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Secondary Trained ? Tutoring KS1 - should I do it???

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by TeacherTrix, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Ok, this is a long one but I'd really appreciate the feedback…
    I’m really looking for some honest opinions here. I’m secondary trained, advertise for KS2/3/4 students and have tutored mainly GCSE students up to this point. I’ve been contacted recently about working with a 5 (almost 6) year old – for help with his reading/writing. I’ve been very open with the parents about my background (I know then through another student) but they still want to go ahead. So…
    As I understand it English is not taught at KS1 here in Wales (he’s attending a Welsh medium school) so the work is purely to make sure he doesn’t fall behind.
    Can anyone suggest the best way to start this? I’ve seen people refer to tick sheets that they use for their first sessions with younger students to assess what they can do – are there any on here that I could take a look at? I thought I might get a couple of workbooks to follow - the Letts Magical Topics books look quite nice as they come with reward stickers – but are they any good? I also believe that I will need to break the session up as the attention span of a 5 year old won’t be what I’m used to – do people use games? Read with the student? What else?
    I’m really quite keen to take this job as I’d love to get some younger students but I’m always very aware that the parent is paying for a professional and I want to make sure I’m offering good value here. Am I being ridiculous?
    Thank you in advance for any advice, hints or tips.
     
  2. Ok, this is a long one but I'd really appreciate the feedback…
    I’m really looking for some honest opinions here. I’m secondary trained, advertise for KS2/3/4 students and have tutored mainly GCSE students up to this point. I’ve been contacted recently about working with a 5 (almost 6) year old – for help with his reading/writing. I’ve been very open with the parents about my background (I know then through another student) but they still want to go ahead. So…
    As I understand it English is not taught at KS1 here in Wales (he’s attending a Welsh medium school) so the work is purely to make sure he doesn’t fall behind.
    Can anyone suggest the best way to start this? I’ve seen people refer to tick sheets that they use for their first sessions with younger students to assess what they can do – are there any on here that I could take a look at? I thought I might get a couple of workbooks to follow - the Letts Magical Topics books look quite nice as they come with reward stickers – but are they any good? I also believe that I will need to break the session up as the attention span of a 5 year old won’t be what I’m used to – do people use games? Read with the student? What else?
    I’m really quite keen to take this job as I’d love to get some younger students but I’m always very aware that the parent is paying for a professional and I want to make sure I’m offering good value here. Am I being ridiculous?
    Thank you in advance for any advice, hints or tips.
     
  3. Hi TeacherTrix
    I've tutored from KS5 down to mid KS2 - but maths, not english, so my experiences may not be very relevant.
    However, I created some tick lists for my younger tutees...just looked at the NC statements for a particular level, and wrote a sentence for each main category starting with the words "I can...". All of my students were then able to read the statements and tell me whether the statement applied. I don't know whether the same idea would work for younger students of English, because you lose the option for them to scan a page and pick out skills at higher levels without having to plough through umpteen negatives.
    I'd agree with the idea of breaking up the session with lots of activities... and maybe keep the sessions quite short until you know how long they can usefully cope with working.
    For primary school students, and sometimes lower KS3 too, I end the session by awarding stickers (I have a set of different coloured stars or smily faces, and I let them choose the colour) for each item of work done well during the session (for really good work, I award the stickers immediately). I'll also usually spend a little while at the end of the lesson telling the parent about the good work (or ideally getting the student to show off their good work).
    One advantage of being a secondary teacher is that you know what the activities they are doing in primary school are heading towards... If a student happens to be really strong in one area, you probably already have resources and activities that will stretch, challenge and enrich their understanding, and if they struggle, you can focus on the specific areas that you know will be most important in later years...
    I hope some of this helps a little!
    Liz
     
  4. Thank you, that is helpful. The tick lists thing is something I'd thouht about for younger students but I don't think it would work for a 5 year old who probably hasn't done much English in school yet. The stickers is a great idea - thank you! Even I get excited about stickers - we had some given out in a 'trial' lesson on my PGDE course and all the trainees loved them!
    True - I hadn't really thought of it like this because there's such a big gap but it would be nice to feel like I was building a good foundation with the child so that they won't need me when they're older.


    Please ignore typos - my keyboard is acting up!

     
  5. In my opinion there is a distinct advantage of having worked in secondary and then moving into tutoring as you know what students need to arrive with in secondary school.
    I have taught down to as young as 6 though must be honest I question parents choosing to tutor kids as young as that. I try to keep it as informal as possible and bear in mind that there will be distinct shorter attention spans as little as ten minutes in some cases so when preparing activities think about this.
    I also use tick sheets for key stage 2 but find most key stage one except maybe year 2 are not yet ready to give you the levels they are on.
    there are some standard reading levels and spellling levels you can use and also maths websites that are useful and also primary websites with lots of free downloads available.
    Keep completely straight with the parents and give them regular updates. Try not to allow long sessions even though the parents think that is ok and you should be on to a winner.
    Best of luck
    jules 23958
     

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