Space Day Homeschool Topic: Mission to the Moon!

To celebrate Space Day on 1st May we share some Moon-themed activities that you can do at home with children from primary age upwards.

These activities develop a range of cross-curricular skills including English, maths, science, design and technology and art.

Children are fascinated by the night sky, so there’s no better topic to fire their enthusiasm for learning.

Mission 1: Find out about the Moon

Ask your child what they would like to find out about the Moon. You could write down their questions so that they can refer back to them. They might ask: “Is there water on the Moon?” “What is the surface like?” “How hot or cold is it?” “What is the weather like?”

Together research the answers to their particular questions using books and/or the internet. Here are some possible websites and books:

Moon Facts for Kids, Cool Kids

Moon Facts for Kids, Science Kids

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty

One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh

Mission 2: Design an exercise routine for astronauts

Find out how long it takes to travel to the Moon. Discuss with your child why astronauts need to exercise during this time and how they might do so inside a rocket with limited space.

Ask your child to plan and write a 60 minute exercise programme for astronauts, dividing the time into 5 or 10 minute blocks of exercise (5 minutes of star jumps, 5 minutes jogging on the spot and so on). Your child could use a toy clock to help them to plan exercise intervals that add up to 60 minutes.

For exercise ideas watch Joe Wicks and other exercise instructors on YouTube.

Mission 3: Write a menu for astronauts

Look online to find out how astronauts eat in space. In order to write a menu for astronauts your child will need to consider that food must be non-perishable, not crumbly and so on. Your child could test a few different foods for crumbliness before they begin.

Mission 4: Make a food tray for astronauts

Due to lack of space on a rocket a food tray must be designed to fit as much food on as possible as well as taking into account weak gravity.

Provide your child with plenty of resources to choose from in order to make their tray – old cereal boxes, cellotape, glue, elastic bands, foil and recycled plastic containers such as yoghurt pots and spreadable butter containers.

Your child might decide to make a cardboard tray and create compartments by gluing on different containers or they may do something entirely different.

Mission 5: Gravity experiment

This experiment needs to be performed outside or over a container. Ask your child to put a hole in the side of a disposable cup near the bottom. They cover the hole with their thumb as you fill the cup with water. Ask them to hold the cup up high and uncover the hole observing what’s happening.

Repeat the experiment, this time dropping the cup onto the ground. Your child will notice that when they drop the cup the second time water doesn’t leak through the hole.

To see the experiment in action view the Sci Guys: Science at Home – Gravity Water Cup Drop

Mission 6: Design a Moon colony

Ask your child to tell you what they think people would need to be able to survive on the Moon (food, water, air, stronger gravity, protection from the weather and so on). Look at some artists’ drawings of Moon colonies by typing ‘moon colony’ into Google Images and ask your child what they notice about the people, buildings and other features of the environment.

Ask your child to design a Moon colony on paper labelling the different features. Before they start, they could talk to you about their ideas because this will help them to clarify their thoughts.

If your child is feeling adventurous, they might want to create their finished design in 3D. To do this they could make a paper mache lunar landscape (type ‘paper mache lunar landscape’ into a search engine for ideas) and they could make their Moon colony by taping and gluing recycled materials such as cardboard tubes, plastic containers, cereal boxes, tin foil and paper plates onto the landscape and painting them.

Would you like help to supplement your homeschooling?

All our tutors are experienced, qualified and creative teachers who believe pupil enjoyment is the key to successful learning. During these challenging times a tutor can teach your child online or set individually tailored work for them to complete with you.

Perhaps there are classmates of your child or you have a friend whose children who would also benefit from online tuition? We also offer group tuition sessions to help keep children motivated and on track.

Whatever your needs we are here to help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today at

New_private_tutors_joined TutorMyKids_in_StIves and_Huntingdon.


We’re delighted to welcome two more teachers to our friendly, passionate, committed team of teachers who tutor children in Cambridgeshire. These teachers are working as private tutors in St Ives and Huntingdon area with primary school aged children.

