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TLL Articles: Embracing the Power of ‘Yet’: A Pathway to Growth and Learning

Looking for a different approach to education? Get in touch to see how we can support your Home Education journey.

In the journey of education, the three-letter word “yet” holds profound significance. Its simplicity masks a powerful concept that underlines the process of learning and growth. At Tutor Led Learning, we believe in the transformative influence of this small but mighty word, encouraging our students to apply it to their learning and personal development.

It normalises the idea that it’s okay not to have all the answers immediately, emphasising the journey over the destination.

Tutor Led LEarning

The word “yet” acts as a bridge between our present capabilities and our potential. When a student says, “I can’t do this,” just by adding the word “yet”, they can fundamentally shift their perspective. Suddenly, the statement evolves into “I can’t do this yet.” This addition opens a gateway to a world of possibilities and opportunities for growth.

In a culture often fixated on instant success and immediate proficiency, the acknowledgement of “yet” introduces a vital element: the recognition that mastery and proficiency are products of learning and consistent effort. It normalises the idea that it’s okay not to have all the answers immediately, emphasising the journey over the destination.

Imagine a seed. A seed doesn’t become a towering tree overnight. It requires nurturing, time, and the right conditions. Similarly, learning is a process—a journey marked by incremental progress and incremental understanding. “Yet” allows room for mistakes, experimentation, and the learning curve that accompanies new challenges.

Imagine a seed. A seed doesn’t become a towering tree overnight. It requires nurturing, time, and the right conditions.

Tutor Led learning

At Tutor Led Learning, we embrace the philosophy of “yet” in our teaching approach. We cultivate an environment where students feel comfortable acknowledging their current limitations while nurturing a growth mindset that thrives on perseverance and learning. We encourage students to reframe their thoughts from “I can’t” to “I can’t yet.”

This shift in mindset paves the way for the development of resilience, determination, and the confidence that comes from overcoming obstacles. It instills the understanding that not knowing something at a particular moment is not a permanent state, but an opportunity for growth and development.

The power of “yet” extends beyond the classroom. It is a life skill—an outlook that goes beyond academics and becomes a philosophy for facing challenges in every aspect of life. Embracing “yet” empowers individuals to approach difficulties with a sense of optimism, curiosity, and the belief that with time, effort, and the right support, they will progress.

We stand by the philosophy that ‘yet’ is not a sign of limitation but a promising indication of what’s to come…

Tutor Led Learning

Ultimately, the word “yet” embodies a mindset that celebrates the journey of learning. It’s a testament to the fact that we are all constantly evolving, learning, and growing. We stand by the philosophy that “yet” is not a sign of limitation but a promising indication of what’s to come—a symbol of the potential within each student.

Join us in embracing the power of “yet” as we navigate the exciting landscape of education, supporting each other in our individual and collective quests for learning and personal growth. Remember, it’s not that you can’t do it; it’s that you can’t do it yet.

If you would like to discuss any of these ideas further or find out how we can support your child, please just get in touch.

Tutors Andy and Dave

Be different, together.

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Student Work: Tia, age 13

Tia, age 13, wrote this chilling science-fiction story in our Upper KS3 Creative Writing tutorials.

In creative writing, one of the biggest challenges is often knowing how to help students get started. Students can be really enthusiastic to write, but the prospect of staring at a blank page can be really daunting for them.

To help overcome this, students were given a rough outline of a science-fiction story, (specially written by Tutor Dave), which included a typical narrative arc, suggestions for common sci-fi character types and a range of other tropes.

The story outline was broken into six sections and students developed and extended the outline of the story over the six tutorials in the topic, completing more in their own time if they wanted to.

What a tense and exciting story, Tia. I love the gruesome descriptions and the way you have used sound in your writing to create truly scary imagery; I really feel like I can imagine this monster coming towards me making that terrifying clicking sound. The way you have made sure the pace is really slow when the creature advances towards you also really helps build the tension – brilliant! One thing you could try for future writing is to vary the starts of your sentences more frequently. It can be easy to end up having lots of them starting with ‘I’, but you can help keep readers even more engaged by mixing it up a little with an adverb at the start for example (e.g., ‘Slowly, I…’). There is true creativity and imagination on display here, Tia, and I think you’ve done an amazing job with this story. Well done!”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write like this, join our Upper/Lower KS3 English Tutorials.


Chapter 1

My eyes blink open and shut at least five times, before I wake properly, I stand up straight on a hard surface with no space to move. Layed in the same position for five minutes, “why am I here” I whispered to myself, Looking around the tight coffin-like room it was in I saw that it was just a glass room, there was a latch above my head but there was no escape.

I layed there thinking about why I’m in here, and how to escape. I bang my hand on the glass and bright lights shone outside of the glass room I’m in, each light flickered on one at a time, the light was so bright my eyes burned, scrunching my eyes closed, “what the, what is this place.” I cried. 

Slowly opening my eyes again, it still hurts but I need to find a way out. The light caused a terrible migraine. “Argh why let me out please” I screamed, looking to my left side I see a handprint on the glass like someone was trying to get in. “Why were they trying to get in or get me out?” I thought. Then a small plop hit the floor a few inches away from the glass, A little red drop on the floor. “Is that blood?” I panicked. 

Scrunching my eyes closed not wanting to see what was bleeding, “please let this be fake, please let this be a dream.”I cried, tears slowly dripping off my face.

 Then I realised I don’t even know my own name, I don’t remember my own life, who I was, why I was in this glass room. Did anyone care for me or was worried I was in here.

I slowly opened my eyes, scared for what I was going to see.

I quickly looked up at a man tied to the ceiling by his hands, his head facing down to the floor, His body ripped in half, organs dropping out of his body. Black goo foaming out of his mouth “is he d-dead” I stuttered, Screaming pounding my arms on the glass, “Let me out now” I screamed.Moving my head around , then I realised i’m not in a room this is like a giant testing tube. Small so I can hardly move my hands but tall so I couldn’t reach the latch on the roof.

Looking around the room outside the glass tube, it was like a mad scientist’s evil layer like you see in kids shows, But looking at the technology, it was a lot more like a spaceship, “was this a spaceship or something like a workshop sort of thing” I thought. I looked to the left and saw the man hanging off the floor, a burning sensation filled my throat, I covered my mouth, “no don’t” I cried, tears dripping down my face. Then I vomited all over the floor “damn it, Im stood in vomit” I screamed. My body is shaking and feeling weak. “My throat, I need a drink” I coughed.

I stood there with my eyes closed, crying for at least five minutes “remember just let me remember.” I sobbed, I slammed my head on the glass. Suddenly I remember a small flash of my memories. I was standing in this room and a man with a blurry face came to me “you’ve been chosen im sorry.” He said and locked me and another man in this room. What does that mean? I thought, why did he lock us in here? Looking around the glass container I noticed outside of the container was a book. Maybe that will tell me why I’m here.

I stood there in my own vomit thinking, “Has the air gotten thinner.” I thought, Then a high tech screen popped up on the glass. “Oxygen at five percent. Activating extermination mode.” A robotic voice said. “No, what. Do not activate the extermination mode please!” I yelled. Then a blue liquid started filling the glass container. “No stop, please stop.”I cried. It was slowly rising up, further and further. It was up to my waist, trying to move my arms to the latch. “I cant reach” I screamed. Air was completely gone now and the liquid was up to my neck trying to yell but water blocked my mouth. liquid reached above my head. “Now all I have to wait for is to die.” I thought.I closed my eyes, managing to move my legs. I looked down, “Yes” I screamed inside my head. The liquid was at the top of the container. I paddled my legs up to the top of the container, grabbing the latch and pulling it down. It opened up, Jumping out the liquid and breathing heavily.

Chapter 2

I sat there on top of the large capsule, “what my limbs, they’re so weak” I whispered. Climbing off the top of the capsule, I fell off the glass container. “Ow, my arms are s-so weak.” I said clutching my arms, I got up and walked straight in front where the door was. Pounding my arm on the glass, “hey anyone there” I yelled, then I hit my hand too hard on the door, I yelled in pain “damn you” I yelled.

I looked around the door trying to pry the door open, everytime my fingernails hit the metal door a small ting, that was the only noise in the room otherwise it was silent. “Help anybody,” I said, choking back my tears. Why would anyone want to help you, I can’t think of anyone who cares for me, so why would anyone want to help me, “why do I bother no ones gonna come, so I need to fend for myself.” I said, tears dripping down my face.

I looked around the door, gripping its sides to try and open it,I breathed heavily “just open!” I yelled, Then out the corner of my eye I see lying on the floor is a small diary, I walked over to it, my bare feet clunking on the floor every step I took, I opened the diary. The old stained yellow pages. “How old is this book? It started off in two thousand and forty seven, the newer entries were in two thousand and fifty six. “So it’s around twenty fifty six?” I said. 

I read one of the entries “It is twenty fifty five, the first successful clone has been made. We named her Sallie off the dead body of the person we made her off.” I sat there “t-thats my name, i-im a clone.” I screamed, my heart thundering in my chest. “I’ve been a clone, this whole entire time!” I screamed, wanting to know more so I continued reading. “The clone has been preserved in the pods, we have made measures so if the clone has not escaped by

time oxygen runs out we will have no choice but to exterminate her. “ So that’s what happened, “This is a test for intelligence and  to see if it awakens.”

We have learned that these clones have enhanced strength and speed. But the downside is they do not have good durability.” I sat there confused, frightened and shocked. I flick at least ten pages forwards. “January tenth, twenty fifty six a creature got onto the ship, we locked michel chained to the roof in the containment room with the clones. In case the creature comes in and he will be the bate not the clones.”

“oh that’s what happened to him” I said, not daring to look behind me at him.

Starting to feel ill again I continue reading. “This creature is not to be messed with and it got into the room with the clones. We do not open the door, it seems to have gotten through the vents” I reread the last passage. “Wait, clones?” I said.

I looked behind me and saw there were another dozen pods behind mine, I walked up to them and saw they were all covered in the blue liquid. All of them inside drowned, dead. “No no no” I screamed. Falling backwards onto the floor, Curling up in a ball on the floor. “Why would someone do this?” I cried. Laying there screaming, choking on my tears.

Lying there, it must have been two hours.

 I just felt nothing, “nothingness, life is meaningless, we all just die. In the end I don’t care anymore, I’m not going to feel emotions anymore.” I said laying on the floor. Then I saw a small red blinking light on the wall. “What is that?” I walk over to it and a massive hologram screen shows up. I jumped away from it, I had only seen one thing like this before “no, no not that blue liquid stuff” I yelled “please don’t do this to me” I yelled, But then I realised its a video.

