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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Hi everyone

Maybe there is a separate thread on the forum but I wondered if anyone has a few thoughts about the types of questions to ask when talking to and selecting a tutor...?

We are based in Kent so do maths, VR, and NVR. We thought of the following questions but wanted people's thoughts and feedback:

*how do you initally assess pupils?
*what sucess / failure stories do you have?
*can we request references from previous parents?
*how to you plan and run each lesson?
*what homework do you set?
*how do you plan to ensure all subjects are covered over the year?
*how do you split the work between maths, VR, and NVR during a lesson?
*what is the split between actual teaching and pupils answering questions?
*when do you introduce the multiple choice format which is used in the actual exam?
*what shortcuts can you teach to save time?
*how do you teach exam time management?
*how do you monitor progress and feedback to parents?
*how do you motivate and raise confidence in a pupil?

Many thanks in advance and look forward to hearing people's thoughts.
Villagedad


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
OK I dont have a tutor but one came to my house for what was an initial assesment. They worked with DD for about 15mins and I rather liked him. He seemed to understand my DD and I wanted himback. However I looked at the work after he was gone and he got a question wrong in the How to do 11+ maths and that was the deal breaker for me.

I would really encourage you to have an intial session and most do it for free and see if the person can work with your child. Its relying on hunches really. They can answer all those questions perfectly when they are still rubbish. Without any recommendation I found it hard trying to get a tutor I could trust. I would highly recommend that whoever you go for do occasionally check the work they are doing with your DC.

Just of interest here is the question he got wrong
Quote:
If 4/5 of Sam's money is £5.20, how much does he have altogether?


Its tricky but surely these are the typical 11+ questions. He just didnt get it that 4/5 = £5.20

I didnt even give him that question he was the one who did random stuff with her so I was very dissapointed. Maybe you could test your tutor with that one Village dad :wink:

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Last edited by sherry_d on Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:19 am
Posts: 294
sherry_d wrote:
I would really encourage you to have an intial session and most do it for free and see if the person can work with your child. Its relying on hunches really. They can answer all those questions perfectly when they are still rubbish. Without any recommendation I found it hard trying to get a tutor I could trust. I would highly recommend that whoever you go for do occasionally check the work they are doing with your DC.

I agree with what Sherry has said. It's really important that your DC and the tutor can work together well otherwise DC will come to resent the work rather than look forward and enjoy the challenge. Ask some of the parents at your DCs school, perhaps those whose children have already been through the process for personal recommendations of tutors they have used (different to asking a tutor to provide referees). Maybe consider the tutor's success rate at getting DCs through to GS.
I don't think this is relevant to your area (?), but where we are some schools test VR, Eng & math, while others test NVR, Eng & math. If this is the case, does the tutor have a personal preference for a particular school (and will therefore favour the subjects required for that school) and does this preference match your own feelings?
Hope this helps! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Maybe you shouldn't rely on one tutor being able to cover all the 11+ papers adequately e.g. there's no particular reason why you couldn't have one tutor for VR, and a different one for NVR and maths. I'm sure there are plenty of great tutors who are strong in one area and rubbish in another.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
From a tutor's point of view I would find it difficult to say what mix of subjects I would teach in each lesson. My lessons are individually tailored to each child. I may have up to 6 pupils, but I don;t' teach 6 identical lessons each week. My lessons are prepared for each child, to address the areas they have problems with. I would be failing them if i did a blanket 1/3 maths 1/3 NVR 1/3 VR.. I would also be wary of any tutor who could say up front exactly what they would do each week.

This is my personal opinion, but something I feel strongly about..surely you are paying extra to have someone teach YOUR child, not apply a template


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:19 am
Posts: 294
Definitely tailored to the individual, as yoyo points out, and the mix probably changes as time goes on. DD focused on maths more than any other area for a while, but more time is spent on VR & NVR now. Regular but brief conversations with the tutor about progress and how we can help support DD at home.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Quote:
what is the split between actual teaching and pupils answering questions?


I would not be able to answer this in all honesty.

If teaching is 1:1 then the whole lesson is spent discussing, working through examples together, questioning, explaining...it is not possible to break it down like this.

If you are employing a 1;1 tutor then you are paying for an individual service, I would be wary of anyone who could answer your questions off pat.


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