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Tutoring Voucher as a smart gift
15. 12. 2021

Are you wondering what to give your loved ones as a gift? Give them something truly meaningful - School Populo’s tutoring gift voucher.  At School Populo, we provide individual tutoring for pupils, students and adults. We tutor most of all the subjects you can think of, Mathematics, English, Literature, Science or foreign languages amongst the favourites. Gift your closest ones with education and make them happy not only on Christmas but also on their birthday, relationship anniversary or any other joyful occasion.  Who can use the tutoring vouchers? At School Populo, you can become a great student at any age. All will appreciate the gift voucher - from children, adults, nieces, cousins, sisters, brothers, moms, or fathers-in-law. Get the voucher to your dad who wants to improve his English, your niece who wants to get accepted at a dream school, or your husband, an amateur computer enthusiast who would love to enhance his computer science skills.  Which subjects and what tutoring frequency does the voucher cover? You can redeem the gift voucher for all subjects we teach at School Populo. English, Literature, Mathematics, and foreign languages are the most popular. You choose the tutoring frequency, too. Ideally, you should put a specific monetary value on the gift voucher. If the student wants more lessons, the value of the voucher can be increased at any time. The gift voucher will be sent to your email or home address after receiving the payment.  ORDER A GIFT VOUCHER What is the time validity of the voucher? The gift voucher is valid for one year from the issue date. So you can give the voucher to your loved ones at any point, and they will have plenty of time to use it.  How contributive are the gift vouchers for students? School Populo’s tutoring service has received up to 98% positive reviews. Parents state that we helped their children mainly in the following: Children got into their dream schools Students received incredible results in their GCSEs or A-Levels and were successful at exam resits We helped students catch up with what they fell behind at college We also help adults improve in foreign languages, including: Improving your conversation skills thanks to our individual approach (one student to one tutor) Preparing for a foreign language exam (all levels) Preparing for an interview held in a foreign language SEE OTHER REVIEWS How to order a gift voucher  Getting the voucher is very easy. All you need to do is contact us at +44 7418 350868, and our tutoring coordinators will discuss all the details required: For which subjects do you need the tutoring voucher The voucher’s purpose and value Delivery and payment If you want to give your loved ones a truly original and meaningful gift, School Populo’s tutoring voucher is what you are looking for. 

Choosing a dissertation topic and a supervisor
12. 10. 2021

Are you studying for a degree and need to start thinking about your dissertation? We will advise you on choosing a topic and your supervisor to enjoy the writing process. Our tips will help you to manage everything on time and to be prepared for any unexpected situations.  1. Start thinking about your topic as soon as possible Depending on the degree you are studying for, your time for thinking about your thesis topic and initially conducting your research varies. Undergraduates often don't start thinking about their dissertation until the end of the second year. However, the time is limited on postgraduate courses, as the course usually lasts only one year. It is, therefore, helpful to start with researching your topic as soon as possible.  Ensure that you have completed or are enrolled on all the modules you need to write your thesis (e.g. Research Skills, Research Methodologies, Independent Study and similar). It will give you an overview of the research methods available to you and the specific requirements for your thesis. These depend on many factors, such as your university, your programme and even your supervisor.  We recommend you to find out in advance how your faculty usually chooses topics. Some students are given topics to choose from; others have to come up with their own topic. Either way, it is essential to conduct a preliminary literature review and find the gap you would like to address with your research.  2. Note down all the critical deadlines Find out the deadline for submitting a dissertation topic and when and how to submit your research proposal and ethics form.  When writing the thesis, make sure you agree with your supervisor on individual deadlines. Some supervisors will want to see your work throughout the writing process, and some will be happy with the complete draft.  Make sure you know the deadline for submitting the final version (printed and electronic). When submitting the printed version, allow at least three days for printing and binding. 3. Choose the topic of your thesis with a view to your future career or your interests If you are lucky enough to know already you would like to pursue a career in research and continue with your PhD, use your undergraduate or postgraduate research as a starting point.  The thesis may also be your selling point in your resume. If you have a practical topic, do not hesitate to address a specific institution or company and write a thesis with their help. It can be your stepping stone to your first dream job. 4. Choose a topic to get into the flow What is the key to a successful dissertation? A theme you enjoy. Choose a topic that interests you, and you look forward to reading more about it.  5. When choosing a supervisor, consider your sympathies The theme must be of your interest, that is 100% true. But if you have a supervisor with whom you are not on good terms, even the best topic will not save you. If you haven't consulted your thesis topic with anyone, you might be assigned a supervisor based on your topic and their expertise. Therefore, think about the case with regard to the thesis supervisor. In what field do they specialize? Ask classmates how they got along with them. Is the supervisor willing to communicate? Do they consult continuously? Are they available to students? Do they respond to emails? You can also check how the supervisor graded previous students. You cannot always judge the supervisor's work only based on the grades. However, if the last ten theses received minimum grades, perhaps it is not the best choice.  6. How do you know you have a good topic and a good supervisor? How do you know that you have chosen a good topic? Relevant resources are available for the topic. It is specific, your aim and objectives are set, and you have chosen an appropriate research method.  And how do you know that you have chosen a good supervisor? You are meeting regularly; they answer your emails, support you and motivate you in the process. Remember, your supervisor is there for you, so do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it. 7. Resources in foreign languages?  Are any relevant resources for your topic only available in German, French, Spanish or another foreign language? At School Populo, we will be happy to help you understand these resources and improve your language skills. We specialize in tutoring all students - including university students. Contact us or choose from the subjects we tutor on our website. Good luck!

Are you starting university and need some tips? Here are 10 frequently asked questions by first-years
24. 9. 2021

There are a lot of questions surrounding the start of university student life. How different will it be from college? How to handle the first year? How to enrol and create a schedule? Or, perhaps the most important question ever, how do you make friends? At School Populo, we tutor not only primary and secondary school pupils but also university students. Thanks to that, we know what students most often deal with in their first year at university. We have selected the 10 most frequently asked questions and answered them. How is studying at university different from college? The university environment differs from your previous studies in almost everything. Students have a great deal of responsibility, the trust of lecturers and professors and must learn independence. It is your responsibility to keep track of your assignment deadlines and submission dates. You only attend lectures and seminars few days a week. The rest of the time is for your independent studying. You do not have to excuse yourself from classes at most universities, as attendance is not mandatory. However, it is an excellent practice to contact your lecturers if you are absent for a longer period. Exams and assignment submissions are held only during the assessment period. During the semester, only partial works are submitted at most universities.  How to prepare for university student life? Find out when the semester starts at your university. Once you have access to the university information system or platform, explore it and familiarise yourself with it. Make sure you enrol on your course. Join groups on social networks. Attend meetings organised by your department or your course tutors.  Register for freshers week events - it is a great way to meet new people! Once on campus, take a tour to find out what services are available to you. Find your Students Union and join a sports club or a society. Apply for NUS and ISIC cards to get all the student discounts. How to enrol? Your university will most likely send you an email with the invitation to enrol on your course through the university online information system or platform. During the enrolment, you will be choosing the modules you intend to study in the current academic year. Depending on the programme, you will have compulsory and some optional modules to choose from. The enrolment process is usually completed by sending the payment to the university (self-funded students) or providing Student Finance England or other sponsorship evidence.  When do I get my timetable? Students usually receive their timetable after completing the enrolment and module selection process. You can always contact your Student Centre to get more information. How long is the academic semester? Each academic year is divided into two / three semesters (autumn / spring / summer). Each subject has a teaching weeks period (12-13 weeks) and an assessment period (2-4 weeks).  How does the grading system work at university? You will receive percentage scores for your exams and assessments at university.  100% - 70% counts as excellent to outstanding (First class) 60% - 69% counts as good to very good (Upper second 2:1) 50% - 59% counts as satisfying (Lower second 2:2) 40% - 49% counts as sufficient (Third) Anything below 40% is a Fail.  If you fail, you are allowed to take one referral. If you pass the referral, you can only receive the minimum pass grade. How to succeed and get the best results? Whilst at university, studying and doing only what is required might not be enough. You are expected to engage in broader reading outside of class. We also recommend taking part in different projects or start volunteering. Not only it will look great on your CV, but you will gain real-world work experience. If you play sport or have a favourite hobby, join a society or a sports club. It's a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests. How to study at university? Usually, there are two types of students - those who study continuously throughout the semester and those who leave everything at the last minute. Be it the first or the second case, studying at university requires many hours of independent learning, extensive reading and assignment work. Thus, we recommend creating a learning schedule and studying on an ongoing basis. Regularity is critical both in learning as well as in tutoring. Is there a dress code at university? Students usually dress informally to lectures and seminars unless they have to wear a specific uniform. However, when it comes to exams or presentations, you should wear something more formal than ripped jeans and a hoodie. Always check the requirements with your university.  How to manage the first year at university in times of covid? So far, it seems that the autumn semester of 2021 could do without distance learning. But the situation can change. If distance-learning still affects you, keep a cool head. Keep in touch with classmates and lecturers, study continuously and try staying on top of things. And if you ever feel that you can't do it, contact School Populo. We can help you with subjects that you thought you would never understand.

How to prepare your child for Primary School: 5 tips for children and parents
30. 8. 2021
Primary school

Not only is the transition from pre-school to primary school a big step for children, but it is also difficult for their parents. Therefore, we put together 5 tips on how to handle the transition smoothly. Prepare your child for the transition in advance Rule number 1 is communication. Talk to your child about what it's like at school and explain what they’ll be doing there the next couple of days. Give your child instructions on school rules. In this way, you can help them overcome the anxiety of ongoing compulsory schooling. Do homework together with your child for the first few months Homework instead of playtime. Maths, English and Science. The Year 1 of Primary School can be exhausting for some children. After paying attention for the whole morning at school, children are expected to keep their eyes open at home in the afternoon, as well. Make at least one hour each day for your child and help them with their homework. Ask them how they are doing at school and whether they understand everything. Simply said -  be there for them. Encourage creativity and learning enthusiasm Every child has a talent for something else. The first one may be into Arithmetic, the second might be good at crafts, and the third can excel in singing. Unfortunately, the school curriculum is pre-set, and school lessons are time-limited. Hence, we do recommend developing your child’s talent in leisure, as well. If your child enjoys arts, enrol them in afternoon courses. Create a schedule for all activities (so you all don’t get crazy) Making a snack, preparing a school bag, checking homework, choosing clothes, keeping an eye on the school performance level. There are many tasks related to schooling for both parents and children. Keep calm and save your time by dividing all the work in advance. Do the following tasks together with your child every day before school: Do the homework for the next day Prepare for the exams Get your child’s uniform ready Prepare the school bag (books, notebooks, pencil case, etc.) Make a snack and drink for the next day Ask your child about their school performance Agree on tomorrow’s program (picking up after school, afternoon extra-curricular activities) Is your child behind the curriculum? Our tutoring is here for you! Last year was challenging for all students, and catching up on subjects was impossible for university and college students, let alone the primary schoolers. Therefore, your child may be a little behind at the moment and won’t be able to catch up in September. That’s why School Populo is here! We are offering our online tutoring services all around England. Contact us, and we will take care of everything else. Take a look at the subjects we tutor and make a step into the new school year with your right foot.