I looked at it in confusion. Large red writing showed up on the screen “Motion sensed in left south wing hallway.” Then the screen flashed, A large hallway was there then a growling noise came. I looked around the room “what where is that” I mumbled. A large claw came on the screen and then the screen went blurred.

Chapter 3

I stood there, “what was that thing” I gasped, I picked up the diary. Scrolling through the pages “come on, say something about t-that thing.” I stuttered. “Nothing, how can there be nothing about a creature with giant claws, this is outrageous!” I screamed, “how am I supposed to defend myself against this thing? It doesn’t look too jolly , so I doubt it will be a good thing.”

The room started flashing red, a loud robotic voice said “power shutting down.” I looked around frantically, “no no no! It can’t get worse!” I screeched at the top of my lungs. Scrambling to the diary “come on there’s got to be something about this in here”

Looking through the diary I stop to read a page, “Sallie is showing incredible signs, all of the other clones show no signs of brain activity. So I did the most important thing any scientist would do, I cut off all the oxygen to the other clones and divertied it all to sallie, but if her body stays in there for to much longer, she may experience some kind of brain functions and

physical pain for a while after she awakes. But there’s something on the ship with us so we hope she awakes before it gets to us all.” I sat there eyes wide open, “that sick bas-” I paused, The lights shut off, chink chink chink Each light made that noise as it shut off, sat there in darkness then there was a whirring noise. The door opened, “no that thing can get in here now, I shouldn’t have said it can’t get worse earlier, horror movie 101 never say it can’t get worse” I thought, “wait how do I know that.” 

I stood up and stumbled to the door feeling may around the room by holding on to the wall. Every step I took a small thud echoed around the new room, “I need to get out of here and get back to- e-earth, was that the planet’s name?” I thought.

“I have to save this ship, my life and get home.” I thought, “to earth. earth “ I thought again, “I like that name, it makes me feel safe and at home.”

I walked down the hallway, the cold metal flooring making my feet sting. A small growl came from around me, I jumped back in fear, then my stomach was in pain. “Why is that noise coming from me? And why is my throat so dry… am I hungry or thirsty? Is that this feeling,” I thought.

Walking down this endless corridor in darkness, “I have to admit this is quite a bit frightening.” I thought, my stomach made the noise again, I winced at the pain it was causing me, walking for longer. “ I can’t see anything, where even am I, all I know is that right now I can’t speak or that thing will find me.”

I walk further and further in the darkness, then the whirring sound again. A door opened, It sounded like it was in front of me, I walked forward.

The most amazing smells filled my noise, “wow” I dived around the room looking for the source of the amazing smell. Until I found my hands on the source of the smell. It was squishy, I stuffed it into my mouth “mmm” I smiled, I went to find more of this amazing discovery. I stood on this thing on the floor and fell forwards. Clunk my head smashed against the floor, I bit my lip to stop me from screaming in pain. I grabbed onto the side of a table, my hand hit a button on the table. A big blue screen lit up on the wall, Illuminating the room a large image of an old man with wispy grey hair, wrinkles on his face. He was wearing a white coat like a scientist.

“Hello Sallie, you may have found the dairy in the chamber room, from that you may already know what you are. And if you are seeing this I will more than likely be dead, i could have died of old age or…” He hesitated for a few seconds, “There is a creature on the ship with us we don’t know how it got in or how to defeat it.. I’m sorry and you may have remembered some things like Earth or movies, well this is because we extracted memories out of the woman you’re a clone of..” Loud clattering came on the screen and then it shut off. Just a white light.

With this limited light I ran to the sink, and grabbed a cup of water and drank it down in one gulp, I stepped to a table, just then the large screen shut off, “oh no.” I mumbled, I reached my hand onto the table feeling for anything to help me. My hand felt a rubbery material. I picked it up and felt a button, I pressed it and a light flickered off the end of the contraption. I remembered something , running through a forest with a girl, giggling and then I picked up a shovel.

“These aren’t my memories there hers not mine, whoever she is.” I said.




 A noise on the ceiling went. I looked around, shining the torch around the room, but nothing. Thud, something dropped on the floor. I walked over to the thing, it was the body of a man. I stumbled backwards and fell on the floor shuffling backwards. I heard a scuttling noise across the roof I threw the torch, It landed on the table the light shining on the wall, and there was a massive monster, green slime costing its body, razor sharp teeth, saliva throthing out the things mouth, but there was some sort of human like body shaping to it.

Chapter 4

I sit there on the floor, my heart pounding.




 it made that noise again, “why can’t I move, oh I wish I could just leave this place.” I thought, shuffling my arm slightly, it made a small noise.

 The thing started looked up and stared at me. Slow, low growling its body slowly crawling off the wall crawling towards me, Its feet made a loud ding noise on the metal floor every step it took.

 I grabbed the flashlight and shuffled backwards. The thing stopped in the middle of the floor. My breathing heavy, “I can’t take anymore of this, I feel like I’m going to faint.” I thought, I slowly stood up, taking slow steps backwards one at a time, the tiniest noise everytime I took a step.

Finally I reached the open door of the room,

I looked behind me clutching the torch. I turned around and ran for it. Loud noises echoed every time my foot hit the ground. Then I heard small shuffling noises from behind me. 




It was near me, I ran picking up my pace, I smacked my head off a wall falling to the ground.

I winced in pain “running in darkness was not the best option but putting the torch on it could alert the creature.” I thought. The creature’s noises had stopped now…

I forgot I had the torch in my hands, I stood up. I stood there for a few seconds feeling dazed, it was like the room was spinning around. Then a loud noise came from below me,

The torch hit the floor, suddenly coming to my senses I looked down at the torch. About to run for it “the torch is my only source for light should I wast time grabbing it or-”




I dive forwards grabbing the torch, It clenched in my hands, My head still aching “I guess this is the terrible durability it was on about in the book” I thought. I ran as fast as I could. The thing was behind me. The sound of claws pounding the ground as it chased after me.

I ran through what felt to be a doorway, the thing sounded like it wasn’t following me. I switched on the torch, shining it around the room. Then next to me I heard a plop, a green frothy liquid was on the floor beside me and then I looked up, the thing was on the roof. I jump to the side diving under a table Panting heavily, I stare around the room. I switch off my torch, Trying to look around the dark room.




I sit there, waiting, watching, listening. For this thing to leave. A small scuttling noise came from behind me. I swiftly turn around, nothing.




I heard it slowly getting closer, and closer.

“Will it attack me, will it find me. What’s going to happen? I don’t want to die.” I thought, tears well up in my eyes. I sniff my nose.




The thing scuttled towards me…

Sitting in the darkness, hearing the monster get closer and closer. “Should I stay here or run for it… well in that book it said I had better stamina? Was it, I can’t remember… it could still catch up to me but-”. I could see the monster now, even in the dark. It crawled closer, it was lurching over me.

I look at my hands and see them coloured in crimson red blood, my head started having terrible stinging pains…

I screwed my eyes closed, I stood there in a forest, a shovel in my hands.

I dropped the shovel on the ground and looked down at my hands, they were covered in blood.

I opened my eyes again, “no no no!” I screamed, I didn’t do this, it was that woman. I scrambled away from the creature, slowly standing up I looked at the creature and walked backwards. “I’m Running I won’t stop. I will keep running until I find a way out of here.” I panted,

 I turned the torch on, scared of what I would see.

Chapter 5

I ran somewhere. “But I still can’t see, how do I know it’s not behind me.” I thought. I crouched down on the floor, too scared to put on my torch. I grip onto the torch and pipe, Every small noise I turn to find nothing. “You’re just scared, you knocked the thing out.” I whispered to myself, My eyes started to feel extremely heavy, Like at any moment they would just close forever. “I can’t sleep, that thing could attack me at any time. Stay awake.” I whispered, hitting myself in the face to forcibly stay awake.

My eyes slowly closing, “no stay awa-”

A loud clatter hit the floor,




I clench the flashlight in my hands, my body not moving, My breaths become quicker, my heart rate faster. My hand slowly moved across the torch.

I finally blinked, now it was like my eyes were glued together. Using my fingertips to sense the button now. I feel it, about  to press the button… “no!” I screamed, I dropped the torch. Moving my hands to my eyes, Managing to pry my eyes open. I looked around in the darkness slowly moving my hand around to find the torch in the darkness. Suddenly I feel my hand shoot a stinging pain across my body. I looked at my hand, inches away from my face. There was a small dot like a needle shot, I felt and it hurt worse than other pain.

Remembering when I thought this thing off, Suddenly I remember the thing touching my hand with its tail. “Is it like some sort of scorpion? Is that why my body’s so drained of energy?” I thought.




Darkness, no torch to help me see…
The monster dived at me, I screamed louder than I ever had before,
I tried with all my strength to push the creature off my body but it was still too strong.

I painfully move my arm to the left and grab the pipe, I screw my eyes closed. Shoving the pipe in its mouth.
The Monster fell onto the floor hearing it cougth. I move my arms forwards pushing my body across the floor.
Then a pain shot throughout my body, I stopped and yelped in pain clenching my chest.
Tears filling my eyes, “what is happening!” I screamed.
The creature’s head shot up.




I twisted on the floor, “get off!” I screamed.

It just kept dragging me, I pushed my arms in front of me to try and escape, but it was just too strong. Remembering the events of the day, I burst out into tears. Screaming at this monster I will stop it, It just kept dragging me…

Its razor sharp teeth sinking into my ankles.I closed my eyes,

“It might as well be over, I really don’t care anymore. I dont have the energy, the strength… Nothing.” I thought.

I slowly opened my eyes, it was still dragging me, I looked around the darkness and saw something on the floor, I reached out my arm, with some sudden adrenaline my fingers barely touched it as the monster continued pulling me.

I had the object in my hands, Running my finger along the blade. “It’s a knife…” I thought. Stuffing the knife in my pocket, It still dragged me.It dragged me to a room, the only room with light, After not seeing light for so long my eyes burned like fire was melting them. It stopped in the room. I layed on the floor not able to move. “Hello..” A voice said behind me.

My body jumped, at the noise of another person speaking. It walked up behind me and I felt them put their high-heel on my back, pinning me to the ground. My body winced in pain, “ah, who are you and what are you doing?” I gasped.

They grabbed my arm and pulled me up against a wall and sat me so I could see their face. My body froze, “no no no.” I whispered, not believing what could be happening.

