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Doing the 11+? Meet your child’s new online BFF

Entering your child into grammar or private school exams and steeling yourself for eye-watering tuition fees and homework battles? Relax your shoulders (and, er, put the gin bottle back) - here are 5 reasons new online platform Paideia can help.


How many of us have invested wads of money in music lessons, drama classes and sports clubs for our reluctant kids? Three children and 19 years in, I can tell you from experience that unless they enjoy what they’re doing, it’s just a waste of money (fact: my daughter learned the piano for 3 years and still couldn’t find middle C). And when it comes to spending money on academic tuition, you can magnify that logic by a thousand. No child will willingly spend hours slogging it out on a subject that’s already giving them problem – but online learning platform Paideia has some tricks up its sleeve to keep them engaged.

Launched last year, and aimed squarely at helping kids pass the 11+ grammar school tests or private school exams, it bucks the trend of long, boring lessons, instead offering bite-sized chunks of curated six-minute tutorials – the optimal learning time frame for children between 9 to 12 years to fully immerse themselves and concentrate, according to Paideia’s research.

Interestingly, the platform uses actors to play the (expert scripted) role of the teachers, meaning that the person on the other side of the screen is charismatic, warm and supportive, and the kids don’t know he/she isn’t a tutor! And gaming techniques are integral to the site – clearly, that’s catnip to your reluctant learner, and most of us with kids have come to see that gaming, used correctly, can be as much friend as foe.


Want to check that Paideia is backed by some educational rigour? Say hi to Isabelle Waring, the London-based Mensa member, former barrister and educational consultant who created Paideia after 10 years as a top private tutor.

The numbers don’t lie! 100% of Isabelle’s students have been accepted to at least one of their top three schools, and a cool 95% achieve all three (that’s, like, phenomenal), including a 100% success rate at Wycombe Abbey and 100% callbacks for Winchester and Eton, so it’s fair to say she knows what she’s doing. Isabelle has recruited the very best educators and exam writers to develop Paideia’s programme according to her unique method and expertise. In 2021-22, 100% of Paideia’s students were called back to at least one of their top three choice schools.


There are plenty of computer-based tutoring services these days, but it’s rare to find one that’s given equal thought to how parents can use the system as well as the children: letting you track your child’s progress without breaking into a techy sweat. There’s a well-designed, easily navigable dashboard for parents with all topics set, clear scoring, plus three areas where your child is exceeding and three areas they need help with. It’s super-helpful and keeps things simple enough to allow parents to engage and assist, rather than just worry or nag.


One of the fears with computer-based learning is there’s no interactivity or understanding of how to bring a child ‘on’ based on their knowledge level. The Paideia software offers completely adaptive lessons based on your child’s starting point and where he/she needs to get to academically, taking into account the schools you’re aiming for.

There’s a preliminary assessment that explores their strengths, weaknesses and goals before personalised digital lessons begin each week, typically 3-4 of the bitesize classes, supplemented with customised worksheets, practice exam questions that adapt to their ability and weekly live Zoom Masterclasses.

Paideia tailors a unique learning programme for each child so you can be sure it will fit your goals and time expectations. There’s a premium version (isn’t there always!) that also offers an additional two one-to-one video calls each month for more hands-on support from one of the education team, plus Isabelle’s personal involvement with a monthly parent Q&A.


Anyone who’s been through the tutoring process for 11+ will know the eye-watering sums involved, particularly if you’ve been on the treadmill for a year or more. Comparatively, Paideia is a total steal. The standard version is £95 per month (£1026 per year), with the premium version £135 per month (£1458 per year) and you can cancel a subscription without any hassle; you’re not tied in for any length of time.

And of course, this being Muddy, you might well be the lucky reader for whom this tuition platform costs zero – because our latest Reader Treat is giving away 18 months’ premium Paideia tuition for your child worth *£2187!* Enter here in seconds and tick tuition off 2022-3’s worry list.

You can book a free consultation with Isabelle here to see how she might be able to help you organise your child’s 11+ prep.

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