Tuition is growing in popularity all across the country and it’s a sign of how effective one-on-one and small group support can be. When you work with a child so closely, you’re able to tailor to their needs with specialist tuition. This can happen in a unique way that simply isn’t possible in the classroom. Tuition is most commonly used around exam time, for example the 11+, SAT’s, GCSE’s etc. That’s absolutely fine in itself and can offer specific support in subjects where students may need to be challenged or to revise further.
However, tuition is certainly not just for exam time and, because it’s possible to tailor so much in tuition lessons, it’s perhaps best used more broadly. Schools have to meet particular targets, specific books have to be read and exam syllabuses have to be obeyed. Tutors do not have these limitations. Tutors can support outside of the academic curriculum and can tailor to your child’s needs.
Whilst, I value education in all its forms – I am perhaps most passionate about the arts subjects. It saddens me that history is often not covered in any great detail in many primary schools today. I agree it’s important for children to learn about the World Wars, but they often can’t place this contextually. They don’t have any real sense of how recent that was or how it still impacts our lives today. History should ideally be about learning from the past, seeing how events act as catalysts for others and developing empathy. If you’re simply learning a series of facts, that isn’t possible. Likewise with English! There are many brilliant English teachers working tirelessly across the country to inspire children with literature. However, when you get to Year 6 you can often find yourself under the looming pressure of SAT’s and more interested in fronted adverbials than forming ideals.
It may be the right decision to have a tutor help your child prepare for an exam. Sometimes that little extra support will go a long way. However, for other children – it is more important to have a tutor outside of exam time to fire their imagination and tailor to their interests. Teachers are experts at preparing students for exams like SAT’s. Tutors can help to take things that step further. With no curriculum to follow, a love of reading can be found through choosing books that your child specifically will enjoy.
Making education work for individuals
My personal passions aside, this is true for a whole range of other subjects. When you’re working one on one with a child it’s far easier to teach maths in context and apply it to real life. You don’t have a class of 30 other students to keep an eye on, so you can afford to take the time to get down on the floor and cut out pizza slices to show how fractions work in the world. Likewise, with science – there are endless opportunities for a tutor to go beyond the national curriculum and pick up on the interests of individuals, whether that be space, sea life or something else entirely.
Teachers often prepare for exams very well – it’s a large part of what they’re there to support with. Tutors can certainly aid that goal but they can also do so much more. Tutors have the freedom to go off pieste and to prepare students in unique ways for their chosen pathway instead. If you’re considering tuition – don’t just consider it for an exam. Don’t limit yourself by asking how a tutor can support what you’re child is doing in school. Ask yourself: how can a tutor go beyond?