Information for Parents and Students
Tutor not teacher
Tutoring differs from teaching in a school because the skills and approach needed are:
- one-to-one personal interaction
- flexibility in teaching style to fit each student
- tutoring at a pace to fit each student
- often tutoring topics which were not understood in school
- practising learning and exam techniques
A good relationship tends to develop between tutor and student so that the association is one of friend and mentor.
Amount of tutoring required
We usually have three kinds of tutoring arrangements:
Weekly tuition: This regular one-hour tuition is a supplement to a student’s schooling and ensures that the student understands and learns the subject week by week as he/she attends school. It can compensate for insufficient individual attention due to large class size, difficulty in grasping concepts or poor motivation.
Catch-up sessions: These are useful to review the student’s grasp of a concept. They allow the student to “catch up” and to thoroughly understand a topic which was causing problems.
Exam preparation: This is useful before internal exams, mocks or formal exams. The tuition required will depend on the level such as GCSE or A level. Extra tuition is useful to reduce feelings of panic and loss of confidence. Exam techniques can be practised.
Tuition is not a quick-fix solution. The amount of tuition required will depend on the needs, aptitude and effort of each student.
Many students have dyslexia and this is usually no problem in one-to-one tutoring. If the student has special needs, these should be discussed to see if we can help.
Homework, practice papers and urgent questions.
Some students ask for extra homework. Homework sheets can be supplied but discussion of completed work will be done during the tutoring session.
The best way to practise exam questions is for the student to have his/her own set of exam practice books or papers. The student is then in control of his/her learning. The tutor will help the student to approach and correctly answer the question.
If a situation occurs where urgent help is needed, the student can usually contact the tutor by email.
Students who cannot be helped
Parents can employ a tutor but if the student does not want to learn or cooperate, tuition will be unsuccessful.
A student who expects the tutor to do his/her homework or coursework will be disappointed. A tutor will not do the homework or coursework for the student but can explain the subject and advise on methods which could be used to complete a task.
Having a tutor is not a guarantee of a good exam pass. The tutor explains the subject to make it understandable and easier to learn but the student needs to study and practise to pass the exam.
A tutor is also not an encyclopaedia or quiz participant who is there just to answer specific questions.
Do the parents need to be at home?
Parents must be at home for the first tutoring session so that they can meet the tutor and discuss the kind of help that is needed, the day and hours preferred and any special circumstances.
Ideally an adult should be at home during a tutoring session. If parents are working, this can be discussed.
From time to time it is useful for the student, tutor and parent to discuss progress at the beginning or end of a session.
What facilities are needed?
We need a table and chairs and a quiet area for study. This could be in the kitchen, sitting room, dining room, hall or other appropriate room where the student can concentrate.
The student should have his/her exercise books and textbooks at home together with some lined paper and a pen. For ICT lessons we may need access to a computer.
The tutor may advise the student to buy a revision book, practice papers or download parts of the syllabus from the Internet.
Mobile phones should be turned off!
Before tutoring begins the tutor and parent will agree an hourly rate and travel expenses, if applicable.
The fee charged will depend on the level of tutoring required. Each tutor quotes an hourly rate within our recommended range.
Payment is made to the tutor for each tuition lesson. This can be either by cheque or in cash. A receipt will be given if requested.
The tutor will make every effort to attend each appointment on time. If there are traffic hold-ups as the tutor is driving in after-school/evening rush hours and the tutor arrives a little late, the student will always receive the one hour session.
If you cancel the day before the tutoring session (24 hours notice) the tutor will try to reschedule for another evening.
If you cancel during the day of the tutoring session you should expect to pay the tutor, as it is impossible to schedule another student for that time slot.
If you decide you want to cancel all tutoring arrangements or want to change the frequency, the parent (not the student) informs the tutor.