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What is Cognitive Learning?

By its very definition, cognitive learning is the art of learning how to learn. According to Oxford Learning, cognitive learning is “the function based on how a person processes and reasons information”.  
Cognitive learning occurs consciously and unconsciously and revolves around many different factors including memory retention, thinking skills, problem solving skills and the understanding of new material or information.  Cognitive learning employs various strategies and techniques which engage students in their learning process, with the ultimate aim that the learning, processing and remembering of new information become easier and easier.
In the “olden days” children were often taught by rote, remembering and managing information “parrot fashion”.  Cognitive learning however focuses on more meaningful learning using various techniques including:
  • Ensuring that pupils can fully justify their understanding;
  • Strengthening understanding by effective discussion;
  • Employing learning strategies to improve pupils’ knowledge and understanding, and using techniques to recall the newly learned information;
  • Encouraging pupils to reflect on their own personal learning experience.
It can be argued that employing cognitive learning skills “good learners” are separated from “average learners” as those pupils not learning using cognitive skills are more likely to fall behind because they cannot manage or process the newly learned information.
An ambassador for cognitive learning is Mr David Didau.  David is highly regarded amongst his peers and fellow educational professionals and is the author of (amongst other books) “What if everything you knew about education was wrong?”.  One could be forgiven for thinking, from the title of this book, that it would be a tome focussing on all things negative, without giving anything positive in return.  On the contrary, David expands on his research and findings and provides a much needed route towards creating a positive, powerful and convincing approach to learning.
David ascertains that by employing the strategies of cognitive learning, pupils will not merely memorize new information, but instead they will learn effectively and this will ensure that the concepts being taught are not only fully understood, but will be able to be recalled more easily when required.
As mentioned earlier, David is highly regarded in his field and in 2011 he began to write a blog The Learning Spy which has since won numerous awards.  Indeed his blog has been widely recognised as one of the most influential educational blogs in the United Kingdom and in February 2017 recorded 2.5 million visitors to the site.

English Tuition For KS1 & 2 – How To Get Your Child Ahead Of The Game

Phonics and comprehension can often be under-valued as to their importance, but they really do play a vital role in a pupil’s education.
Phonics skills are at the very heart of word recognition and spelling, and indeed form a crucial part of a child’s reading journey. In June 2012 the Phonics Screening Test was launched by the Department of Education.  The test is a short assessment test, compulsory for all Year 1 students, taking between four and nine minutes to complete.  It is aimed at determining a pupil’s level of understanding of phonics and assesses whether or not the pupil requires additional help to meet the required standard.   In the test children are required to read and correctly identify 32 out of 40 words and if a child fails to meet the standard then additional help is given and the child can re-take the test in Year 2.
This very test alone amplifies the importance of phonics and, likewise, comprehension skills also play a vital role in a child’s education.  After all, a child may be able to read a page of information, but comprehending it is an entirely different matter.  Quite simply put, phonics and comprehension are essential and crucial elements of a child’s educational campaign and the fact that these skills are not learned overnight is a fact which adults can sometimes overlook.
By employing the services of a private tutor you will help your child “get ahead of the game” in terms of phonics and comprehension skills which, in turn, will expand into other subjects.  A private tutor can be of benefit in terms of teaching phonics and comprehension in a number of ways, namely;
  • The private tutor will be armed with a host of various teaching tools and strategies in which to make the learning process vibrant, fun and engaging – adjectives not usually associated with the topic of comprehension in the classroom.
  • A private tutor will create a positive, friendly and nurturing environment in which discussion and interaction is encouraged – a special bonus for the nervous/shy pupil.
  • The one-to-one environment nourishes and develops a child’s capabilities much more so than when in a busy, noisy classroom environment which will ensure your child’s full potential can be realised.
  • Phonics and comprehension skills apply to all subjects, not just English, and in later years a good grounding of these subjects really will prove invaluable.
  • For the older child, comprehension skills will come into their own whilst a student is revising. A good home tutor will also be able to teach a pupil various techniques to aid their revision techniques.
Ultimately a good tutor will not only bring the written page to life for their pupils but they will also give their charges a flying start in all areas of their education which really cannot be underestimated …  and if a love of reading is developed at the same time then this is an additional bonus.

