Pedagogy

You’ve got this far into the web-site – so you clearly have an eye for detail. Great – if it’s genetic, then I’m going to enjoy teaching your kids…

This is how our course is put together, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: This really is the guts of what we do and of why I won the “National Lecturer of the Year” in 1989.

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1. Award Winning Teaching

My research into teaching methods focussed on identifying connections between separate topics on maths. By doing that, we can teach one single method that will work for a wide variety of different, but related questions. In this way we can simply and accelerate the learning process; for the pupil, this means less work AND better understanding of maths!

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2. Thorough Preparation

The vast majority of One-2-One tutors simply ‘turn-up-and-teach’ without adequate preparation. Maths is mostly about ‘understanding’, and less about ‘regurgitating facts’. A tutor gets ONE CHANCE to impart ‘understanding’ in a clear and coherent way. Not having prepared and risking an incomplete, confused or incoherent explanation instils confusion in the student, rather than confidence.

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3. Specifically Designed Homework

Most tutors either set no homework at all, or thoughtlessly set exercises from a text book containing inappropriate questions. At Math’scool, each homework is specifically written to complement the lesson, containing some  questions designed for routine practice and some questions designed to challenge the student; encouraging them to ‘think’ and to develop their logical capacity.

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4. Out-of-lesson Support

We teach our students at the weekend, but we also support them during the week. So, our students can get help with their homework when they need it, rather than having to wait until the next lesson. That way, our students have no excuse for being ‘stuck’ with the homework and they arrive at the next lesson  ready to move forward. This avoids stagnation in their learning.

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5. Web Lessons

Plonking a student in-front of a computer and hoping they’ll learn maths from some online tool or ‘app’ is simply naïve! We utilise the computer in the correct way; to teach the simple repetitive techniques that are the tools of the mathematician; but not to replace the guidance of a talented teacher. Our ‘Web Lessons’ release valuable lesson time where we can teach our students to ‘think’.

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6. Weekly Tests, Review and Revision Notes

Teaching in a planned, coherent manner has many advantages: i.e. A student’s recall of a topic will wane over time. The established way to avoid that is to review the topic at set intervals (1-week and 3-weeks). We follow this timeframe, setting corrections the week after a topic is learned and then testing the student and setting further corrections to ensure all that hard earned knowledge isn’t wasted.

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7. Focus on Exam Practice

Our students are given plenty of past paper practice – but only at the right time, once they have deep understanding of all of the individual topics within the syllabus. Far too many tutors use exam papers to ‘teach’ from, which means they are setting papers when the student isn’t ready: The upshot of that is the student’s scores fluctuate wildly and their confidence erodes…