These teachers have decided to take a break from full-time teaching to fit in with other commitments, but still want to help children to learn and see them blossom. Working as a private tutor is the perfect way to achieve this. Our teachers says that being able to actually teach children, without being bogged down in paperwork,  is the joy of being a private tutor for Tutor My Kids. Also, being recognised for your skills and abilities is something that can feel lacking when teaching full-time, whereas with private tutoring, it’s the norm to be thanked for teaching students. We love that!


We offer a haven from the often fraught work of full-time teaching, meaning that you’re responsible for and have control over your own work – teaching what your students need, not what the curriculum dictates. Our students love having a one-to-one tutor and our teachers love feeling respected for their abilities. Read When was the last time a parent thanked you for teaching their child? for more inspiration.

Our parents are positive, straightforward people who simply want their children to thrive; to achieve to their capabilities, but most of all, simply to give their children confidence. Confidence is the word used by our parents and carers most.

Our tutors are hugely valued by us, at Tutor My Kids and by our parents who appreciate that what we do is always in our pupils’ best interests.


Tutor My Kids is a small friendly company who organises tuition for school children. It’s usually at the parent/carer’s home. We recruit like-minded teachers who love working with children and are passionate and committed to helping them learn.  We operate safer recruitment.

For further information or an informal chat, please take a look at our website or get in touch at or call Rachel Law on 01223 858421.

Gove is like Mamite

is like marmite.

People either love or hate him.

I can’t agree that knocking our teachers constantly has
helped the education system any, but I do support the need for our children to
be able to spell, write grammatically correct sentences and be numerate.

This term, I’ve seen some great teaching of grammar and
spelling in our local primary schools. Previously, it tends to have been taught
as an add-on, but increasingly, it’s been taught as a main focus. It’s stuff
like correct use of apostrophes – the teachers’ staff room, I’d, won’t. I’ve
lost track the number of times I’ve seen was’ent or similar. It’s about how
it’s taught – if children understand that the apostrophe is showing missing
letters and what it’s a shortening of – it’s so much easier for children to get
it right.

Punctuation can catch children out too – commas often
confuse children and sorting out ways to help them is really useful. Getting
children to work out in a sentence which is the main clause and which is added
information helps to ensure that commas are in the right place. e.g. The boy
walked along the road, towards the swimming pool.  The boy walked along the road is the main
clause; towards the swimming pool the additional information.

Many children find spelling difficult. Learning spellings
by heart is hugely useful, but more so is spelling patterns and looking at
where the difficulties lie. Are there letters we don’t sound – like

It’s great to see our children being more prepared for
the world of work.

Can home tuition help behaviour in the classroom?

Poor behaviour in the classroom can have many causes, such as circumstances at home such as bereavement, family separation, changes in work patterns etc. It can also be caused or at least made worse by a poor match of school work to your child’s abilities.

If the work is too hard for your child they will be unable to get on with it and this may result in poor behaviour in the classroom. If the work is too easy, your child may quickly become disengaged because they’ve finished it and/or it represented little challenge.

Pressures on schools to ‘deliver’ the curriculum are huge at the moment, with expectations that children progress. Getting progress for children is of course what we all want, but sometimes this means that teachers are not able to spend enough time on a subject for all the children to become secure on an area. This is especially apparent with the maths curriculum. Classes tend to move on, even if some children have not understood all they need to.

Maths is often more problematic because it learnt in a sequential manner; your child needs to understand adding before they can understand that multiplication is repeated addition. Maths knowledge is built upon a previous knowledge – like a wall. If the previous knowledge is not well understood the wall will never stand up well.

One of our teachers is currently helping a boy who has spent a lot of time out of the classroom due to behavioural issues. He’s severely dyslexic and the work that he was attempting was too hard for him. School are now catering for his needs much more effectively and our tutor is helping him to catch up the missed work.

Tutor My Kids organises tuition in your home, by qualified teachers with UK curriculum experience to fill in the gaps in your child’s knowledge and support their work at school.

