Over the past 12 months, lockdowns have led hundreds of parents and carers to turn to private tuition to help young people keep up with their academic pursuits. One-to-one tutors are in a unique position of being able to provide instant, individualised feedback to pupils and help prevent them from making mistakes. Many pupils find that they make more progress in a single one-to-one session than they would over a week of lessons in a bigger class. At Cardiff & Vale Tutors, we try to work with pupil’s teachers to ensure that the work we do complements the excellent work done in the classroom.
The easiest way that tutors can help a pupil flourish at school is by providing support while the young person completes their homework. Many pupils struggle with homework and, for some children, it can become a source of significant anxiety. A professional tutor can ask thought-provoking questions and correct misunderstandings to ensure that the pupil completes the homework to the best of their ability. Adding a note at the bottom of the homework to let the teacher know that a tutor helped the young person with the work can help teachers become more aware of which topics they are struggling with.
Sometimes tutors and teachers choose to cover the same topic and hope that the tutor sessions complement the lessons with the teacher. However, sometimes it can be useful for the tutor to focus on a unrelated topic. For example, a maths teacher might be focusing on algebra, while the tutor uses their sessions to revise shapes and areas. Constantly revising will help the pupil to remember other topics from the course and maintain their interest.
A learning journal is a small notebook or piece of paper that the pupil has next to them in lessons. This journal allows them to make short notes on what they have been learning about in school; the pupil can also make notes (or draw a smiley face) to remind themselves of what they have been struggling with and what they have been finding easy. The tutor can then look at the journal and decide which topic would benefit from more intense, one-on-one focus.
Tutors can communicate with teachers to make sure that the teacher is aware of which teaching strategies will work particularly well with the pupil. This communication helps the professionals to share their expertise and experience. If the teacher knows that a pupil has access to a tutor, they can ask the tutor to revisit areas that the pupil needs to focus on. Clear communication with teachers can save the tutor time and ensure that the sessions are as helpful as possible.
This blog is by Sam Heaton, our English GCSE and A level Tutor. Sam is a graduate of Durham Univeristy and a QTS Teacher of English with a P.G.C.E. From Manchester University.
The photo is by Anita Jankovic.
Keywords: School, partnership, tutors, learning, homework, support,assessments.