About Sacred e-Academy
Who are you?
I am a traditional Catholic who studied Classics and English Literature at Cambridge University (Selwyn College) in the 70s. I am keen to assist home-schooling families and have been tutoring in such a vocational manner since 2006, having previously spent several years as an IT manager.
Do you have any testimonies?
Yes. Here's a sample:
"Thank you so much for a fantastic term. The children and I have all really enjoyed your lessons. It is fantastic for me to have found someone who I can trust my children to. Your teaching is so clear and patient that even the younger ones are feeling very at home with the whole idea. I really do admire your patience!" (parent)
"In short you have been our lifesaver. I never thought I would or could take GCSEs, and you helped make it possible. Now I am able to move on in my life, go on to college and maybe onto university! I have also gained courage." (student)
"Just to say that we and our daughter are very happy with the excellent tuition you are giving her in Latin. We are very pleased with her progress." (parent)
"I just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful French lessons you have been providing for our daughter. She has really been enjoying them and seems to be progressing very well. In fact her knowledge is at least equal to some of her peers who have been studying French for much longer." (parent)
"It is such a relief to have a genuinely Catholic education without the cost being a major deciding factor." (parent)
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for a fantastic term of lessons. You certainly remain our godsend." (parent)
"I really appreciate all the wonderful teaching you've given me." (student)
How exactly does online tutoring work?
Pupils use a PC with broadband access and a webcam to join our online classes at stated times throughout the week. They share their 45-minute lessons with pupils from other families whom they will be able to see and talk to online. The tutor's computer screen functions like a classroom whiteboard, making lessons very dynamic. We use a variety of applications within our classes, including Microsoft PowerPoint.
Certain activities will be far easier for the children to accomplish if they can type. Get your children to touch-type early before bad habits set in, e.g. looking at the keyboard and using the wrong fingers. There are a lot free programs available, e.g. TypingClub.
Why the Sacred Head?
Devotion to any aspect of Our Lord's Sacred Humanity is always praiseworthy, but devotion to Our Lord's Sacred Head must surely rank above any other, including that to the Most Sacred Heart Itself. Such at least was the revelation granted to a humble British schoolteacher named Teresa Helena Higginson (1844-1905). I have made Lady Cecil Kerr's moving biography of her life available here.
In a time of global apostasy, when children are systematically diseducated by Our Lord's enemies, it seems appropriate to dedicate a Catholic educational apostolate to Our Lord's Most Sacred Head. For we are told that this is the Hearth of Eternal Clarities, the Sanctuary of Infinite Intelligence, and our Providence against Error. According to the twelve promises made to Teresa Higginson, blessed indeed are those who take this devotion to heart.
What is your view of British education today?
Few schools or colleges can be trusted with children nowadays. Modern 'education' is informed by the humanist conspiracy to remove God from society by brainwashing the young from their earliest years and subverting their intellect and morals. This subversion will be done subtly but remorselessly, enticing children to join a cultural proletariat of atheists, evolutionists, socialists, feminists, sexual deviants, etc, all itching to overthrow traditional Christian civilisation and assert their 'liberal' cultist values. Collaborating parents may see their children obtain academic qualifications, even degrees and doctorates, but even the most gifted of them will end up as half-baked, 'politically-correct' pseudo-intellectuals indoctrinated in moral relativism, in a word, 'useful idiots' of the soft judaeo-communism pushed by the cabalist Bank of Satan, whose wickedness surpasses even that of the talmudist Synagogue of Satan.
Hence the absolute necessity for parents to keep their children away from these dysfunctional institutions and to home-educate. This is certainly a challenge, but the burden is considerably lighter when families network with one other and make use of online apostolates such as this.
Do you tutor children from non-Catholic families?
Yes. All families are welcome provided that parents
ensure that their children carry out their homework assignments;
address any inadequate technical resources at their end in a timely manner;
appreciate that this is a genuinely traditional Catholic school, even though we gladly accommodate non-Catholics.
What exactly do you mean by "traditional Catholic"?
All genuine Catholics are traditional. Those who describe themselves as liberal, progressive, ecumenical or free-thinking are simply not Catholic at all. However, the term traditional Catholic is claimed by three distinct groups, each adopting a widely different view of the powers occupying the Vatican since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. These groups respectively regard the powers currently occupying the Vatican as:
Clearly these three positions are mutually contradictory. It follows, therefore, that only one of them can properly be termed traditional, the other two being pseudo-traditional. Now the true Catholic position ― that which genuinely holds to the Church's indefectibility, rejecting both heresy and schismatic disobedience ― is the third one. The first two positions not only violate established Catholic theological principles, they also aid and abet the apostasy by conferring credibility on the covert powers of freemasonry, the Harlot of the Apocalypse, who impersonates Christ's Immaculate Bride in the Last Times.
