A lot of tutors offer a "FREE LESSON"; but really, what can you tell from just one lesson? That's really just a way of 'getting you in the door'.
We don't offer "FREE LESSONS", for two reasons:
Firstly, we don't cram in as many students as we can get, and employ 'reserve' tutors (or other students) to teach them; so there are only a limited number of slots free on our courses in any case.
Secondly, I'm sure you can imagine just how disruptive it is to our existing students to have new students coming and going all the time! We want students to commit for the year and then to have a stable class environment which is conducive to learning
So, instead we offer a 4-week trial period; but only to new students who join at the start of the course. That way, you get to try the lessons, the homework, the out-of-lesson support, the testing and progress reports and really get a good feel for how meticulous our courses are... If at any time during the first 4-weeks, you decide that it's not for your child; simply let us know in writing (before the 4th lesson) and you'll get a refund of the tuition fees that you paid, and have no further commitment to the course. It is not a free trial, because the enrolment fee isn't refunded (nor the admin fee, if you paid it); but you've only paid £192 (or £235) for 4-weeks of top notch tuition. (To be frank, if anyone is willing to offer you 4-weeks of tuition for free, well I'd question their sanity!)
Our research identified that the ideal class size is 8 students per class: At that size, I can quiz every student as we engage with a new topic, and I am instantly aware of any student that isn't concentrating, isn't understanding or is struggling with the nuances of the topic…
We try to keep our class sizes as close to this as possible, but there are naturally some occasions when it will exceed that...
For instance, during the 'trial period', we allow for a few extra students, because we know there there will inevitably be one or two students that we feel are not right for the course, or that are unwilling to meet the commitments of the course, despite the best intentions of their parents…
Also, A-level students can chose which applied modules they wish to sit, so that can affect the class sizes, with (say) more choosing S2 than M1
Each lesson is approximately 2½ - 3 hours long. This sounds quite long, so naturally you'd be concerned about your child's ability to concentrate for that amount of time. But we've been doing this for 20-years now, and delivering students that excel at GCSE and A-level maths, so you can be assured that that is not a concern
There are a lot of different things that I need to do during the lesson, so the lesson is broken into manageable 'chunks' of about 40 minutes each:
- The first 40 minutes is spent reviewing the previous homework and identifying any resolving difficulties that individual students had with the work
I have a bit of fun here, because there is always at least one incorrect answer among the answers listed on the website, and students earn a 'point' for spotting the which one
The students are then given a list of the corrections that they need to complete to that homework - mistakes must ALWAYS be rectified…
- The next 40 minutes is spent on the 'Weekly Test'
Here I am testing them on the work we learned 3-weeks ago, that they did the homework on 2-weeks ago, that they corrected last-week…
The test will identify any tiny weaknesses in their understanding of that topic and, over the following week they'll have to complete 3-guided corrections for each question they got wrong in the test!
So you see we have a 4-week rolling programme for each topic: Learning, Practising, Correcting and finally Reviewing - we don't give them a change to lose that hard earned understanding of a topic!
- The next 40 minutes is spent learning the new topic that is set for that lesson:
Because we spend lots of time outside of the lesson preparing the lesson notes and examples, we can ensure that we teach in a fluid, coherent manner - which speeds up the pace of learning, meaning that our lessons are delivered at a pace that is exhilarating for the student!
And, since I know the topic and examples inside out, I can respond to any questions or queries without making up ad-hoc explanations on-the-spot, which risk of confusing the student…
- At this point in the lesson, we have a short (5 min) break, where we pass around a box of chocolates/biscuits/health-bars…
- The next 40 minutes is spent practising questions on the new topic:
I set plenty of examples and go around the class giving students who are stuck a little 'nudge' (any more than a 'nudge' isn't teaching, it's 'showing') to get them going again…
I also want to check that each student is following the methods taught…
I have plenty of practice questions prepared, and I only stop when I am sure that all of the students have followed the examples well enough to be able to tackle the homework
- Finally, there is a little time left at the end of the lesson, for helping students with any individual difficulties
It is not unusual (particularly as the exams near), for me to stay beyond 8 pm helping students individually!
We take exception to the practice of testing students in order to "cherry-pick" students of high natural ability. Firstly, because it is a hit-and-miss affair, with many potentially good students being cast aside, but secondly, it is used to inflate the results of the school without having to resort to good teaching and so places the needs of the school ahead of the needs of the student.
Instead, we offer a 4-week 'trial period' for students that join us at the start of the course in September:
This gives us a chance to engender the correct work ethic in our students and gives the new students a chance to adapt to the new learning environment
The majority of our students sit the Edexcel and OCR exam boards and we cover all the syllabuses within those boards.
In addition, the greater breadth and depth of work covered by our courses means that all of the commonly used syllabuses are covered. In maths, there are only minor differences between the exam boards anyway…
Firstly, I must point out that (in maths), it is a misconception to think that a child will get confused if you show them two different methods. In fact, they quite naturally pick up the one they find easiest and works for them!
I'd go further still and say that understanding more than one method for solving a problem is good for the students understanding of a topic - it gives them a better perspective and enables to have 'choices' when they come to answering a question
So, in answer to the question; our methods won't necessarily be the same as the methods used by the student's school (ours are generally better), but our jaw-dropping results testify that our approach works!
Yes, but remember, we don't hire other tutors (parents who chose us, do so because they want us!), so places are limited and it is essential to book early. You can apply using the on-line form.
We are not an examination centre - if we were, our past results would have placed us right at the top of the league tables.
We specialise in preparing our students so they can sit the exam at their existing school, or at an exam centre arranged via us.
No! We never offer discounts - everyone pays the published rates, but we do try to keep them as low as possible.
We haven't increased our tuition fees for over 10-years (despite being full in the last 8 of those 10 years), and we don't intend to.
We have invested heavily to develop our course and to make the best use of technology to help our students.
Firstly, remember that we don't hire other tutors - the Math'scool tutors are:
Dr Deepak Shah (A-level Maths Master)
Mrs Menna Haria (GCSE Maths Master)
We are both CRB checked by QHS - the school whose premises we use.
We were last checked in 2014 and the check was clear (surely that goes without saying?).
QHS repeat the check every 3-years. We have both been teaching for over 25 years!