5 Ways To Empower Your Child In 2020

Empowerment, according to Wikipedia, is “a set of measures designed to increase the degree of control or self-determination in people in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority”. Responsible parents want to nurture their children and see them flourish and by offering children the opportunity of making informed choices and allowing them to take responsibility for their own actions (and to suffer the relevant consequences), we are enabling them to interact with their peers and surroundings in a purposeful and important way. Empowerment can be built upon in various ways, including:

  • Knowledge
  • Responsibility
  • Leading by Example
  • Improving Depth of Processing
  • Supporting Children on their Educational Journey

It is important to provide children with the whys and wherefores of what a good education can provide, providing them with the reasons why we strive for such a good education and the prosperity and opportunities that such an education will bring. In other words if we extol the very positive outcomes of a good education then children will see what they should be aiming for. After all not many children, given the chance, would opt to knuckle down to some revision or relish the prospect of chemistry homework rather than going to the park and playing football. However, if we teach children why a good education is vital then hopefully they will realise its importance and strive towards their future.

Responsibility

Give your child a degree of responsibility so that they can devise and manage their own timetable or agenda for learning. It is important to appreciate that time needs to be put aside not only for homework and revision, but it is also imperative to incorporate time for relaxation and leisure. The devised timetable should not be set in stone, but should be a fluid document which can be adapted as and when necessary. If, for example, forty minutes were set aside for revising mathematics in an evening but after, say, twenty minutes concentration was found to be lacking, then re-arrange the timetable. Put aside twenty minutes for revision, then have a time-out session for relaxation and later on incorporate another twenty minutes for the remainder of the mathematics revision. Different people will have different levels of concentration. Help your child devise their own timetable to suit their own particular needs and requirements.

Leading by Example

Children tend to mimic the behaviour of the adults around them so, for example, how can we expect children to develop a love of reading if they never see adults pick up a book and take pleasure from the contents of its pages? Relish your child’s learning journey, join them in their pathway of education and share your real-life experiences and your own personal learning examples.

Improve Your Child’s Depth of Processing

Sheffield University undertook research which concluded that trying to remember something has been shown to have almost no effect on whether we actually remember it. Teaching children to look at their notes and helping them organise the information in a way that they can personally process it, will enable them to better understand and remember it. The art of this is scientifically named “Depth of Processing” and it is one of the best ways to ensure information becomes lodged in the memory. In other words, just looking at your notes will not help you remember them. Instead, reorganising the information (whether that by compiling mind maps or by practising writing answers) will ensure that the information becomes lodged in your child’s memory and this in itself is a very powerful learning technique.

Supporting Children on their Educational Journey

Empowering children to be responsible and take charge of their own learning is a positive thing, but it certainly does not mean that we should not support our children on their educational pathway. You can help your child considerably in several ways, not least by making learning fun, rather than a chore. Research has proved that being in the right frame of mind and being in a good mood will make the task at hand seem easier, or your child will be more willing to persist with a difficult task if they are in a good mood. Parents can help in this regard by creating a positive, nurturing and caring environment in which their children can relax and feel happy to learn. By providing a positive frame of mind you are almost programming your child to succeed. If your child doesn’t appear to be in the mood for completing their English essay why not suggest a quick game of Scrabble or Hangman. In fact an area of psychology, known as gamification, has been developed to study this aspect which is best described as taking something that is not a game and applying game techniques in order to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

We can also support our children in their learning by encouraging them to learn resilience and not to be afraid of failure. Remember the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again”. In order to become good at something we first start off by not knowing anything about it. Children should be taught that it is OK to get things wrong, after all we learn from our mistakes. If resilience is instilled in children then they will push past any failure and reach a point where they become adept or skilled in a subject. Incidentally, the game of chess has been described as a perfect teaching tool because of its many positive attributes, including problem-solving, strategic planning and logic. Many board games have an element of chance or luck – not so chess which is completely dependent on the ability, skill and patience of the player.

Similarly, if academic subjects feel irrelevant for your child then they are less likely to want to learn them.”What’s the point about learning this?” you may hear your child cry. Parents can support their children to develop a passion for learning by bringing subjects such as geography and science to life. For example on a car journey we could ask our child to read the map (rather than rely on the Sat Nav) and in the kitchen we can explain the scientific processes behind baking our bread.

From the above it can be seen that if we empower children they will hopefully grow into informed young adults who are confident in their abilities and who are relaxed in themselves having been provided with the necessary skill sets to shape a prosperous future for themselves. Margaret Mead, in her famous quote, summed it up nicely by saying, “We need to teach children how to think, not what to think”.

Homework Tuition – How A Tutor Can Help

When children first go to school and come home with homework, most parents will emphasise the fact that if they are ever stuck they should always come and ask for help. Whilst this might be acceptable at Infant and Junior school level, there comes a point whereby the sentence, “Mum will you please help me with my homework?” instils fear into the hearts of many a frazzled parent. I know that for a fact because I am such a parent and I don’t mind admitting that it was around Year 6 when it happened to me.

First of all, looking back at my own childhood I remember that I often used to ask my Dad for help, especially with maths and art (I couldn’t draw for toffee). I also remember that even though my Dad was most helpful and obliging, we had many a disagreement about how answers were arrived at. What also sticks in my mind very vividly is how our sessions usually ended – by my flouncing around in a tantrum saying, “We don’t do it like that at school these days! That’s not the way the teacher says we have to do it!”

Fast forward some thirty-odd years and the tables have turned somewhat. I am now the parent, the one expected to know all the answers. I am also expected to know by my child exactly how things are taught these days in class. Even if I do know how to calculate the mathematical equation that is challenging to my son – even if I can supply him with the correct answer – my “workings out” and “reasonsings” won’t be right because, “That’s not the way we are taught in school!”

This is where the assistance of a Home Tutor can really pay dividends. Not only will the tutor have vast experience of the topic being studied, but they will also have up-to-date methods of teaching at their fingertips and, as an added bonus, they will also have an understanding of what examiners are looking for in the case of homework revision in preparation for examinations.
There are also many other benefits of having a tutor to help with homework:

  • The tutor will be able to assess the pupil and see where they are having difficulties in the subject. A teaching strategy will then be compiled to help conquer any areas of weakness.
  • On a one-to-one basis the pupil will be encouraged to open up and express their thoughts and feelings on the topic. They will be asked which areas of the subject they are struggling with and the sessions can then be tailored to suit their exact requirements. Remember in a classroom environment it is not always easy for a child to put their hand up and admit that they don’t know how to do something …. after all none of us like to admit that we don’t understand something when all our peers appear to have grasped the subject.

The tutor should be enthusiastic in their subject, and will hopefully let their pupil see the subject in a fresh and new light. They will bring innovative teaching strategies to the fore to hopefully pique the pupil’s interest in the subject even more through engaging and memorable sessions.

Ultimately hiring a home tutor for helping with homework can foster a deep-rooted passion for the subject and develop good studying habits whilst, at the same time, develop a love of learning.

Algebra Tuition – Why You Should Use a Pro

If only I could have a penny for every time a student has bemoaned the fact “Why do I have to learn algebra?” or uttered the words, “I will never have to use this in later life. What’s the point?” I would be a millionaire by now that’s for sure …. and unless you are planning to become a scientific professor or plan to hold down some other high flying type of job, that’s pretty much true isn’t it? Well actually no it isn’t. Because in fact algebra is an important life skill which we all use on a daily basis without even realising.

For example did you have to be up out of bed in time for work this morning? Did you set your alarm the night before, allowing time for your morning ablutions and your all-important cup of coffee to revitalise you ready for your day ahead. Did you factor in the amount of time it would take you to leave your house and reach your place of work? All these dynamics, believe it or not, require accurate calculations to enable you to arrive at work on time.

Let’s look at the humble shopkeeper. He sells items in his retail store. He buys the items wholesale at a specific price and then sells them on at a higher price in order to make a profit. He needs to be able to calculate his profit and loss. He also needs to be able to calculate the lowest price he can sell an item in order for him to make such a profit – all these elements are mathematical equations which make use of algebra.

Most of us understand that typical algebraic equations have lots of letters and numbers in them. In reality just because we are not using the “x” and “y” we are so familiar with in algebraic equations doesn’t actually mean we are not using algebra. In fact, we are using algebra without even realising it.

One scary thought ….. if it weren’t for algebra we may never have seen the likes of computer games, we may never have had the invention of the smart phone or the luxury of flat screen televisions. Indeed it is probably because of certain people being proficient in algebra that we have seen such advances in technology.

Algebra is nothing to be afraid of – if pupils are taught the importance of the subject, and if they take time to learn the language of algebra (there are many mathematical terms including constants, variables, co-efficients, equations and expressions to name but a few) then they can go on and develop a passion for the subject which can, indeed, enhance their daily lives.
From the above it can be seen that most humble lay people do not understand the importance of algebra, nor do they understand the subject to any degree. With its seemingly complicated equations and strange symbols it can be daunting for a child to take in – especially if they do not understand the depth of why algebra is such an important subject. In a classroom environment, when perhaps there isn’t an awful amount of time dedicated to the subject and where a set curriculum has to be crammed in, it can be difficult for a pupil to keep up. A professional tutor of the subject can be an asset to pupils in many ways:

  • If a child is struggling to grasp the concept of algebra it could be extremely beneficial to employ the services of a specialist teacher of the subject to help them better understand the subject and enhance their learning. Pupils can become demotivated if they do not fully enjoy or understand the subject and this is where the professional tutor can be truly beneficial, by providing inspiring lessons geared towards stimulating the pupil and prompting them to develop a deeper passion for the subject.
  • Alternatively, if a child is motivated by the subject and is eager to learn more, a one-to-one professional tutor could be employed to boost the student’s grasp of the subject and enrich and heighten their understanding of the subject even more.

Algebra could be somewhat romantically described as a strange mathematical language which interweaves in our daily lives in a truly wondrous way – and in ways in which we aren’t even aware of. A professional tutor of the subject can totally enhance a student’s grasp of the subject and could even develop a passion for more in-depth, lifelong learning.

The International Baccalaureate & Why Your Child Should Have It

“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

The above statement is taken from the official website of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and when reading it most parents would probably agree that they would like their child to be educated to the above standard

First of all it should be mentioned that not every school offers the IB curriculum. If you wish to place your child onto such a programme you can find details of schools offering the IB by using the following link.

https://www.ibo.org/programmes/find-an-ib-school/

The IB programme encourages achievement on both academic and personal levels by challenging students to excel in their work and covers three main programmes:

The Primary Years Programme covers younger students from ages 3-12. This specifically aims to foster a lifelong love of learning, developing curiosity and creativity and nurturing students by providing challenging learning environments.

The Middle Years Programme is a five year programme covering ages 5-16 comprising eight subject groups aimed at providing students with a balanced education with, in the final two years of the programme, greater flexibility in order to meet personal learning objectives.

The Diploma Programme is designed for students in their final years of secondary school or 6th form college. Although a rewarding programme it is academically challenging and will prepare students for life in university. The programme also concentrates on pastoral issues including the social, emotional and intellectual aspects of student life.

In 2002 a fourth programme was added, namely The Career Related programme, which is aimed at those students aged 16-19 and which encourages students to be critical and ethical thinkers who are confident and assured, academically strong and skilled in a practical field. The Career Related programme leads to higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

The IB is without doubt a rigorous and demanding programme and one in which students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning campaign and are encouraged to think independently. The courses are taxing but stimulating and if the student is willing to put in the effort required, then the benefits are indeed many:

By working hard students grow not only academically, but develop as well-rounded individuals. The courses are also directed at teaching students to be socially conscious with a strong ethical background.

The programme prepares students for higher education by teaching the necessary skills in undertaking independent research and thereafter collating information in order to produce well-documented reports and essays. The programme also inspires critical thinking and time management skills, all of which are invaluable tools for life ahead.

The IB will provide students with a strong sense of achievement. All pupils find it relatively easy to work hard at a subject that they enjoy – but the IB encourages students to attain good scores in all subjects, including their weaker ones, which develops a real sense of purpose and of achievement.

Students undertaking an IB programme develop strong social, emotional and academic characteristics and are more likely to perform well – usually better than students following other educational curricula.

Every student is required to take up a second language. This means that not only will students be able to apply for employment opportunities both at home and abroad, but also they will become more culturally aware and will be able to communicate with people in an increasingly globalised world.

The IB is a world-recognised diploma which sets students apart from others on differing educational courses. Indeed a study conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in the United Kingdom showed that graduates of the IB Diploma had a better chance of enrolment in the UK’s top 20 Higher Education Institutions than other students with similar qualifications. Likewise a study in America showed that IB Diploma graduates were more likely to be enrolled in their university of choice and that they performed better during their studies there.

A year 12 student who has been enrolled in an IB school since 6th grade quoted,

“The IB is really good at making you a well-rounded student. Everyone saying that the IB kills your social life is correct, to some extent. If you can’t manage your time well, don’t take IB, because everything piles up and it gets very hard. I’m involved in soccer and that hasn’t hurt me academically, but I do stay up some nights after midnight doing my homework. The IB is very good at teaching critical thinking. It is true that the IB is very rigorous, but it is definitely doable. I’m glad my parents chose an IB school for me because it did challenge me, but that’s not something everyone enjoys or wants.”

From the above it can be seen that, although tough, the IB programme offers an excellent grounding for children, nurturing them on their educational pathway and helping them develop into fine young people with excellent attitudes towards life. Isn’t that what all parents want for their children?

Student & Parent FAQs, a guide to Home Tutor Connect

What is Home Tutor Connect?
HTC is an online platform which helps students and parents find tutors by viewing tutor profiles. Its aim is to provide the highest levels of professionalism. All tutors on our site have been personally interviewed to ensure they are ‘good eggs’ and they all have an Enhanced DBS Certificate for further peace of mind.

Can I email a tutor, prior to making my choice?
Yes, feel free to email a tutor that you feel could be the right one, prior to confirming your choice and paying the introduction fee. You can check if they are comfortable with the area/s of tuition you wish cover, their availability and any other relevant questions.

How much does it cost to use Home Tutor Connect?
Once the student or parent has identified the tutor for them, they pay a one-off £25 to receive the full contact details for their chosen tutor (this charge includes VAT). They then make direct contact with the tutor and confirm the tutoring and payment arrangements. Home Tutor Connect has no further involvement and requires no additional payments.

What subjects do you cover?
We cover Maths, English and the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) at all levels

Where do lessons take place?
Tuition can take place at the tutor’s home, or that of the student. However, if it is mutually beneficial, tuition can take place at a local library, coffee shop, etc.
Alternatively, you also have the opportunity to be tutored online, using an interactive whiteboard, supported by audio/visual functionality.

What are the benefits of choosing to be tutored online, as opposed to 1:1?

  • No travel involved
  • Remain in the comfort of your own home
  • Tuition sessions can be recorded

Do all tutors on Home Tutor Connect have an Enhanced DBS Certificate?
Yes; there are no exceptions.

How much do I pay for tuition?
Each tutor clearly states their hourly charges on their profile. The hourly rate may differ if they are offering online tuition, as well as 1:1 tuition. The hourly rate is what you pay the tutor – there are no ‘hidden extras’ and, once you have paid Home Tutor Connect the one-off introduction fee, it has no further involvement; HTC takes no payment or commission of any kind from the tutors.

Does Home Tutor Connect apply any commission or introduction fee…or any other charges/fees to its tutors?
No…none…ever. The only fee charged by HTC is the one-off introduction fee from students or parents.

How is online, remote tuition delivered?
Online tuition is constantly growing in popularity. HTC recommends using the BitPaper platform; it provides excellent functionality for tutor and student, an interactive whiteboard with sound and vision and incorporates additional resources. You require Google Chrome or Firefox to operate BitPaper.

How do I pay for lessons?
The student or parent pays the tutor direct. HTC recommends that any tutoring sessions are paid for, 24 hours in advance, into the tutor’s bank account. If the student or parent is paying by cash, this should be paid at the beginning of the lesson.

I’ve forgotten my password…
Select the ‘Login’ option and ‘click’ Reset Password? Enter your email address and we’ll send a link to reset your password.

Tutor FAQs: How does Home Tutor Connect work?

What is Home Tutor Connect?
HTC is an online platform which helps tutors find new students by allowing them to advertise their tuition services. Its aim is to provide the highest levels of professionalism to ensure an excellent service for tutors and students. All tutors on our site must have an Enhanced DBS Certificate – there are no exceptions.

Can students or parents email me, prior to confirming their choice?
Yes, via HTC, students or parents can email questions prior to confirming their choice and paying the introduction fee. They may check that you are comfortable with the area/s of tuition
they wish to cover, your availability and any other relevant questions. You are also able to ask them any relevant questions.

How much does it cost to use Home Tutor Connect?
For the tutor…nothing…ever.

Once the student or parent has selected you as a tutor, they pay a one-off £25 introduction fee to receive direct contact from you (this charge includes VAT). You are then able to confirm the tutoring and payment arrangements. Home Tutor Connect has no further involvement and requires no additional payments.

How do I display my profile on your website?
We always welcome applications from the highest quality tutors who wish to be listed on HTC. Click the ‘Become a Tutor’ link in the banner at the top of the website page to register your details and complete your profile. HTC will then contact you with a view to arranging a personal meeting.