Today, given the transparently heretical nature of Antipope Francis' teaching, our school no longer regards pseudo-traditionalists as having any claim to the title of 'Catholic' at all. For to accept Christ's heretical enemies as fellow Christians (no matter how begrudgingly) is effectively to condone their apostasy and to lend them all the credibility they need in the eyes of the world to attack God's Church. None of us is authorized to recognize as a Catholic (let alone as a pope!) someone who systematically preaches a false gospel and is therefore anathema (Ga 1.8-9). To do so would constitute mortal sin.
For further evidence of the sedes vacans position, visit the VaticanCatholic website and its associated Youtube channel. True Catholics will study these arguments prayerfully, undeterred by the toxic advice of false traditionalists who made up their minds long ago that they would never accept the sedes vacans position, no matter how good the evidence was. For those interested in learning more, I would be very pleased to discuss such matters further with you. True Catholics discuss matters of religon openly and fearlessly, spurred on as they are by charity for souls, not by fear or human respect.
What are the most important things I can do to educate my children?
What subjects do you cover at GCSE level?
What subjects do you cover at A-level?
How many lessons will my children require each week?
Between one and three per subject. Much depends (i) on the subject studied and (ii) the gap to be covered to attain your goals.
Do you teach Ancient History or Classical Civilisation?
No longer. These subjects were formerly in our GCSE curriculum. They were withdrawn because controlled assessment is now mandated for both. Controlled assessment discriminates against home-schoolers, as few if any exam centres permit external candidates to take part in their controlled assessment sessions.
Home-schoolers may consider studying Classical Civilisation or Ancient History to AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level. Such AS levels may be regarded as 'advanced GCSEs', halfway between standard GCSEs and 'A' levels. Indeed, school league-tables take full account of AS levels taken early (by the age of 16); they treat them as equivalent to 2 GCSEs! Note that the Classical Civilisation and Ancient History syllabuses involve the purchase of a great many books. Fortunately, many of the texts can be downloaded cheaply (if not freely), although not necessarily in the particular translations recommended by the exam board. A dedicated e-book reader may be of service here.
Do you teach Modern History?
No. I believe that much of what passes for modern history is not genuine history at all but rather a propaganda narrative deliberately contrived to deceive. Its essential purpose is not educational at all; rather, it's a form of social engineering. Its key aim is to conceal the activities of a hidden moneyed cabal fanatically bent since the late 18th century on dismantling Christendom and imposing a worldwide antichristic, totalitarian government.
Long-term exposure to this kind of academic propaganda is very difficult to unlearn, particularly if one dreads ridicule. And ridicule there will be! For such is the punishment meted out to genuine historians who refuse to genuflect before historical myths so little evidence-based that they require to be be propped up by money and persecutory legislation.
Anne Carroll's Christ the King, Lord of History avoids many of these errors, but by no means all. Nonetheless, I know of no better general history textbook for children at this time.
For parents and older students Mike King's The Bad War (predictably banned on Amazon) and Planet Rothschild are useful introductions to understanding how modern history really operates.
What is a Classical Education?
A truly comprehensive Christian classical education has at its heart the study of Latin and Ancient Greek, the two key subjects which English Grammar Schools were founded to teach. The necessity of studying both of the classical languages is what the ancients called the doctrina duplex (twofold teaching). Just as birds cannot soar to the heavens on one wing alone, neither can we achieve the educational heights that God is inviting us to by only mastering Latin. Greek is indispensable.
At what age should my children take GCSEs?
Up to the 20th century, students would generally reach the equivalent of GCSE standard around 14 and seek to enter university around 16. This suggests that modern British education has inserted two fallow years into the syllabus. And the American approach has inserted four! That is, if a High School Diploma is to be regarded as only equivalent to 5 good GCSEs.
So aim to take GCSE exams at 14 or 15 if possible, but don't be unduly concerned if children with learning difficulties or weak schooling aren't ready till 18 or 19.
How many GCSE subjects would you recommend children to take?
I suggest pupils seek to to excel in a few GCSEs rather than to perform with mediocrity in many. By minimising the number of GCSEs taken, children should have time for more important studies like Christian doctrine, the Sacred Scriptures, and Church history. Strictly speaking, universities only require two 'good' GCSEs: Maths and English Language.
What is your policy regarding IGCSEs?
Hundreds of independent schools prefer the International GCSEs to ordinary GCSEs, since they regard their exam standards as more rigorous, particularly in maths and the sciences. Home-schoolers also prefer IGCSEs because they offer an exam-only route, i.e. one where there is no controlled assessment.
To avoid the bane of controlled assessment, I offer IGCSE tuition in all subjects apart from Latin and Greek which are only offered by the OCR board.
Do you tutor in Higher-tier or Foundation-tier GCSEs?