“They said you were dead.”

“Well they were wrong weren’t they!” She laughed, “my dear clone, I never knew you were such a fighter… Do you know my real name? It’s Alice, so you can call me that.

Sallie was just a fake name.” Alice smiled, cupping her hands around my face.

“You… Please. Help me,” I whispered,

“Ha! Do you think I’m a good guy? You worked so hard to destroy my creation here. I don’t think I can help you.” She smiled, her red velvet dress draping across the floor and her big black heels hitting the floor as she walked to a chair to watch me.

“Do you know what’s happening, Well my dear creation stung you so and the chemicals in that are sowing your heart rate until you die.. And I have the one and only cure…I can’t wait to watch you die.” She laughed maniacally, Tossing a bottle in her hands. “Y-you M-mmonnster” I whispered, not even wanting to yell.

“Do you want to know my plan? I’m taking my dear creation here to Earth, and we’re going to become more in control of the government, the royals and the rich. Because fear conquers all… Do you remember Amai?” She smiled, I suddenly remembered all of these memories of Alice and Amai being great friends…

“We were the greatest of friends until our twenties because I got an amazing job with a lot of technology… I killed her and  made her something better. My sweet creation is her. I needed someone who trusted me and had the required strength, smarts and more…  So I killed her and snook her onto this ship, with all the technology I needed, where for years I created my beautiful monster and more like poisons, which you already know about.” She screamed, an insane look on her face.

I looked into the monsters eyes, They were the soft brown, tears welling up inside them.

“She wants to be set free…” I thought.

“Amai im sorry,” I screamed, running at the creature with the knife,”What are you doing!” Alice yelled, I stabbed at least ten times in the head. “What are you doing, fight her off, you idiot!” Alice screamed.

The creature didn’t even try to fight me off, it just smiled, I could tell in her eyes she was finally free.

I turned around with hardly no energy left, I dived at Alice, pinning her to the ground.

I went to stab her in the head but she moved her head just in time.

“You don’t know why I did it, do you?

All of my life, as far back as I can remember. No one cared for me, not even my own parents, and then I realised that the only way to be noticed and respected in this world is to be famous, rich… so I decided to make a monster to be respected and I could buy all the friends I want with all of the money”

“I just wanted to be loved, but I did it the wrong way…I deserve what’s coming.” She cried, “Amai was your best friend, she loved you. But you couldn’t see that.” I whispered,

“I’m sorry,” She whispered.

I grabbed the cure and drank it, I was still tired but I wasn’t dying, and I walked out the room. There was a panel and I locked the door and put zero oxygen on…

“She must have put all the energy into that room so I need to find out how to get it back.” Running through the darkness of the hallways searching for the source of power.

Chapter 6

I slowly step in the darkness, into a new room. My body is still aching, but still I walk around the room searching for a way out of here.

“Where is the electricity room!” I yell in frustration. Sensing my away around in the darkness, I feel something. “A switch?” I grabbed the handle and pulled it down. A small torch fell out of the gap in the wall. I turn the torch on, shining it around the room, suddenly I see a piece of paper nailed to the wall, I slowly step over to it. Shining the light on the paper. It had little passageways and labelled rooms on it. “A map!” I shouted in joy. Slowly grabbing each edge of the map I pull it off the wall.

I look at the small labelled rooms on the map. “where is it?” I repeat over and over to myself . Suddenly out the corner of my eye is a little room on the map labelled “electrics”.  I stare at it. Trying to find out where I am now “I grab a red marker from the desk and circle the Electrical room. I stand up a skip in step. “ I can get out of this place” I whisper, excited as I could ever be. “So maybe I could look around for any main places to find out where I am.

I walk out of the room torch in one hand map in the other, I step around looking for any obvious places I could be. “Where am I,” I mumble. Suddenly I smell the most amazing smell… It was the food from before. I dived through the hallway in front of the door of the source of the luxurious smell. I sit on the floor shining the torch on the map. My eyes were running back and forth around the map until I found a room labelled “lunch room” . I grabbed the red marker out of my pocket and circled the room on the map. “No… Why does it have to be on the other side of the ship.” I moan, standing up and preparing to take the long walk around to the other side of the ship.

My feet aching, my body exhausted, I finally made it to the room. Standing in front of the room, I collapsed on the floor, so tired “How- Big- is- this- ship.” I gasped, I slowly stood up and walked into the room. The floor was wet like it had flooded. “Why is it wet?” I mumbled, I walked around the room to see at least thirty cables tied together, One of them sticking out joined to a room named “Sitting Room.” 

“Hmm, that must be the room where…She was.” I mumbled, not even wanting to say her name.

I pulled the cable out of the room, I grabbed all of the cables and felt them thinking how I could put the electricity on.

I grabbed the long line of cables, it was almost the length of my body.  The ends sparking, I touched it and lifted the cables, which were extremely heavy as I was about to separate them to put into the right places I heard.




I looked around the room, shining my torch on any hidden corners in the room. I noticed at least ten of those monsters on the top of a large cabinet. The same sad eyes but some were blue green all different colours “not again…” I think my eyes are welling up with tears.

I step backwards on the dry flooring, holding the cables in my hands. The monsters advanced closer.




My body walked backwards further and further until. I stopped when a wall was behind me… The monsters slowly moved closer and closer. I scrunch my eyes closed. Too tired to run, too tired to attack, I remember before I walked out of the room to turn off the oxygen, Alice pointed her finger at me. Then I didn’t know what she was doing but if I looked up there were more of them. She sent them after me before she died. They must have escaped the room after I locked it, But who are they…. The crew, it must be.

I looked at them, their eyes so sad. In pain it was like they were ventriloquist dummies and couldn’t control what they were doing.

I looked at them, my heart ached to see the sadness on their faces. I looked at the floor and then it hit me. “I can destroy you once and for all.” I whispered, I ran around the room and lured the creatures towards me. It stood there in the water. I grabbed the cable and threw it in the water. Just in time I jumped out the water, The creatures fell to the ground small puffs of smoke flying off them. I smiled weakly. Then I realised I don’t have any electricity to escape now. 

Part two is coming soon…

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TLL Articles: 5 Reasons We Don’t Record Tutorials

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Tutor Dave (MA, PGCE)

As we encourage learners to have cameras on, one question we are frequently asked is whether or not we record our tutorials. Here are five reasons we have decided that recordings are not the best way to support our learners:

1. We want to encourage interaction (and create the freedom to make mistakes!)

Imagine for a moment that I ask you to do something you find challenging. Maybe it’s something mathematical. Perhaps it’s to do with spelling. Maybe it’s some form of skilled physical activity. You would rightly feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s ok though, because as a tutor I will reassure you, encourage you, give you praise and gently correct you as you learn. I’ll also let you know it’s alright to get things wrong. That is, after all, how we learn: through making mistakes and trying again. But for this to work, we need to feel we’re in an environment where we can safely make mistakes.

A sense of suddenly having to ‘perform’ arises and you become conscious that this moment, this moment where you are about to struggle to do something challenging, is about to become something permanent.

Tutor Dave

Now let’s imagine that I am going to record you as you attempt this difficult activity. As you attempt it, you become conscious of a red light blinking on my camera: recording has begun. A sense of suddenly having to ‘perform’ arises and you become conscious that this moment, this moment where you are about to struggle to do something challenging, is about to become something permanent. Your worry deepens when I tell you that this recording will be available for others to watch as many times as they want.

Would you prefer to just sit it out? Maybe just watch from the sidelines? It would be understandable if you did.

Young people are already highly sensitive to the opinions of their peers, so asking them to interact in tutorials is challenging to begin with. Recording our small group tutorials makes things more difficult for them. And this becomes even more problematic for those learners who experience anxiety.

2. To better support learners who are anxious or face other challenges

As former teachers, we know the pressures schools are facing to try to do their best for their students. We also know that it’s not always possible to meet their needs within the school system. Many learners come to us because they have not found the support they needed or because they have not have felt sufficiently challenged. Perhaps the way things are done in schools just isn’t quite right for them for one reason or another and we are happy to be able to support them in whichever way is best. But some learners come to us because they have anxiety. For these learners, the thought of being in a room full of their peers may feel genuinely frightening, and the thought of being put on the spot to answer questions is even worse. Because many of our learners have had this experience, we try to keep triggers for anxiety to a minimum. There are many ways we do this, which are woven in to our teaching practice, but keeping our groups small and not recording lessons is a big part of it. Both Tutors Andy and Dave have experience working in mental health (NHS, CAMHS, Delphis) and also in schools, so we understand that there is often a gap between the support that children need at school, and the support they actually get, despite the often heroic efforts of the teachers and other staff in schools. Tutor Led Learning exists to support our learners’ mental wellbeing as well as their education. In our opinion, these things go hand in hand.

3. To be responsive and flexible, and avoid giving ‘lectures’

Tutor Led Learning’s small group tutorials are not simply lectures, which could easily be recorded to be sold over and over again. Instead, our focus is on creating interactive moments. We encourage learners to share their ideas. We allow them to complete tasks and receive almost instant feedback. And we go with the natural flow of the needs of the learners.

The style to create recorded lessons has to be different. It has to be more like a lecture.

…responding to the shifting dynamics of a group of learners and their evolving knowledge (and mood) as tutorials progress is at the heart of good teaching.

Tutor Dave

It means responding less to students in the moment and sticking more to a script. This may work for some tutors, but responding to the shifting dynamics of a group of learners and their evolving knowledge (and mood) as tutorials progress is at the heart of good teaching. Ploughing on through lesson content because it is being recorded is no way to effectively support the learners who are in that group. In fact, the main goal is no longer about supporting individual students, but is about ensuring that you don’t ‘slip up’. You are being recorded, after all.

Therefore tutors might avoid engaging with learners in case they say the ‘wrong’ thing or ask difficult questions. At Tutor Led Learning we want learners to ask us challenging questions. We want them to think outside the box and test out new ideas. And we want to create an environment in our groups that allows this to happen. Recording tutorials would simply not promote this because we would have to fundamentally change our teaching style from one that is about individuals and their progress, to one which is more generic, less personalised and ultimately less beneficial for our learners.

4. To live in the moment and learn together

For some learners, knowing a recording will become available can be a reason not to engage with the lesson as it happens. Or perhaps not attend the lesson at all. If it will be available for them to watch later on, why bother to be in the lesson?

It matters because our learners are learning together.

