Exam time gets a lot of attention from students, parents and teachers alike – but the most important time for learning is the time in between exams.
This is because students need time to learn, in positive and supportive environments where they can play with ideas, ask questions, read around a subject, and practice new techniques.
One-to-one and small-group experiences, such as those tuition offer, allow your child the time and space to really learn – and this ensures there will be less panic before the next exam or during the transition from primary to high school, or from one year to the next.
While tuition can be good to help your child reach certain goals, such as exam preparation, this should not be a ‘cramming’ session but a well-thought out program of preparation with enough time to really learn.
Concept retention takes repetition, and skills take time to master, so longer-term support is necessary for many students, and beneficial for all students, whether they are being extended or need a little extra help.
Is your child really being extended during the school year?
For students who need constant extension to reach their potential and enjoy their schooling: Are you aware how much they are being extended? We hear a lot from parents that their child is great at a particular subject because ‘They are in Year 4 and doing Year 6 Maths’. However, when we give them a problem presented differently, they are unable to understand the Maths that they need to do. They are being vertically extended, which actually is hindering their ability to fully understand topics and actually apply them to a range of ‘real-life’ situations.
We also find that the children who are extended vertically in primary school then struggle in high school when they are then asked to apply their knowledge to other subjects, such as using their Maths in Science. Students need to be extended horizontally, which means that they are learning the topics across a broad spectrum and they are able to fully understand the topics and not just robotically fill out questions.
Teachers at school have limited time to give to students one-to-one, to really engage and ask questions to extend them. Despite best efforts… is your child simply being given extra work when they finish early? In some cases, this is the norm.
This article provides more detailed information about real extension for bright students: https://ramblingsofagiftedteacher.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/enrichment-vs-extension-in-the-regular-classroom/
Developing critical and creative thinkers
More than just memorising facts that will be quickly forgotten after the exam, being able to internalise concepts and apply them to different contexts and problems is what makes a critical and creative thinker – skills we all need in our rapidly changing world! In addition, continuous exposure to positive learning experiences that build confidence, such as through one-to-one tuition time, can also create life-long inspiration to learn.