Preparing your child for the first year of primary school
11. 8. 2021
Primary school

When a child enters the first grade, it is a big day for him and you as a parent. The carefree childhood days will end with the first school duties and small stresses children are often not used to. To get through this time easily and not be frustrated with the school immediately, the child will need your help. True, it will not be easy, because every child will soon learn that school is a duty and not so much "fun", as it is often promised. However, there is nothing that can be done to avoid it. School is compulsory, and with your help, the child can get used to it. Steps before primary school enrolment You have probably been preparing for school for some time now because most parents decide for their children to attend a reception year. It is not compulsory in England and Wales, but it is an excellent way to introduce children to school and prepare them for Year One. In the Reception, your child learns to recognise and describe shapes and colours. They also learn the alphabet, high-frequency words and other things. An important part of pre-school preparation is that the child is slowly led to concentrating longer and paying attention to what the teacher is interpreting. It is also essential to encourage developmental skills like developing the fine motor skills to use pens, pencils, or scissors, to avoid bad habits or correct them in time. It is helpful to research the school that your child is going to enrol in. It is not worth experiencing disappointment and frustration after the beginning of the school year when you find out that the methods at the school are "old fashioned" and not suitable for you. Nobody wants to search for another school at the last minute. Transition to another class during the first year and, of course, at any time later can mean the loss of friends and the difficulty of joining a new team. What to prepare for during the first weeks? The first thing that often surprises most parents is the child's reluctance to get up in the morning. To pre-school, they went with joy; they often woke up even before the sunrise and sometimes they could not sleep because of the excitement. The first week is a shock for the child because of the new environment, new children that they do not know yet. Even more, the entirely new approach and the new form of spending of free time. They have to sit in class; they need to listen carefully and fulfil the assigned tasks. The playing gradually becomes just a leisure luxury. Many children show a desire and willingness to learn already in kindergarten, but they might lose their drive and enthusiasm at school. The frustration with school might intensify because September is the last month when the weather is nice and warm. The child does not want to spend this wonderful time at the school desk or home doing homework. Helping your child in the first weeks at school Do not make the same mistake as your parents did by saying, “it was much more difficult when we were entering Year 1, as there was no pre-school preparation or Reception”. It is a challenging process for children, and what they need the most is their loving parents’ support. Despite the constantly improving preparation process, the children always react the same way, as the transition is a massive step in their lives. You should therefore keep that in mind and guide them in the right direction.  Be ready to start learning and doing homework with your children after they return home from school. Try to create a schedule and dedicate your free time to helping, supporting and encouraging them. Improve their abilities and be curious about how your children are doing at school. When possible, try to involve them in new leisure activities and distract them from the school duties and responsibilities.  Most children will adapt to the whole new situation within a few months, and they usually start enjoying the school environment. The first term tends to be the most difficult one, but many children get used to it and accept it as a challenge after a while. Some may find it boring after the first term, but all that comes completely natural.  Helping immature kids  However, sometimes even your support is not enough. Some children cry every morning at the school drop-off. That happens quite often with preschoolers, as they have a more challenging time adjusting to change. If this lasts more than a couple of months, turn to the teacher, consult the school psychologist or seek the help of the educational mental health practitioner.

What to do during the holidays so that your brain doesn’t get lazy?
29. 7. 2021
Foreign languages

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “summer”? Is it ice cream, sand beach or late night coastal walks? Whatever associations you might have, it is RELAXING that comes hand in hand with the summer months. Besides relaxing, you can also dedicate this time of year to personal development. Therefore, we give you several tips on getting a grasp on your productivity.  Shape up your language skills, and you will definitely be under the spotlight! How are you doing with learning foreign languages? If you happened to speak with a Spanish native speaker, would you be able to communicate with them without any significant problems? Or would you instead switch to English right away? Learning English might get tricky, as it is used almost worldwide, and no one is forced to start learning any new languages. Language acquisition, the same as getting a driving licence, is a convenient and time limitless skill. The next time you go on holiday to Spain, France or Italy, you will perhaps need to use phrases that concern the following situations: How to get to your hotel from the airport How to order food at a restaurant How to book a hotel room  How to rent a car or scooter How to book a tour or excursions  What to do when you feel like finally learning a new language? Spend your free summertime studying step by step. We give you some great tips on what to do in the summer to boost your language skills.  1. Two heads are better than one - Find yourself a tutor  Learning a new language on your own might get boring. One becomes not only a student but also a teacher for themself. The person then needs to prepare exercises, do them and eventually correct the wrong answers.   School Populo is here to help you with all of that! We offer individual one-on-one tutoring, meaning that there is one tutor for one student. Therefore, the tutor can give the student full attention, which makes our tutoring very effective. Feel free to join us at School Populo! You may take only one lesson per week, and you will be in the spotlight during your vacation abroad.  2. Movie nights without dubbing and subtitles Are you a huge movie fan? If so, you can quickly improve your foreign language skills. Watch your favourite movies in the original version, or get subtitles in the original language.  Tip for you: The easiest way to memorize new words is by watching your favourite series you have watched multiple times. Are you currently studying Spanish? Go binge-watch Friends, Sex and the City or The Simpsons with Spanish dubbing or subtitles. Make learning language fun! 3. Cook and bake in a foreign language  There are so many quick and easy summer recipes! You can try super delicious BBQ dishes or salads and frozen fruit crumbles … Try to find recipes in a language you are currently learning and memorize the culinary terms that every chef knows.  Look for some foreign language recipes on social media platforms, such as Instagram or Youtube, or purchase culinary books of one of the best-known chefs - French confectioners Cedric Grolet and Amaury Guichon or a Spanish chef Ferran Adrià. If you find a word that you don’t understand, use a translator and memorize it.  ¿Hablas español? Would you like to improve your language skills during the summer? School Populo is here to help you with that! Spanish, German, French, Russian, Italian, Japanese or even English as a Foreign Language. As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being.  So enjoy your summer and if you happen to need some help with learning languages, feel free to contact us at School Populo. We are here for you at any time, and we believe that everyone can achieve great results. 

Online tutoring for foreign students
7. 6. 2021

Are you a foreign student and you plan to study at university in the Czech Republic? If so, then you will need preparation for entrance exams! Or have you been already studying here and need a good teacher? Populo School will be happy to help you and prepare lessons exactly according to your ideas and needs. Do you plan to study in the Czech Republic? Universities in the Czech Republic offer foreign students a complete range of subjects that can be studied. Nevertheless, studying for a foreign student in Czech Republic may not be the easiest one. In order to pass the entrance examinations or pass the first years, you must have the necessary know-how about how the Czech college system works. If you are going to take entrance examinations, it is necessary to bear in mind that there are no general admission examinations, but each of the universities compiles their own tests. In order to prepare yourselves well, we offer you: Lessons of subjects you need to learn in English Czech lessons (focusing on your field of study) Do you want to study medicine? The study of medicine in the Czech Republic is one of the most sought after foreign students. It is also one of the most demanding. General medicine and dentistry can be studied at several faculties of medicine all over the Czech Republic. Anyone who wants to apply to a faculty of medical practice must undertake intensive entrance exams, from several subjects (biology, physics, genetics or chemistry). But there are no identical entrance examinations as each faculty creates its own. We offer you preparation for entrance examinations in English for the following subjects: Biology Physics Chemistry What is the form of lessons? Lessons can take place online. School Populo has branches all over the Czech Republic (Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc) where you can attend. However, if you live outside these centers, we can tutor you even in the place of your current residence in the Czech Republic. Lessons can be focused directly on the preparation for the college of your choice (we take in account the earlier tests of your chosen field of study). Teaching can take place in English. Or after agreement and assurance of the lecturer in your preferred language (for example French, Spanish). If you need to improve your knowledge of Czech in relation to your college, we can involve them in teaching.

Benefits & importance of having a tutor
17. 5. 2021
Admission exams

School Populo is a friendly yet professional bridge between students and tutors. A responsible tutor, dedicated to his/her work, comes first. An enthusiast of mathematics, Czech language, physics, and other subjects who helps others in a friendly way is a win in all respects.  There are subjects that give us a hard time. But then there are those that we are good at, and we excel at them. And why not share your enthusiasm and knowledge of the subjects you enjoy? Come join us and become part of the Populo team! The opportunity to work on a contract basis, a flexible schedule according to your abilities and willingness to teach others, and appropriate remuneration are awaiting you. And now a few sentences about the tutors who already work with us. Why get a tutor? Thanks to you, dear tutors, the children (the little ones and the big ones) are pleasantly surprised. Because even the worst struggles with a certain subject are transformed into an understanding of the topics and an improvement that pleases everyone. For example, students can improve their grades at the end of the semester or cope with admission exams, graduation, or a foreign language. And adult learners get a taste of learning foreign languages that they enjoy, whether they need the language for work or fun. The right approach to teaching is the key. Thank you for working together. For your comments that help us improve. For happy students who love coming back to School Populo. May the force be with you.

Organizational forms of teaching
26. 4. 2021
Admission exams

Our summer is over, and classes are starting for elementary and secondary school students. Teachers once again stand in front of the classroom, and students take their seats. Each teacher uses different instructions; some are equipped with a textbook and workbook for class, some with a presentation, or the teacher comes with the idea that students will work in groups. As different teachers suit different teaching styles, so it is with students. In what ways can teachers teach? Alternatively, how can students be taught? Find out in this article. What does organizational form of teaching mean? This is probably the question most of you are asking. When people first hear the term, they usually cannot imagine anything. This term refers to the organisation of teaching, i.e. who the teacher works with and where the teaching takes place. Classification of the organizational form of teaching: Individual teaching Collective teaching Individualized teaching Project-based learning Group teaching Online teaching Individual teaching Individual or one-on-one teaching is common at School Populo, whether it is tutoring or foreign language teaching. Students get individual attention and enough time to understand the topic. The goal of one-to-one tutoring is not to teach the student and leave but to teach the topic in a way that the student can understand it. Thus, both the student and the teacher end the lesson or tutoring session feeling good and knowing that they have moved one step closer to their goal. Collective teaching The name of this teaching method implies that it is intended for a group of students. The most common use of this teaching method is in schools. A group of students of the same age discusses the same topic and solves the same tasks at the same time. In contrast to individual teaching, here, the teacher does not have time to devote to individual students, so teaching is done in a group. Individualized teaching Individualized teaching, like collective teaching, takes place mostly in classrooms. However, it differs in that the teacher does not explain the topic. Pupils work independently or in groups. The teacher plays the role of a helper and a mentor. The teacher gives the pupils advice and guidance for self-study. Pupils are set problems to test the extent to which they have learned the topic. The teacher also tests pupils individually. Project-based learning Project-based learning presents pupils with a problem to solve, which they work on alone or in groups. This project has a specific aim and purpose. In working on the project, pupils deepen their knowledge of the content and learn the skills to work independently. It is important that pupils enjoy working on the project and are motivated to complete it. Group learning In group learning, pupils are divided into smaller groups to work together on a task. They plan and divide the group work together and help and advice each other in completing the task. At the same time, they learn to argue and tolerate the opinions of others. Working in a group improves the learning process, and pupils can achieve better results. As in individualized or project-based learning, the teacher plays the role of mentor and helper. He or she supervises the groups and helps to organise their activities. Team teaching In team teaching, a team of teachers works together to create thematic units and lesson plans. This team works with groups of students of different sizes. Teachers may teach the same group of students together at the same time, or they may work together but not teach the same students. Good preparation is essential for team teaching. Teachers need to understand each other and work together to achieve the best results. How online tutoring works Another form is online teaching. This can be done individually or in groups. A student or group of students each connect to the internet and use a shared call. This form of teaching is only suitable for some students. The student and the teacher may be at different distances from each other, and both have to concentrate on the topics being discussed. If the student tends to do anything else, is not paying full attention to the topics, and is “bored” in the class, it would be better to choose a different teaching method for the student. Organizational teaching forms can also be classified in terms of time, e.g. a lesson (45 minutes), a practice at a vocational school (60 minutes), a field trip, or in terms of place of teaching, e.g. non-specialised (traditional) classroom, specialised classroom (laboratory, gym, language room), sports field, school grounds.

