Q. Where are you situated?
A. We are situated in Avonhead, Christchurch.
Q. How long are your lessons?
A. Term-time lessons are one hour long, once a week. Holiday programme lessons are usually one hour long for juniors and two hours long for seniors.
Q. When do you hold your lessons?
A. Lessons are held on weekdays after school during the state school term. Students attend at the same time each week.
Q. Is it one-on-one tuition or do you teach in a group?
A. Every student receives our one-on-one attention, but in our experience, students feel more relaxed and have a better lesson if they are not the only student present. We ensure that each student still receives the same amount of attention as they would if it was a strictly one-on-one lesson; the only difference is that we can naturally give them the breathing space they need when they are thinking and trying to solve a problem. Most students do not appreciate it if we are always watching over their shoulder, ready to jump as soon as they make a mistake! It is far too intense for them and it only raises their anxiety to receive that level of attention, contrary to the relaxed environment we aim to provide. Our students enjoy their lessons, and we believe that having a bit of company without the rivalry is a big part of that.
Q. Do you group students according to age or ability?
A. No. Each student works completely independently of the other, so it makes no difference how we group them. In fact, we go so far as to ensure that two students of the same age or ability would not be working on the same exercise at the same time, to avoid any competition.
Q. Do you do an initial assessment?
A. We do not conduct any formal assessments because that’s not the sort of environment we want for our students. We are here to help them, not test them. Remember that we are sitting next to our students the whole time, so we get to know them very well. We normally see where the gaps are just by working with them, but any information provided by assessments done at school or elsewhere will be taken into consideration.
Q. Do you set homework? Will you please set homework for my child?
A. We do not set homework for our students unless we see a specific need for extra practice. In our experience, the quality of work done at home (or in the car) is very poor compared to the quality of work done here with us, and of very little benefit. As long as students are fully engaged when they are here with us, and they continue to think and reflect on what they have learned when they are at home or at school, that is usually sufficient. Self-aware students will know when they need more practice, and student-motivated practice is undoubtedly more effective than any practice set by others.
Q. What time slots do you have available?
A. Please contact us for up-to-date information. If we are fully booked or we cannot find you a suitable time slot, then we operate a waiting list.
Q. Do you teach any other subjects?
A. The skills we teach when we teach mathematics (including reading comprehension, the logical processing of information and written communication) are readily transferable to other subjects. This is why some of our students report improvements in other subjects at school. We do help our students with their spelling and grammar whenever necessary. We have even been known to help with music theory, some of which is highly mathematical!