Tanveer Pathan has been a tutor with Greater London Education since 2014.
He specialises in Maths, Chemistry and Physics at secondary level. He currently teaches at UCL demonstrating laboratory procedures to undergraduate and post graduate students.
We caught up with Tanveer to ask him about his opinions on tutoring and what got him started with GLE.
Can you could you tell us about how you got into tutoring?
I am a full-time PhD student at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, UCL and tutoring provided an excellent option to keep up with the fundamentals of chemistry and also provide an alternative source of income without going out of the field of chemistry and academics in general.
What is your approach to tutoring?
The idea is to present the concepts of science and maths in the simplest possible manner to the students. Personally, I feel that it is very important to be interactive and make the sessions more interesting for the students by involving them in discussions. This way they not only understand it easily but it also gives them a massive confidence in that particular subject.
What do you like about teaching in schools?
It is a different and a very good experience and I enjoy the classroom environment the most. This also provides the opportunity to tutor to a mass of students rather than just one student. I enjoy the challenge of keeping the whole class at the same level and making sure that they all are following the lesson. Further, the students are already mentally prepared to learn as they are at school and it makes the task slightly easy.
What are the main differences in your opinion of in home and in school tuition?
The key difference is the environment and the surrounding. The classroom set-up and the presence of peers for the students make it obvious for the students to be willing to focus. It makes the students get out of their comfort zone that they would otherwise experience at home. This makes them more disciplined and allows them to focus only on the learning. As a tutor or a teacher, it is very important to make sure that you focus on every student in the class and make sure that the entire class in on board with the lesson.
What do you think works particularly well with pupils?
In my experience, dialogue works the best. The last thing you want is to lose the focus of your students, or even worse, the focus of some of the students, as they then tend to disturb the whole class. The students feel more confident and it promotes active contributions in the class from each of the students.
Tell us about a lesson that went really well, why was it so good?
My experience at Hatch End High School was very good. I was tutoring a class of chemistry students who were preparing for their AS-level exams it was an extra study session offered by the school on a Saturday. The particular lesson in discussion was towards the end in a series of lessons over a few weeks. We had already gone through the entire syllabus again and were focused on past exam papers and exam techniques. The whole class of around 15 students was very lively, active and extremely focused. They wanted to do well in their exams and it showed in the questions they asked. We went through a few papers and the questions were specific to exam techniques and how to write better answers and understand the questions in the first place. I felt very good with that lesson as I hope that I taught them how to perform well with the resources that they already have. The idea of applying the knowledge in an exam was discussed and as a tutor, the comments from the students were very positive and satisfying.
Neil Dawson has previous experience of teaching undergraduates at King’s College London as well as being a private tutor for GCSE, A-Level, undergraduate and postgraduate students. On Friday afternoons, you’ll find Neil nestled in Chelsea Academy’s vibrant library supporting six Year 11 pupils to think outside the box with their GCSE History.
Prior to the lesson he had set clear learning objectives for the session:
- 1. Develop knowledge and understanding of the impact of the NHS on medicine and public health in Britain
- 2. Analyse and evaluate the main priorities for public health in Britain today
The pupils had come prepared with some discussions around obesity and alcohol abuse with a particular emphasis on how this impacts the NHS. Neil took good care to allow pupils to take autonomy in their learning and to challenge each other, only interjecting when arguments needed to be tightened or additional information required scaffolding.
Neil’s approach to tutoring has also been very well received and he has an excellent rapport with the school’s senior leadership team. At the end of last term, we asked the school whether they would like to carry on with Neil and were told “Very much so. The students and parents seem very happy”. We wish Neil, his students and the school the very best in the final few weeks run up to GCSEs.
Questions for Neil
Can you share some information about how you got into tutoring?
I got into tutoring whilst studying for my PhD. I needed to supplement my income and find something that was flexible at the same time. Tutoring fitted this criteria, but once I started I found it to be very stimulating and rewarding and so have kept it up ever since.
How did you make the leap into working with tutoring within schools?
I was on the look out to gain some experience working as a tutor in schools, mainly because I wanted a new challenge and was interested in seeing if working in a school would be something I would like to pursue long-term. I received an email advertising for a History Tutor at Chelsea Academy, applied for the position and fortunately got the role.
What is your approach to tutoring? Can you give us any insights into how you prepared to work effectively in Chelsea Academy?