Organizational forms of teaching – group tutoring
5. 4. 2021
Organizational teaching forms

Individual, individualized, collective, group tutoring, team, cooperative or Montessori learning. In the last article, we compared individual with individualized learning. In a previous article, you could learn about organizational forms of teaching. That is, about how pupils can be taught or, conversely, how teachers can teach them. In the following lines, you will find the differences between collective and group learning, which we will discuss in detail in this very article. What are organizational forms of teaching? We have already explained the concept of organizational forms of teaching in previous articles, yet we will gladly repeat its meaning for those who have not read them. Although the term may seem unimaginable or, in a way, exotic, there is a very simple reality beneath it. It is a particular set of methods in which teaching can be organized. Therefore, the organization of teaching is who and how the teacher works with and where the teaching takes place. If we were to look at the organization of teaching in most primary schools, we would probably come across frontal teaching, which we will explain in more detail in a moment. Group tutoring techniques As we wrote above, in this article, we will explain group tutoring and frontal teaching, their positives and  negatives. “When I first heard the term frontal form of teaching, I imagined a queue in a shop at the checkout. Do students line up in frontal learning? Or what is it then?” If you are not familiar with the term, you are probably picturing something similar. However, we have to laugh at this question and explain in more detail what frontal, or collective teaching, actually is. Frontal teaching Jan Amos Komenský, who created the system of collective teaching, had already worked with the frontal or collective method of teaching. In this type of teaching, the teacher works with all students at once. Thus, everyone learns the same topic in the same way. It is assumed that the students will be of the same or similar age (the difference arises, for example, in the case of delayed entry into the first grade of primary school). Frontal teaching can take the form of, for example, whole-class explanation, teaching, one topic by the teacher, independent work set by the teacher the whole class, correcting homework together, or summarizing the topic together. Lessons are 45 minutes long and are separated by a break. Seating arrangements determine the layout of the classroom, and pupils are seated in the same place throughout the school year. There is a blackboard at the front of the classroom where the teacher has a seat. Teaching students solely through the teacher’s interpretation is often criticised. Students may not practise the topic sufficiently, and therefore their knowledge is limited, and they do not master it. Quantity, therefore, prevails over quality. Students often memorize the topics without understanding the essence, or knowing the context. The teacher's too fast or too slow explanation is also often criticised. Slower students may not keep up, or the more talented ones get "bored". Thus, teaching does not produce the desired results. The human brain can perceive a monotonous explanation for about twenty minutes. After that, the attention span of the audience drops, and they can “sleep with their eyes open”. Thus, the problem also arises when the teacher explains the material monotonously for a longer period, the pupils lose their attention, and it is up to the teacher to deal with the situation. The teacher can either accept the fact that students do not pay attention or keep telling the students to pay attention and interrupt the explanation. Slower pupils will only remember part of the explanation, and more talented pupils are often bothered by interruptions. This is why longer explanations are also criticised. Frontal teaching can be effective, especially if the teacher checks the students’ knowledge every lesson, the students check their homework together, and constantly repeat and practise the topic under the teacher’s supervision. The teacher provides feedback, points out mistakes, and reviews problematic areas. In the Czech Republic, the collective form of teaching is often expected of teachers by parents and grandparents who have themselves been taught in this way. Group tutoring It is groups of students that characterize this type of teaching. Teachers divide students into smaller tutoring groups, and they then complete different tasks. The groups may consist of more gifted or slower students, or the more gifted students may be mixed with the slower ones. In the latter case, i.e. if the group is diverse, there may be significant improvements in the slower pupils. The more gifted pupils encourage them, and they want to get closer to their level. This type of teaching teaches pupils mutual tolerance, cooperation, and reasoning. When they want to assert something in a collaborative task, they have to convince others of the truth of their statements. Pupils also focus their attention on learning and get rid of the fear of a bad grade. Group learning is good for practising and fostering knowledge. However, if the focus is more collaborative, it is no longer group teaching but cooperative teaching, which we will focus on one of the following articles. Benefits of frontal teaching Teaching focuses on key parts of the curriculum and systematic practices The topic is explained in a clear and understandable way Whole-class explanation saves time Students hardly encounter any incorrect statements when the teacher explains the topic Criticism of frontal teaching Pupils' knowledge may be superficial, so they may not master the topic well The class does not progress in learning at the same rate, there are slower and more gifted pupils Pupils' attention span decreases during prolonged monotonous explanations Pupils are not developing independent learning skills Arguments for group tutoring Increased pupil activity Involvement of all pupils in group work, cooperation Increased pupils' self-confidence, reasoning Taking responsibility for own mistakes Learning to tolerate each other Getting feedback Checking each other in the group, clarifying any confusion Increased interest in the task at hand, in the topic discussed in general Arguments against group tutoring Pupils often focus only on their own work and do not pay attention to the work of other groups Difficult control of pupils by the teacher, teacher's attention is fragmented Groups can be noisy Pupils work unevenly, some work more, others less Some pupils may not cooperate with each other If we were to summarise group and collective teaching, we would find that they are different from each other. So do other types of teaching. If the teacher correctly assesses the composition and abilities of the class as a whole, he or she can choose the type of teaching form that will produce great results. It is not possible to satisfy all students 100%. The student, or his or her parents, should always ensure that the knowledge acquired in the classroom is sufficiently repeated, reviewed, and, if necessary, study the topic more at home. Especially in collective and frontal teaching, repetition, home practice, and self-study are a must. Here, the teacher does not act individually, as in individual or individualized learning, but in a collective manner. It is thus up to the students to foster their knowledge individually. If the student does not understand the topic, it is advisable to find a tutor who will explain and practice it and help the student understand it. One of the options where to look for a tutor is School Populo. If you or your child has trouble understanding any topic, do not hesitate to contact School Populo.

Nemtudum AKA how to learn languages fast
31. 3. 2021
Foreign languages

Have you ever travelled to a foreign country? And how did it feel when you didn’t understand the locals? When you needed something from them and didn’t know how to ask for help or the thing in question? All of us are flooded with thoughts running through our heads at that moment, something like, “Why didn’t I study foreign languages?” There may be several answers, as well as ways to learn a foreign language. While we won’t go through all of them in this article, we will introduce a few. HOW TO LEARN LANGUAGES 1. Method: I get on the plane, and when I get off it, I will have a perfect command of the foreign language Would you also like to know this method? You are not alone. However, in this case, we must disappoint you. No one has yet invented anything even close to this method. Still, with a little time and effort, you can achieve some knowledge. The goal is to look up basic terms and phrases in the language at home before you go. Going to Italy? Then look up these phrases in Italian. Travelling to France? Feel free to look up basic phrases in French. Each language has its own specifics, but with online dictionaries that can also play pronunciation, words like hello, goodbye, please, and thank you should be no problem. The time you spend preparing will definitely pay off in a foreign country. Not only will you have a good feeling, but the locals will also be pleased with your willingness to learn their language. 2. How to learn a foreign language in a few months Do you think it takes years or decades to learn a language? If we really want to learn a foreign language thoroughly, sitting in school and completing exercises or learning vocabulary by heart won’t help us much. The best way to really learn a language is to be in everyday contact with it. Take a flight to a country where it is spoken and speak. But not everyone has this opportunity. That’s what language courses are for, to teach not only grammar but also conversation. The first thing to do is learn the most common expressions in the language, put the words into sentences, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Then, get used to a regular routine and repeat expressions or sentences. Just a few minutes a day will make your improvement visible. 3. Set goals Set a goal that you want to achieve in the language. Is it for being able to order a coffee? Or to check into a hotel? How about meeting a local and having a few minutes of conversation with them? Plan your study plan around your goal. You don’t need to know all the tenses used in the language to check into a hotel. But, on the other hand, to pass the exam and get the certificate, basic phrases won’t surely be enough. So don’t be afraid to set bigger and bigger goals. 4. Watch movies, listen to music and analyse texts Everyone watches movies nowadays; everyone has come across some of those lyrics and articles on the internet – you are reading one right now. We understand you, yet this is not the type of article we had in mind. If you want to learn to understand a language, movies, and TV shows are the best. If you feel like watching one, choose the original with Czech subtitles. When you start to feel confident about what the characters are saying, change the subtitles to foreign language, and when you have seen the film a few times, turn them off. Don’t despair if you don’t understand something the first time – if possible, pause the video and rewind a bit, you’ll understand it much better the second time. Similarly, with articles or songs. Find the lyrics of the song and try to translate it, say what the artist is singing about, and sing along. It’s easy to sing along in Czech, so why not try it in another language. After all, we had to learn our language as children, and we often take singing, even if only for ourselves, as part of it. 5. Play and be rewarded Do you think we are making fun of you? Not at all. For example, you’ve probably heard of Duolingo; if not, we’d love to introduce you to it. Duo is an owl that is your companion in your journey to learn a language. The app is great for repeating vocabulary. The game tests you and awards points for the correct answer. You translate, listen, complete, or choose from pictures. There is no penalty for making a mistake, and because the mistake is your friend, the app will let you re-write the sentence and repeat the writing until it is correct. In addition, each week, you participate in a weekly chart and compete with other players to advance to a higher league. The game will also remind you every day to be sure you won’t forget to practice the words. Looking at the amount of time you study – in days, you’ll be proud of yourself. And what do you get out of those minutes when you’re just aimlessly surfing the internet? 6. Talk, quietly, to yourself Have you ever repeated out loud to yourself what you need to do during an activity? What is the next step? For example, when cooking, fry the onion, add the diced meat, season, and simmer. Or drill a hole, hammer in a dowel, put in a screw, put in the picture, and hang it, Talk to yourself; it doesn’t matter that no one can hear you, it matters that you can hear yourself. Repeat the procedure in a foreign language. It doesn’t matter if it’s ingredients for soup or groceries at the store. Write your shopping list differently and use a foreign language instead of your mother tongue. This will expand your vocabulary and stop you from being afraid to speak. You can also name things you see around you. For example, if you are walking down the street and see a car, say “car” and add its colour. You hear birds singing, you feel the wind, you see it’s raining, name it. If you don’t know, there is a dictionary to help you find the right word. 7. How to learn languages fast? Motivate yourself Motivation is the most effective teacher in learning anything. Think about what you want to achieve and also how to achieve it. It is fundamental to decide how I will get the information, where I will get it, and how I will use it. Let’s transform it into a language – how will I learn the language, where will I learn the language, and what will I do with the knowledge. Will I just sit at home and never speak the language again, or will I buy a plane ticket and fly to this country? The decision is yours, of course, but the best teacher is the practice. So, take courage, get on a plane, and go. Don’t be afraid to make this particular trip your goal, and let motivation be your driving force to help you learn. 8. Avoid clichés You know, the sentences that hold you back. Ideas that convince you of something that may not be a complete truth. Here are a few of them: Don’t tell yourself you’re too old. You can learn languages at any age. I’m not good at languages. It’s true that some people are better at math, others are better at languages. But don’t look for obstacles; look for ways to overcome them. For example, if you are not sure you can learn a language on your own without help, find a course. I’m afraid others will laugh at me. But, don’t worry, the other people in that course are just like you. If you’re afraid of making a mistake abroad, don’t be. The locals will try to understand and help you, and if you embarrass yourself in front of them, it doesn’t matter; there is little chance that you will ever meet them again. 9. Don’t look for reasons why it can’t be done, but for ways, it can be done Sit down on the internet and search. There are many methods to learn a language. Yet, the most effective one is a tutor. So, find agencies in your city, find out what method they use to teach the language, and try a sample lesson (some agencies offer it for free, others charge a fee). If you like the method, don’t hesitate to start learning. You will soon discover how important it is to have a tutor. If, despite your best efforts, none of the methods used by the agencies suits you, don’t despair. People have to go to all sorts of places and try many tutors before they find one that is the right match. There is also a difference between individual and group learning; we have discussed these in detail in Organizational forms of teaching. To summarise the information, the clear advantage of one-to-one tutoring is that you have a tutor all to yourself, he or she is dedicated to you, and you don’t miss out on anything. You can reschedule the lesson and say what specifically bothers you or what you need, regardless of the rest of the group. A good place to look for such a tutor is School Populo. At the information meeting, the coordinators will find your goal and a tutor tailored to you. The whole lesson will be thus in your control, and you don’t have to worry about the tutor laughing at you. Just imagine, a few years ago, the tutor was in the same situation as you are now – knew nothing and now can sit in front of you and help you achieve what you want to achieve at the moment. How to learn languages? Contact School Populo.

