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Primary/ 11+ Tutoring

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by emilyellert1, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. I am a relativley new teacher (just qualified) and I live in Buckinghamshire. I have heard more and more about the benifits of tutoring and am looking for a bit of help/pointers to give me an idea of what I will be getting into. Although I have worked mainly in KS1 I think with a bit of research I would be confident in teaching 11+.
    Does anyone have any pointers as to how they got started tutoring and does anybody generally tutor KS1 children?
    11+ is very popular in my area and am very aware parents are keen for support for their children. I think 1hr a week, or 2 closer to the time is enough, any other ideas? Also how is best to fill a session, should I work through maths/NVR/VR etc seperatly or do a little each session?

    Thank you :)

  2. I tutor primary (I try to avoid entrance exams - we're not an 11+ area though - just personal preference, I've done exam prep before working in the independent sector and didn't enjoy doing it) - it tends to be very very much KS2 heavy in terms of enquiries though - I think I've taken on one child in KS1 on a short term basis (basically mum wanted to keep his phonics from mouldering away during the summer holidays, it was very very local to me, so I did half an hour a couple of days a week - wouldn't have if it wasn't like down the street from my house! - of lots and lots of phonics games and practical activities and stuff... that one was mainly a lack of parental confidence and fear of "getting the sounds wrong" really). I get the odd enquiry from KS1 but it's stuff like "Jenny's struggling with her reading (so again - phonics) can we get some help" - but they're generally too far away from me for me to take them up (and I don't really like tutoring that young - they can't concentrate for an hour so you end up with really short sessions dotted about that make it unviable in terms of petrol costs etc).
    I used to travel further than I do now - now I've found that there's suddenly such a demand very locally to me (granted I live in a pocket of middle-class fairly affluent areas) that I can be picky who I take on in terms of travelling area (it felt like I was never out of the flipping car at one point!). Generally the enquiries I get are about 60/40 biased in terms of English (I do both English and Maths) - the English ones are often from slightly lower down the school (so Y4ish) who are starting to slide behind peers, the Maths ones tend to be the night the first homework of Y6 goes home and the kids can't do it, the parents are stumped so they hit the phone for reinforcements!
    Last year was quite quiet for me - this year has gone utterly utterly nuts - I could be out with a couple of kids every single evening to be honest - but I'm picky about who I take on (I really look for families I can build up a rapport with because otherwise it drags for me and it drags for the kid and then you get the drop outs mid-year, which leaves you with a slot that it's a nightmare to fill up) and I tend to limit it to a couple of nights a week I'm working. I've had some kids 2-3 years now tutoring and I know I've got one kid for definite again next year, and another's sibling's looking a promising lead - so the work's there if you're in the right type of area.
    I basically go via an agency, and am gradually moving toward more word of mouth promotion as well (which means I'm cutting out agency fees) - so it's having parents have your business card so they can pass your number on at the school gates that really helps, I tend to find once I get one child within an area my number makes it around about 5 or 6 more - not all will take you up, but its enquiries... I keep planning to set up a website for myself and try to reduce my agency business but haven't done that yet. I think it's quite area and local competition levels dependent - round here I think we've got about 3 bods working in the primary age range - so we're fairly thinly spread and demand's pretty high.

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