ABOUT Griffin

If you are anxiety-riddled by all the playground chatter around the 11+ exam, then let us reassure you.
Our knowledge of the 11+ process, our ability to teach such a high level of exam technique and our consideration for each child’s specific needs has given us a great, local reputation. We also know plenty about entrance tests for private and public schools…

ABOUT ME

Hayley Hobbs

hayley@griffinteaching.com

Griffin Teaching was founded by me in 2011 – although I roped Deborah in almost immediately to run more classes when I found myself swamped. Teaching is my great love and the joy of the clubs is that I only have to teach my favourite parts (I was never that hot at ICT or dance to be honest). My qualifications for the job include a BEd (Hons) degree in Education from Cambridge University, class teaching experience in both state primary schools and a top London prep school (where I prepared children for schools including Westminster, St Paul’s Girls and City of London Boys).

In addition to this I did a couple of years of marking Year 6 SATs papers for Edexel. My role is to oversee the detail of each club session, making sure every child has the same positive learning experience in each club. I create all the long-, mid- and short-term planning, individual records for each pupil and provide specific feedback to parents when required, either via email, on the phone, or over a coffee.

THE TEAM

Helen Thompson

helen@griffinteaching.com

Helen is our fixer and we couldn’t be without her. She manages the bookings, is on top of the invoicing, and handles those essential details including our health and safety paperwork and DBS checks. Somehow, she has managed to tame our admin and it is now in perfect order.

Contact her directly about club vacancies, holiday bookings and if you need to re-schedule a lesson.

Deborah Fury

We’ve been lucky to have Deborah with us from the very beginning as she is a wonderful teacher. Before moving to Kent she taught in Putney but since then has been through the 11+ process three times as a parent, with all her children attending local grammar schools. Highly qualified for the job, Deborah has a BA (Hons), an MA and a PGCE from the University of London. Ask her anything about the local secondary transfer process as she has a detailed knowledge of the Kent Test and the appeals process too. She’s warm, wise and a huge support to her pupils and parents alike.

Charlotte Wetton

We persuaded Charlotte to join us after thirteen years teaching at a Kent grammar school. Ofsted described her as an ‘outstanding teacher’ and she has a BSc (Hons) from Sheffield University and a PGCS from Canterbury University. She is on a break from full-time teaching as she has two young children at home. Charlotte has a brilliant, upbeat attitude to club teaching, a wealth of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the Kent Test in its newest form.

Fran Gardner

We are thrilled that Fran has joined us. She was working full time at a primary school in East Sussex and comes highly recommended, with a BA (Hons) from Leicester University and a PGCE from Canterbury University. Her background is in performing arts – which is such an asset when your role is to teach lessons packed with content, whilst keeping children enthused and on-task. Fran has a wonderful, positive approach, eight years of teaching experience and an in-depth knowledge of the Kent Test.

Alison Holmes

Alison is our fantastic cover teacher, who keeps the programme going if one of us can’t make a session. Of course, Alison is well-qualified for the job with a BA (Hons) and PGCE from Lancaster University and years of primary teaching experience. She’s also warm, fun and approachable and the children love it when she’s there.

Nick Lambert

Nick has joined us this year as an experienced tutor and maths expert. We’ve known each other for years as our sons were at school together. As a parent he has supported all four of his children in successfully achieving a place at a selective school in Kent. Three years ago he switched to tutoring after many years working in the City of London and has delivered in excess of 1,000 hours of lessons since then. His degree is in Banking and International Finance from City University, and has also completed two maths degree modules with the Open University. He is a great asset and we are so pleased to welcome him to our team.

Hope Lambert

Hope has recently graduated from Southampton University with a degree in Philosophy. And it wasn’t really so long ago that she passed both the Kent 11+ Test and Cranbrook’s 13+ exam herself, attending Weald of Kent Grammar School and boarding at Cranbrook School from Year 9 to Year 13. She has worked with 11+ candidates in the past and is super-familiar with the style, content and tricks of all the papers. She also offers caring and sympathetic support to all her students. As she has a few hours spare every now and then, we have put them to good use boosting and fine-tuning the preparations of our lovely lot.