Organizational forms of teaching – Cooperative learning
22. 3. 2021
Organizational teaching forms

In this miniseries, we will compare organizational forms of teaching one by one. Whether it is individual, individualized, collective, or group teaching, each has its pros and cons, advantages, and disadvantages. In previous articles, we have looked at these forms of learning in more detail. Each of them is specific, and each is unique in its own way. In this article, we will deal with cooperative learning. In the following lines, we will discuss it in more detail and offer you the opportunity to learn more about it. Why use cooperative learning? We will be happy to explain the concept again for readers who have never heard the term organizational forms of teaching before. Organizational forms of learning are a set of ways of how and with whom a teacher works and where teaching takes place. So, if we are looking at, for example, group learning, where pupils work on a task to reinforce what they have learn, this is group learning. However, if the teacher focuses more on collaboration and acquiring new knowledge, it is a cooperative form of learning. Group versus cooperative learning We have already discussed group learning in a previous article, in which we compared it with collective learning. However, since it is similar to cooperative learning, we will mention it now. When we hear the name group learning, we think of the groups of students that characterize this form of learning. The teacher gives the students a task, and they then work in groups to complete it. It is primarily the use of the group as an organizational form that is common to the group and cooperative learning. Cooperative learning ideas Group learning is widespread in education, but it has certain shortcomings and disadvantages. Compared to this approach, cooperative learning tries to eliminate these shortcomings. It uses the relationships and cooperation of students to make everyone's learning more effective. Cooperative learning is not the same as group learning. Co-operative learning promotes students' performance (improving memory), better reasoning, deduction, etc., vocabulary and fluency, communication with others, and choice of strategy in dealing with difficult situations. In the beginning, it is the teacher who guides the pupils in learning to succeed. The pupils then learn and improve themselves in groups so that they can successfully solve the task on their own at the end of the process. Therefore, cooperative learning must be used by the teacher in a way that pupils benefit more from it than from working alone. Types of cooperative learning: For cooperative learning to work, several basic features should be observed. Face-to-face work – the class is divided into several groups which are "mixed" of more and less gifted pupils, boys and girls, etc. Bond between pupils – pupils learn together. An individual is only successful if the group succeeds. Conversely, a group is only successful if the individual succeeds. Thus, if one member of the group “gives up” on the work, the group has no chance to succeed. There are several ways to help students work together. These include: Common goal – For the group to succeed, everyone must contribute with several ideas. The team goal is for everyone in the group to understand the material. Everyone in the group will be involved in some way in creating the work. Reward – If everyone in the group participates in the assignment, the group will achieve some reward (extra points on a test, free time, less homework, etc.). Single resource – Students are given only one worksheet, one book, or one resource per group to share Work roles – Each pupil will be given a specific role in the task; for example, one pupil reads the text while the other writes down the answers, or one cuts, one glues, etc. Individual responsibility – Each pupil should have a place in the group, and development should take place through collaboration. All members of the group should benefit from learning from each other. Pupil cooperation – Learning thrives when pupils can work together in groups Reflection on group activity – The success of the group also depends on group members being able to agree on elements of the task, for example, what to keep and what to change in the presentation Opportunities for collaboration There may be several possibilities for collaboration between students. Below we present a few of them: Ask your partner – Pupils ask their partners for help, e.g. to solve a task or explain a concept. Think and share – Pupils think individually about the answer to a question, followed by a discussion where they defend their opinion. Group reading – Groups of three read texts together and answer questions relating to it. One pupil reads the text, the other answers the questions, and the third checks the answers. At the end of the activity, everyone signs the worksheet and confirms that they agree with the answers. Checkers – Pupils are divided into pairs, each of them completing the task. Pupils in the group check each other’s answers. Problem solvers – Pupils in groups are assigned a problem to which they find a solution. They can decide on this solution together, but each must be able to explain the process they used to solve the problem. Group report – Pupils research a topic together, each being responsible for one source and writing several pieces of information. The students write the report together, but each is responsible for the information contributed. All pupils are involved in the oral report and help each other. Is cooperative learning effective? If we summarize cooperative learning, unlike group learning, it involves necessary cooperation and interaction between group members. These groups are usually small, and it is this fact that allows the pupils to consolidate their knowledge in the best possible way. When organizing cooperative learning, it is important to: – set students goals, not only factual - i.e. understanding, but also social - the ability to ask the other for help, – form groups that are diverse so that students can motivate each other, – choose the right task to be presented to the students, – monitor the groups' activities and intervene only if no one in the group can find the solution, – use different ways of assessment, not only teacher assessment but also peer assessment or student self-assessment. Finally, we would like to stress that every pupil or student needs motivation in their learning. This does not only have to be a material reward but also a good feeling of having achieved something. If the pupils or students do not understand some part of the topic, it is advisable to find individual tutoring not only to learn the topic in which they are lacking but, above all, to become more self-confident and be sure that their solution is correct. How online tutoring works? School Populo can also help you in your search for individual tutoring. If a student does not understand some topic, it is advisable to explain it as quickly as possible so that they can keep up with the class and not get unnecessarily lost.

Czech education system vs. education in the world
8. 3. 2021

What comes to mind when you say the word SCHOOL? Elementary school, secondary school, university, maybe someone also says that school is the foundation of life. Whatever answer you come up with, you almost always end up thinking of one of two names – Maria Theresa or Jan Amos Komenský. You are certainly very familiar with schooling in the Czech Republic, but do you know where and when compulsory schooling was first introduced? Or what was schooling like during the reign of Maria Theresa? And have you ever thought that foreign schooling might not be the same as Czech schooling? We will give you the answer to more than just these questions in the following article. The introduction of compulsory schooling One of the initial questions was, “Where and when was compulsory schooling first introduced?” You are wrong if you think it was in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Still, you don’t have to go far to get the answer. Compulsory schooling was first introduced in 1592 by the Protestant Duchy of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, which was located in what is now Germany. Education under Maria Theresa In the Czech territory, this obligation was introduced only by Maria Theresa, who had its foundations laid in 1774. Later, in 1869, the Reich Education Law was promulgated, which stipulated that compulsory schooling began at the age of six and lasted for eight years for both boys and girls. Primary education was then, as it is today, divided into two levels, the general school, and the civic school. The general school was attended not only by pupils aged 6 to 11 but also by those who did not continue their studies at the civic school. Czech Republic education system Even after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, the school system did not change much. The government of the time only adapted it to its needs. The law introduced common classes for girls and boys, abolished exemptions from compulsory schooling, and divided Czech education system. Pupils first attended general schools, following the model of the Habsburg monarchy, and then continued their studies in higher general schools, town schools, or one of the secondary schools. Those pupils (aged 14-16) who did not continue their studies at the further education schools were obliged to attend courses at the general or civic schools. Education worldwide So much for the introduction of schooling and the Czech education system today. But schooling is not the same everywhere. The world’s education system differs from the Czech education system to a greater or lesser extent, but the three basic levels of education remain. Basic division of the education system – stages of education The primary level includes compulsory schooling, i.e. the first and second stages of primary school. It is up to the individual state or administrative district to determine its length. Secondary education includes secondary schools, while colleges and universities represent tertiary education. However, we do not find the same forms of stages and schools everywhere. In the following lines, we will introduce you to schooling in selected countries around the world. Italy – Europe As first, we will look at Italy. Although it is relatively close to us, this country has a school system that is quite different from the Czech education system, especially in the three-month main holidays. This fact is not as great as it may seem at first glance since the pupils also attend school on Saturdays. The starting age for compulsory schooling is the same as in the Czech Republic, i.e. six years. They first attend first grade until the age of 11, then lower secondary school, which replaces the second stage, and from there, they move on to secondary school at the age of 14. Compulsory schooling lasts 12 years in Italy. As a result, Italian schools might give kids some hard times. People’s Republic of China – Asia But let's not just stay in Europe and look at Asia, specifically China, where compulsory schooling lasts 9 years. The primary school in the People's Republic of China usually has six grades, three lower and three upper. This is followed by education at lower secondary school, which also has three classes. During their schooling, pupils learn the same subjects as in the Czech Republic, plus Chinese, which is logical. However, Chinese education is growing very rapidly, and although it should be, it is not free of charge. America The Western Hemisphere is represented in this article by two countries, the USA and Canada. The main difference between Czech and American education is the uniformity of Czech education. If we come to any school within the Czech Republic, we always encounter similar rules, course of study, textbooks, which is not the case in the USA. USA If we visit a few schools in the USA, for example, we find that each of them has a different curriculum, often compulsory schooling starts at different ages of the child, from 5 to 8 years old, so students leave school when they are 14 to 18 years old. This is due to the provinces that administer the schools. The first stage of education in the US is kindergarden, followed by Primary School, where pupils study for the first five years. Middle School is similar to the Czech second stage of primary school, from sixth to eighth grade, followed by High School, which students attend until they are 18 years old, from ninth to twelfth grade. In the US, high schools have only a general focus. Education in these schools is very similar to Czech secondary schools. A student must complete a certain number of credits and courses in four years. Of the core ones, they must take 8 semesters of English (this includes drama, speech, debate, or creative writing), 6 semesters of math, and 4 semesters of a foreign language, usually Spanish. Another great advantage for students is that US high schools offer a wide variety of courses, counting from dozens and hundreds. This allows a student to specialise in a particular subject that he or she enjoys and wants to study. Canada In Canada, there can also be differences between schools within a province. Schools are governed by what is known as a school board, which decides on important matters for the schools in the district (education fees, teacher salaries, school improvements, equipment funding). The principal decides on day-to-day school-related matters. Schooling in Canada lasts for 12 years, but students can leave school earlier, specifically at the age of 15; continuation to 18 is optional. Canadian high schools offer students the opportunity to study the core subjects and to choose and improve in subjects that interest them. A typical school day lasts 7 hours, including 1 hour for lunch. Australia Of course, among the countries presented in this article, we could not forget to mention Australia. The interesting fact is the time of the beginning of the school year. Because Australia is in the Earth's southern hemisphere, the seasons here look completely opposite to the Czech ones. The hottest period comes at the same time as winter in the Czech Republic, so the Australian school year starts in February and ends when winter arrives. Egypt – Africa Last but not least, we must not forget to mention Africa, where education is generally of a low standard. Nevertheless, to be fair, we must point out that the quality of education varies greatly in Africa. However, it is a fact that literacy in some countries is very low. The country that we have chosen to present in this article as an African representative is Egypt, which is well known to us and popular with Czechs, Moravians, and Silesians, who visit it quite often. The Egyptian education system can be basically divided into 2 systems, public and private. While students pay no fees in the state education system, the private system is only available to the very rich and foreigners living in Egypt. There can be more than 40 students in a class in state schools, and education is open to all citizens. Private education is not the government's responsibility; there are fewer students, and better quality delivered content. Teaching in Arabic in state schools and in English in private schools is also common. Education is very different across the world and not always understandable to foreigners. But try to think. What would primary school pupils say if we extended compulsory schooling to 12 years? And how would they feel if we put them in front of a completely different education system than they are used to? However, all students, not just the Czech ones, could have a problem with education and the system in general. The comparison between Egyptian and British primary schools is very interesting. According to that comparison, it is better for students who are the descendants of foreigners living in Egypt to be educated in private schools. Every school looks different, every school teaches differently, so it is easy to recall a saying: Different countries, different customs. The same is true for education.