We only accept the most professional and conscientious tutors; this maintains our reputation for quality and ensures that all our tutors are proud to be a part of our team. All of our tutors must have an Enhanced DBS Certificate – there are no exceptions.

What subjects does Home Tutor Connect cover?
We cover Maths, English and the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) at all levels.

Where do lessons take place?
Tuition can take place at the tutor’s home, or that of the student. However, if it is mutually beneficial, tuition can take place at a local library, coffee shop, etc. You have the opportunity to state on your profile how far you are prepared to travel. Alternatively, you also have the ability to tutor online, using an interactive whiteboard, supported by audio/visual functionality.

How do I find students?
Through your tutor profile which is displayed on our website. It is important to keep your profile updated with any additional qualifications you achieve – this profile is what attracts students to select your services. It is important to ensure that the photo you post on your profile is a well-lit ‘head and shoulders’ photo with a big, cheesy smile!

Once a student identifies you as a potential tutor, they can email you with any points they may wish to clarify and you are able to reply, with a view to arranging the first tuition session.

How often do I have to tutor?
The hours/days you tutor are entirely down to you.

What happens when I am on holiday?
You simply go ‘offline’ until you are ready to tutor again.

I don’t have a formal teaching qualification, can I still tutor with you?
If you do not have a formal teaching qualification, you will need to have exceptionally strong GCSE and A-Level qualifications, or a degree in another subject. A comprehensive understanding of the UK curriculum in your subject is essential.

Do I need an Enhanced DBS Certificate?
Yes; you require an enhanced DBS Check to work with Home Tutor Connect. If you do not have one, we will arrange this for you; the cost is around £56 (which includes the administration charge).

How much should I charge?
In order to charge an appropriate hourly rate, you should take into account:

Your qualifications (A-Levels, Degree, ITT, QTS, SEN, etc.)

  • Previous tutoring experience
  • The job satisfaction you receive from tutoring

If you are just starting out, it is reasonable to charge £15-£25 an hour; for an experienced tutor £25-£35 an hour whilst the most qualified, experienced and specialist tutors can charge considerably more.

The hourly 1:1 rate should take into account any local travel costs envisaged.

Also, factor-in the typical amount of preparation you envisage for each lesson. The most successful and motivating tuition is heavily influenced by the preparedness of the tutor (and, for that matter, the tutee). It is an integral part of professional tutoring to ensure that you are well prepared for each lesson. Delivering feedback following a lesson is also an essential part of professional tutoring. It is a good idea to get into the habit of providing a few salient thoughts or pointers following each lesson. This helps keep the student motivated and focused on areas for improvement for the next lesson; it is a key driver for engineering positive development.

Should you differentiate your hourly rate for different learning levels? HTC does not; you are providing your time to a student…and they are taking your time, whether they are studying for GCSEs, A-Levels or university. However, with the increase in popularity of online tuition, it may make sense to reduce this hourly rate by maybe 15% as there is no travel, no requirement to provide space, etc.

Another factor which could affect your hourly rate is tutoring for 2 or 3 students at a time rather than just one. This, again, is subjective. In such instances, it may make sense to reduce the hourly rate charged for each student by 15% for 2 students and 30% for 3 students.

Where a student commits to a series of pre-booked lessons (block bookings) – and pays for them up-front…this could also be rewarded with a 5%-10% discount on your hourly rate, depending on the number of lessons booked.

Charging for cancelled lessons is perfectly acceptable. Your time is valuable and the time you have set aside for a lesson needs to be covered. Whilst you can apply a standard ‘cancellation policy’, this will inevitably be influenced by the relationship and trust you have (or have not) built up over time with your student.

In summary, the rate you charge should reflect your experience and motivate you to provide the highest levels of preparation and tutoring in order to deliver what all students are looking for…measurable improvement.

Does Home Tutor Connect require any commission or introduction fee…or any other charges/fees from its tutors?
No…none…ever.

How will students contact me?
Once your profile is live, you’ll start appearing in search results generated by students and parents. Anyone interested in tuition will send messages through our internal messaging system.

How do I exchange contact details with a student or parent?
You are provided with the direct contact details for the student or parent, (following any initial email conversations through us) once they have paid the one-off introduction fee. It is important to HTC that tutor and student/parent contact details are only exchanged, following payment of its introduction fee. This is its income and this fee enables it to continue to support its tutors, students and parents.