What makes us so special?

Easy. It’s the mix of these three strengths:

• We care about our pupils (and their worried parents)

• We have a detailed knowledge of the Kent Test 11+ (and local school entrance exams)

• Our teachers have bags of charisma

What do we offer?
A club-based model, where children are taught in groups of six. Griffin teachers have a bit of a twinkle about them and the hour-long sessions are packed full of tightly planned, fast-moving, bang-on-the-button content.
What do we achieve?
It’s the confidence that you will notice first. Club children can handle whatever academic challenge is thrown at them. Their calculations are swift and accurate. Their work suddenly looks great. They move up a set at school. And best of all – they head into that big exam with a smile on their face and a bold strategy.
Why choose us?
• Our knowledge of the Kent Test 11+ and the secondary transfer process is second to none.
• All our teachers are experienced, talented and work closely together as friends.
• We really care about our pupils and give parents regular, detailed feedback
• Underneath we are anxious parents just like you, who have lived through all of this ourselves.
Why don’t we assess children first?
There’s little point testing children on what they have or haven’t learnt already from somebody else. After lesson two we catch up with all the parents of children we are anxious about and have an honest chat over a cup of coffee.

What if the 11+ and a grammar education isn’t appropriate for my child?

Please don’t worry we will tell you straight away. Communication is at the heart of our offering and we contact parents immediately if we have a concern.

Previously this has meant arranging a meeting after a couple of lessons for an honest chat. Throughout the year we regularly talk on the phone with parents, answer emails and catch up with some over a coffee. In addition to this we send out individual record sheets in December, March and July.

What does it cost and how does it work?

Clubs are charged at £68+ VAT (£81.60) per month for the year. We don’t ask for a deposit but we do ask you to let us know quickly if your plans change. We haven’t charged parents beyond a child’s final lesson if they have left mid-year.

The cost includes having us on your side throughout the whole process. We make ourselves available to discuss your worries, email planning to you if a week is missed, give you regular detailed feedback. Our teachers have great fixes for most academic issues and are able to guide you to the right professional if further investigation of a specific learning difficulty is required.

WHAT PARENTS HAVE SAID

Thanks so much Hayley, today’s session has really improved her mojo! Sevenoaks Exam Parent

UK

I am just putting together a revision timetable for Holly and I wanted to say a huge thank you for the format and all the resources and ideas. It has been extremely helpful in helping me plan for her. Rachel

UK

I cannot thank you enough – so thorough and explanatory. I am so grateful… Caroline

UK

Your input was really positive and very helpful and we’ll take on board all of the excellent suggestions you’ve made.
We’ve already had a look at Madeleine’s books and there’s a map of the solar system on the wall now!
As for our dealings with the school, we’ll certainly focus on getting them to properly extend Madeleine in class. Steven

UK

Erika has done it!!!!! We are soooo happy. Thank you so much for getting her ready! We are over the moon!!! Ildiko

UK

Thanks a million Hayley. He seems to be feeling happy and confident about it all, so fingers crossed. Huge thanks for all your help. Sevenoaks Parent

UK

The whole set up of the 11+ club is brilliant, the tuition, the guidance, the way it is run. It has been a great help, so thanks Anna

UK

I would like to thank you for the incredible support you gave me last year. You helped me to learn more than I ever thought I could achieve. Without your support, I would never have PASSED! Tara

UK

Just to say the 11+ went well, so many MANY thanks for your reassurance and guidance through the tricky maze. Nicola

UK

My daughter has found the sessions with you really helpful and it has been so good to have such an in depth evaluation of her work. Sevenoaks Parent

UK

We are already making big steps. You will be brilliant for her. Amy

UK

I’m so appreciative of you keeping us on the straight and narrow in Doha; couldn’t have done it without you. Hannah

QATAR

We had parents evening this evening and he got 96% for maths and 100% for English. We can’t believe it. I was unsure whether to cry or cheer! Last year was so upsetting because he was really struggling and had such low confidence. We know that you have really built his confidence level. The teacher was so impressed that he was showing his working out with his maths. Also, in English they were amazed at his comprehension skills. I wanted to encourage you that you are doing a great job! Claire

UK