Tutoring during the covid period
8. 2. 2021

It's been almost a year since Covid-19 came into our daily lives. Since then, much has changed from our long-term travelling plans, visits, and business trips to the day-to-day matters connected to our work and school responsibilities. And it was the schools, especially their pupils, students, and their parents, who had to orientate themselves within the situation in a concise time. If you feel that, despite all the schools' efforts, the situation is insufficient for your children, we are here with a solution. With School Populo, you can help your children not only with the preparation for various exams but also with the daily preparation for the studied topics. You no longer have to trouble yourself with textbooks and exercise books every night. We will, at least partially, solve these worries for you. Although schools and educators do everything they can, sometimes that may not be enough. Some teachers may not be proficient in working with IT technologies or simply have a technical problem that they cannot solve. On the other hand, there are students who, for various reasons, do not have access to the Internet, a computer or are again facing technical issues. Another chapter is the complexity of such online teaching, where one teacher is in charge of the whole class and can barely pay attention to each student individually, even if they would want to. In such a situation, it is difficult to consider the abilities and progress of individual students and give each of them their own space. In our opinion, this is the main issue of online teaching. When is the right time to start with tutoring Some children may start to get lost in the topics after a few weeks or months. They start to get assignments they do not fully understand, it is not clear to them what was the mistake in the test, or they just do not know in which textbook or on which page they can see the current topic. In classes with up to 30 children, teachers might have difficulties answering every student individually and address their particular issues or queries. In addition, many teachers have their own children at home and are thus dealing with similar problems and ambiguities. Therefore, it is a good idea to see how your child is doing during online classes. Not only to see if your kids have all the necessary equipment and actively participate in online learning, but also how they understand it. When students are unsure whether they understood the assignment correctly, would like to review and practice a topic or re-take an unsuccessful test, then it is the right time to start thinking about tutoring. At this point, many parents may begin to think whether to be tutors or not. Sometimes a discussion at home is definitely enough, and the problem is solved, but sometimes it is not a sufficient solution. At that point, School Populo offers a helping hand to all parents with tutoring. We can make your life easier, especially during the coronavirus period. How to find the right tutor Many parents start addressing an important issue, which tutors trust for tutoring their child. Surely everyone wants an experienced, empathetic, and knowledgeable tutor. And these are exactly the tutors we have at our School. This is also confirmed by numerical data, which says that we taught 520 online lessons in January 2020. By January 2021, however, there were already 8,800 online lessons, and the demand is still growing. Based on our experience, online school teaching covers only about 50% of the taught topics. Often, children have only two or three online classes a day, focusing only on the main subjects such as English and Maths. Therefore, parents turn to us mainly at a time when their knowledge is not sufficient for tutoring older children or when they do not find the capacity due to work or taking care of younger siblings. Many parents have finally understood that school reopening won’t happen any time soon and that sticking to only online schooling is not sustainable in the long run. That is why we do everything we can to keep our online tutoring at the same high-quality level as we have done so far. We want to help children and parents supplement the often insufficient online school education. This is ensured by our one-on-one tutoring system when one tutor works only with one student during a lesson. Both of them have enough time to get to know each other. The tutor can evaluate the student's current knowledge and, of course, finds out which teaching method suits the student best. Together, they can always agree on what they can work on more and which topics are clear. Depending on the situation, they can practice more, explain, or go more in-depth with a certain topic. This individual and flexible teaching approach gives every student space that cannot be provided during school group online lessons.  Such students then achieve better results at school, feel more certain, more confident, and know that they always have someone to turn to. For those interested, we also offer the possibility of renting IT equipment, thanks to which online learning will be even easier. If you have a pupil or student at home who would like to practice topics that are omitted from online schooling due to time constraints or would like to study a foreign language or subject, he/she has only been studying as a self-study for several months, do not hesitate to contact us. All tutors at School Populo are here for you, not only at the time of the coronavirus period. To learn more about the complete tutoring offer and inquiry form, please visit www.schoolpopulo.co.uk/tutoring. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to make New Year's resolutions not to become an obligation
25. 12. 2020

New Year's resolutions. For some, a great fear, for some, a motivation to move in the right direction. Research shows that educational resolutions are among the ten most common. Learning a language is one of the most popular. Like fitness centres and gyms, we at School Populo are seeing an increase in demand from adults after the New Year, precisely as a result of their New Year’s resolutions. We offer a helping hand not only to pupils and students, but also to all adults who, for various reasons, decide to deepen their current knowledge or start something completely new. With each new client comes a new story The nice thing about working with adults is that each of them comes to us with a different story. Some approach us with a demand for accounting or economics tutoring due to new jobs or exams, some attend computer lessons because they want to broaden their horizons even at an older age, and others come because their lives made a complete twist. We remember the story of an older lady who started learning Spanish so that she could talk to her grandchildren, who lived in Spain and unfortunately did not speak English. Another client started learning Italian so she could talk to her partner’s parents. And the biggest story we remember is about a married couple who fell in love with Italy so much that they started learning Italian and then moved to Italy. How can School Populo help We understand that keeping one’s resolutions can sometimes be challenging, but we believe that every learning is worth the time and diligence. It’s never too late to start learning and improving in areas you need to. And it’s not necessary to do it for someone else. Dedicate the time to yourself, find a few hours a week just for yourself, and learn what you longed for. And if you choose the right partner, it will go from there. At School Populo, we, therefore, offer full support during your studies, a tailor-made curriculum, the possibility of online tutoring. We adapt to your time possibilities and progress during your studies. To find a complete offer of taught subjects, please visit our websites www.schoolpopulo.co.uk. If you are interested in learning languages, all the necessary information can be found on the website of Populo Language Centre www.schoolpopulo.co.uk/tutoring/languages. In the new year 2021, we are looking forward to the existing and new clients and a lot of new stories that we will discover together with them.

Quality online education available to all
21. 12. 2020

In the spring, the closure of schools, and the associated online schooling, caught many parents and teachers unprepared. Of course. Until then, online teaching was not a common part of curriculum, so teachers were fully focused on their work in the classroom. However, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic brought a situation almost no one had an experience with. At School Populo, however, it was different. We have been teaching our clients online for almost five years, and during that time, we have managed to gain a lot of experience. We are not afraid to say that we have perhaps one of the greatest online teaching experiences in the tutoring sector. In the spring, we knew exactly what to do. As all our classes happen in the online world, our students did not even notice the difference. We taught more lessons online during the first wave of coronavirus than all lessons before Covid combined. And these are quite significant numbers. We prepared dozens of children for admission exams, dozens of students for secondary school-leaving exams, and taught languages dozens of others. We have a sophisticated online teaching system in which the tutor can see the client’s face, but thanks to the second camera also what the client writes. This allows the tutor to see the client´s reactions and non-verbal communication and gives him opportunity to react when the student hesitates or does not know what to do. The reaction is prompt and comes at the same time as if it had come in the classroom. The tutor does not have to come back to the problematic point but solves it immediately, which is the most effective way. We know from our experience that students are not deprived of anything during online learning. On the other side of the imaginary online classroom is a tutor who works only with that one student and, thanks to modern IT equipment, they are almost within reach. This system also works just as well in group lessons. The tutor has a great overview of all the participating students. We are not alone in this We have been helping our clients with learning for several years. Now we have decided to help those who are not our clients. Christmas time is approaching, a time when we think more of others than of ourselves. School Populo, therefore, decided to share its experience and offer its unique online education system to all schools that would be interested in it. As a Christmas present, as well as an expression of belonging and partnership in this challenging time for education, School Populo will provide teachers with free instructions on a variety of online tools to facilitate distance learning and online teaching methodology so that teachers are fully prepared to offer children the same teaching quality as in the classroom. The advantage of our system is that the teacher works in the same mode as before. Apart from basic equipment such as a computer and a mobile phone, no additional technical equipment is required. In online teaching, the teacher sees himself and all his students well. Thanks to a tripod, the teacher can quickly focus on what he wants to show the students. In addition, the whole lesson can be easily recorded for those who could not participate. From now on, online teaching does not have to be scary. This year has been challenging for all of us. For teachers, parents and the pupils, and students themselves. We believe that our offer is also a big step forward for teachers and their students. So let’s use Christmas time for good deeds and give something that really makes sense – let’s give education. We are not alone in this. Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas, Your School Populo 

How to create the best conditions for learning?
7. 12. 2020

Have you ever sat at home at a table in front of an open textbook, trying to concentrate, but could not remember a single thing? Maybe at this moment, you could logically arrange objects on the desk. Research shows that organized desk can increase your focus and productivity, and there’s really something to it. However order on the desk is not the only factor that affects the degree of concentration during learning. Create the right working environment However, a suitable working environment does not only include an arranged desk with correctly placed piles of books. Some people like a completely empty desk. Some really prefer neat piles of necessary literature and aids. In any case, it is clear that there should be nothing on the desk that can distract you from learning. So instead of lying in bed or on the sofa, sit down at your desk and let’s get it going. Limit technology Another significant distraction is often the mobile phone. Whether it’s an e-mail, social media notifications, or messages of all kinds. All these notifications distract us, forcing us to constantly interrupt our concentration and disengage from learning. The brain is thus not able to fully immerse itself in the topic and connect all the links. Get enough of fresh air A supply of fresh air is necessary for proper brain oxygenation. You certainly know this advice from your grandmothers. So whether you open a window from time to time, go for a walk during the learning period, or at least sit in the garden or balcony, you will supply your body with the necessary oxygen. Don’t forget to take breaks and exercise You can also get some fresh air by taking a short walk during the learning period. This will also make you move and stretch your body after hours of sitting. Breaks are an important source of rest for your back and brain. However, try to choose an activity that will allow the brain to fully relax. Skip social media or television during the breaks. You’d better take a walk, stretch, make tea, or have something good to eat. Prepare snacks and drinks It is also recommended not to underestimate the drinking regime and vitamin supply. Choose water or tea, have your favourite coffee or prepare a fruit juice or a smoothie. You can also nibble some fruit or veggies. Nuts are also a great snack for supporting your memory. Using dietary supplements such as ginkgo biloba during the challenging exam period can also be beneficial for your body. Try supporting memory with music Some people prefer to study in complete silence, some people can easily ignore the hustle and bustle of the surroundings, and some people are comfortable with relaxing music. On the Internet, you can find a lot of playlists of songs designed directly to support memory and learning. Just enter the keywords “studying music”. Don’t get stressed We are aware that it is difficult to avoid stress during the demanding exam and mid-term test period, but you do not need to implode. If you devote enough time for preparation, you won’t try learning everything at the last minute and will review sufficiently, you can succeed. Your prospects of success are good. And even if you don’t succeed on the first try, there is always a way to improve the grade. The tutors of School Populo are ready to provide you with full support in preparing for important exams or regular subjects in which you are getting lost. To learn more about tutoring, please visit www.schoolpopulo.co.uk/tutoring. 

Why individual tutoring can be important
13. 11. 2020

The hustle and bustle of school education During the time spent at school, classes full of classmates, all learning from one teacher, are part of the study environment. This teacher is responsible for ensuring that each student in the class is given the same chance to achieve the best possible results. However, it can be very difficult for teachers to ensure that all students in the classroom are given the same room for self-realization, given that each student may have a different way of learning, understanding, and comprehension. Each student has an individual learning pace and different abilities – individual strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, the teacher must adapt the teaching to suit everyone as much as possible. If your child learns better through discussion, but their teacher adapts the lessons to suit most of the class that learn better through writing essays, then your child may not reach their full potential. They may also be afraid to ask when not understanding something because most of the class understands it. This may be because the classmates are not friendly or do not admit when they do not understand something. Thus, the child may think, “maybe it’s just me who doesn’t understand”. In these cases, individual tutoring is an ideal choice. Confidential and stimulating environment of one-on-one lessons With the benefits of one-on-one tutoring, your child may have a better chance of reaching their potential, having the opportunity to absorb information at their own pace and in their own way. Throughout tutoring, but especially at the very beginning, the tutor observes how the child learns and flexibly adapts the teaching style accordingly. During the lesson, the tutor is able to estimate the level of understanding of the topic much more effectively and identify any misunderstandings. At the same time, children are not afraid to admit to the tutor that they don’t understand something. It’s far more pleasant for them than to admit it in front of a whole class. The tutor is able to recognize a specific area that the child is likely to struggle with and will help improve it. Not only that – the tutor will also help improve student’s learning pace. One small piece of understanding is enough to change student’s self-confidence in a particular subject. If a student is good at math but does not understand geometry, it can undermine their confidence in the subject. However, the tutor will be able to help with all the small pieces of the puzzle. And this, of course, will be reflected in classroom work. With the growing popularity of one-on-one tutoring, this may be the push your child needs to build confidence and achieve their potential. Therefore, if you feel that a one-on-one approach would help your child stimulate their interest and deepen their knowledge, do not hesitate to contact us at www.schoolpopulo.co.uk/tutoring/online.

Five reasons why private tutoring is a good idea
2. 11. 2020

In Populo, we believe that supplementing schooling with private tutoring is not something you or your children should be ashamed of. On the contrary. Thanks to tutoring, your children can gain confidence where they lack it and improve where there is room for it. Learn how our tutors complement school education. 1. Tutoring helps students catch up For students who have difficulty with a specific subject, tutoring can help increase their self-confidence. Despite the tremendous efforts of teachers and teaching assistants, some students may need individual help. In these cases, teachers can (and should) direct their students to seek tutoring. 2. Tutoring can develop the skills of more gifted students On the other hand, tutoring can also be beneficial for students who understand the topic by giving them more space to think about it. In addition, during this additional time, tutors can go through more complex materials with students and have debates, which will lead them to a deeper involvement in the topic than is allowed during school hours due to limited time. This method works especially well during secondary school-leaving exams and admission exams, when such meetings can push students to think more like university students, thus preparing for future studies. 3. Tutoring can help with study skills and habits Tutoring can also help students foster the basics such as writing papers, speaking, taking notes, creating logical outlines and procedures, and so on. These skills are especially useful for students in the period of preparation for the secondary school-leaving exam or admission exams. Later, however, they will certainly use them when studying at a university or in a work environment. 4. Tutoring is available Unlike school education, online tutoring is not time and location-dependent. It can take place at almost any time of day and anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. This means that students can schedule lessons in the afternoon or evening, or on weekends or holidays. However, online teaching at Populo still strictly keeps one rule – our tutoring is individual, and the tutor always works with only one student during the lesson. 5. Tutoring is more informal It often happens that students develop a friendly relationship with their tutors. In this case, it is a benefit for the students because they are not afraid to ask anything or admit that they do not know what to do. Students can also be more relaxed during online tutoring and in the comfort of their own homes than in a formal classroom environment. Research has shown that people learn much more effectively in an environment where they feel comfortable. And that’s exactly why online tutoring is ideal. If you are also looking for quality one-on-one tutoring, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help. You can find everything you need at www.schoolpopulo.co.uk/tutoring/online.

