Katie Jayne Tutors
Katie Jayne Tutors Katie Jayne Tutors

Katie Jayne Tutors: Out with the old & in with the new…

What a year! I can hear you all echoing those words. None of us thought that we would have been through so much last year and all of us will be hoping that this coming year brings signs of improvement. The vaccination campaign in the UK has been exceptional and now with boosters giving us all that extra protection hopefully we can move into 2022 with a positive feeling.

It has been a really challenging year for students, who I believe faced Covid head on by returning to the classroom whilst most of us were still working from home. Hats off to all of the children who stepped into the classroom and managed to slide straight back into school work and lessons after such a long period of being absent. Parents too have had an unusual time, children at school but working from home and dealing with the fact that this alone opened them up to the possibility of Covid-19 coming into the home, and trying to consider older or more vulnerable family members.

Teachers have put themselves on the line, many contracting Covid, whilst back in the work environment, but all of them wanting to be back in the classroom to provide that much needed educational and emotional support that their students needed. Thank you to you, a much needed break over Christmas will now see renewed energy ready for the New Year.

In my own life much has changed, my family has a new member, Jesse Frederick Gaida who was born on 7th October weighing 7lbs 3 oz. More on that later.

The Christmas break now a distant memory and we know that our students and families will need to concentrate on the academic year ahead, we shall journey with you throughout and so here we hope to try and provide fun activities for all of the family, educational activities for all students and some interesting news items for parents.

And finally, we at Katie Jayne Tutors wanted to wish all of our parents, students and teachers a Happy and Healthy New Year. Watch out 2022!

Katie and the team

Double or Bust….

Some of you may know that my wonderful husband Jon and I have literally doubled our family during lockdown. Our world was blessed back in December 2020 when our first child Luca was born and then in October last year our second Son Jesse arrived, increasing the size of my family by 100%. So from 2 to 4 and loving it.

Jesse was born on the 7th October 2021, he weighed 7lbs 3oz and arrived pretty much as predicted. How I thought I could manage a toddler, a new born, a business and a social life ????? but I did. I cannot say it wasn’t tough going back to the sleepless nights and the night time feeds but somehow you find the energy, work out a routine and start to find a way to make things work.

I know that many of our families manage two, three or even four children and hats off to those Mums and Dads. It would be lovely to hear some of your stories of how you have managed to juggle life as a Mum or Dad, we would love to highlight your stories in this the New Year, to give much needed encouragement to all of those new and multiple child parents, so please do get in touch info@katiejayne.co.uk.

In the meantime, some very indulgent snaps of the Gaida boys and many thanks to all of those that sent well wishes.

lots of love and best wishes



The ‘Holy Grail’ – My Child’s New School

One of the most common discussions I hear around the dinner table or whilst chatting to friends is that ‘old as the hills’ topic of moving home to within a nice short walk to that ‘holy grail’ that is the school you would like your child to attend. That most fractious of times, choosing schools, before the application goes in. Many parents are organised and have done their research, spoken to friends, rung the Head, attended open days etc. etc. etc. and some parents do this two or even three years prior to their little darling even stepping foot inside a classroom.

So our hot tips to making this work for you:

Do talk to family and friends, get the real life version of life at your chosen school

Read the Ofsted or ISI report (remembering that these take place intermittently – so check the date of the last report online, if your chosen school has not been inspected for a year or two some things may have changed since then, so do your own homework). See link to check out schools in your area



If you are thinking of moving home to ensure access to the school of your choice, ensure you do this in good time prior to your school application going in. Good tip for home movers is that as soon as you have exchanged contracts on your new home, this address is then eligible to use for your school application, so you do not need to worry if you have not completed on your purchase

Do make sure that your new choice of home and area fit all of your families needs, life can become very tricky if the children can walk to school in 4 minutes but Mum or Dad have a two hour journey to work. Consider other siblings, support network (who is going to collect the children on your behalf if all of your support network live an hour away)