I recommend that home-schooled pupils not attempt the Foundation-tier exams, as these will limit their maximum grade to C. Furthermore, attaining Foundation GCSEs as opposed to Higher GCSEs can work against the interests of students by positively advertising their academic shortcomings.
Where will my children sit their exams?
You will need to find an exam centre ― usually a local school ― for your children to sit their exams as private candidates.
If you live in the UK, click on the map to the left to find an Edexcel exam centre near you.
If you live in the Republic of Ireland, click on the map on the right instead.
Some of these schools may also support GCSE Latin and Greek even though these are OCR-board-only exams.
For further information contact your Local Education Authority. They should be able to send you a list of accommodating schools. Remember that schools accept private exam candidates at their discretion. You will need to contact schools directly and give them precise details of the exam: subject, exam board, exam code, season (winter/summer), and whether your child requires "special arrangements", e.g. extra time for dyslexia. They may well levy an administration fee for their services. If you still cannot find a school to accommodate your children, consider a private exam centre.
Do you mark essays?
Essays may be set for our classes in Eng Lang, Latin and Greek.
Ocasionally I review these within the class, but I do not mark essays outside of
class. Essay-marking is a very time-consuming business, so I have to rely on the
student's home-school to cover the basic requirements of writing English clearly
and expressively. Students are strongly encouraged to read their essays back to
themselves and to court active criticism from their family and friends.
How much do you charge for lessons?
I operate a specially discounted scheme based on the number of students on each course. Here are our new prices from September 2016.
After five students, the charge reduces by 10p for each extra child until, with 15 students, a minimum charge of £1.00 per lesson is reached. This pricing structure is designed to encourage the sharing of classes.
Lessons are 45-50 minutes in length. Try-out lessons are sometimes offered for free.
Can two of my children share lessons?
Yes. Two children can share the same computer screen. The second child is charged at half price, although he/she does not increase the overall pupil count on which each family's charge is based. In practice, this works out as follows:
Others in Class
A wide screen makes screen-sharing an even more viable option.
Where more than two children share a screen, there is no extra charge for the third child onwards, and they are excluded from the student count on which fees are based.
Do you provide an online account statement?
Yes. Click the Statement link on the home page. To access your details, you'll first need to obtain your username and password from me.
Consult your account statement a few hours after you've made payment if you wish to see how your transaction has fared.
How will I pay you?
The easiest method is by online banking. Once you've set me up as a payee using details below, you will be able to make online payments with ease. If you haven't made online bank transfers before, you may need to obtain a card-reader from you bank so that you can set me up as a new payee.
If you're transferring money from outside the UK, you may also need the following details:
May I use PayPal to pay you?
Yes, but please note the following very carefully, otherwise you could lose money:
How often should I pay you?
If your fees are less than £100 per term, a single payment at the end of each term suffices. Otherwise a minimum of two payments per term (e.g. at half-term and end of term) would be appreciated.
Please note that I don't issue invoices, as I rely upon you to check your online statement periodically.
What happens if my children miss a class?
If your children miss a shared class for any reason, then, providing there is still a quorum, the class will proceed as usual, the same tuition fees will be levied plus a ?1.50 surcharge for the video recording made for your children to watch using our CatchUp link. This avoids other families having to pay more to cover the costs of your children's non-attendance.
If there is not quorum and insufficient notice has been given to me of your children's non-attendance, a ?3 non-attendance fee will be levied (sharable with other non-attending families).
What computer hardware do I need?
You will need a personal computer (i.e. Windows PC or Linux PC or Apple Mac), a broadband Internet connection, a webcam, microphone, and speakers. Many webcams have inbuilt microphones, so it may not be necessary to purchase a separate microphone.
If just one child in your family os attending the class, it is best for them to use a headset with its own inbuilt microphone. This will give the highest quality sound both for the child individually and for the whole class, since it will eliminate all background noise and audio echo.
How do I download Skype for Business?
The first time you link to one of our online classes, you will automatically be prompted to install the free Skype for Business web app. If you are using Internet Explorer rather than Chrome or Firefox, make sure it is the standard Destkop version you are using, not the touch-friendly Mobile version. You should see a screen like the following:
You can enter any guest name you like. It's nothing more than the name by which your children wish to be known during class, and it can be changed any time you acccess the class. That said, it's inadvisable to keep changing your guest name, as everyone time you do so, you will lose any settings you made when previously running the application.
Make sure that both check boxes are ticked: Remember me and Install Skype for Business Web App plug-in. Then click on Join the meeting. You will now be prompted to install the plug-in. Give it all the permissions it needs, including access to your microphone and webcam. You should then be taken directly into the meeting room.
Can I use ordinary Skype?
No. Despite the similarity of name and interface, that's a different application, and it doesn't support all the things we do in class.
Is there anything I can do to improve audio-visual performance during classes?
Yes. Here's a list of things you should check: