WHAT PARENTS AND STUDENTS SAY ABOUT FIONA
Fiona has been and continues to be, invaluable help to us all throughout the past 3 years. Supporting our newly-diagnosed dyslexic son throughout his A-levels felt like a minefield: as parents, we had begun to lower our expectations for him as he battled through lack of motivation and a pandemic. Fiona’s support completely changed our perceptions of not only what he should do but also what he COULD do.
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Fiona has been and continues to be, invaluable help to us all throughout the past 3 years. Supporting our newly-diagnosed dyslexic son throughout his A-levels felt like a minefield: as parents, we had begun to lower our expectations for him as he battled through lack of motivation and a pandemic. Fiona’s support completely changed our perceptions of not only what he should do but also what he COULD do. An independent, bright and ambitious young man emerged over the course of Fiona’s mentoring, and he is now studying at his first-choice university. It was so pleasing to notice on our first visit to see him at uni that despite his ongoing challenges as a dyslexic student, he was still using Fiona’s methods of timetabling, revision planning and organisational strategies. Fiona is now working with our youngest son, supporting him in preparing for his GCSEs. She provides a welcome support in motivating, challenging and supporting students at what can be an overwhelming time in terms of parent/teenager relationships! I would highly recommend Fiona’s services.
Year 13 and Year 11 parent
I have used Fiona for both of my children. My daughter is currently studying at her first choice University. My son, who hates school is being gently coaxed through revising for his GCSES. My children are very different but Fiona has found a way to get alongside both of them and encourage them to do their best.
Fiona, like all of us, knows that teenagers know EVERYTHING but somehow when she advises them it is not nagging. Do yourselves a favour fellow parents and outsource the nagging.
A level and GCSE mentoring parent
Fiona at Student Navigator (SN) made a huge difference to our daughter securing her chosen university
place and future career path. They explored career options together, her learning style and then put
together plans on how to maximise her chances of success. Plans included targeting work experience,
detailed development of her personal statement and practice interviews.
As parents we were naive and unable to provide this level of advice and even if we could have providing
this to your own daughter is difficult at best. Happily, she is now settled in to her course and is thriving.
Our son is now embarking on the journey with SN and he is already much more focussed.
In a world where competition is greater than ever before SN makes a difference and has been money
well spent for us.
Year 13 parent
“Whilst studying for my A-levels there were quite a few moments when it all seemed too much, I was extremely lucky to have Fiona there to help. In our sessions she would check in on how I was doing in my subjects, working out where I was doing well and where needed a bit more attention. Fiona would then help me develop a plan of action to achieve smaller goals, without getting panicked about the larger picture.
When it came to personal statements and university applications I had become very singled minded in what I wanted to do and hadn’t considered all the options, thankfully Fiona was there to make sure I had everything I needed if I did change my mind. As Fiona predicted; I did, so when the time came there was no last minute panic to get everything together.
Throughout my A-levels Fiona was always there when I needed support, encouragement and help with assignments I couldn’t get my head around. She taught me good habits and skills that I look forward continuing to use when I start studying at University in September.”
Year 13 student
Fiona supported my son through his A Level studies during the pandemic. We found her to be
positive, encouraging, kind, knowledgeable, pragmatic and challenging where needed. It was my
son’s choice to continue working with her throughout, as he found her support to be helpful. In a
school environment where support for the individual can be lost, working with Fiona was
invaluable, in helping him with his studies and preparing for exams, with making university choices
and with his university personal statement.
Year 13 parent
Fiona from student navigator was so helpful throughout her time from GSCE’s to A level as my
mentor. She guided me through my studies by helping me find my own effective study methods,
really boosting my confidence and motivation, and improving my organisation skills. When I was
choosing my undergraduate degree, she guided me through the difficult decision-making and
application process. Fiona helped me become a generally better student, allowing me to smash my
A levels and get into my top uni! Thank you
Year 13 student
Fiona’s session was so useful – for my son, but also for me as a parent. The session established
homework routines and habits that have supported the transition into high school. Fiona gave
really good advice about navigating new subjects, teachers and classmates, and left my son
feeling much more confident and prepared for life as a Y7 student.
Year 7 transition session
We found the mentoring extremely helpful for our son, whose autism affects his executive
functioning, meaning we needed a lot of help to get him organised. He had the additional challenge
of feeling overwhelmed by stress at times. I found you calm, patient and positive, inspiring
confidence in in our son’s ability to succeed.
Year 13 parent
Our son’s words:
Fiona was always very understanding of my issues, helped me manage my time more efficiently,
helped me understand some topics that I was struggling with and was always very patient despite
my limited understanding of some of the topics we were covering. She was very organised and
efficiently kept track of all the issues I raised with my subjects, consistently bringing them up and
trying to help me through them weeks after I had initially mentioned them to her.
Year 13 student
My son and I visited Fiona as we were struggling to decide which GCSE subject options my son
should take. As always she was amazing; in a calm and relaxing environment she discussed all the
subjects my son was currently doing, which subjects he enjoyed and which he didn’t and the
reasons behind each. She then talked through options he was considering and by looking at his
strengths and weaknesses helped him choose which subjects would suit him best. She had
extensive knowledge of the school and exam board they use which helped us. We arrived feeling
confused and worried but left relaxed and happy that we had really made an educated decision
that would suit. Can’t recommend Fiona enough.
GCSE choices session
Having Student Navigator help me with my Statement helped take the stress out of applying for
Year 13 student
My daughter was unsure about what subject to study at Uni but Student Navigator helped her
work through some ideas and thoughts which meant she was able to confidently apply
Year 13 Parent
When studying for A levels, choosing a university and writing a personal statement, Fiona was hugely supportive and helpful. Though I found year 13 particularly difficult, Fiona provided me with the right tools and guidance to help me adapt. As a result, I had a very successful year and achieved all the goals we set together. Fiona taught me the valuable skills of planning my weeks, motivating myself and learning from failure. She provided me with the courage and confidence to apply for more challenging universities than I had considered. I will be eternally grateful to Fiona for using her expertise to help me reach my full potential and encouraging me to challenge myself.
Before starting my sessions with Fiona I felt lost with what I wanted to do in life. I had been through
a lot of disappointment with A Levels and thinking of discussing what I wanted to do in my future
education was a difficult topic for me.
However, 20 minutes into my first session with Fiona she
made me feel reassured and supported. I could see how hard Fiona was working to understand my
enjoyments and interests in life. Fiona is incredible at helping you figure out what might interest
you, and aid you through the application process.
After feeling lost, she help me to find the
excitement in finding the course that was suitable to me. I was very impressed with how she
helped me to write my personal statement, it felt easy to write as with her help I had chosen a
course that best suited me. I would highly recommend Fiona’s service as she was a great help to
my journey through applying to university.
Gap year UCAS student
Fiona really helped me with my revision technique. She also helped with work motivation throughout my 2 years of A levels. Fiona was a massive support & source of great advice throughout my UCAS application. I think I would have really struggled without her knowledge to lead me.
Business and Management Undergraduate
Fiona gave my son the direction and confidence necessary for GCSE success. When he wasn’t sure what type of revision to do, her guidance took away his uncertainty and allowed him to just get on with it. To be the best he could be. Oh and it meant no mother/son disputes (rows) over how much work was actually needed. A big bonus!!
I cannot recommend Fiona enough.
Parent of GCSE and A’level Students
When our son decided to study medicine we didn’t realise how hard it would be to get an offer.
Achieving a high UCAT score is essential and also applying strategically as each Medical school
applies different criteria. This is where Fiona’s expertise is so invaluable. She went though all of
our son’s preferences and application and cross checked these with criteria for each medical
school. This maximised his chances of being selected for interview. The application process is a
rollercoaster but resulted in a place at our son’s preferred university. We were grateful for Fiona’s
input and advice.
Parent of Medicine applicant
I first began seeing Fiona during year 11 in order to get some support for my GCSEs, since then she has guided me through GCSEs, A-levels and the university application process to secure a place studying medicine.
During sessions we would reflect on progress and setbacks in each subject. We discussed revision techniques which worked and put in place systems that I used to revise and complete work in a way which was manageable, achievable and worked for me.
Fiona helped me to plan out my revision and school work in a way which was less daunting and focused on my ultimate goal. She helped my to see my work as a whole rather then getting bogged down in small details. I was helped to focus on my progress towards that goal and identify the areas that needed prioritising and how we would go about this.
When it came to the university application process for medicine Fiona was extremely knowledgable and helped to guide me with my personal statement, interview practice and even choosing universities.
Fiona provided me with something I could not have accessed at school. She had taught me skills and instilled habits which I have taken to university and will do beyond that.
I have been so impressed with Fiona’s ability to carefully guide and advise my sons through GCSE’s , A levels and University applications. Her detailed knowledge of the curriculum and examination structures combined with her clear advice on how to organise revision, school workload and approach exams are invaluable.I can see my sons have benefited from Fiona’s positive, non judgmental approach. As a parent this helps you support them more effectively through exams at what can be a stressful time for them and you. The mentoring provides a safe space for students, away from the school environment, to explore how best they can feel confident in their own ability regardless of their academic attainment.
Parent of GCSE and A’level Student
Fiona Maida was a rock of support, advice and guidance throughout my two years at Sixth Form. Where my Sixth Form could not support me in making tough decisions about my future or offer crucial feedback needed to help me improve, Fiona was invaluable! Fiona supported me in writing my personal statement and it allowed me to feel proud of my achievements. I was able to dramatically improve my mock exam grades for the exams which really counted, through simple steps which Fiona clearly laid out for me. But most importantly, Fiona supported every single one of my dreams and ambitions and not only believed in me but helped me to identify what my true aspirations were. I am now at my first choice of University, something I never believed I was confident enough to do. Fiona gave me the freedom to aim for the stars but the advice to ground me in order to make those goals a reality. I cannot recommend Fiona enough.
We are fortunate to have had Fiona recommended to us to help our 15 year old son build his academic confidence and improve his general organizational skills. We do not live in the UK so my son has been speaking to Fiona via FaceTime since August. Fiona is extremely well organised and is committed to understanding my son’s specific needs and in this relatively short space of time she has built a very good working relationship with him. We are already seeing a big improvement in his work habits and overall willingness to engage with his school subjects. Fiona has managed to actually get him talking constructively about his school subjects and assignments, and by setting clear realistic weekly schedules for him to follow, he has become more responsible about making sure he gets his work done.
Where we, as his parents, seem to create anxiety every time we ask about how school is going or attempt to help if he is struggling with something Fiona is able to connect with him in a way that is productive and stress free. We are so grateful that we have been able to make this work long-distance and are looking forward to continuing in 2019.
Parent of International Baccalaureate Student
I was lucky enough to come across Fiona when my daughter was studying for her GCSEs and there was a sense that some outside help with planning would help ease stress levels. The advice and strategies Fiona gave at this stage were invaluable and the goals my daughter had set herself started to feel achievable.
At the same time my eldest was writing his personal statement for university applications, and as I had little understanding of the system I asked Fiona for some advice. Fiona guided him through the UCAS application process in a way that allowed him to express his individuality and show the real reason for choosing the course he wanted to do. He found the session very useful and was more than happy to have a few more to help structure revision planning and review his methods of working.
After success in her GCSEs, my daughter continued to see Fiona through sixth form for support with A level choices, and the UCAS application process for Medicine. Fiona helped with interview technique, revision strategies, and crucial reflection on learning progress.
I can confidently say that Fiona’s approach has helped my children to become independent learners who are able to plan and execute the workloads that are demanded of them at school, university and beyond. Having a trusted mentor outside the family has complimented the support and encouragement we give as parents, and our children would themselves wholeheartedly recommend Fiona.
Parent of GCSE and A’level Students
It has been such a relief to have Fiona mentor my daughter. Fiona is so experienced in many different aspects in education from teaching and training to marking exam papers.
She has an insight into the whole world of studying and exams which I don’t have. She has assessed how my daughter learns best and worked with her to form a revision plan which is achievable. I have seen her confidence grow after each mentoring session.
Parent of GCSE and A’level Student
Fiona was recommended to me by a friend after she worked with their son through his A Levels and during his university applications. My daughter is a year 11 student, who was struggling to focus, she didn’t really know what and how to revise, so although she is bright she was not achieving her full potential. My nagging was not having the desired effect, so I engaged Fiona’s mentoring service. Somehow Fiona has managed to get alongside my daughter and assist her to focus, giving her support and boosting her confidence in her abilities.
Parent of GCSE Student
Fiona helped my son both with his application to university (including Cambridge) and with organising his course work and revision for the last year of his A levels. He had been diagnosed with dyspraxia in the summer before he started working with Fiona so had some additional needs which Fiona was more than able to help him with.
In the sessions they focussed on getting a realistic timetable of what needed to be done which included plenty or rest and down time. It was so helpful for him to have an overview of the tasks ahead of him and structure in how to fulfil these in the time he had available. Fiona had the knowledge, confidence and insight to make sure that my son had a time table which reflected this need and which took into consideration his other commitments. He was not the only beneficiary of Fiona’s help, as a parent it made this process much easier for us.
Specifically, Fiona mentored my son through the application process to university. She helped him to meet his deadlines and to prepare an excellent personal statement which picked out the salient points whilst being directly about my son. She also helped to prepare him for his interview at Cambridge University by arranging a mock interview with herself and a solicitor who had previously attended Cambridge.
My son and I would have no hesitation in recommending Fiona to other students going through this process. His year long mentoring had a very positive impact on him; he was more organised, focussed and confident about his abilities. As a result he was able to perform well in his A levels and is now studying English at Nottingham University. He continues to use the many skills he practiced with Fiona in his work at university.
Mentoring with Fiona was time and money well spent and will be something we will look in to again when our daughter is at this stage in her education.
PARENT OF A’LEVEL STUDENT
Fiona was an enormous help to all of us throughout the 2 years of my son’s A levels. Unfortunately, he was extremely unwell & faced many challenges on a daily basis. This had a very negative effect on his academic life. Fiona always lifted his morale & made the impossible seem achievable. Actually, I think she successfully calmed us all down & helped us to gain perspective, when things became particularly overwhelming. Fiona helped my son with his organisation, revision & was invaluable when it came to helping him to compose his personal statement. I think his personal statement was a significant factor in his gaining 2 unconditional offers.
Parent of A’Level Student
Fiona’s help was invaluable, particularly for me as a single mum, she really kept us on track and focused, I found it so reassuring and she was always so lovely, relaxed and welcoming (was probably the only time that my daughter really allowed me some insight into her school work). Again when it came to selecting a course, my daughter was very undecided and, once again Fiona came to our assistance by provided an extra mentoring session that clinched the deal and my daughter is now happily studying at University. Fiona was a real life saver helping us steer a course through it all. She really is a star.
Parent of GCSE and A’level Student
Fiona has a huge talent for supporting students in defining and achieving their goals. As a parent of three young adults, I have seen that sixth form can be a challenging time for students (and parents!); choosing the right subjects to study, adapting to the increased workload, being organised, developing effective study and revision skills, thinking through their future options and writing an outstanding personal statement to secure their university of choice.
Having Fiona’s support has enabled my children to flourish in the sixth form and beyond.The regular sessions gave me the confidence that they were making the necessary progress and hitting important milestones to achieve their goals. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Parent of A’level Students
Applying to study Medicine can be a daunting prospect. I found the personally tailored advice and guidance by Fiona on preparing a personal statement, studying techniques, which universities to apply for and interview preparations very invaluable. She was able to highlight my weak areas and helped to boost my confidence. I am certain that Fiona’s help was essential in my securing three invitations for interviews at Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool and comes highly recommended.