Learners can be keen to share the knowledge they have and often the best thing a tutor can do is know when to step back and let the learners teach each other. 

Tutor Dave

They get to discuss concepts and questions as they arise and bounce ideas off each other. They also learn the art of speaking in a group: knowing how and when to jump in with their ideas, learning how to disagree in a respectful way, and learning how to persuade others of their point of view. These are vitals skills we need throughout our lives and having an opportunity to practise them in tutorials is invaluable. It’s also a chance for young people to learn from each other. Learners can be keen to share the knowledge they have and often the best thing a tutor can do is know when to step back and let the learners teach each other. Often they express concepts in a way that the others just ‘get’ or they use examples that chime with the experiences of their peers.

A recording also doesn’t allow the tutor to help the learner there and then and one of the most powerful ways a tutor can help a learner is to give feedback in the moment.

5. To encourage social interaction and friendships

Simply watching back lessons that have been recorded may seem like it is the same as being involved, but it is not. In fact, for some learners, it can be quite the opposite. It may become isolating and create the sense of being an outside observer, rather than a participant.

Often, the friends we make in our childhood become the friends we have in our adult lives. When we are young many of these friendships happen because we are learning alongside others of a similar age. The shared experience of learning creates instant topics of conversation and amusing moments in tutorials become running jokes for years to come. Recording tutorials would stifle this interaction and require that the tutorial moves on relentlessly, not allowing for these important moments in our lives because it doesn’t add to the ‘learning’. We are proud to create time for these moments in our tutorials, have learners become friends in our tutorials and even travel across the country to meet up in real life!

So, there you have it, 5 reasons we have decided not to record our tutorials. If you are wondering how learners who miss our tutorials can catch up, then the answer is that we will help them! Many tutorials have content that can be accessed online and we are happy to email over work with explanations when needed. Many tutorials have worksheets available in Google Classroom that can be accessed at any time and, because we run tutorials rather than large webinar-style lectures, we can take the time to help students catch up and respond to the questions they have in our tutorials.

If you are interested in how we promote interaction in our small group tutorials, take a look at our article on why we encourage learners to have their cameras on.

If you would like to discuss any of these ideas further or find out how we can support your child, please just get in touch.

Tutor Dave (BA, MA, PGCE)

Be different, together.

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Student Work: Rose, age 14

Rose, age 14, wrote this chilling science-fiction story in our Upper KS3 Creative Writing tutorials.

In creative writing, one of the biggest challenges is often knowing how to help students get started. Students can be really enthusiastic to write, but the prospect of staring at a blank page can be really daunting for them.

To help overcome this, students were given a rough outline of a science-fiction story, (specially written by Tutor Dave), which included a typical narrative arc, suggestions for common sci-fi character types and a range of other tropes.

The story outline was broken into six sections and students developed and extended the outline of the story over the six tutorials in the topic, completing more in their own time if they wanted to.

This is a brilliant piece of writing, Rose. It is rich in description and you have structured it in such a way as to clearly convey your protagonist’s sense of confusion by making them discover what is going on at the same pace as the reader. You have used a wide range of sophisticated vocabulary and techniques in your work, which adds a certain maturity to your writing. You might want to, in future pieces, consider the effect of similes a little more as there is sometimes a clash between the tone of your writing and the tone of the similes you have chosen. However, this is excellent overall, Rose – well done :)”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write like this, join our Upper/Lower KS3 English Tutorials.

A Science-Fiction Story

I wake with an urgency, every thought in high definition, as if sleeping has become a danger. I desperately need to move, to shake the numb, heavy sensation out of my body. I feel as though I haven’t moved since the last ice age, like a worm stuck in limbo. My brain is thick and slow but I am aware of thinking even though my head is as empty as a bird’s nest in December, and has been for the last millenia. Instinctively, I know that even the smallest movement will be exhausting to the extreme but at the same time, I don’t remember ever being this energised. The effort of breathing is immense, every breath draining me of the little strength I have like a sponge squeezed of water. I am magnetised to the floor, cold on my exposed back and I realise I am not wearing any clothes. For the first time, I notice the temperature. It’s freezing and my newly awakened brain springs into action, imagining all the cold things in the world: 

As cold as ice. That’s a classic.

As cold as frozen water. Wait a minute, that is the same as ice!

As cold as snow. 

As cold as cucumbers. 

As cold as a snowball on a very cold winter morning. Wow, that one is terrible!

As cold as a frog. Frogs aren’t even that cold… 

As cold as a dead man’s nose. 

The last one is rather unsettling so I try to turn my thoughts to something a bit more positive but now all I can think of is a dead man, eyes staring blankly up at me, jaw slack and mouth slightly open, nose frighteningly blue. 

Unable to turn my thoughts away from the face which I now realise to be my late father’s, I decide to try opening my eyes which, until now, I hadn’t been aware are closed. I take a minute to steel myself before attempting the seemingly gargantuan task. Sixty seconds pass. Then another twenty. Ten more. Five minutes…

After procrastinating for a while (a really long while), I finally open my eyes with surprisingly little effort. Blinding white light. Searing pain penetrates my skull, rickashaying around the inside of my head, confusing my thoughts, my mind, me. My brain is on fire. Flames burst from me in a piercing scream of pure agony. Everything goes suddenly black.

I slowly regain consciousness, memories coming to me in disorderly flashes. My mind is as tired as a worn out shoe but I try to work out the chronological sequence of events, piecing together the little snippets of information to form a beginning, a middle and an end. The details elude me but finally I have a storyline which, admittedly, isn’t comparable to the works of Shakespeare but it is something: waking up, the cold, the white light, then blackness. I begin to wonder what my story is, the story of my life, not just the last half hour. I have a name don’t I? And a family? How old am I? These are all things I should know but don’t seem to. It’s all so frustrating but I mean to find out the answers to these six questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What am I?
  3. Where am I?
  4. When is this?
  5. Why am I here?
  6. How did I get here?

Question 3 seems to be the most straightforward to answer so I decide to start with that one. I hesitate before opening my eyes again but this time it doesn’t hurt although it still isn’t exactly a pleasant sensation as I look around at my surroundings. Everything is white and I can’t quite distinguish the different features of the room I am in. I lift my arm, wanting to know how far I can reach. My hand quickly comes into contact with something clear, cold and hard that seems to be the sides of a container. My fingers, shocked by the intense numbness now creeping slowly up my arm, stumble drunkenly across the surface of the ‘solid air’. I feel desperately to each side in an attempt to determine if I am inside or outside of the container. I am inside. Trapped.

I push against the air, fear making me strong. I push and push and keep on pushing. The numbness is overwhelming, flowing down my arms and flooding my body with a terrifying sense of not feeling. But still I push with all my might. It could be my imagination but I think I feel it start to give. My heart throws itself painfully against my ribs, pumping energy through my weary body with a frantic rapidity. I push for what seems like forever. My arms begin to grow tired but my new found strength doesn’t fail me. Eventually, it shatters. The air splits into a million pieces, each shard hitting the floor with a faint tinkle. Breathing a deep sigh of relief, I let my arms fall back down to my sides.

I sit up, surprised when my body obeys the command. As I look around from this new perspective, I can just make out the details of my surroundings. All the white surfaces seem to blur into one before me but, as my eyes adjust to the intense lack of colour, I can almost see the faint outlines of blank windows, busy control panels and high-tech chairs slowly growing stronger. I seem to be inside a spaceship from a rather dull futuristic novel. Everywhere, there must be hundreds of bleeping monitors and flashing lights but it is utterly silent and white. Slowly, my eyes and ears begin to process all the colour and noise as if a filter has been lifted, letting everything in. My ears start to pick up the beeping and buzzing I had imagined there would be, conveying meaning and urgency to whoever can understand. As I look around with my colourful new lens, I see for the first time the amazing vibrance and variety of hues that cover every surface, each with a different significance and each as bright as the next. One light in particular catches my eye. It flashes red, danger, help. I try to stand, desperate to investigate. Swaying on the spot, I feel light headed but manage to remain upright. I take one shakey step, then another, and another until I reach the red light. I don’t know what it means but it definitely isn’t good. I call out. My voice is rough and faint, unaccustomed to shouting. I try again and this time the noise is stronger, more certain. It rebounds off the walls, repeating one word over and over again; ‘help’. 

My discovery has somewhat dampened my satisfaction of answering Question 3 so I decide to try 5 and 6. I turn my back on the light as I try to banish the sense of foreboding that has settled in the pit of my stomach. 

Mine isn’t the only pod. There are hundreds, thousands even. All in neat, orderly rows, with just enough space to walk between. I stagger over to the nearest pod, tripping over my feet like a newborn giraffe. I lean on the solid air in an attempt to stay upright as I peer into the pod. Inside, I see a woman. Her hair flows gracefully, as if underwater. She looks so peaceful but, deep down, I know she is dead. My heart quickens but I manage to stay calm. What if I am the only living person on this ship? I look into the next pod. A child lies as if asleep, also dead. I look into another and another. Everyone is dead. I am the only one left. 

I know its stupid but I am just really relieved that they aren’t gruesome corpses, that they look almost happy inside their pods. I should be thinking about escaping or something serious like that but all my thoughts are focused on living and being the only survivor. That is a horrible thing to think and I instantly regret it but I can’t help but skip a little as I make my way back towards the control panel and the flashing red light. 

I run my hand over all the levers and dials, trying to resist pressing a button. All the colours are exciting and new, blinking back at me from all angles, reflecting off the different surfaces. Pressing just one button won’t hurt will it? My hand might slip and accidentally push that big purple one. It wouldn’t be my fault really. I might not even press it. My finger hovers over the button, wanting action after the never-ending nothing. The ship swerves just as my hand is about to accidentally slip, sending me flying to the floor. 

I sit up, disorientated. The fall seems to have brought me to my senses. My head spins as the gravity of my situation hits me for the first time. Who is driving this thing?!

I have the strength to run now, so I do. Staring into the flashing red button, I notice a really, really tiny word written on its surface. My eyes struggle to focus, blurring the letters together. The first letter is very small – a ‘t’… or an ‘f’? The word definitely has four letters. I think it ends in ‘el’ but I can’t be sure. I curse my smudgy eyes. Maybe it is ‘ci’? The second letter could be ‘y’. ‘Tyel’ isn’t a word and nor is ‘fyci’. The ‘y’ might be a ‘u’ or possibly an ‘x’. I wrack my brain for a word that fits at least some of these requirements. I come up with nothing so I decide to continue eliminating possibilities through trial and error. It can’t be ‘fxel’ and ‘tuci’ doesn’t sound right. ‘Fxci’? Or ‘Tule’? Umm… fu- fue- fuel! It says fuel!! My heart begins to beat faster – the ship is running out of power and I am the only living person (as far as I know) who can do anything to avert the disaster. 