Please get in touch with Rachel Law on 01223 858421 or via the website for a free, friendly and informal discussion.

For help and practical support with behavioural issues, please contact Julie Heginbottom, In Safe Hands via or on 07885 724662

Summer Boosters

much talk about reorganising the school year to make the summer holidays
shorter. It would make childcare easier for many parents and it was also reduce
the tendency for children to forget what they’ve learnt over the long summer

Tutor My
Kids recognise that children tend to forget what they’ve learnt after the holidays
and this year are introducing summer boosters – twice weekly 1 to 1 home
tuition by qualified primary school teachers for 8/10 weeks over the summer to
keep work tickling along.

This has
great benefits for all school years as it enables your child to feel confident
when they return to school in September, but it can have particularly good effect
at the end of year 2, to aid the transition to key stage 2 work in year 3, and
in year 5 to ensure a sound set of foundations for their SATs year.

For more
information please call Rachel Law on 01223 858421 or visit and

New Spelling and Grammar Test for Year 6s

6 to be Tested on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.

For the first time, year 6 pupils will be sitting
the new SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar) test in May 2013.

The new test is a significant departure from current
practice, whereby ‘phonetically plausible’ spellings have been acceptable for
SATs; those that sound right, e.g. thort for thought.

Children will be expected to demonstrate the correct
usage of a wide variety of punctuation, sentence structure and grammatical
features, as well as accurate spelling.

This will impact year 5 and 6 the most, as the test
is new this year and they will have less time to incorporate this new approach.
Other year groups will naturally have more time to ensure this knowledge and
understanding is in place before year 6.

The following links provide more information. The second link shows exemplar  questions.

Many parents contact Tutor My Kids when their children are in year 5 or 6 looking for a home tutor in Cambridgeshire to help their children in the lead-up to SATS. 

Primary Ideas: The Angles Roller Coaster

Take a look at this.  It’s a great example of how to help your children at home.

Primary Ideas: The Angles Roller Coaster: We believe that to give learning purpose and ignite interest it’s important to link learning to real life situations. We have demonstrated …

Primary Ideas: The Angles Roller Coaster

Take a look at this.  It’s a great example of how to help your children at home.

Primary Ideas: The Angles Roller Coaster: We believe that to give learning purpose and ignite interest it’s important to link learning to real life situations. We have demonstrated …

about SATS?

Many parents contact Tutor My Kids when their children are
in year 5 or 6 looking for a home tutor in Cambridgeshire to help their children
in the lead-up to SATS.

Often children do not do as well in their SATS as they could
because of simple misunderstandings in what they’ve learnt or through not understanding
what they need to do to get the best results. Level 4 correlates with a good chance of GCSEs, level 5 with As.

Knowing how to check through work systematically to
ensure all the features of good writing are included can boost levels
significantly. Children can be taught to check their work through for a number of key features which teachers and external examiners are looking for to ensure they get the best possible levels for their writing. e.g. In order to get a level 5, your child will need to demonstrate that they are able to use accurately a number of ‘advanced’ punctuation marks, such as semi-colons and ellipses (…). Using metaphors, similes and personification in writing will show level 5 writing. Regularly forgetting full-stops and capital letters may put a ‘ceiling’ on their writing at level 3. 

Having good strategies to solve word problems in maths reduces anxiety
and increases marks. Children often panic when faced with applying their maths knowledge when it’s wrapped up in a word problem. Teaching children how to approach the problem – in the best way for them, makes the world of difference. Suddenly knowing how to work out whether you need to multiply, divide, add or take-away – or a combination of these for multi-step problems shows an improvement not only in marks, but vitally, in confidence too.

Home tuition in Cambridgeshire by a Tutor My Kids tutor works
wonders; it fills in the gaps in basic knowledge, builds confidence and ensures
your child knows what they need to do to get the best possible results. Because
the tuition is 1-2-1, it often takes much less time than parents expect.

