Better Together

Never has there been a time when parents have been more concerned about their child’s education. From the parents of the four year old starting school for the first time in the ‘new normal’, to the parents, whose son was unable to put pen to paper for his A ‘Levels and takes predicted grades to university with him. Having taught for over twenty years, I have come to learn that no matter where you are in the world, parents will put their child’s education first and foremost.

Private tuition is not a new concept but it has mostly certainly been thrown into the spotlight in recent months, with schools closed, parents struggling to ‘home teach’ and the government’s new tutoring initiative to help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers. However, what has changed is parents’ perceptions and a new understanding that tutoring is no longer an elitist concept and that extra tuition can come in many shapes and sizes.

We offer a range of options in our programme and one question that I am frequently asked is, “What is the difference between individual and group tuition?” I will endeavour to put across a balanced argument here but admit I am a huge fan of small groups learning together, so please forgive any bias.

The misconception around group teaching is that it is a ‘cattle farm’ with little or no interaction between the teacher and children. In reality, this could not be further than the truth. Children are used to working with up to thirty others in school all day and enjoy the camaraderie and healthy competition that this brings. Learning alongside their peers (in a group of between six and eight) allows children to not only flourish academically but also in important life skills, such as cooperation, problem solving, public speaking, debate and collaboration. Many students feel safer regarding the taking of risks and responding to challenging questions if the teacher’s attention is not solely upon them and are also able to focus for longer due to the less intense nature of a group lesson. I have always believed that children learn best from their peers. It also has the added bonus of being the far more affordable option, making it accessible for all.

On the other hand, one-to-one lessons provide the student with 100% of the teacher’s focus, meaning they can adapt the lesson to the child’s specific needs. This is ideal for extremely shy children who are reluctant to participate in a group and require a much slower pace. This more personalised approach does come at a price, with one student paying for the whole period of the teacher’s time rather than sharing it with others.

Our consistent message to parents, is that children benefit from the right balance of both approaches. We suggest that our students participate in group lessons first and foremost and then, should they have any particular issues, they can have a couple of one to one booster sessions. The main objective is to empower children, give them confidence and ,most importantly, allow them to see learning as a rewarding and enjoyable experience. . Please email info@goldenbrainacademy.com.

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