Holidays yes, some would say
2. 8. 2020

Our students are already fully enjoying all the holiday fun. But this does not apply to School Populo. On the contrary, we use this time for everything we do not even think about during the school year, as the tutoring is always keeping us busy. We are trying to improve Populo even more so that all of our students like it and enjoy using our services more than before. Thus, at the end of the school year, the whole School Populo management team met with our tutoring coordinators to plan together what changes and news await us and our students in the next six months. What do we want to manage during the holidays? We are actively looking for places for new branches and classrooms. We want Populo to be accessible to as many children and adults as possible, and thanks to our online tutoring method, we are achieving this. We also managed to expand our team significantly. The main goal is a better customer service, which is essential for our operation. Thanks to our expansion, communication will become more efficient, and we will also improve the quality of all our services, because, as the proverb says – two heads are better than one. Teachers’ office in an app We are also improving our teachers’ office Cabinet. It’s not a physical office for our tutors but a handy application that many of you may already know. Cabinet is a great tool where teachers can manage their personal profile, plan their future lessons, see the history of their courses, student profiles, courses they can sign up for as tutors, and a notice board where we post important information. Thanks to Cabinet, communication between coordinators and tutors is faster and easier. Thanks to the app, parents can also read their e-mails immediately after the lesson is over, see the minutes of the lesson and review how their children performed, or go over the next recommended learning steps. When planning further lessons, the application can assign a place in the classroom to the tutor so that the tutors don't coincide. We try to be as productive as possible throughout the holidays and to work on our improvements in every free moment. For you and for us. What we do, we do with passion. Whether you are looking for quality and effective tutoring for your children or you would like to use the services of our Language Centre, we look forward to hearing from you! 

Learn a new language and get a new soul
7. 7. 2020
Foreign languages

That’s what the proverb says. And there will probably be something to it. With this proverb, we think about scenes from a famous film in which Julia Roberts is discovering Italy. To fully enjoy it, she learns to gesture, eat, think, and speak like an Italian. Only then is she able to fully understand the country she has visited. How better would you get to know Italy than with a slice of pizza in hand and conversations with locals? Summer has begun, and the desire to travel is greater than ever. The reopened borders and the previous several-month travel ban call for it. Are you going to travel abroad, but you are worried if you can manage conversations in a hotel or restaurant? Are you starting to sweat just thinking of being stopped on the street in a foreign country and not knowing what to answer? We are aware that the fear of actively using a foreign language can have many reasons. You may feel that native speakers will laugh at you. You may be afraid that they will not understand you or that you will say something inappropriate. Probably one of these situations will occur. It is common, and it surely happened to anyone who has ever started learning a foreign language. It may seem impossible for you now, but without taking the risk of an awkward or embarrassing situation, you will hardly learn the language. Believe us, after a few tries, you will find that using English, German, Spanish, or even Chinese is not as difficult as it seemed in the beginning. However, learning at school, from textbooks, or with a tutor is necessary for a good knowledge base of the language. It is essential to understand the grammar system and learn basic vocabulary. With the knowledge of these basics, you can boldly cross the borders. But undoubdtedly, you will be learning new vocabulary all your life. One of our tips may help you to absorb the language more intensively: Watch movies and series in their original version. Read in a foreign language. It doesn’t have to be books, just start with a short article. Start following foreign accounts with content you like on social media networks. Don’t be afraid of challenges. Help a tourist on the street with a direction. Translate the lyrics of your favourite songs. Create a notebook with the words you come across. Download a translator to your phone that you can use whenever you come across a word or phrase you don’t know. Set your mobile language to a foreign one. Don’t be mad at yourself for your mistakes. Learn from them! These and other tips can help you get used to the new language better and get rid of the fear and uncertainty that seizes you. And if you feel that you would still like to consult your progress with an expert, our tutors from the Language Centre are at your full disposal even during the summer holidays. You can go on holiday with a good feeling that you won’t get lost. What Populo Language Centre offers Populo Language Centre offers many services related to foreign languages, such as translations, interpreting, proofreading, or company courses for your employees. These language courses are intended not only for adults but also, for example, for recent graduates who would like to keep their language skills fresh. It doesn’t matter if you need the language for your job or for personal growth. Classes with us are always individual, so we will fully adapt to you. You can choose from 12 foreign languages, including Japanese or Hebrew. Everyone finds their own favourite. At the beginning of our cooperation, each student takes a placement test, based on which the tutor reviews the student's areas for improvement and strenghts. At the same time, we consider your requirements, so it is possible to focus the classes more on vocabulary or grammar or focus on specific areas such as technical or, for example, economic vocabulary. So whether you are going abroad and want to get to know the country with everything it offers or need the language for work or study, we are here.

Parents as teachers
15. 6. 2020
Motivation of pupils

The beginnings are usually easy Starting school is a completely new experience for both the child and the parents. From all-day carefree playing, children must suddenly focus on acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills.In the first grade, parents like to practice shapes, individual letters and numbers with their children with a smile on their face. But as the child is growing up, the topics become more and more challenging. Thus, explanations and exercises at school are often not enough, and children need to review the topics at home. However, a parent cannot always help for many different reasons. Working parents don’t have time, some lack patience, others may not have sufficient knowledge in the subject. Not everyone is great at everything. Some excel in English, others in mathematics. This applies to both students and their parents. Ladislaus S., a parent, and president of the Association for Home Education, also follows up in one of his interviews: "It is important for parents to realize that they have completed their primary education. Even though they have forgotten a lot of things over the years, there is no reason to think they wouldn’t be able to do it again. In addition, parents don't need to cram the topic ahead and be on top of everything. The parent is more like a coach – prepares the child for performance but doesn’t have to be a top athlete himself/herself. All the parent has to do is watch, observe and help the kid reach the goal.” When things don’t work Another common problem is finding ways to help children learn. Although parents understand the topic and understand it very well, they often do not know how to explain it to their children. They try hard to explain something that the kid still doesn’t get. It is important to realize that children think differently than adults. They have a completely different view of the world and other life experiences. Every person also uses a different kind of thinking – someone prefers analytical thinking, someone prefers intuition, etc. For these and other reasons, there may be a misunderstanding between parents and students during the performance of school tasks, which can result in reluctance towards learning. Our experienced tutors can prevent these situations. They know that each student needs an individual approach and, most importantly, can find the right one. They know which teaching method to choose, when to give the student their own space, or when they can have higher demands and thus achieve the desired results. When a child needs tutoring It is wrong to think that the time for tutoring comes only when pupils are behind their classmates in a given subject, get poor grades, or come home from school sad or upset about their failures. All this can lead to frustration and reluctance to go to school at all. The ideal situation occurs when your kids ask for tutoring because they feel they would like to understand the topic better, but they can't do it independently. But something like this happens rarely. It is especially necessary for younger children and teenagers to be attentive and sensitive to the transmitted signals. Not only grades have to play the main role. It is often also a question of how comfortable the pupil feels in a given subject or specific issue. Note whether they are familiar with it and can talk about it. It can also happen that your children are simply “not compatible” with their teachers or their teaching methods, which can cause reluctance towards the subject. In the first place, a parent, an older sibling, or a friend who is more advanced in the topic can help. When even family and friends can’t help anymore, it is recommended to turn to experts. Be it at the school the student attends or at other specialized organizations such as our School. It doesn’t matter if the student is eight or fifteen, if they need help with English, or if they want to review what they had to self-study at home due to coronavirus in the last six months. We offer help to anyone who needs it. What can we offer We offer our clients tutoring ot subjects from English through Mathematics and Chemistry to an immense number of foreign languages. You can choose one of the subjects you want to focus on or use the comprehensive tutoring service. This allows us to combine several subjects, so we can discuss the chapters the student is struggling with. It is usually a combination of English and Mathematics, which are supplemented by Science, Geography, or a foreign language. But we always adapt the combination to your individual needs and requirements. It doesn’t matter you’re far from our branch. We are fully prepared to tutor online. And if you need, we will be happy to lend you the necessary equipment. Tutoring is thus available to everyone. This year, we also launched a new Summer School project, which aims to help students cope with several weeks of self-study caused by coronavirus. At Summer School, the children will foster the acquired knowledge, review the topics, and be fully prepared to start regular schooling in September. If you do not feel like tutoring your child by yourself, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you. We will create an individual study plan tailored to your requirements. Your pupil will be satisfied, and you will have more free time, which you can spend with children doing more fun activities than learning.

Populo Language Centre: foreign language solutions for adults and companies
5. 5. 2020
Foreign languages

The Populo Language Centre is the solution to everything related to languages. Clients can contact us regarding translations, interpreting, proofreading, and/or teaching foreign languages, both face-to-face and online. We solve each request with the client individually. We carefully listen to your requests and suggest solution options according to difficulty, time, and previous experience. We would like to show you how we work with clients and different foreign language learning requirements. Language course not only individually, but also always tailored We offer individual foreign language courses, but we also offer group lessons to companies.  One-on-one courses: adaptation to the student’s language level, selection of familiar topics adaptation of the learning pace during the lessons to the student  Focus on the problematic topics and skip the simple ones Overall adaptation each lesson to your current mood and state of mind “Homework" according to the client’s requirements, no assignment also possible Change of lesson frequency and intensity during the course  Groups lessons: Suitable for a group of clients at the same language level Less financially demanding Suitable for corporate clients The most common reasons for studying a foreign language I want to improve my knowledge at work, but I don’t have time… Do you need a foreign language at work, but having to adapt your time schedule to others discourages you from participating in a group course? In the case of an individual course, only your requirements for planning lessons come first. You have the option to excuse the lesson in advance without losing it or even “pausing” the course if, for example, you are going on holiday. I love traveling, but I’m afraid to speak… Are you planning to travel abroad, but when hearing “foreign language," you get goosebumps and start thinking about high school dull drilling of grammatical tenses without any signs of conversation? With an individual form of lessons, you do not have to worry about this scenario. Before traveling abroad, we will help you master vocabulary and, through conversational topics, prepare you for any common situation you encounter during your travels. Your dream vacation does not have to be burdened with fear every time you want to ask for direction or try to choose a local specialty. I finally have time to study, but I’m an eternal beginner… An individual language course allows you to fill your free time appropriately. The Populo Language Centre will prepare lessons of a foreign language that has always interested you, but you have never had the opportunity, courage, or time to devote yourself to it. The tutor will completely adapt to your current language knowledge, using appropriate study materials and pace of the whole teaching-learning process.  We are looking for an effective work benefit for our employees… As already mentioned, the Populo Language Centre offers language courses not only for individuals but also for companies, for which it can represent an interesting, employee-requested work benefit, which should reach a certain level. Many employers have certainly experienced difficulties with choosing the right type of course that would suit both the employees and the employer. In this respect, the Populo Language Centre outreaches companies through individually implemented courses. While employees have the opportunity to increase their knowledge at work, the course of the lesson is recorded for the employer's needs at all times. At the end of the course, the employer is provided with a confirmation of course completion and the student’s final evaluation provided by the tutor. An undeniable advantage is also the possibility to implement the course directly in the company. You don’t have to worry about problematic lesson planning in accordance with the employee’s work attendance. Don’t wait and stop looking. You can start today. If you were unlucky in finding a course that directly meets your requirements, now your search is definitely over. You can start planning your language course today. The Populo Language Centre offers the implementation of any foreign language course according to your vision and requirements. More than ever, you have the opportunity to turn dreams of knowing a foreign language into reality or to surprise and motivate your employees with a benefit that with another employer you would wait in vain for.