Panic overwhelms me, drowning my rational thoughts in the murky waters of despair. Resurfacing briefly, I start to understand the answer to Question 5. Why am I here? I breathe deeply, dragging truth and fear into my lungs. I have been kept alive as a kind of ‘just incase’. The lack of fuel led to the demise of my fellow travellers as the machine became unable to sustain so many people without sufficient energy. It sensed the impending doom so woke me in the hope that I knew how to fly a spaceship without any fuel or an instruction manual. I don’t even know where the steering wheel is!

To be continued…

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Student Work: Brody, age 13

Brody, age 13, wrote this somewhat horrifying science-fiction story in our Upper KS3 Creative Writing tutorials.

In creative writing, one of the biggest challenges is often knowing how to help students get started. Students can be really enthusiastic to write, but the prospect of staring at a blank page can be really daunting for them.

To help overcome this, students were given a rough outline of a science-fiction story, (specially written by Tutor Dave), which included a typical narrative arc, suggestions for common sci-fi character types and a range of other tropes.

The story outline was broken into six sections and students developed and extended the outline of the story over the six tutorials in the topic, completing more in their own time if they wanted to.

You have put a huge amount of effort in to creating tension and ensuring the advance of the alien upon its prey leaves your audience scared stiff! I especially like your use of structure to make us pay attention to the clicking of the alien and how that structure makes us wait, building tension before that awful moment when it pounces. I am pleased that you didn’t feel you had to rush through just to get to the end and that the quality of your writing was your priority. Well done, Brody :)”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write like this, join our Upper/Lower KS3 English Tutorials.

A Science-Fiction Story

As I woke a bright beam of light began to boil my sight. This light must have damaged my brain since I couldn’t remember where I was or even who I was, had I been in a tragic accident? Have I lost my ability to remember? Still unable to see I reached out my arms, however, they came to a sudden stop, some sort of barrier. My vision slowly returned but I was seeing double, I was in some kind… pod? Within a room, but it didn’t look home. Just like my vision my memories slowly came back, who I was, where I was and what I was doing here. Within a few seconds my claustrophobia kicked in . I started viciously panting and kicking my legs around to try to escape from this glass prison. After a while of squirming around like a scorched moth, a small puff of smoke was released from my chamber, then I was to follow. 

Slowly I stumbled out of the pod, my legs violently shaking. Trying to grab onto the side of the pod, since my legs felt like half eaten jelly. I don’t know how long I had been in a slumber, but it hasn’t done my muscles any good. As I was holding onto my pod, I tried to scream for help but it was no use, there was nobody to receive my cries. Looking around to see hundreds of identical pods, however, one was empty as someone else was awake, only time could tell . Feeling as if I was going to faint, my head started spinning and my legs felt as if I was going to collapse, I blacked out for a second or two, as I started to regain consciousness I felt paralyzed, and a sense of despair. I tried to push up from the ground but like my legs, my arms had failed me. The only glimpse of hope I had was the ability to breath and move a pathetic little finger. But It was something. As I started to regain strength in my upper, I sat up to encounter red lights that looked to be sirens of distress, followed by a despared scream.

The screams eventually died out and with it the power. As I started to retrieve strengths within my legs, I stood up only to witness the others slowly wake up, but no pods were opening, they started squirming like a fish out of water, then gasping for air. I rushed to a pod. I tried everything I could think of to try to open it, with my petty remaining strength. It was no use. Every single one of them layed there, exhausted, pale, dead. Many questions were going through my head, but the one that really spooked me was the screaming coming from speakers. There was at least one thing I knew about this ship from hell is that I wasn’t alone. I stumbled to what looked to be an exit. From there it’s mainly just hallways cloaked in darkness. I walked for what felt like hours, until I saw a slight flicker of light. I didn’t know if it was just my mind playing games with me but, what other option did I have other than to start chasing it. Once I arrived I found a power box with torn wires and dents in the metal. Someone or something has hijacked the power. I sighed in despair, I had no idea how to fix the thing. My mind was focused on that until I heard a crash I viciously turned  around only to catch a glimpse of a tale covered in scales. I went to investigate when I found a vent lid with blood stains bleached on it. It was watching me, I was its next target, its next prey.

I was alone, within a ship I have no memory of, trapped with a scaly bloodthirsty beats. Trembling with fear, I knew I wasn’t safe, so I decided to find a place to call camp. As I stumbled through the ship, cautious of any movement in sight, I discovered a desk accompanied by a tall chair isolated within darkness. I slowly approached it, only to find this creature’s work, sitting there torn apart from the legs up, ribs and other bones stuck out of his fleshy remains. Clicking, a continuous clicking noise. 

It was approaching. 

I hid under the desk.


Blood dripped down forming a puddle beside me. 


I was still horrified by what I had seen, but I had to keep silent… my life depended on it.


 Shaking with fear, I could hear its every move, its every attempt to smell flesh and blood.  



 Silence? What had happened to it? I curled my trembling fingers around the desk, and peered around, looking around left to right, it was nowhere to be seen, my heart started racing and with it my breath. I felt stressed, but relieved somehow until I felt something drop on to my hand, blood? As I cautiously looked up to see where it came from, it lay there up on the ceiling, its jaw locked in place, preparing to pounce.

It was then that I saw a pipe sticking out of the wall disconnected from the others. I could hear a faint hissing sound coming from it and as I took one last breath, I made a dash for it. Once I got my hands around it I haled it facing creature.  I needed it to come closer.


It was my only chance to escape.


It crawled closer.




It viciously hurled its body towards whilst I slid to one side pulling the pipe with me, the steam blinded it which gave me just enough time to run, oh and I ran, I took every turn, every staircase, anything which looked promising.

To be continued…

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Student Work: Lottie, age 11

Looking for a different approach to education? Get in touch to see how we can support your home education journey.

Lottie, age 11, wrote this compelling speech in our 6-week Real-life Writing topic on speech writing. Thank you for letting us share this speech, Lottie!

Writing powerful speeches can be difficult. You need to not only be able to write well, but also really care about your subject matter. Lottie’s passion for her subject really shines through in this speech and it blew the group away when we read it out at the end of the topic.

Often, children have something to say about a subject they care about, but are unsure how to get their point across in a powerful way. So, before writing, we analysed some famous speeches such as those from Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and Severn Cullis Suzuki and drew on the techniques in their speeches to help create our own.

All students in the class took part, and this is just one of many fantastic examples.

Tutor Dave (MA, PGCE)

What an amazing speech, Lottie. You convey your passion for this topic with force and clarity; not always easy to get this balance right. I think you should be extremely proud of this work and you might have a career as a speech writer ahead if you wanted it! Next time, you could try including an anecdote to give a clear example of an issue affecting one person. This would help the audience connect even more emotionally with your subject matter and feel even more persuaded. Great work!”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write like this, join our Upper/Lower KS3 Real-life Writing Topics on Wednesdays.

The Mental Health Pandemic

Today I am here to try and raise awareness about mental health amongst young people in our school systems. Some people may think that mental health is something that can start to need help and attention when people are grown up, perhaps when they are working or trying to run a family and provide for many people, and of course, that is the case in half of these cases. But it is not the only time that we should be looking after our mental health in life.

Schools are supposed to be a safe space, a space where a young person can go to learn, but these days we know too well that too often school is the least safe place in a young person’s life.

Lottie, age 11

From being very young, as soon as we start to be aware of the world around us, we start to form a sense of self, of who we are, of where we fit into our family and our friend groups. For some people that comes easily and they manage to make their way through schools with little to no problems, but others find the pressures of trying to find where they fit into the groups around them at school harder than ever, or maybe they have a lot of pressures at home or are suffering from the pressures at school such as exams. All these pressures can build up inside a young person’s mind at any time during their lives . 

Schools can give out a lot of pressure for young people, in a country where bullying is happening in every single school, it’s almost at pandemic levels, in the whole of Europe England has the highest rates of bullying in a school setting. THE HIGHEST RATES OF BULLYING IN EUROPE. If you are unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of a bully or a group of bullies then this can have a seriously negative effect on your mental health. There is no end in sight for the young people suffering at the hands of bullies. No more going home to get away from it. It follows young people around, with attacks on social media, there seems to be no getting away from it. Schools are supposed to be a safe space, a space where a young person can go to learn, but these days we know too well that too often school is the least safe place in a young person’s life. Surrounded by teachers, who seem to be unable to stop the bullies. Parents who do not hold their children accountable for bullying. It is left to carry on until something very serious happens.

Social Media is a way of life for many young people in the country. Every day they are faced with looking at “perfect people” around them on lots of different platforms such as, snap chat, insta, facebook, they all show one way to look to be able to fit in with them, thin, slim, big bum if you are a girl and it is no better for boys, fit, masculine, muscley, not allowed to show emotions. All this does is build up an ideal in the mind of a young person that they are not good enough. If they do not look the way that is shown and praised all around them on social media this leaves them feeling that they are less than. A constant comparison to unrealistic body and beauty standard.Most of the images you see, have been edited multiple times, filters used and this goes to show that the people who do this to themselves before they post their photos online are also insecure about the way they look. It really is pandemic, most young people have felt the pressure to try and fit in, in how they look, or dress, or how outgoing, or chatty you are, even how many friends you have.

If you see a young person displaying any of these signs, you could try to get them to open up by simply speaking to them, explaining that you are there whenever they want to talk, or if they want to have someone to talk to at break.

Lottie, age 11

It’s easy to see why young people are constantly feeling bad about themselves. Knowing the signs to look for in a young person around you, to see if their mental health is suffering, could be that maybe they are quieter than usual, they might struggle to make eye contact with you, they might stay on the edges of groups of people, their school grades might start dropping from their usual levels. If you see a young person displaying any of these signs, you could try to get them to open up by simply speaking to them, explaining that you are there whenever they want to talk, or if they want to have someone to talk to at break. 

Look after the young ones around you because you don’t know what’s going on inside their head or at home. They are our future generation. Let’s look after them to look after our world.

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Student Work: Amelia, age 12

Amelia, age 12, produced this amazing writing in our 6-week Fantasy Writing Topic.

In creative writing, one of the biggest challenges is often knowing how to help students get started. Students can be really enthusiastic to write, but the prospect of staring at a blank page can be really daunting for them.

