more impatient – tapping my feet on the floor. I whispered “stupid”. And then I repeated it. Louder and louder each time until I was screeching at the top off my voice “stupid stupid stupid”. And now I was standing up, and I moved around the room – pacing up and down. My hands tugged heavily at clumps of hair to the point where my whole head itched and ached. Then I started flapping my arms around like a bird in distress, and groaning a deep aggressive bear like groan. I fell to the floor and slumped against the wall: defeat. The computer has won. I had given up. Forget the project. It was all just stupid anyway.

“Michael” my father called, a tone I was all to familiar with to know what was coming next, “What’s Wrong?” I immediately exclaimed that nothing was wrong, but I could see by the look on his face he knew this is not the case. I looked up at him to see him staring back. I switched back to look at the floor, but I sensed him still waiting for a reply. Maybe he could help. So I told him what was wrong. This was followed by a string of what, at the time, seemed like irrelevant questions that I had already answered before weren’t going to make the slightest difference. As I lay there on the carpet – my father sitting at the computer desk – I answered “Yes”, “No”, “Yes”, “Yes, I’ve already told you” so dismissively I wasn’t even listening to what he was saying. I just wanted the problem fixed. Instantly. As I now know, things cannot always be done straight away…

Fifteen minutes have passed. I am now starting to go over the various possibilities for why my project will not print. It’s tedious I thought at the time – I had already been over them and decided that they were not the reason. The computer fan made a light whizzing sound and the chair my dad was sitting in creaked as the metal moved together. Again, I thought about why. Why? Why? Going over and over and over. Then smack. It was like a slap in the face: my wake up call. I had realised the reason – finally! I sprung into an upright position and proclaimed cheerfully “Yes, I’ve got it”.

Patience. I now understand that although you may not be born with it, you most certainly develop it through experience – even experiences like the one I had when my project would not print. My anger and frustration got the better of me and my whole thought process became irrational. Although my dad told little to me about patience itself, his actions most certainly allowed me to realise that with any issue there is a resolution, you just need to take the time to find out what that may be. When I was calm I sat down, and thought through thoroughly and eventually the problem was able to be solved. It’s the reason I can tackle problems such as intricately designed car models or read through gigantic manuals to obtain information, among the many other that I have to face in daily life.