FAQS

What does a tutor cost?

This is a hard question to answer.

Nearly every tutor will cost something different and it will depend largely on their qualifications and experience, where the lessons take place and how they structure their lessons. An hour’s tutoring with us will cost £40/hour if paid after each individual lesson or invoice at the end of the month. However, if you pay for 5 lessons up front the cost will reduce to £35/hour (£175 for 5 lessons) If you pay for 10 lessons up front the cost will drop down again to £30/hour (£300 for 10 lessons). This cost will include the tutor traveling to you and everything that will be needed during the hour’s lesson.

Where will the lessons take place?

There are 4 main styles of tutoring which will allow the lessons to take place in a variety of locations. The first option is the lesson will take place over the internet using a platform such as Skype. Secondly, some tutoring sessions will take place in a central location. These lessons very often cater for a small group of people. The next option is for the lesson to take place in the tutor’s home. These will vary between one to one and group lessons depending on the tutor’s teaching preference.

Our preferred option is to carry out the lessons in the comfort of your home. It hopefully causes you the least amount of stress and inconvenience.

How long do the lessons last?

As a rule of thumb a lesson will last for an hour.

Younger children or those with attention difficulties may just for 45 minutes. That is down to the discretion of the parents. Older children (GSCE age) or adults, especially those with exams on the horizon or studying 2 subjects may choose to have a slightly longer lesson. This takes careful consideration though as to concentrate for more than an hour is exhausting especially if it follows a full day at work or school.

Sometimes it is more effective to have 2 short lessons than 1 long lesson. Again this is at the discretion of the family.

Do you do an initial assessment?

At Starr Tutoring the answer to this is no.

I know many tutors do an assessment on first meeting but I have always felt that this is counterproductive. This attitude may be adverse to your own person beliefs but what I feel is that if a stranger walked in and tested me on a subject I already feel inadequate at I would feel under immense pressure and what not perform to my full capabilities or potential. The tutor would probably not see an honest picture of me.

However, through conversations with the parents and child, observations taken in the first lesson and feedback from what the school have observed it will give you a far more honest idea of where the child is at.

The resources the tutor brings to the first lesson may not be 100% appropriate but will normally be a fairly good starting point. Leading on from this I also suggest, from what I have learned through experience and academic qualifications, is that it is always beneficial to start below the child’s current level of competence.

Why?

That way you can insure the foundations are firmly in place. Without these all future knowledge will always be less secure. It also gives the child the feeling of success that can be built upon. If you set them up for failure in the first lesson progress going forward will be far more of an uphill struggle.

Are you a teacher?

Personally, no I’m not a teacher though we do have fully qualified teachers that work for Starr Tutoring.

When I first starting tutoring I was concerned not being a teacher would prevent me from being eligible to tutor. I had a degree in childcare and education and had completed many additional qualifications particularly based around learning through play and dyslexia. When I voiced my concerns a friend explained to me, and once it was explained it made perfect sense, that teachers are taught how to teach something a specific way. If the child doesn’t understand it, the teacher will just repeat the method again in the hope that the child will grasp it when explained a second time. But sometimes it takes someone to come in and explain it by using a completely different perspective.

Years ago, when I was sitting my GCSE’s I couldn’t get algebra. It just didn’t make any sense to me. The teacher had been over it a couple of times in class and I think had come to the realisation I just wasn’t going to get it. However, my dad sat down with me that evening and explained solving equations to me by explaining it as a set of scales that I needed to keep balanced. Whatever I did to one side had to be repeated to the other side as well. I got it, I don’t know whether it was because he had taken the time to explain it to me one to one or whether it was his different way of approaching the situation but it suddenly made complete sense.

I use this method in lessons today and it still continues to make sense to people. My dad was an amazing man and I will forever be truly grateful to him for the patience he showed in explaining things to me when I sat my GCSE’s.

Most of the tutors who aren’t qualified teachers have a background of working in education and have a sound subject knowledge. Others have completed our training and have access to our support and resources.

I have complete confidence in everyone who works for Starr Tutoring. I have to have as I realise that if the tutor doesn’t live up to expectations it is the reputation I have worked hard at building up will be at stake. You are only as strong as your weakest link…

Can we meet you before the lesson?

Yes, that’s fine. Just ask and we will try and find a time and day that is suitable to us both.

If we meet up it will give us the opportunity to talk through any questions you may have. It also give you the opportunity to get to know the tutor a bit better and ensure you are happy with them as a person.

Am I required to stay with my child?

That’s completely at your discretion. Some parents have things they want to get on with, others would rather be present especially during the first lesson.

Because the lesson takes place in your home it will depend where the tutor and the child are working. Sometimes a lesson takes place at a kitchen table and if it coincides with you preparing a meal, you will inevitably be around.

The choice is yours.

One family I went to many years back used to use me as a babysitter. She would leave for London as I knocked on the door leaving me responsible for both children. The official babysitter would arrive as I left.

To be honest, I don’t think it is fair if I ask my tutors to be babysitters for people. If you are leaving an older child alone at home with the tutor, just advise the tutor in advance that you won’t be there and I’m sure something can be arranged.

Do you tutor primary aged children?

Yes, we have tutors that are able to tutor maths and English children from reception to the end of GCSE.

When working with these younger children we will put a lot more emphasis on games during the lesson and more kinaesthetic learning.

Why?

Research has proven that if we relax we are in a better state of mind to learn.

Also the larger variety of resources we use, the more neuropathways we are creating. This means that when the brain needs to recall the information there are more memories stored in the brain to help with this.

The other advantage of using games is that they are fun… If a child is enjoying themselves they will be more inclined to want to participate. Participation results in practice and the more we practice the better we become.

We can cover the syllabus for reception, key stage 1, key stage 2, Key stage 3 and key stage 4. We can also work on Functional Skills with adults if required.

Do you tutor Secondary school aged maths?

Yes, we have tutors who are able to tutor children from Key stage 3 and key stage 4 (GCSE).

We can also support primary school children and adults doing their functional skills exams if required.

Can you support my child with spelling and punctuation?

Yes, that’s no problem.

We use a variety of tasks to support these such as word searches, pairs, snakes and ladders.

We also have simple writing tasks such as funny pictures. In this task you take it in turns to draw a picture (The first person draws the head, the paper is folded over and the next person draws the body. The paper is then folded for a 3rd time and the legs are drawn. Once the paper is opened up a fairly random person has been created). You then have to think of as many words as you can to describe the picture.

We also play a variation on the game of battleships, where you hunt down the other person’s words.

The focus might be high frequency words, words which are tricky to spell or words associated to a particular theme. These can be varied according to the needs and ability of the child.

We use games because of my interest in dyslexia. I have studied my courses and taken several qualifications in it over the years, initially because of a personal interest. Now to support the children I work with. What I have learned has always implied that the more creative and varied we can be with our teaching, the more likely we are to learn.

Games also help us to relax and the more relaxed we are, the more likely we are to learn.

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