Homework and preparation for school as a menace for parents AKA When tutoring helps not only children
8. 4. 2020

Parent as a teacher A total of 20 working days have passed since the spread of the dangerous virus closed all schools literally overnight. Not only teachers and students but also parents have unexpectedly changed their daily routine. The common parent's question “How was school today?” changed into “What are WE going to learn today?” School closures can be misleading. In practice, only school buildings have closed. Learning continues - only in a new and non-traditional way, which more than ever involves the parents. While under normal circumstances, it was enough to check the children's homework and check their grades, parents are now under pressure from the daily school preparation associated with doing homework. From the parents' point of view, this learning alternative can be unusual and demanding, both in terms of time and well-being. Some parents continue to work, and others stayed temporarily at home due to circumstances or, in the worst scenarios, lost their jobs. In any case, a notional return to textbooks is not easy. Many parents seek help through tutoring. But not just any tutoring. Usually, tutoring is focused on one, at most, two subjects, which are the most challenging for children. Tutoring focused on preparing for admission exams, or graduation is also very common. However, tutoring is sought mainly by parents with children in the lower level of primary school. Their requirement is to find a teacher who will help their children not with one, but with several subjects at once. The reason is simple. For children at this age, self-study is not a matter of course. On the contrary, they need the topics to be explained patiently and clearly, regardless of whether it is mathematics or seemingly easy geography, or biology.  Complex tutoring While parents often search in vain to simply call their request and fear that it is an unrealistic request, at School Populo it has a clear name: Complex tutoring. In practice, it works by combining several subjects into one class – tutoring. It is usually a combination of the Czech language and mathematics, which are supplemented by, for example, geography, biology, or English. “Under normal circumstances, there is not much interest in this type of tutoring service. At the moment, however, our demand for complex tutoring has greatly increased. Since the beginning of March, we have registered 45 requests for complex tutoring in Brno. Just to give you an idea, only 7 of these clients required this type of teaching before the schools closed. In the last three weeks, the demand for complex tutoring has increased almost seven times, and we have received 38 new demands for complex tutoring,” says Adéla Hronová, director of the Brno branch.  Although it may seem that it is impossible to find a teacher for these combinations, the opposite is true. After all, even at the lower level of primary school, it is a common practice for one teacher to teach several subjects. Moreover, in the case of School Populo, this form of learning is provided through individual tutors (so-called generalists). Lessons are planned for the selected subjects. If it is necessary to study any of them more in depth, more lessons are dedicated to this particular subject in agreement with the coordinator. This flexibility in planning the course offers the parents a guarantee that all the topics will actually be covered in all aspects, i.e. comprehensively. This is also confirmed by the experience of Markéta Otýpková from the Centre for Communication with Clients and the Processing of New Inquiries at School Populo: “Parents do not primarily demand improving grades. Their goal of tutoring is to help master new topics and do homework correctly.”  Thus, complex tutoring represents an opportunity for parents to provide their children with effective help with the studies topics. At the same time, it allows them to spend time together with their children other than just preparing for school.  When a sudden change in the system reveals new possibilities The change caused by the current social situation in education has not only brought us concerns this school year will end up. On the contrary, it turns out that just as schools approach alternative ways of education, this situation also reveals previously unused possibilities of tutoring, which more than ever can be a significant help and, at the same time, facilitation for pupils and parents.

Why learn online? Advantages and disadvantages of modern forms of tutoring
28. 3. 2020

In nowadays modern society, the possibilities of education and how to find the most effective way of education are constantly expanding. The online form of tutoring is undoubtedly one of them. What discourages us from trying it? And what are its advantages? Read the article to discover it all. Legitimate concerns? Online tutoring can take many forms. However, we will focus on the best-known and most popular form – video calls. Some use them for everyday communication, whether it is Skype, Meet, Messenger, WhatsApp, and many more. However, paradoxically, many of us are still concerned about using these applications for education. And the reasons? Let’s just mention the three most important. Low learning efficiency. Why learn online when it is much better to listen to your teacher directly in the classroom or to have an individual lesson when the classroom teacher is only dedicated to his/her student at a time? Fear of unknown. Let's face it, not everyone uses social networks, and not everyone is technically proficient. Technical issues. These minor complications can occur during online learning, such as poor image quality or a bad connection signal. Although all these reasons seem justified, let us try to think about them for a moment and consider whether these are not just concerns based on the unknown. If we do not know how online tutoring works in practice, we cannot know its benefits, nor do we know how to implement tutoring from a technical point of view.  It's easy, affordable, and effective. Although face-to-face education has its undeniable advantages, its online form has them, too. You can have tutoring practically everywhere with a good connection. Education is not endangered even in moments when the in-class form is impossible for various reasons. We do not have to go that far to show an example. The current economic and social situation caused by the spread of coronavirus is sufficient proof. In this regard, online learning is an alternative that can effectively maintain the process of education and, at the same time, observe preventive measures. As mentioned in the introduction to the article, several applications can be used. They are either freely accessible, or it is possible to download at least their basic user versions directly to your computer. Currently, most applications provide high-quality picture resolution and audio settings. All we need for learning is either a desktop computer, laptop or tablet, webcam, and microphone. In addition, the applications often allow for screen sharing, material sending, and chat communication. It is also very easy to display the writing area by connecting an external camera. This, again, increases the efficiency of online learning and almost eliminates the difference between whether a teacher is in real-time with a student in the classroom or whether they are both online. To learn more about how online teaching works in practice, please visit the School Populo website. Do not miss to see a short video demonstration of an online tutoring course mediated through the Google Meet application. Everything has its "kinks," BUT… Despite the high functionality of applications and the availability of modern computer accessories, we must reckon with the possibility that problems may occur. For example, due to weather conditions or the quality of Internet connection, there may be a momentary loss of connection. On the other hand, even in-class learning does not always flow without interruptions or issues. Therefore, let’s not be afraid of looking for and using new ways of education. Avoiding them only because of not knowing and false fears would be a big mistake.

Drilling vs. Understanding – Isn't it the same?
2. 3. 2020

You have certainly learned before. We don’t mean walking, talking, or eating with cutlery now. On the contrary, we mean a controlled learning process and the perceived need to learn the necessary topic. In such a process, there two learning opportunities standing on opposite sides. The first option is a word for word, exact “interpretation” of the written text, to learn something you don't even understand. The second option is to understand the topic, its acquisition. The whole cycle of education is the interweaving of the two learning options, drilling versus understanding.  Drilling vs. understanding in practice Before we start, let's show drilling and understanding of a specific situation. Let’s meet two students, Mary and Tom. While Tom learns best through practice, that is, by what he sees and hears, and considers the textbook to be completely useless, and Mary has learned to “parrot” the textbook during her school years. Neither of these ways is completely wrong or completely correct. Sometimes we just need to learn the given text word for word, other times. It is necessary to understand a specific thing. Everyone prefers a different approach, strategy, and teaching methods in their learning. However, it is usually necessary to understand the topic to solve a specific problem or learning task. Theoretical facts alone are often not enough.  Drilling in traditional education Traditional education is largely based on the teacher's interpretation associated with the student's learning of the topics. Learning is often seen as “pouring information into students' heads.” We literally serve students the information they need to learn. Thanks to the precise scope of topics and curricula, teachers have only limited time to teach. You surely know it – learn it, test it, then forget it right away and keep learning – typical course of study. Nowadays, students often do not learn how to understand the topic, grasp it and then explain it. Students learn pages and pages of theories because someone just wants them to. Many pupils and students also lack the ability to search for and evaluate the necessary information. When writing a seminar paper, they often do not distinguish which information source is reliable and which is not, and they randomly use Wikipedia or the first results offered to them by a good “uncle Google”. Learning as a process The learning process is incredibly complicated. If we want to achieve the best possible results, we need to learn effectively, combine drilling with understanding, learn to recall information in connection with an activity or subject.  In the articles on this blog, from time to time, we focus on learning styles and how to learn properly, how to teach children to learn, how to learn to learn, how to learn better and faster or how to study languages ​​, and what to do when we just can’t get it. Each of these articles contains hints, tips, and important information that we will now summarize. Motivation is important Do you think that the motivation of students is not important? That the student does not need it for learning? You are wrong. Motivation goes hand in hand with the learning process. If a student is to learn something, they must know why. Simple answers like, “Because you just have to!” or “I had to learn that too!” are not enough. Pupils need to what is the aim of this topic and what they will gain by learning.  Let’s not forget regularity Regularity, a clear definition of when and what will be learned, plays a big role in learning. It is not the time you spend learning that matters, but the number of tasks you complete. Therefore, focus on setting a goal. For example, I calculate three examples every day. Every day, I learn one chapter from the textbook. Do not focus on quantity, but on quality.  Helpful Mnemonics “I” before “e” except after “c” – but only when it sounds like “bee”! “Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C , Mrs U, Mrs LTY!” of “Rhythm Help Your Two Hips Move” – simple memory aids to help you know your grammar.  You can create similar mnemonics for almost everything. It is best to create it yourself. Harry Helps Little Betty Brown Crack Nuts On Friday Night. Doesn't it remind you of anything? So look carefully, Harry Helps Little Betty Brown Crack Nuts On Friday Night. – Element symbols: hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, fluorine, and nickel. Change of environment If the student really cannot get it and is upset about it, a change of environment can significantly help. Try to move to another place within the apartment or house, try learning in the park or a public library, find a place where you can concentrate as best you can, where you feel good.  Techniques that you can use to improve your memory There are several key approaches and ways to perfect memory. You can improve your memory with stories you focus on, for example. But there are other ways to improve your memory immediately. An ingenious trick is to use the secrets of memory paths. And even the human body, as a tool for remembering, is not bad either. Don't you believe it? Try it. Maybe such a school of memory will help you too. A partner who will run the “study marathon” with you Do you think no one like that exists? Or did someone came to your mind right away? If not, we would know about someone. We know a lot of people who don't run one but several imaginary marathons a year. At the same time, they are not limited to the season or to which year the student is currently studying.  Understanding at School Populo  At School Populo, we focus on each student's problem areas, trying to find his/her weaknesses and fill them. Our tutors are experts in their field, but that does not mean that they already know everything. They, too, are still learning, and with each new student, they move on. Students and tutors learn from each other. Students fill their gaps in the topic, and tutors learn how to work with the students, improve their pedagogical skills. At School Populo, we make sure that we have the best tutors who tutor with a happy smile. The moment you come to School Populo, you will feel positive energy, a friendly atmosphere, and the present coordinators will welcome you with a smile. Every lesson is like that. We simply want to be positive. We do not focus on the student being able to memorize the topic but on understanding it. Then we know that what we do is not useless. Therefore, if you need advice, tutoring, or just want to ask something, do not hesitate to contact us. You can use our contact forms, online chat, call us or visit our branch. Our coordinators will be happy to help you.

