FAQ

I’m a Maths and Science Tutor for 11+,  KS2, GCSE, A-Levels

Contact Me

Would it be possible for us to meet you before committing?

Sure, I’m happy to do an introductory class, which is a chance for your child and I to get to know one another and for me to do an asssessment.  I would charge the hourly rate.

Do you travel to our home?

Yes.  I am happy to travel quite far.

You don’t tutor in my area.  Can you recommend someone in my area?

I probably do tutor in your area as I’m willing to travel quite far.  If not, I’ll do an extensive look and give you the option of 5 tutors.  The price of this service is….. If I’m unable to find tutors in your area, you don’t pay a thing.  You pay the tutor, who pays me this fee

Do you tutor Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning?

Yes. I do.  Non-verbal Reasoning is similar to the logic involved in maths and some Verbal Reasoning question types involve maths.

Do you tutor English 11+?

No.   I am a specialist in Maths from ages 9 to adult.  I do, however, tutor Verbal reasoning which might be considered English in preparation for the grammar school test.

Do you tutor online?

Yes, I do.  I’m very excited about  online tuition, check out more here 

Do you tutor children 7 and under?

No, I don’t believe children so young should be tutored.  They would benefit more from playing instead.
I’m a parent. Can I tutor my child for the 11+?

You may not be able to afford tutoring and as such may decide to tutor your child yourself. Unfortunately, most of the families I have worked with have struggled to tutor their children themselves. I believe this is due to two things.

Firstly, the way you and I were taught is different to the way children are taught now. I believe children have a much better understanding of the foundations of maths due to the intuitiveness of teaching. The way you and I learnt maths was basically rote learning. We learnt the formal algorithms of long multiplication, short and long division and column addition and subtraction. Granted these methods are quick but they are not intuitive.  If you try explaining these methods to your child you will may see how difficult it is to explain what is going on and in the process you may confuse them and put them off learning maths with you altogether. Time and time again, I’ve taught these methods and some children simply can’t remember the steps and more frighteningly, when they come to do mental maths e.g 15 x 4, they use the long multiplication algorithm instead of simply multiplying 10 x 4 and 5 x 4 and adding together the answers or doubling 15 and then doubling again or using their knowledge of their 4 times table. If you are thinking about tutoring your children then make sure to get a copy of “Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers” by Derek Haylock

It’s a great resource for parents and teachers alike. It demonstrates all the intuitive methods that children are learning at school.   It’s companion “Understanding Mathematics for Young Children”, aimed at Foundation and Key Stage 1 is also useful but perhaps a little more on the theoretical side.

Secondly, the relationship between parent and child can be fraught in the tutor-student dynamic.   I think this is to do with many things: the parent’s own insecurity about mathematics or teaching, the fear of the child disappointing their parents and the parent’s impatience with the child when they do not know the answer amongst other reasons.

My advice is the following:

  • Don’t worry if you do not know all the answers. Be honest and forthcoming. You’ll find that your child may work it out for themselves in an attempt to help you.
  • Find out how they do it at school. If they are doing multiplication for instance, they may tell you they use the grid method. If so, then look it up in the Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers book. If they don’t know, then you could find out from the teacher at school.
  • Pay attention to how they feel. You can only get this from spending a lot of time with children. I imagine you probably know your child pretty well so this can help you to be sensitive to how they feel. They need to feel completely relaxed if they are to be able to engage with their learning.  If you’re unable to explain it and your child’s stuck then maybe it’s time to have a break and come back to it later or another day, taking a look at it from a new perspective.

If you are thinking about getting a tutor for the 11 plus then make sure not to leave it to the last minute. Teaching is a complicated business. It’s not as simple as you pay a bunch of money and your child now understands. Cramming might work for the brightest students who simply need a little coaching to get them in the habit of taking exams but for the rest, they may need six months to a year to build up their confidence.

For the 11 plus, I do think it is important to get a qualified tutor if you can afford it. Most tutors are unqualified teachers which for GCSE or A level Maths – and for other subjects for that matter might be fine – but for Primary Maths, I certainly think you have to be up-to-date on how children learn at schools now.

When should I get a tutor and who should I employ?

I hope to register some well qualified tutors for maths and other subjects on the site in the near future.