To help overcome this, students were given a rough outline of a fantasy story, (specially written by Tutor Dave), which included a typical narrative arc for a fantasy story, suggestions for common fantasy character types and a range of other fantasy tropes.

The story outline was broken into six sections and students developed and extended the outline of the story over the six tutorials in the topic, completing more in their own time if they wanted to. As you can see from this student’s work, giving a few of the right ideas early on can inspire a huge amount of creative writing!

All students in the class took part, and this is just one of many fantastic examples.

Tutor Dave (MA, PGCE)

This is such a great story, Amelia. Loads of action and fantastic ideas. You have really embraced the fantasy genre, I think! I particularly like the part where you battle the villain for the first time – it’s really descriptive and that makes it feel tense. I do also like how you get revenge on your friends, although it is a little gruesome… even for me! In your next story, see if you can develop more description to go along with all the action. Describing location and atmosphere can really help readers imagine what’s happening in your stories, just as much as describing the action. Great work with this, Amelia – really well done :)”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write stories like these, join our Upper/Lower KS3 English Tutorials.

A Fantasy Story

Chapter 1: A Bad Day!

I have just finished English and now I’m in Geography, the worst subject. I hate it. I stare into space most of the lesson, not listening to what the teacher is saying. I start to fall asleep. Then all of a sudden a voice booms around the room. It says “Sit up straight Josie, and don’t dare start falling asleep in my lesson again.” I nod my head shocked to be shouted at. But when I turned around to see everyone staring at me and they were giggling. I felt embarrassed but didn’t show it. 

Then out of the corner of my eye, I caught my friends pointing, sniggering and whispering to each other. I felt a bit hurt but I told myself they were probably just talking about something funny. Then the end of class came and I walked past their desk and I heard them saying “She is such a loser, look at her falling asleep in class, Pathetic!” I ran as fast as I could out of school trying to hide my tears, but then as soon as I left the school grounds, my tears dried up and turned into anger. I was furious at my “Friends.” but instead of doing anything about it I walked home depressed and angry. I wasn’t sure what to do at all. I was lost. As I was walking home, I was furious. It felt like steam was coming out of my ears. As I walked down the street I realised that all the street lights had gone off as I walked underneath them. I was extremely confused, but decided to ignore it.

Finally, when I got home. It felt like I had been walking forever. I threw my school bag on the floor and stormed into the front room. My parents were just standing there talking. I started telling them about my day and how my friends were so mean to me but they didn’t listen, they just started talking over the top of me. I was so furious at them too. Then my mum spoke and said “Oh, you will be fine” I gave her the look and all she did was roll her eyes and start talking again. 

All of a sudden I felt this power come over me, like a lighting strike. The feeling told me to scream as loud as I could so I did. My first scream was small, the walls started shaking and the paintings were falling off them smashing. The power told me to scream louder, so I did this time the walls were still shaking my mum and dad were screaming and grasping their heads. The power was still there. I got angrier and shouted “WHY DON’T YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME.” As I was screaming the whole house shuck and my parents covered their ears and their eyes started to bleed I automatically stopped. I ran out of the house with my shoes on, and just kept running, running and running…

Eventually, I ran out of breath and stopped in a forest, I bent down and sat on a tree stump. I was still trying to figure out what had happened at the house; it was all a mystery to me. I really didn’t know what happened. I had never felt that much power in my LIFE. hearing rustling in the bushes, I stood up slowly backing away from the tree stump, trying to figure out an escape but just as I was about to run. A massive dog thing came out of the bushes in front of me. I felt the same power come over me again but when I looked back up at the dog thing it was no longer a dog it was a human. Without even thinking I said the word “Incendia” and my hands shot forward and the human set on fire. I started screaming like I did back at the house. The human covered their ears and was spinning their head around in the air. Then all of a sudden they fell to the ground all burnt and blood coming out of their eyes, ears, nose and mouth. I ran over to the body but they were dead. I could still feel the power in me and then the bushes around me set on fire and I was stuck in a ring of fire, trying to figure out how I knew the word “Incendia”…

Chapter 2: A Different World.

I was still thinking when the fire started spreading out deeper into the forest around me. I didn’t know what to do. The power within me had stopped; it seemed like I didn’t have powers anymore. So all I did instead was scream “PLEASE STOP SPREADING YOUR GOING TO KILL PEOPLE PLEASE” I broke down into tears but then all of a sudden I heard a noise a portal type noise I looked up to see a furry yellow creature standing up of the floor brushing itself down. I stared at it in shock, standing up myself, I was stuck for words until I sputtered out “Can you talk?” I didn’t get a reply till a couple of minutes later the fluffy creature histed “Yes I can.” I jumped at the sound of its voice. It was crocky, hisy and loud. I didn’t know what to say back but then it started talking again.

“You have passed the test!”

“What do you mean test?” I replied confused.

“You heard what I said that was a test”

“So that wolf human thing was a test? You put me all through that for a test” I said annoyed. 

“Well yes but I didn’t personally, Anyway now you have shown you are worthy you have to come with me to my world”

“What do you mean your world? Is it like a different universe or some sort of mythical place?” I replied questionably.

“You belong in my world, full of witchcraft, mystery and mayhem” it said confidently.

“But I have lived here my whole life and why do you need me so much?” I replied with a question again.

“You are meant to live in our world in New Orleans, America, and we need you because you have 3000 magic, you’re the strongest witch that has ever lived!”

I find it hard to respond, so instead the furry thing continues.

“New Orleans need you because we need you to help fight the vampires and wolves”

Still shocked because of all the info getting thrown at me I don’t say anything. Were left in silence for 2 minutes flat until I said.

“Don’t you have someone that can help instead of me because surely there has got to be someone?” 


I stop for a second and zone out quing into my head. I listen to the voices in my head saying “DON’T LISTEN TO THE FLUFFY CREATURE IT’S TRICKING YOUUUUUUU!” I begin to thing if my head is telling the truth and if it was whose side am I on but my thinking was broken by the creature It says;

“New Orleans really needs you to fight with us and also to Answer your question. We do have someone nearly as powerful as you.”

“What is its name and what creature is she?” I asked questionably.

“IT A HER and she is a Tribrid and her names hope”

“So why do you need me if you have The Tribrid?”

I stay silent….

The voices in my head were screaming at me now, I covered my ears as if they were attacking me. They said “DON’T LISTEN TO IT, IT’S LYING TO YOU, THEY WANT TO USE YOU AS A WEAPON!” I had, had enough by this point and I shouted at the fluffy creature “I AM NOT GOING WITH YOU” 

The creature got angry and grabbed my arm. It started dragging me towards the portal saying “YOU WILL COME WITH ME.” I tried my best to stand my ground but the creature was too strong. All I could do was scream “LET GO OF ME, I WON’T LET YOU TAKE ME!”

My screams didn’t help the creature just kept pulling me. I went silent for a moment because I felt the power again I tuned into my mind I heard a spell get spoken so I shouted it out loud “Delfen da ossox” my left arm lifted up and I started floating the fluffy creatures head flew off it’s shoulders and the other half of its body got sucked back into the portal and something else came flying out of it with a dog figure and then it disappeared. I then felt really tired and I fell to the ground hitting it hard becoming unconscious and after that all I heard were the voices saying “THEY WILL RETURN BEWARE” I then fell into deep sleep….

Chapter 3: The scary dream about the future.

When I woke up, I stood up slowly with my legs acting like jelly and my head felt like it was being pounded on, but when I looked up I was outside my school. I was very confused. I had fallen asleep in the woods, after killing the fluffy creature. I started walking up to the school a bit unsteady and when I walked through the door it looked like the school, I don’t know why but I thought it would look different. Walking through the corridor I came across my “friends” . I walked up to them calmly and they welcomed me like nothing happened.  I was shocked but didn’t say anything about it in case they then turned on me. We chatted for a while then we had to go to class nothing much happened except the urge to set fire to my friends but I made it through the day, then it came to going home time.

I walked up to my friends to say goodbye and see them tomorrow but I heard them saying “I can’t believe she was so chill, I thought she would get angry or hit one of us” another one said “She is such a rat she definitely has problems like mager ones.” The last sentence they said pushed me over the edge. I closed my eyes and when I opened them back up, my friends started screaming “WHY ARE HER EYES BLACK AND WHY IS SHE WEARING A RED AND BLACK DRESS” I smiled and tilted my head to one side, I look down at myself and said “Don’t you like my new outfit it’s different isn’t it” silence fills the room. One of my friends started trying to leave the school by going around me carefully. I spun round and threw my arms forward saying “Vis se portus” the doors to the school flew shut. I turned back around saying “well that’s better now isn’t it. NO ONE LEAVES.” My friends started cowering behind each other. I started walking towards them saying “That’s not going to save you, sillys” I laughed at their stupidity. I clicked my finger and said “Incendia” I pointed my finger at them and fire flew out of it setting them ablaze. Everyone else who was still in the school was petrified, them being scared made me happy. I started walking towards the door. I said “ignis probationem” waving my hands down my dress. I flicked my hair and shouted “SCHOLA” school I went tumbling to the ground. Eyes closed and in total darkness I heard a voice boom saying “IF YOU DON’T CONTROL YOUR POWER THAT IS WHAT WILL BECOME OF YOU” INCENDUNT” I walked out the school with fire blazing behind me, as soon as I exited the that’s when I realised it was a dream…

Chapter 4: The Mentor.

I shot up and petrified the trees going everywhere but then I , Lifting myself up with magic, flew across the ground and went straight into a tree, I then calmed down. but It really hurt. I stood up brushing myself off because I was covered in leaves, I stood there thinking about what happened yesterday. I was still mind boggled and I had to process it alone because If I went around telling people I had powers they would think I was crazy and I can’t go back to my parents because I am not sure if they are even alive after what had happened which meant I had no were to go at all. As I was still thinking I heard rustling in the bushes behind me I spun round nearly falling over my feet because of how fast I did it. I started looking more deeply at the bushes and a dog-like thing came out of them. I started walking backwards looking for an exit as I went. Staring at the dog I realise that It has pearly white fur and the same shape as the other dog I killed. I still felt so guilty. Then the silence broke and something spoke to me saying “Hello Josie, I am here to help you control your powers. I also am here to help you to stay on the good path and not vear into the dark like many others have before you. I can tell you are a good person.” It said kindly, I was very confused. I was trying to figure out if the dog had just spoken to me or it was my head. The dog then spoke kindly saying “If you’re confused it’s me talking to you the dog.” well I have figured that mystery out then haven’t I. I began to speak “What are you, what’s your name and where are you from?” I said curiously,

“I am a werewitch, my name is Freya and I am from New Orleans.”