Pupil motivation AKA How to teach children to learn
18. 12. 2019
Motivation of pupils

You have surely heard, or even said, one of the following sentences: “I don't have the brains for it.” “I can't do it.” “I don’t know how to learn.” Pupils use these sentences with great popularity because they use them to defend their failure. However, this is often just an excuse when the fault is rather of the underestimated preparation. But how to do it to make it work? To pass the test with C as the worst grade? And for the preparation to be sufficient? There is no universal advice and procedure, yet in the next few lines, we will introduce you to ways to help pupils and students in their preparation. Understanding, learning, using … In the beginning, it is important to identify several important parts of the learning process, which is divided into understanding and learning the topic and its subsequent use. First, they are the students themselves. Each of them is unique, learns at their own pace, and understands the context differently. So don't be afraid of the first failure. Secondly, it is about motivation, but make sure to grasp it correctly. If you promise your child a reward in the form of a thing or candies, it will fulfil its purpose, but it is a way better to agree on some experiencing activity. It is best to arouse internal motivation in students, i.e. that they are motivated by the vision of newly acquired knowledge and free time at the end of the learning process. Thirdly, it’s about small tasks and goals. No one will benefit from being forced to sit at the table for hours and learn. Therefore, you should note that the human brain can fully concentrate for only 20 minutes while repeating or sorting thoughts for another 25. Fourth, we will mention the ideal time of learning. How long is the ideal learning time? For some, ten minutes, for others, three hours. A student who likes to count and enjoys mathematics may spend the whole afternoon over the textbook and will still want to be a little better. On the other hand, he will close a language textbook after five minutes. It is in this direction that the focus and uniqueness of each student are often most evident. Fifth, we have a familiar rule: “Tell me, and I'll forget it.” “Show me, and I'll remember it.” “Let me try it, and I'll understand it.” When learning, it is not only important to “parrot” memorized learned facts that our brain quickly forgets. It is really important to be able to explain the phenomenon or problem and use it appropriately. Learning, learning, learning … Under the term "learning," everyone imagines something different. For Katy, learning is associated with a school desk and eight hours of writing. For Tim, on the other hand, it means that he will go out and learn something new. It depends on the student's learning experience. We have published a whole mini-series on alternative ways of education, in which you will learn about organizational forms of teaching and much more. The key to success is to make learning fun for students. If they like to learn new things and look forward to the lesson, you have almost won. Every learning should be engaging and stimulating. Own individuality … Now imagine two situations and two students. Susan and Peter. Susan closes herself in her room to study. She takes the notebook in her hand and looks at the lines in front of her without any interest. After a while, an incredibly “long while," about five minutes, she closes the notebook saying she already knows it or that it’s impossible to learn it, and so she’s done with it. Then she reaches for her phone, and you can imagine the rest. Peter also doesn't like to learn from notebooks and notes that someone has dictated to him. Therefore, he rather takes an atlas or encyclopaedia and looks at the pictures. He tries to understand how the thing works and why. When he has a chance, he goes out and looks around. He always has a specific goal, and direct confrontation with the environment allows him to understand natural processes. When staying outside or reading a book, he barely notices how time flies. Whether it was five minutes or several hours, he only reaches for the phone when he knows he understands the topic. With these two examples, we have described two types of students. One of them doesn't know how to learn, so she quickly puts the notebook away and with an excuse. The second one doesn’t need any notebook. He likes to find the necessary information himself and educates himself. However, not all students fit this image. There are also those who need practice and simply do not push themselves to do it. Learn to learn … It is necessary to help such students, motivate them and show them that it is not such a horror. Teach them to learn. Of course, we have a few tips for you. Exact number of exercises. If the student doesn’t want, the time limit won’t help. It’s best to give them a lot of work regardless of time. To give you an idea, we give an example: “You will study now for twenty minutes.” – A completely demotivating sentence for a student. He sits down at the table and looks at everything around him, but not at the notebook. And after twenty minutes, he’s done. Not even the sentence: “Go study, I'll come and test you in twenty minutes” won't help much. The result will be exactly the same as in the previous case. If you want to outsmart a student and force him or her to really learn the topic, try using a sentence like, “Look at that page, read it, and then tell me what you've read.” Here we really try to stimulate student’s interest and effort to understand. “Calculate these three examples, and then we'll go out"  is also an appropriate stimulation. You don’t specify how long the student should learn but make it clear that he/she can look forward to something. The student can do the task much faster. Regularity is important. Teach the student that if they learn for a while every day, one or two exercises will suffice, the time will fly faster, and the new knowledge will have a more lasting value. And it's always good to have something to look forward to, even if it's a complete trifle. Learning will be better and faster. Teach the student to choose the most important text. Textbooks are often oversaturated with text, but students usually need only a part of it. Don't force them to learn all the “sauce” around. Choose only the essentials. Some likes notes and others prefer to write down a shorter coherent text. And if the student does not understand the topic for the first time, try to reach for another source, the Internet or an encyclopaedia. Drawing pictures also helps, even if you can’t draw at all. Speak when learning languages. There is nothing worse than when the student does not know and is afraid to “speak”. How to learn languages? It is above all about dialogue. Pupils often understand grammar, they can translate the text into Czech, they can write an essay. But when it comes to speaking, put their thoughts together and translate them into a foreign language, they don’t know what to do and are lost. Talk to them and teach them that making a mistake is a natural thing. Each of us learned to walk. Many times, we fell and sometimes grabbed a subject near us, yet we can walk. It took a lot of attempts. We often “fell on our buttocks," but we managed it. We can also make it to speak foreign languages. And How do you know your child has a talent for languages? No two subjects are the same We write all the time about how long and how intensively to learn, or how to make students cooperate. However, we forgot to focus on specific subjects and how to learn them. But it doesn't really matter, because all the subjects are practically the same in this regard. Now let's imagine a map of Europe, but instead of individual states, let's put specific subjects. Some are neighbours. They are close and therefore belong to the same group. History to geography and biology, English to German, French or Russian, education to education – physical education, art, social science, health education. But where to include Czech with mathematics? The answer is very simple. Although it does not seem so, these two subjects have more than enough in common. Graphs are discussed in mathematics, sentence analyses in Czech. Word problems can look like a story. Only we have to find the numbers in that story and deal with them correctly. Czech and mathematics are exceptional, and one often struggles with them. Yet mathematics is also a language. Wherever in the world, you say one and one, it will always be two. And Czech? Let's be glad that we are Czechs. Do you know how difficult it is to teach foreigners Czech? To prepare them for important exams from our language? The task is challenging for both parties, but the effort pays off. If a foreigner can learn Czech, then why wouldn't we learn a foreign language? Our article contains really basic tips and advice on how to teach children to learn, whether during the holidays or during the school year. Even learning during holidays doesn’t have to be torture. What matters is the time and perseverance you sacrifice. If, even in the case of all your efforts, the desired results are not achieved, consider finding a tutor for the pupil. School Populo can help you with the selection. The coordinators and tutors do everything to ensure that students leave the lesson with smiles on their faces. School Populo has tutors from every corner of the country to help you, even in a place where we don’t have a branch. In conclusion, keep in mind that the grades are only a subject of evaluation, the test may not have gone as well as we wanted, and there’s always time for improvements. “The best way to know we understand is to be able to pass it on – to explain it to someone else. And that's what the whole learning is about.”

Christmas is coming, learning is missing…
17. 12. 2019

“Christmas is a holiday of peace, don't test our class on Greece. If you gave us Fail, your fish would stink like kail.” These are typical words and wishes that many people remember in connection with the upcoming holidays. Pupils do not want to learn and would rather take all kinds of trips, take part in events, but rather not even think about school. But it is not always possible to fulfil these wishes. Or are we wrong? And speaking of which, what would you answer to the question: “Do learning and Christmas go together? And can a student learn not to know?”  The article will answer all these questions and many more. Adults, children, students, everyone imagines Christmas differently … Peace, well-being, and time spent with the family – this is how most adults imagine Christmas. On the contrary, Santa Claus, a Christmas tree and often not very popular carp, represents Christmas from the children’s point of view. Textbook, learning, and little leisure and rest – this is what most students might say. How to learn during the Christmas period… Eva, who diligently studies during every Christmas break to pass the January exams at the first attempt, also knows about it. Although studying takes up most of her free time, she also finds time for her family. And to make the learning easy for her, she uses a number of techniques, which we will share with you today. And keep in mind that we can learn better and faster. Read and repeat – Probably the most common and well-known method. It consists of reading part of the text and then trying to repeat it as accurately as possible. Read and write – Another way to memorize information is to read, memorize, and write it. In some cases, success comes immediately. Other times, you have to rewrite it several times. Rewrite - someone also likes rewriting the studied material, but who has the time for it? You can rewrite one page but rewrite ten of them… most students wouldn’t be much into it and rewrite the whole textbook… don’t even count with it. And we're not even surprised. Because who would want to rewrite a textbook of tens to hundreds of pages? Own textbook – Probably the best combination of the above methods is to have an own textbook. Haven't you tried yet? Mistake! Quickly take a piece of paper and a pencil and let's do it. Your own textbook pays off! … The name “own textbook” doesn’t sound very attractive, but this method of learning can really help in learning, not only to high school or university students. It combines text, images, and colours, but most importantly, its creation helps the brain remember new information. The procedure is actually quite simple, and the creation of such a teaching aid certainly does not take more time than the constant repetition of the studied material. So, if you want to learn effectively, start with its creation. You will need paper, pens, pencils, and if you find any, also crayons or markers. Students also like highlighters, and they also do great service. Materials from which you want to draw information, books, textbooks, your own notes, or presentations that teachers publish are also essential. Spread them all around you and start with the first topic. Write the name and key points you need to remember. You can also use images that you stick on paper. Don't write continuous text across lines. Try bullet points, and like on a computer, nicely around pictures. Once the images and text have found their places, it's time for colours – highlight and underline. If you want to remember a graph, highlight each of its boxes with a different colour. And think about the context. The more “silly” and “weird," the better the human brain remembers it. Therefore, the tips of Jakub Poka and his School of Memory are very useful. In the videos, he explains how to remember what we need with the help of very unusual images. Use imagination when learning… Don't be afraid of fantasy, and even though you can't draw much, draw. If you scribble, write anyway. Some even say that singing helps, so feel free to sing. Whatever your chosen method, it will be yours, and it will certainly be a good cornerstone for success. However, do not unnecessarily dwell on your own textbook full of information. Include just the essentials in it. Curls and wavy lines, all sorts of decorations, keep them for another time. Content is the most important here. You will learn much better from your own book, and it will be easier for you to remember the information. When writing it, you can connect reading, repeating aloud, writing, and highlighting. So you involve at least three senses – sight, touch, and hearing. In the case of repetition, it is only sight and hearing. In the case of rewriting, only sight and touch. And if you're just reading a book, and still quietly, you'll just engage your sight. And that's not enough, don't you think? The self-created materials are also used by pupils who are educated by some alternative education methods or are educated at home. They create their own portfolio and have a really close relationship with their notebooks or textbooks. For example, pupils of Waldorf pedagogy learn to read from a reading book created by their parents, so they value it. You can also value your work because you devote time to it. And it has one big advantage, and you will enjoy it. Books, videos, textbooks … Videos are other learning aids for Eva. They can be easily found on the Internet. What also helps Eva is to read the same material but in a different version. Every teacher teaches differently, writes differently, explains differently. You can reach for textbooks from different schools, which you can also find on the Internet. You just need to search for it. To understand a given problem, sometimes it is enough to change the style in which we look at it. I'm learning without knowing it … There is not only Eva but also Adam, who attends primary school and prefers to throw his schoolbag in a corner and sit down at the computer. The school doesn't interest him at all. And when it comes to learning, it's usually a disaster. Nevertheless, even such pupils can be oversmarted without them or us even realizing it. Christmas is an ideal way to start teaching children to write and count, to teach them about traditions, and to remind ourselves why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Probably most of us decorate a Christmas tree, and even if some decorate a rubber tree, let the children decorate it themselves. Just telling them, “Hang three blue balls in front and put five stars there,” will make them count. Involve children in the production of paper decorations. It is not so difficult. You can find a lot of patterns on the Internet. And you can even turn a simple candy treat into a mathematical operation. What about giving children the task of putting this number of pieces of this, this number of that, and this number of that cookies on a plate. Or bring a certain number of teaspoons for coffee or tea. Take advantage of everything a child likes to do and try to involve math. You can use the language, for example, when writing a letter to Santa Claus, who clearly hates spelling mistakes. And Christmas fairy tales? These can also be used, especially for memory and attention. Watch them together and let the child retell what the fairy tale was about, who had a negative and positive character, or what the main character was called. And don't forget to ask for their own opinion. When the expected D-day comes, and the child eagerly runs to the tree, you can have him give gifts by name, thus practicing reading. He can also test his patience because he will unwrap his presents as the last. Do learning and Christmas go together? So now, let's try to answer that basic question: “Do learning and Christmas go together?” The previous lines show that it works. Only we must present it cleverly. Try to relax and not think about how many pages of text or textbook you still have to learn. Instead of the sentence: “I still have ninety-two pages to go,” use the sentence: “I have only ninety-two pages left.” You will see that changing one word can work wonders. Well… miracles probably not, but you will definitely benefit from looking at it from a different perspective. In conclusion, we want to wish you a peaceful holiday without accidents and with a smile on your face. But don't forget to learn, and if your child is going to high school or a multi-year grammar school, don't underestimate the preparation. Before you know it, January is here, and admission tests are getting closer and closer.

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