Occasionally when tutoring I will be given a list of schools a parent is interested in. This is great as it allows us to focus on exactly what a child requires for preparation, but it also often raises other issues.
So, what can a good tutor be expected to provide? What can a good tutor not provide?
This is not a definitive list, but it highlights areas which a parent should be aware of when selecting their tutor:
What a tutor should be able to do:
1) Your tutor should be extremely knowledgeable about schools and preparation.
Your tutor should be someone who has not only consistently prepared for the schools you are interested in, but also has a record of pupils who have been successful in gaining places at these schools.
At West London Tutoring we have a long history of helping children to obtain places, often with academic scholarships, to their chosen school. We interview children after both their exams and their interviews to find out exactly what went on so that we are more prepared for the following year.
We also use a variety of different resources in order to ensure that your child has a solid foundation of the appropriate knowledge.
2) Your tutor should be suitably qualified and professional.
Please make sure that your tutor is suitably qualified and has a DBS. Ensure the tutor has several years of relevant experience and that they know their subject knowledge well.
All tutors at West London Tutoring have taught for a minimum of 12 years and are qualified teachers who have studied the National Curriculum in the UK. Most have either been head of a department or worked in senior management. Everyone here has a DBS. Every tutor at West London Tutoring is reliable and professional and works hard to ensure that your child receives the best teaching and attention. All our teachers also have years of experience managing behaviour and progress so that we can gently guide your child to their full potential.
3) Your tutor should have a wide range of suitable resources which are regularly updated.
This is very important. You may have a great rapport with your tutor but are they using the right resources to teach your child? There are many poor-quality resources for the 11 Plus exam available, which bear no resemblance to the exam style your child is sitting. You need a tutor who is discerning, and who not only knows what is required for the relevant 11 Plus exam, but also has suitable resources to match this. Many 11 Plus exams will require maths up to year 8; can your tutor teach to this level? We have even seen a physics A level question on an 11 Plus paper. Would your tutor know how to tackle this?
At West London Tutoring we draw on a wide range of resources which we regularly update and which we know correctly prepares your child.
We also write our own books so that we have complete control over what your child learns. Everything is focussed.
Companies we recommend and work with:
- Exam Papers Plus
- My maths
What a tutor cannot do:
1) A tutor cannot make your child “clever.”
A good tutor can help your child reach their full potential, but they cannot prepare your child for a school to which they may not be academically suited. Your child may undertake all the work needed for a certain school, but a good tutor will be able to tactfully and professionally work with you in order to ensure your child applies to the right school for them, where they will thrive. Over-preparation for a school to which your child is academically unsuited can lead to misery: a childhood of tuition as you struggle to keep up; a feeling of worthlessness as they see their peers thrive; low self-esteem as your child realises they have a significant academic gap with their peers.
At West London Tutoring we regularly undertake assessments so that we can best inform you of schools which would academically suit your child. Where needed, we undertake additional assessments to show you where your child sits academically. The system we use (APP, Assessing Pupil Progress) was used by almost all state and private schools until very recently and gives accurate data so that we can show your child’s position in both National Averages and 11 Plus preparation.
2) A good tutor cannot guarantee academic success
The children who perform the best for the 11 Plus exam are the children who are keen to succeed. This may sound fairly obvious, but it has a huge impact on progress. A parent may be well aware that their child has a certain potential; that the local state school is not doing well; or that their prep school finishes in year 6 and that have to move on to another school. Children may not always be aware of this. Some children dislike the extra work and pressure and may not be so keen to take on extra work.
At West London Tutoring we only use very focussed resources so that in only one hour of tuition a week (per subject) your child can achieve their potential. We ensure good communication so that if your child requires extra support then it is provided, and we also provide support and webinars for parents so that you can be assured we will take the best care of our families with the best knowledge.
Ultimately, we want your child to end up at the right school for them.
A recent testimonial:
TJ March 2020 (Ealing mum)
Both my son (7) and daughter (10) were tutored by the West London Tutoring team for the 7+ and 11+ respectively. Not only did they make the experience fun for the children, so much so they skipped into an additional 2 hours of ‘schooling’ every week, but the progress both children made in every aspect of their school-work was exceptional. It began as a mission to achieve places at Hampton, and Godolphin and Latymer, but little did we know how much it would have a major bearing on their confidence and focus, which has set them up so well for their continuing education. Both children were given the extra boost of making it into their first-choice schools. So much of what Anne and the team do is about efficient learning. Laser-focussed on exactly the right areas to ensure that specific child is working on the areas they really need to. This preparation put them at ease enough to perform well in the exams. We will be eternally grateful. Both children are absolutely over-the-moon and very proud of themselves.
Thank you doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s a good start! (and the scholarship was also an added bonus!)