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​Dr Karen O'Rourke

Clear, purposeful tuition through motivation and understanding with a qualified female teacher at my home in Birmingham.

11+ assessments for state school children who entered Year 4 in September 2017 are taking place NOW. Please read <Grammar School> and <FAQ> pages before you contact me.


NEWS! 12th October, 2017: 

Birmingham Consortium Test Results released!

All my students have now learned their Birmingham Consortium test scores, most of which arrived a day earlier than expected. It was good news for them and their families.  The highest score of my students this year has broken all previous records: 268!  Overall, my students have an average (mean) score of 245.   This means that every child is assured of his or her first choice of grammar school.  Well done!


NEWS! 13th October, 2017: 

Walsall Consortium Test Results released!

Friday 13th hasn't been an unlucky day for five of my students!  As at 10pm on Friday, 20th October, the average is 361.  I'm really proud of my students' achievements, and am confident that all those entering grammar schools in 2018 will thrive in selective education.


NEWS! 1st March, 2017: 

Grammar School Allocations: 100% again this year!

Every one of my students has been allocated his or her first choice of King Edward's grammar schools today.  All students who have secured grammar school places and took the entrance tests for bursaries at independent have also won assisted places at King Edward's School and King Edward's High School. Words fail me!  I would like to thank your wonderfully supportive parents, who must be so proud of you all. 



Parent of a former state primary school student. Harbome. Birmingham (now at King Edward's Five Ways School): 

Thank you for everything.  [Our son] is really happy he has a place at Five Ways.  We are too.  I can't express our thanks for being a godsend to our family, and for not giving up on [our son] when we were ready to. 

Parent of a former state primary school student. Harbome. Birmingham (now at King Edward's Handsworth School):

'I want to tell you that before [my daughter] began tuition with you, I had bought all the test papers I could from W.H. Smith, but I still didn't know how to start. When she did the papers and made mistakes, I really had no idea how to explain the corrections. We were going round and round in circles. It was the same with maths and non verbal reasoning as well. But you changed all that. I now know that understanding grammar and developing a wide vocabulary is the key to getting many verbal reasoning questions right.'  

Parents of a former state primary school student. Moseley (now at King Edward's Camp Hill School):  

'We're both teachers but we didn't understand (at least not at first) that the structure of the tests that [our son] sat for King Edward's Grammar Schools was quite unlike any sort of test that you can buy in the shops ... really scary! I don't know how you managed it, but it helped that you write your comprehensions yourself. We can't thank you enough for bringing out the best for [our son], not just for the tests. It's much more than that ... Thanks for helping to make his first term at Camp Hill so enjoyable. He has met every challenge and is so contented there.'

 Parents of a former state primary school student. Moseley (now at King Edward's Camp Hill School:

'We knew we couldn't do it all [the whole 11 + preparation] ourselves, and had tried four tutors before we found you. To be honest, I was ready to give up. I could not believe the poor quality of tuition that is out there - poor explanations, limited homework, time spent in tuition doing tests when there should have been teaching, homework taken in and never returned. It was a horrendous experience but that all changed as soon as we walked through your door. [Our son] was devoted to you on sight with your thousands of books and clear boundaries and explanations about the work. Before that time, he'd been too afraid to ask for help.

Parent of a former state primary school student. Shirley (now at King Edward's Camp Hill School):

The whole 11+ business was a nightmare before we found you. Yes, it made our lives [as parents] harder for a short time because you insisted on us pulling our weight at home, testing and revising, and so on. But we soon got into the flow of it all...'

Parent of a former state primary school student. Walsall (now at his first choice of school, Queen Mary's Grammar School, in Walsall)

'You are Birmingham's best kept secret! You don't push yourself forward, preferring to keep your standards and achievements to yourself, and have been totally honest with us. Even if [our son] is not successful in the tests [after two terms' tuition] the whole experience will have been worthwhile. You haven't coached [our son] but have broadened his horizons, giving him the precious gift of a real education in the fullest sense.'

Parent of a child formerly at a state primary school in Handsworth (now at King Edward's Handsworth School):

'... Your strict insisting on her learning her times tables thoroughly from day one of tuition was the start of the improvement. You achieved in one session what we [her parents] had tried unsuccessfully to do for three years!'

Parent of a child formerly at a state school in Walsall (now at King Edward's Handsworth School):

'... To tell the truth, we were a bit scared about the assessment. We thought you'd turn [our daughter] down flat for tuition. But you saw that she had the potential but was held back by not understanding certain things. That soon changed with your help


Parents of a child at a state school in Moseley (now at King Edward's Camp Hill [boys']School):

' You educate our children so well because you are an educated person yourself. What we like about the way you teach is that you spot the child's weaknesses and have solutions at hand. We couldn't do this as parents. Your handouts and support material are second to none, Karen, because you put your whole heart into what you do. [Our son] won't forget you when he starts his secondary school at Camp Hill in September ..."

Parent of a child formerly at a state school in Oldbury (now at King Edward's Five Ways School):

'The biggest leap was [my daughter's] improvement in maths - that was phenomenal! I'll always be grateful for your patience in teaching [my daughter] to understand how to break down parts of questions, to understand that the grammar of the sentence has the key to the solution. This helped her greatly in the King Edward's tests, which she was successful in ...'

Parent of a child formerly at a state school in Coventry, now attending Lawrence Sherrif School in Rugby:

'You were worth every penny & every second of that journey on that bloody motorway for 3 terms. I shan't miss the wait at MacDonalds at Perry Barr - but [my son] and I will miss you. Please stay in touch!'

Parent of a child formerly at a state school in Oldbury (now at King Edward's Five Ways School):

'The hardest thing that I had to grasp as a parent was that although my [my daughter] was in tops sets at school, and flew through her homework, what the school offered her was not nearly enough for the CEM tests ... I am grateful that you guided our family right through to the end .. . You told us that the scope of the tests was 'broad and deep'. Just seeing her face as she came towards us after the tests showed us that this was the hardest thing she had done in her ten short years on the planet. It wasn't easy but it was worth every minute.'

Parent of a child at Queen Mary's Grammar School:

'The service you offer families isn't a business, and is much, much more than a profession.  I don't know any other teacher who works as hard as you do.'   

Parent of a child in Y6 (To start at a King Edward's Grammar School in 2015):

'From the assessment to the results, you stood by us, even when we wanted to give up.  You are so organized and passionate about your work.  [Our child] will thank you for this opportunity in the future.  Everything you have done with him he will use there.'

Parent of a child who entered  King Edward's Camp Hill Grammar School in 2014:

'Your mock tests in January had us worried.  The improvement by May was hopeful.  The results in November showed it was worthwhile. [Our son] is happy and working hard at Camp Hill. Thank you.'

 Updated 12.01.16