Frances van der Merwe, 11 Plus Tutor

Qualified Primary Teacher and 11+ Tutor


I’ve completed my Bachelor Primary Education (4-year degree) at University of Durban, South Africa ‘94,.  I taught Maths at High School Level for 1 year; Music at Independent School for 1year and Primary subjects from then on till I moved to UK in 2003 where I started teaching music at independent school.  I then move to an Preparatory School in Westclif on sea.  I was promoted to Senior Teacher after only one year of teaching year 1, to teach year 5 since September 2004.

My successes in this short time at the Preparatory School are described in the following initiatives:

  • Introduction of the 11+ course in October half term: This special crash-course before the 11+ is extremely popular and it is valued highly, not only by the children, but also by the parents.
  • The Ducklings project: This project was great fun and for months it was the centre of attention of the school – not to mention “Preparatory School in the News” when a large picture and article was published in the newspaper.
  • Guitar Club: This initiative of mine is still in such high demand that parents pay in advance for their children to join the club.
  • EssexFM Kids: It was so exciting to hear the children of the Preparatory School on EssexFM and I felt proud to be, not only associated with the school, but also that my work paid off in terms of recognition.
  • Year 6 Farewell: This dual purpose project each year (fundraising and organizing) is not only a very appropriate way to say “Good Bye” to the Year Six children, but it also advances the year Fives to a higher level of education in the form of taking responsibility for fundraising as well as the organizing and success of the evening.
  • Web-page: Many compliments have been received for the improvement of the school’s web-page – who has eventually given in to my nagging.
  • Other IT Initiatives: I’ve enjoyed supporting the office with various IT initiatives – especially the School’s letterhead and Compliment slip.

I started my own Tutoring Business, initially part time – after hours from home between 5:0pm and 9:00pm in the evenings – following the 11Plus curriculum.

In 2008 I have decided to do full-time tutoring – five days a week between 230 pm and 7:30pm.

My successes are:

  • Over 90% pass rate in the 11+ exams (in comparison with 70-80% from other organizations)
  • Fully booked with a long waiting list of parents who want me to tutor their children.

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