“Wait but the other creature was from New Orleans too and it was possibly evil.” I said questionaly.

“Yes it was, I am from a New part of New Orleans. I am on the good side with the werewolves and the vampires even though I am a witch wolf but I left the witches because they tried using me and my sister as weapons.” 

“Who’s your sister?” I said gently,

“My sister is one of the Tribrids to ever live. Her name is Hope but she didn’t escape with me  after she turned because she turned her humanity off so she stayed with the bad side and she is now their only weapon.”

“The fluffy creature mentioned a Tribrid to me called hope. What do you mean one of the Tribrids is there another?” I said questionably.

“There will be another Tribrid but they would have to turn.”

“Who’s the other Tribrid?” 

“I am but I don’t ever want to become one because I have seen how it ruined my sister so I am staying a werewitch.”
“Oh, okay.” That was some shocking news here.

“Anyway I wanted to tell you that you have passed the test.”

“What test”

“You said no to the other creature, and I saw how you fought, I can see that you have potential in you and I have been waiting for someone like you, I was watching you from the otherside of the portal and I jumped through when I saw you kill the creature. The other person that appeared was evil it was trying to get you to become a weapon to fight me and my people, it was saying we were the bad guys and they were good but actually it’s the other way around” 

I was lost for words. She was throwing so much information at me and she kept going on.

“Do you want me to teach you how to control your power so you may help me and people defeat the villains but it’s okay if you don’t want to?”

I think about Freya’s offer and I wondered if she was lying like the villain but she seemed to nice to be the villain and also I could really do with been taught how to control my power because I don’t want to end up like my dream said I would, So after a long though and mixed decision I say “Yes I would love to come with you as long as you tell me what a werewitch is” “Deal made, come on it’s time to go they will be expecting me and you any minute now.” Freya leads me through the bushes to a portal..

Chapter 5: The Encounter.

I walked into the compound all happy and proud of myself because finally after 5 month I was in control of my powers. I was welcomed with open arms and everyone was crowding around me saying “Why don’t you show us some of your new powers” I agreed after a while and I closed my eyes and said “Homines missi tum ad areæ” Everyone floated very high and then I carefully sent them back down to the floor, I felt very tired after that, it took a lot of power because I had to concentrate so much. I then went to go talk to Freya I said “Hi Freya, I am going to be now I am really tired.”

She replied “Okay, that’s fine, see you in the morning.” I left walking slowly, wondering to myself. 

In the morning I woke up and went down for breakfast that is when Freya slowly walked over to me and said “I have some bad news”

I was shocked I replied  “What do you mean, what’s wrong” 

“You have to go into the enchanted forest and deffet 3 different creatures with your powers and then you can emerge on the other side of the forest” 

“mhm, do I really have to go I mean haven’t I shown you enough?”

“No I am sorry but it’s not my rule every warrior has to pass this test or they will be thrown


“Okay…. Then I will do it” I sighed.

Heading into the forest I clutch my arms really nervous about what was about to happen, I stood there for 5 to 10 minutes waiting for something to happen. I was so paranoid I kept spinning round in circles every time I heard a little rustle. I start walking into the forest and as I get deeper in nothing happens. I was very confused. I knew something was really wrong, I started to turn back when.. I came across a bush-like door. I thought yes that’s what I was supposed to be looking for a door the fights threw there. I shuffled threw and when I actually looked around me I saw THE VILLAIN. I spun round and tried to go back through the bush door but I walked into a barrier falling backwards. The villain burst out laughing, that made me very angry. I stood up throwing my hand forward shouting “IGNIS” a fire ball flew out of my hand and a water ball flew out of the villains. Both of the balls met fighting each other but the water won. It came flying towards me. I threw myself on the floor and rolled out of the way. The villain shot a line of fire at me and I healed it with my hand and forced it back towards the villain. It doges and then sets a tree behind it on fire. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I had plenty of spells but they had all gone out of my head. I thought really hard but nothing came. All I could do was defend myself.  Then I had a light bulb. I lifted my arms up and screamed once it set the trees on fire around us. I screamed ago and sucked up all the fire from the trees. I screamed again a long one this time and the villain floated up into the air. As I screamed, the fire I collected came out of my mouth going straight towards the villain. I floated with the villain but after I stopped screaming I fell to the floor exhausted with black  marks coming up my face. All the villain did was stand back up and shouted “IS THAT THE BEST YOU GOT” I closed my eyes tilting my head to the side Until…. I heard a voice I recognised it was Freya’s she had come to save me. 

I opened my eyes to see her standing in the middle of the bubble. She shouted “EXTERNAL CANADAS” , a massive blue beam shouting out from her sending me and the villain flying backwards hitting the barrier around us. I tried rolling over to move away from the barrier but all my bones ached. I couldn’t move, Freya came rushing over to me picking me up in her arms. She spoke softly to me and said “If I die I want you to promise you will help my people deffete the Villain, and you need to destroy its main power sauce, Kill my sister use red oak ash and stab it in her heart I have left a map to the tree under my bed go there as soon as you escape and also you need to burn the witches with the power that killing my sister will relash you need to consume it but be careful It may consume you. Burning them is the only way to get rid of them.” 

I was shocked, all I could say was “Why are you telling me this?” 

She didn’t have time to respond because her sister Hope came up behind her at full speed. She said “Hello sister, Goodbye sister” and ripped her heart out. I fell to the ground tumbling out of Freya’s arms. I looked over to Freya’s body and lifted myself up with the strength I had gained whilst Freya was talking to me and stumbled over to her body. As I held her in my arms I cried and then all of a sudden her body turned into ash and blew away in the wind. I was angry. Standing up, I watched Hope speed over to the Villain and pick him up in her arms like Freya did to me I whipped the tears away from my eyes and shouted “WE WILL WIN THIS WAR AND YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES WILL BE DEAD, YOU HERE ME THEY WILL BE DEAD, YOU WILL BE DEAD.” 

Hope replied shouting back “WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT” and sped off through a gap in the bubble with the Villain in her arms. 

Leaving the bubble, I went back to the compound with tears dropping down my face as I went and as I entered I told them the bad news..

Chapter 6: The secret!

After I told the people in the compound what happened to Freya they all cried and hugged me. I felt guilty for some reason like it was my fault she had died. I thought to myself maybe if I can defeat the villain it will avenge her. With this thought still spinning around my head I went to my room and packed my things I thought I might need. Then I had to go to Freya’s room to try and find the map to this tree called ‘Red oak tree’. I rummaged through her bedroom until I came across a very small box under her bed. I opened it and I found a little rolled up map with the coordinates of ‘The red oak tree.’ I left her room and set off on my journey out of the compound with my head held high. I couldn’t get out of my mind what Freya had said, I kept looking at the map. My first destination was the whitchery, I went and got some frog bones they skunk really badly, I put them in 1 of my pots I had brought with me. 

My next stop was the dark forest. I was so scared to enter it, I had heard some really terrible stuff about it. I sneaked in hoping no monster would come after me but low and behold 10 minutes in I came across a forest leopard. It ran at me with full pealt I pulled out my hand and said “Ventus!” The leopard flew back again and hit one of the trees, snapping one of the branches. The branch landed on the leopard, I felt very bad that I had just killed a leopard but I had to keep going. Listening carefully, I heard a growling noise in my ears. Turning around slowly, slobber came dribbling down my face. I was disgusted. Looking up I saw a 6 headed dog. I spun around and started running, but this was a game to the dog. It started running after me, but it all felt like slow motion to me like time had started slowing down. Then time speed up, the dog scratched my left arm, I went tumbling to the ground, rolling around clenching my arm. The dog started running at me again. I shouted “praesidium bulla” . The dog ran into the protection bubble around me and fell to the floor with a massive thud. I knew it wasn’t dead but I couldn’t risk staying around any longer, I started running trying to find the end of the forest. I was running around for over 20 minutes until I found a clearing in the forest. I touched my change and ran for it. Once I got out, my left arm was healed. I had no idea why though, I stepped back in my arm and started bleeding again, I stepped out, it stopped and healed. I was extremely confused, so I decided to continue on. 

I saw the Tree in the distance but It was surrounded by guards. My last fight I had to use magic. I got over to them, they were all witches obviously I threw everything I had at them. It took ages to get through them all; they just kept reappearing. I finally got through them all and walked towards the tree. Once I got there I muttered under my breath “Incendia” The tree set alight and turned to ash. I collected the ash in a little pot I had found in my room. As I started walking away I heard rustling in the bushes so I stayed close to the ground and made the powerful weapon right then and there I muttered “Forma pugionem” pot and frog bones started flottin and created a dagger. I grasped it in my hand and stood up. Hope came flying out of the bushes heading straight for me. She came and tried to rip my heart out. I spun out of the way and struck her in the heart with the dagger. She fell to the ground and I flew backwards. Stuck to the ground I couldn’t move b;ack, smoke was coming out of hope into me. Once the black smoke had stopped I could move again. I stood up and so did hope. Hope shouted “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE” I didn’t have an Idea about what had just happened. She tried to speed up to me but she could only run like a human and that’s when I released Freya was wrong it didn’t kill hope it turned her human. I was shocked and when I looked at my magic metre I had 10,000 magic. I was the most powerful witch that had ever lived. I started walking away from the dagger my magic drained nearly my whole body did to. I crawled back to the dagger and I was filled again and so did my magic metre. That when I became horrified the dagger was now the only thing keeping alive if I went a certain amount of metres away from it. It would kill me. I picked it up and started walking home avoiding the dark forest at all costs…

Chapter 7: The Final Battle.

