Dear Families and Friends, With summer finally here and day and boarding school results pretty much finalised, I would like to summarise Metal Rocks’ most recent results. Overall, I am very pleased that each of my students received an offer of a place at his or her top choice school and most have multiple offers. This is an amazing achievement given that there is NO pre-selection of students; they realised their potential as a result of hard work and parental support. These amazing results wouldn’t have been possible without the parents’ involvement and acceptance of my recommendations, so thank you parents! It is always an emotional, stressful journey for all involved (myself included) in the months and years leading up to entrance exams and interviews. This year was no different. One grateful mother, with tears of joy dropping onto her son’s Offer Letter, called me “the child whisperer” which, I replied, was a bit of a misnomer given my raised voice during some sessions. So what can we say about this year’s admissions round? A few themes emerge. First and foremost, the nuclear arms’ race to get into the “top” day and boarding schools continue unabated, making Oxbridge admissions seem like the proverbial vicar’s tea party. In addition, more international students are applying from the emerging economies, especially China, Russia and Eastern Europe. One parent lamented that her child’s new class in September 2018 is not British enough: she spotted perhaps 1 British sounding name. I don’t think this trend will stop any time soon. As a result of this increased competition, I am seeing more parents plan more and more in advance (I met with the parents of a two year-old last week), responding rationally to the incentive structure that schools have wittingly or not presented to them. It is the winner-take-all society for six year-olds. The UK now spends more on private school tuition than any country in the developed world, and the trend is one way. This past twelve months for Metal Rocks was not only about school places. I am happy to write about a child we moved from the bottom of the year to the overall top 15% (and fourth in the class in year-end Maths exam) over a period of 5 months! Or the girl who previously struggled to write a story and last week won her year’s creative writing competition. I could describe a few dozen more impactful examples, which is why this work is so personally rewarding. For those going to new schools in September, good luck on your new adventure. For those still with exams in 3-6 months time, summer is the time to buckle down and study. Lastly, for those beginning this journey over the next 12 months and beyond (yes, I have Year 1 students!), let’s get started!!