I wrote this sample story for a student who, when given the title ‘The Magic Box’, complained that he just wanted to write about his new bicycle. It’s important that students adhere to the brief they are given for short story writing, but it’s also important that they write about something that inspires them! The Magic...

For many years, one of my main roles at Winterwood was finding and recruiting tutors.  This was mainly done – as is common in the industry – through networks, and it meant that I would be introduced to a lot of people with experience of tutoring, or the potential to grow into a fantastic teacher. Experienced candidates...

People are obsessed with books. Reading, yes, but also books as tactile objects. To hold, to carry around, to gaze upon, to smell the pages of (it’s not just me, I’ve seen other people do it too). What does paradise look like to these people? Hogwarts library of course. Or, let’s be honest, any library. With shelves...

I used to love going to school. I loved to glide across fresh white paper like newly-fallen snow. I felt like a graceful ice-skater, weaving up and down with such purpose. I left behind me a glittering dark trail of ink, that gleamed on the page before slowly fading to a deep ebony as it dried. Sometimes I obeyed the...

I was home-schooled until I was almost eight, and I really cannot emphasise enough what a positive and long-term impact this has had on me.  I would go so far, in fact, as to credit this experience almost entirely for any successes I have had. Yes, stubbornness may also play a part, but I hope I can show you the...

We’re big fans of the National Geographic magazines here at Winterwood, and advise all our students to purchase a subscription. Exploring global issues and spanning a huge range of topics, articles are well-written but also inspiring and thought-provoking. They introduce students to advanced vocabulary that they can...

  A common creative writing task on all entrance exams, is to write a short story or descriptive paragraph in response to an image. We use this type of exercise with all ages, however, right up to A Level, as it is an effective and enjoyable way of developing a student’s writing skills. Below are three sample...

Most of our Winterwood students will have seen this sample story already, and discussed with their tutor why it is effective and what they can learn from it to help improve their own writing. I wrote this as an example of the type of stories that entrance exams are looking for, and below it is feedback from another...

Entrance exam interviews can be a daunting part of the process, that represent a ‘make or break’ final moment your child may have been building towards for years. There are two important thing to remember. The first is that you absolutely can prepare your child, by ensuring they have the confidence to be themselves and...