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​ About me

Teaching skills, subjects and focus of

Dr Karen O'Rourke  -  Autumn Term, 2017

​​​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! Thursday 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! Friday 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!

On March 1st, every one of my students was allocated his or her first choice of King Edward's grammar schools.  All students who have secured grammar school places and who 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. 



My background

I am a female tutor with over thirty years' teaching experience in the U.K. and overseas, and have been established in Birmingham since 1997. I provide a small, high-quality tuition service in my home for three evenings each week during term time (and for a brief period in the summer holiday) for families with children aged 7 to 18.


I am not, and never have been,  associated with any tuition centre, and therefore don't work for any other person or organisation. To guarantee quality and consistency of results, I don't employ any staff.



My services

I provide tuition in the following subject areas:


1.   Individual tuition in general English and mathematics (literacy and numeracy) for primary  school-aged children.

2.   11+ (grammar school) preparatory group tuition in English, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning (specialising in the entrance tests for premier-league foundation grammar schools which charge no fees in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Tuition takes place from Year Four in a group of five students or fewer.)  Please contact me first by email (see below) to confirm your interest in an assessment with me. Please contact me when your child reaches the final term of Year Three, but only if your child is in top sets in both English and Mathematics.

3.   11+ English, mathematics and reasoning for independent and public schools' 'common entrance' preparatory tuition (for fee-paying schools. Individual tuition or tuition in a group of five students or fewer.) For up-to-date information, please select the tab above <11+ independent schools>.

4.    GCSE English (OCR and AQA syllabi) There are currently no vacancies for individual or group GCSE tuition before 2023.

5.   AS- & A-level English & English Literature and English Language and Literature for the International Baccalaureate ('IB') There are currently no vacancies for individual or group AS & A-level tuition.



Where I teach

I provide a small, high-quality tuition service in my home in Handsworth Wood, just three miles north of Birmingham City Centre, for three or four evenings each week during term time (and for a brief period in the summer holiday) for families with children aged 7 to 16 (and, occasionally, students of A-level English), out of school hours.

Please note that I am not , and never have been, associated with any tuition centre, and so work exclusively with well-motivated, supportive families with a hunger for education, its joys, challenges and rewards.   



When I teach

  • I teach in my home during term-time for three evenings each week. (The days vary each term, but always exclude weekends).

  • I usually offer tuition in the mornings for a limited period during the independent and state schools' three main holidays.

  • I do not teach during the half-term holidays. 



Individual and group tuition

  • Nearly all the teaching I undertake is for individual ('one-to-one') students, but

  • I also offer highly structured courses of tuition to small groups of five students (or fewer) for grammar school examination preparation for the highly-competitive foundation grammar schools and 'premier-league' independent schools in Birmingham, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.



What are the reasons for my students' success?

  • Between 1997 and 2016, all but one of my 11+ students who attended a three- or four-term course with me gained a place at a foundation grammar school.

  • Between 1996 and 2016, every one of my GCSE English students achieved a grade A* to B at Higher Tier GCSE.

  • I take care to ensure that I work with families who are well-organised and willing to devote quality time to their children's educational and wider emotional, intellectual, social and aesthetic development.

  • I undertake an appropriate and careful initial assessment and before offering suitable tuition for your child.

  • I propose, and parents agree, a personalised, written scheme of work, which we review together at the end of each term.

  • I take great pride and care in preparing resources, which I prepare and adapt according to children's individual needs, to help my students develop and flourish.

Dr Karen O'Rourke

Updated 13.010.17


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