There are some very good social media blogs/threads/sites which can be useful, but do take some advice with a pinch of salt, a disgruntled father at a parents evening may comment in the negative, whilst the rest of the school runs like a dream. Carry out your own research

Some schools have summer clubs, after school classes etc. that you or your children can get involved in without actually attending the school, these make good scouting trips to see the school with its ‘everyday’ face on, rather than Open Day

Don’t forget when attending Open Days or meetings at the school you will be seeing it at its best, try and stop off at the school to drop something in to reception or attend an open school play, this will give you a really good feel for real school life

When meeting the Head or visiting the school go prepared, have facts and figures, ask tricky questions, check to see if the school has been mentioned in the local or national press

Katie Jayne has a really good network of teachers and experience in finding the right school for the right child, if you would like to chat to us please feel free to get in touch, we can advise according to your individual child’s circumstances and your family ethos – good luck!




Who doesn’t love a musical – Frozen, The Lion King, Cinderella… or the latest book ‘The boy that made everyone laugh’,  Blue Peter Book Award Shortlist contender by Helen Rutter!

It has been shown in many papers that creativity is a wonderful tool when teaching, encouraging and shaping children for their future, whatever their chosen profession will be.

One such report is the Durham Commission which examines the role that creativity and creative thinking play in education. A thoroughly interesting read.

One interesting finding of this report showed that, we must prioritise teaching for creativity to meet our future needs and to give all children the opportunities they deserve. Who will become our next script writers, or digital marketing guru’s otherwise?

Secondly, the inclusion of the arts as standard in the curriculum to key stage 3 has been advised if we are to give the next generation the skills they need for what is an ever changing and diverse workplace, whatever the job role.

Finally, the Commission engaged a number of organisations to help deliver this vision,  organisations from NESTA and the BBC to the Department for Education and Ofsted have been involved and it’s clear that we shall see future steps to incorporate the arts and creative subjects in our children’s future educational journey.

As a side note, why not take a look at the Blue Peter Book Award Shortlist for 2022 – Happy Reading !!!! 

Regular items...


‘Critical Thinking Skills’ ….. And they are???

It is all very well talking about Critical Thinking Skills but how do we know if we have them, or what they are! Katie Jayne’s short, sharp top tip list, here we go.

Pinpoint the issue. …

Collect information. …

Examine and scrutinise. …

Decide what’s relevant. …

Self-evaluate. …

Draw conclusions. …

Explain your conclusions…

Critical thinking does not mean looking only for the most important aspects of a topic or just criticising ideas. Challenging what you read or hear at face value and always questioning information, ideas and arguments that you come across is key.

Applying critical thinking should take place in all areas of your studies. Every student needs to be able to think critically about the resources and information that they come across.

How do I do that?

Ask the right questions when reading the work of others;

Showing that you have the ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives;

Use evidence to help you form your own opinions, theories and ideas.

Critical thinking is about learning with an open mind.

How do I do that?

Take on board others ideas, don’t be closed down to another persons point of view.

Read around a subject and get lots of different thoughts and visions from a number of different areas/people.

Diversity is key.

There are lots of different resources out there to help you learn how to develop your own skills.

University of Leeds – Critical Thinking 

TEDEd Talks 


Re-cap of the Katie Jayne Tutoring Year & what next?

2021 saw Katie Jayne Tutors go from strength to strength with another award to add to our collection. This award is something that we are all very proud of and know that it is down to the hard work and dedication of all of our teaching staff. We believe that the lockdown period where parents were stepping in to the shoes of the teacher at some points, really opened many parents/carers eyes to the unimaginable amount of work, energy, enthusiasm and personal input that any good teacher has to give, on tap every day and every hour of every day. Hats off to all of those teachers.

This year our focus will be on the continued learning of our pupils, with our families at the heart of what we do, we see ourselves as the support mechanism on each families educational journey.

We are here for that selection panel practice, advice on which school for which child, extra lessons when the classroom is not enough or even raising the bar for those children who appear to breeze through their studies.

Feel free to call us anytime if you think we can help you or your child.