How is online, remote tuition delivered?
Online tuition is constantly growing in popularity. HTC recommends using the BitPaper platform; it provides excellent functionality for tutor and student, an interactive whiteboard with sound and vision and incorporates additional resources. You require Google Chrome or Firefox to operate BitPaper.

How do I get paid for lessons?
The student or parent pays the tutor direct. HTC recommends that any tutoring sessions are paid for, 24 hours in advance, into the tutor’s bank account. If the student or parent is paying by cash, this should be received at the beginning of the lesson.

I’ve forgotten my password
Select the ‘Login’ option and ‘click’ Reset Password? Enter your email address and we’ll send a link to reset your password.

Home Tutoring Through GCSE Revision

General Certificates of Secondary Education, more commonly known as GCSEs, are a very important milestone in any student’s educational pathway.   Get good grades for your chosen subjects and you are more likely to be able to attend the college of your choice. Not only that but your GCSEs really do pave the way for A Level studies with some universities looking at GCSE grades before they decide whether you can actually sit on a particular A Level course.

It is for this reason that many pupils find home tutoring a great help whilst revising for their GCSE examinations.  The home tutor will have many techniques and tips to aid pupils with their revision and learning will be enhanced by a tailor-made learning plan bespoke to the individual student’s particular requirements and needs.

It is now widely recognised that all students learn in a variety of different ways.  In days gone by students were taught “parrot fashion” and were expected to learn by rote.  Whilst this method of learning may be suitable for some students, it will not be appropriate for all, and in these modern times teachers realise that each person will have a different approach to learning and will benefit from different learning styles and methods.

The home tutor will quickly assess their student’s approach to learning and will adapt their lessons accordingly.  They will ensure that their GCSE revisionary lessons will cover the various teaching styles and will ensure that even though their student may lean towards one particular method of learning, that a broad mix of preferences is also offered.  In this way the revisionary lessons will cover a variety of systems to ensure that the lessons are informative, enlightening, explanatory and illuminating whilst at the same time enhancing the revision process. 

An example of some of the different learning styles are shown below:

Logical

Students who prefer this method of learning will enjoy using the use of logic and reasoning.

Visual

Here students will prefer using images and pictures to aid their learning process.

Verbal

In this approach students prefer to use words (either verbally or written).

Aural

Students who fall into this category will prefer the use of music and sounds to assist their understanding of the subject.

A home tutor will boost their students’ learning by offering a whole host of revision techniques which may include the following:   

Past Papers

It cannot be stressed enough how helpful it can be to work on past papers.   Even if just one question (rather than a complete paper) is undertaken, this can provide a real boost to learning if done properly and can be incredibly helpful.

Breaking it down, by simply doing one question you will be researching the answer and then putting it into your own words – and hopefully memorising the content in the meantime.

Make Notes

Your home tutor may ask pupils to read up on a subject and make notes about it which again is a very useful revisionary technique.   A way of boosting note-taking even further is to make Revision Cards.  In this way the salient points are written down and hopefully the fact that a student has researched the information, read about it and then written it down will make it more memorable.

Some tutors might go as far as to ask their students to stash their revision cards all around the house (on the fridge door so they can be seen every time a cuppa is made, or placed on the bathroom cabinet so they are visible seen whilst teeth-brushing etc)

Mind Maps

Mind maps can be a fun and informative way to aid revision and your home tutor may ask you to devise one or two as aids to learning.  In this way a central word is written in the middle of a large piece of paper, and then various “branches” are drawn off the central word detailing salient points.  A good mind map will be colourful and contain lots of key words to boost revision.

Not only will home tutors provide their students with lots of invaluable tips to help with the GCSE revision process, they will also help their students devise a revision timetable. This alone is invaluable.  It is totally ineffective trying to cram all your revision into the last few hours before an exam, and it is not good practice to revise late into the night as if you are sleepy then your brain just will not take in the necessary information.  

Your home tutor will help you devise an appropriate revision plan which will also emphasise the need for exercise and the importance of getting enough sleep, and will hopefully incorporate some time for socialising and fun too. 

Following a well-structured revision timetable which has been agreed by both the student and the home tutor will undoubtedly boost the GCSE revision process and hopefully reap rewards by way of great grades.