See our other blogs and also our regular column in Primary Times in Cambridgeshire.

For a free consultation or for further information, get in touch with
Rachel Law for a friendly, informal discussion on 01223 858421, contact her
by email –, or via the website

How do the National Curriculum levels work?

How do the national curriculum levels work?

This is a question that is often asked by parents who are seeking help for their children when they approach Tutor My Kids for home tuition in Cambridge, Ely or Newmarket areas.

At primary (junior and infant) schools in England and Wales,
the levels go from level 1 to level 5 or 6.

I’m confused with the letters after the numbers

Each level is divided into 3 sub-levels. The lowest sub-level being c,
then b then a. e.g. 2a is higher than 2b, which in turn is higher than 2c.

I’ve listed the levels below. Your child will progress through these from the bottom upwards:





What level should my child be at?

There is no ‘should’ as there are many reasons why your child is where
there are, but there’s value in discussing national expectations.

The government measures schools on a number of factors:

The percentage of children who leave key stage 2 (year 6 at primary or
final year of junior) at a level 4. This is known as attainment.

The percentage of children who make 2 levels of progress from Key Stage
1 (end of year2 or infant school). This is known as progress.

Why is level 4 important?

Level 4 is the level that it is hoped that all children will reach at
the end of year 6. This is a key level because it correlates very strongly with
GCSE success at secondary school; children who do not attain level 4 at primary
school tend not to achieve their maths and English GCSE.

Why is level 5 important?

Level 5 and 6 is important for higher achieving pupils because most
secondary schools ‘set’ or stream for ability. This means that the better the
levels your child achieves the higher sets they will be in at secondary. This
is important because generally speaking the higher sets suffer less with
disruptive behaviour and more productive learning occurs.

What are the expectations for Key Stage 1 (infant school)?

Schools aim to get all children to level 2 at the end of key stage 1
(year 2) because children who get level 2 at this age tend to get at least
level 4 at the end of primary school.

Children who get level 3 at key stage 1 tend to get at least level 5 at
the end of year 6.

How much progress should my child be making each year?

From year 3 to year 6, it’s expected that a child should progress 2
whole levels. If your chid leaves year 2 at 2c, they’ll be expected to reach 4c
by the end of year 6.

In addition, because children don’t tend progress in regular intervals
– very much like children tend to grow in spurts – schools plan for your child
to make 2 sub-levels (2/3 of a level) of progress a year. E.g. if they start
year 3 at 2c, at the end of year 3, they should be at 2a.

Those of you who paid attention in maths will have noticed that 2/3 of
a level each year for 4 years (year 3 to year 6) makes 2 and 2/3 of a level
progress over 4 years. This allows for accelerated progress and/or for periods
when children consolidate their learning.

Will my school tell me the levels at which my child is working?

Talking to parents who approach Tutor My Kids for home tutors in
Cambridgeshire, school are happy to discuss levels with them; the problem tends
to be that parents don’t know what to ask or know how to interpret the
information given.

Good questions to ask are:

Is my child working at, above or below national expectations?
How has my child progressed since the start of the year?
What level is my child working on for writing, reading and maths?
How can I help them at home?

What should I be concerned about?

If your child is working significantly behind national expectations and
the school’s interventions are not improving that situation, it might be time
to talk to school again and maybe look at additional tuition.

If your child is not making the progress the school would expect, it’s
probably worth some additional investigation. Some schools do not stretch their
gifted and talented children – those children who are ahead of expectations,
which means that they do not maintain that lead; they slip t being ‘at

Sometimes your child can be ahead of expectations in some areas –
reading and maths tend to be typical, and maybe a bit behind in writing.
Many parents contact Tutor My Kids looking for a home tutor in
Cambridgeshire when their child is in year 4 or 5 and they want to ensure that
their child will be on track for a good result in SATs at the end of year 6.

For more information on ‘Quick Wins to raise attainment and SATs
levels’ please see our other blogs and 
also our regular column in ‘Primary Times’ in Cambridgeshire.