Many parents ask why we teach in small groups, and whether it is as effective as one-to-one tuition. Our answer is always the same – experience and the experts agree, small group tuition works better than one-to-one – and here are some of the reasons:
The small group tuition environment fosters and develops independent work habits and thinking skills. In one-to-one, the tutor tends to do much of the work for the child. He soon learns to depend on the presence of the tutor. In the group, the tutor explains a concept to the child, gives an example, and then lets the child do some work on their own – which they can only do if they’ve understood. The length of time spent working alone is determined by the tutor and the child. When they need more input, the tutor is there. And in any case, the tutor will come back soon, to make sure they are on track. The system works. Children learn best by doing, not just by listening to the tutor do the work for them.
Children coming for group tuition quickly make friends with other children in their group, even if they don’t know them from school already. They realise quickly that they are not alone in needing a bit of extra help. The feelings of resentment they may feel will lessen. Since the groups are of mixed ages and subjects, the children aren’t surrounded by other children their own age doing similar work. This means they don’t feel uncomfortable if the work they are doing is at a less advanced level than their neighbour. They come to enjoy the sessions and look forward to coming each week.
With one-to-one tutors the work is generally done in your home, from books the tutor brings with them, and on subject matter which is predetermined by the tutor. At our Centre, in the small group, we have unlimited scope to vary the session, even changing the topic part way through the session if necessary. In essence, the child determines the session content. Sessions at the Centre are fun, flexible and effective.