When I returned home I ran in to tell my people the good news but when I entered I saw the compound had been destroyed. My people were all over the floor dead I must say and the Villains underlings were there standing around laughing together and chatting. I clenched my chest, I stepped to the side out of the way so the villain’s underlings didn’t see me. That’s when I broke down, all my people were dead. I was left alone once again but that’s when my pain turned into strength. I was so angry I walked into the compound I said “YOU WILL REGRET DOING THAT!” I lifted my hands up in the air and clicked them mutterling “Invisique” I turned invisible and walked towards the villains underlings and through my hands forward whispering “Vola ergo mori” They floated in the air and dropped to the floor dead I checked my power metre and it was at 8,000 I was running low ish I went to go to my room but it was destroyed too at this point. I felt my heart thumping very, very loudly and that’s when I felt a flush of anger hit me in the face. I waited in the compound for an hour or two hoping the Villain would stop being a wuse and come out and fight he didn’t. I decided it was going to be on my terms now I stormed out. The whole time I was storming around and waiting around the song ‘Run boy Run’ was going around my head. I said “proferet portal” I jumped through the portal and landed at the otherside in a classic superhero stance and started walking towards the villain’s fortress In slow motion. As I started to enter the fortrose I checked my metre and it was at 12,000 I was very confused. I only used to have 10,000. I looked past the metre and realised there were black veins all up my arms and I was in a black dress. My nightmare had come true. I kept walking through the walls into the fortress and as I stood in the middle an electric bolt stuck me in my back. I stood back up to see the villain stood behind me dressed in all black he looked a bit like a dark blob. I struck him back quickly. He stood back up a lot slower than I did. I tried striking him again but I was too slow. He hit me with a big beam of water. Spinning in the air, I land on the floor with a massive thud. I could feel the rage building up inside me, I get up and stood my ground. I through my hand forward holding fire in my hand, I forced my hand forward as It fell towards the villain it set him ear on fire. I bursted out laughing as the villain was hitting himself viciously. Then something I was not expecting happened I started floating but I was not doing it myself, I turned my head and saw a coven of witches holding their hands in the air, I was so shocked. Then all of a sudden they dropped me. Catching myself before I hit the floor I got so angry, I lift my hands in the air and swap them around muttering under my breath “rapit speculum e fenestra” all the glass from the windows around me gathered and formed a circle around me i shouted “Explodere levi” The glass shot out from around me sent it flying everywhere and a massive blinding light same from me. All I heard was screaming coming from around me. I had killed nearly every witch/wizard in the fortruss. I felt a tad bit faint but kept stumbling through the glass all over the floor and removed the hood of the villain and the most shocking thing about it was the villain was a human/chipmunk with magical abilities. I stood back up and started walking out of the fortruss in slow motion and I said  “ignis probationem” just like in my dream. I strutted out and leapt into the portal…

As I landed back on the other side of the portal back in the compound I could see the destruction that my power had made in the distance I was scared of myself.  I decided that the only thing I could do was put the object away forever maybe. Before I head back to my original world I decide to spend my last hours in the compound trying to search for a spell to put all of my power back into the dagger. Then all of a sudden I found out that the spell was “Magia in pugionem” . I decided to keep the spell in my mind but not use it yet because I had something to do before I put my magic away. When I got back to the real world through my portal I sealed it up by saying “signare foraminis” as I started walking away I heard rustling in the bushes but decided to ignore it because there was nothing to worry about anymore I didn’t think. I walked home and when I got home my mum and dad were still lying there on the floor still exactly like when I had left. That’s when I realised time hadn’t moved since I had left. I lifted my parents up and placed them on the couch. I said to them “obliviscere omnia” I made them forget what had happened so when they woke up the next morning they would only remember my coming home and going to bed. 

The next morning, I woke up and packed my things to go to school, Including the dagger. I ended up at school and saw my ‘Friends’ . I Walked up to them and started talking to them. They kept glaring at me and sniguring I had had enough of them. So I said to them “Follow me I have something to show you” They followed me outside I muttered under my breath “quattuor homines Invisble” We all went invisible but they didn’t notice, because there daft. One of my ‘Friends’ said “What are we looking at” I signed and whispered “profer IIT” I brought my dark side forward because what I was about to do needed a lot of power. I started lifting my hand up carefully as it was twitching. I said as quietly as possible “Decacare et supernatet” They all started floating in the air. They all said at the same time  “What are you doing to use Josie?” I didn’t respond because I was concentrating. I forced my hand forward with such speed and their necks left their bodys. I smiled pleased with myself, I then let them float there with no head. I Then got some of their blood and wrote across the top of the school wall It said “Fake friends, deserve what they get when Karma bites them in the backside.” I made them uninvisible and walked behind the back of the school. I was now ready to put my magic away. I held the dagger in one hand and I was ready to do the spell, chanting “Magia tergum pugione” black smoke started coming out of me and gathering into the dagger. Then all of a sudden some kicked me,  I fell to the floor, dagger dropping out my hand landing into the grass. I turned to get up but when I looked over where the dagger had fallen out of my hand, Hope was there, I shouted “No” but I was too slow. She took the dagger and ran. In a way I was happy that she had taken it, I could live a normal life but It meant I could never get back to my real home ever again. I stood up and walked home in the middle of the day, and when I got home I started searching on how to find someone without magic I tried for ages.

Chapter 8: 10 years later.

After 10 years I gave up looking for Hope because whenever I got close to finding her she seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. So now I am still in school and I am filling out the rest of my life as a normal human but I can still feel a whole in my heart for the people that have died and my real home. I will always feel hurt but I have managed to get through it and have made real good friends but I will never really stop looking for my magic because it’s a part of me that I have lost.

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TLL Articles: The Benefits Of Cameras On

Do learners in online tutorials really benefit from having cameras on? Absolutely!

Looking for a different approach to education? Get in touch to see how we can support your home education journey.
Tutor Dave (MA, PGCE)

Whilst many learners use their cameras in our tutorials, some don’t. At Tutor Led Learning, we believe that the best learning relationships happen when learners and tutors can see one another and they know their interactions are not being recorded. Using cameras is not compulsory at KS3 level, but Tutor Dave shares why he thinks learners having their cameras on is so valuable.

One of the best things about teaching is the look on a student’s face when they grasp a new concept or realise that they have finally mastered a challenging skill. It’s an expression that mixes pride, happiness and a dawning realisation that they can develop new skills, acquire new knowledge and shape the kind of person they want their future self to be. It’s what makes teaching special and it’s why we become teachers in the first place: to help young people be the best they can be. 

…there is something that can be lost in an online environment: actually seeing our students, and students seeing each other.

Tutor Dave

I saw this expression a lot as I travelled around different homes, tutoring small groups after I first left my job in a secondary school. And in the early stages of finding my feet as a tutor, seeing the difference I could make was what motivated me to keep going.

The educational landscape is changing, though. I no longer travel to students’ homes and instead teach students all over the UK and in different countries online. Many home-educating families know that learning online is a great way to find the right tutor because geography need not be a barrier. If a tutor is in roughly the right time zone, then there’s no reason not to give them a try! 

But whilst there are many advantages to working online (being able to give live feedback on shared documents, keep all our work safe and secure in online classrooms and easily share useful links to articles and videos to name just a few) there is something that can be lost in an online environment: actually seeing our students, and students seeing each other.

From what I have seen, having their camera on really enhances a students’ experience. Here’s why I think those students who don’t use their cameras should consider it…

It may seem unlikely online, but after a while, a real sense of community starts to develop and students feel like they know one another properly

Tutor Dave

In my English tutorials, I find that when students can see each other, they are far more likely to interact with one another verbally or via the chat box. This is great for students because they can build relationships over long distances and I even know of students who have met in lessons and then travelled to meet up face-to-face; it’s hard to imagine this happening without them having seen one another. 

It may seem unlikely online, but after a while, a real sense of community starts to develop and students feel like they know one another properly (rather than just being faceless names on a video call). They love to share stories about their pets, holidays, birthdays and sympathise with one another if they have been off ill. Despite being online, having cameras on makes our lessons a highly sociable and friendly environment that just isn’t the same if students can’t see each other.

When students have cameras on, it far more closely recreates the atmosphere of a small group learning together in one location, just like being back around the kitchen table at one of my early home-educating families. Conversation flows more naturally and younger students, who are often really eager to share ideas, learn to respond to visual cues from others in the group to know when the time is right to jump in with their ideas; a key skill for later life, which some adults have yet to master!

Often in English, we need to talk in a thoughtful way about a character’s motives or an author’s intentions. Opinions often vary about these things and it is great for students to hash out their ideas with one another. Seeing how other students react to what they are saying and learning how to respond to those reactions is, in my view, a hugely important part of learning to be a successful communicator when they grow up.

Aside from the somewhat selfish reason of loving to see that expression that says ‘I learnt something new!’ on a student’s face, there are some clear positives for a tutor of being able to see their student.

Seeing a student allows us to identify when they need help more easily, to gauge their reaction to a new idea or concept, and to see if they have found our (probably terrible) jokes amusing. We get to know them as people and this is surely the essence of great tutoring: understanding another human being enough to be able to work out what the right thing to say or do is that helps them progress. 

It’s knowing when to say something to offer support, and knowing when to stay silent because you can see the concentration in their faces. It’s knowing which students enjoy a little banter, and which students feel a bit embarrassed. 

All students are different, and so being able to see how they react differently in lessons allows tutors to adapt our teaching to respond to what the students need.

Tutor Dave

All students are different, and so being able to see how they react differently in lessons allows tutors to adapt our teaching to respond to what the students need. Young people don’t always say if they are unsure about something, so being able to read their expressions allows us to try another explanation or clarify key information without them having to say they don’t understand.

It’s also important for us to be able to judge the mood of our students. We like to make our students feel welcome and happy in our lessons and it’s important for us to respond sensitively to their emotions. If a student has their camera on, we can often see what sort of mood they are in and then adjust the tone of our voice, the questions we ask and the praise we give to help put them in the best frame of mind possible. It means that we can respond in an emotionally intelligent way to our students more easily and try to ensure that their experience of education is as positive as it can be.

Reasons why a student might not want their camera on

Although I am clearly a fan of having cameras on, that’s not to say that I don’t understand there are reasons why some students prefer not to use them.

Perhaps a student has low self-esteem, has been subjected to bullying in the past, or believes that the way they dress will affect the opinion others in the group have of them. These are reasonable concerns for a young person to have and, for that reason we do not insist on having cameras on in our KS3 group tutorials, but encourage the use of them. 

It’s a little different at KS4. When we are taking students through a GCSE, it really is essential that we can see them in order to teach effectively, so we do insist on cameras being on at this level.

Encourage camera use if you can

If you have a child learning online, experience tells me they will get the most from their lessons with their camera turned on. Have a chat with your child about whether they use their camera or not and, if they don’t, encourage them to give it a go. Most students who start using them leave them on in subsequent lessons even if they were nervous at first. Our groups are friendly places so they are a great opportunity to start building up camera confidence.

For more on how we promote interaction, take a look at the 5 reasons we choose not to record our lessons

Tutor Dave (MA, PGCE)

Be different, together.