How To Help Your Child With English Comprehension

Put simply, comprehension is the understanding of what is being read and the ability to accurately interpret the text.   This, to an adult, may sound obvious and logical but it is not something that is learned overnight. Comprehension forms a vital part of our ability to learn, and it does not simply relate to the subject of English, but involves each and every field of the curriculum, and for this reason it is a very important aspect of learning.

For example, there are many mathematical problems that are presented in text format and if a child is not able to comprehend the question, then this will obviously pose significant problems.  Consider this conundrum,

 “Jonathan has 32 sweets which is 12 fewer than Mark.  How many sweets does Mark have?”

A child may very well be able to read the above problem, but if he/she does not comprehend the question then they will not be able to create the necessary calculation and ultimately arrive at the correct answer.   Obviously these types of questions will be evidenced in all subjects, not just Mathematics and English.

It does seem that if you mention the word “Comprehension” to a young student that they will roll their eyes and tell you that the subject is “boring” and this, in part, may be due to the reading matter on hand.  It is only natural that a child reading Shakespeare could have problems interpreting the language as the writing style is very different from today’s modern language, likewise a heavy going tome may not be as enjoyable to a child as, say, perhaps a modern book detailing the Life and Times of a Wimpy Kid, and this exemplifies how parents can help their children with the subject of English Comprehension.  Perhaps the first rule of thumb should be to make it fun! Try to choose a book you know that your child will enjoy, one that will grab their attention from the word go – or even better, let your child have free reign to choose their own reading material.

Some children prefer to read out loud as they are better able to grasp the understanding of the text when it is vocalised. Whilst some parents might consider that this is not appropriate for older children, in fact it is a vital tool in ascertaining whether your child is grasping the content.  When a teacher reads aloud to their class they can stop at salient points and reflect on what has just been said, asking questions of their pupils to ensure that the topic has been understood. Ultimately reading aloud can be a very useful strategy in gauging whether or not your child has understood the reading material. 

If you feel that your child has not quite understood the storyline, or hasn’t grasped the concept of the plot, re-read the page or chapter together and discuss its contents.  Going over the material in this way will help your child gain a better picture of what is going on and they will be more able to “comprehend” the subject matter.   

Even if your child does not appear to be struggling with the content, at the end of a reading session it is a good idea to talk about the story and ask for feedback. 

  • Are they enjoying the story?
  • What aspects of the plot do they find most interesting?
  • What do they think might happen in the future?

Engage with your child and ask them to sum up what they have just read.  In that way you will be able to assess whether they are understanding the text correctly. 

If your child is reading by themselves, ask them to make a note of any points they feel they would like clarity on, or any points they do not understand.  You can then re-visit that part of the text together and hopefully they will then gain understanding of the reading matter.  

Alternatively, if reading alone, encourage your child to write down any unusual or unfamiliar words.  It can be entertaining to research these words together (either via an online dictionary or a more traditional “hardback” one) and devise interesting and fun sentences using the newly found words – thus expanding vocabulary as well as enhancing comprehension skills. 

If your child is adamant that they do not wish to read books, then try and find other entertaining ways of reading.  Why not take a subscription to a children’s newspaper or magazine, or simply ask your child to read the menu when eating out at a restaurant, or read the advertisement on the back of the bus on the school run. Better “little and often” than not at all. 

Not all reading matter will be for pleasure, and comprehension really comes into its own and is vital when revising.  In the case of older students, it is very worthwhile taking notes when reading texts. Some people treat books as precious objects which should not be marked or annotated in any way, whilst others enjoy re-reading texts and seeing their notes in the margin or their highlighted paragraphs.  Whichever category your child falls into, always encourage them to have a pen to hand to allow them to make notes in either the book itself, or in a separate notepad. That way they can jot down any aspects they feel they need to re-visit at a later stage.

If your child appears to be struggling with their reading and is showing no signs of improvement, it may point to the fact that there is a particular problem, for example dyslexia.  If you do have any concerns in this regard, it may be worthwhile seeking professional help in order to assess the situation to take steps to aid your child’s progress. 

Obviously the earlier the child develops a love of reading the better as this will greatly enhance their comprehension skills.  However it really is never too late to learn. It can be extremely frustrating to parents who are avid readers when they realise that their children do not enjoy settling down with a good book, but hopefully the above hints and tips will provide the means of making English Comprehension more enjoyable whilst at the same time developing a passion for reading. 

(By the way, the answer to the maths question given above is 44).