Obviously it is essential to well-prepared and know your stuff. But otherwise I think it is important to approach tutoring reflectively and critically, thinking about what worked, what didn’t and how might things be improved in the future. I also believe it is important to challenge students and actively encourage and praise them whenever it is warranted. I have adopted this approach for Chelsea Academy and feel it has worked well.
What do you think works particularly well with pupils?
Class debates seem to work particularly well with pupils. This is perhaps due to their challenging nature – you’re trying to win an historical argument. I’m often surprised at the depth of thought and analysis the pupils at Chelsea Academy bring to these.
Here’s to the end of term rush, filled with mince pies, merry carols and mock exams. Hang on, that doesn’t have the most festive ring to it does it? This Christmas respite will probably feature the light marking alongside the usual termly consideration like: how do I prove that I’m helping my students raise their aspirations? How can I ensure they are “building character”? You know, the usual easy chestnuts to roast over your academic festive fire.
Most secondary schools already have something in place to develop an aspirational culture and perhaps you’ve already considered University visits, talks with interesting ex-pupils (via great organisation’s like Future First) or simply thinking about your pupils waiting to hear back from their UCAS options. Or maybe, you’ve been thinking about activities that will help increase their “grit” and “resilience” for beyond school years. The government invested £10 million this year and created the “Character Awards” to support such work.
Arguably though the most important link to increase pupil aspirations is to raise their attainment. That means rattling through effective mock exam feedback, prepping for exam techniques and scheduling Easter booster sessions to push children towards and above their expected progress levels. With this constant assessment may appear a lack of confidence within a pupil. In fact, research conducted at the LSE indicates that confidence is a fundamental blocker to pupil success and potentially hinder an ability to foster aspiration.
This lack of confidence can be a blocker to both building character and achieving. However, Greater London Education has found that small group tuition can help to reinforce a positive resilience to academic set-backs, increase subject confidence and prepare children for academic success. For instance, Graveney School commended our work on the ability of our tutors in developing an excellent rapport with pupils. The tutors were seen as a positive addition to each pupil’s day allowing them to “respond well and were very complimentary about their learning”. In Lambeth Academy, working closely with the curriculum lead in science we found that the calm demeanour of our tutors helped pupils to “really attack challenging tasks without feeling rushed” which they have done in a normal classroom session. Whereas, working with children with special educational needs, a SENCO informed us that tutors were able to establish “a great relationship with her pupil, who can at times be reluctant to work”.
Small group tuition can make a considerable difference. It’s the dedication of a number of people (teachers, parents and tutors) that can make a significant difference for individual pupils. We believe that no child should be left behind; we offer more than assurance of academic progression but arming them with subject confidence to build a “can do” attitude and strive past previous difficulties.
We wish all the teachers we work with put down the paper work and have a very merry Christmas.
At Greater London Education, we continue to ensure that the lessons conducted by the tutors we provide are of the highest quality. The experienced teachers on our team frequently visit tuition sessions and ensure they are being conducted with appropriate teaching aims and a variety of learning tools; we also provide feedback to ensure our standards remain improving.
Our recent lesson observations revealed an excellent use of resources, particularly with literacy and mathematics. Our tutors used a range of visual aids and challenged students with difficult texts and number problems.
We discovered that whether it was teaching pupils about idioms or about Tom Sawyer, our tutors were enthusiastic and able to ensure every child within the group understood the tasks and learning outcomes.
To find out how our tutors are selected and how they can contribute to your school attainment through small group, one-to-one, half-term, after and before school and weekend tuition, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 02077273175.
Tuition in the UK has seen a huge growth in the last ten years, leading to fear over the negative implications for families from a lower income bracket.
According to a recent survey, one in four UK children are now receiving private tuition, in the last decade alone there has been a growth from 18% to 25% of students now paying for tutors. For families with children applying to grammar schools, 62% have sought out private tutors to help with the common entrance exams.
The social mobility charity – The Sutton Trust, has described it as “an escalating arms race in education”, while advocating a means tested voucher system to allow worse-off children to buy private tuition if needed. The organisation also pointed out that families in the top fifth income range are four times more likely to purchase private tuition.
Pupil Premium funding allows children from a range of backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of private tuition. Through implementing a programme of in-school tuition, students from low-income backgrounds can receive catch-up and booster classes over half term and the holidays.
In school tuition can not only counter the growing trend in private tuition among wealthy families, but can contribute to a general rise in standards across the board.
To implement a tuition programme please call us on 02077273175 for more information on how to arrange a tutor or email us at email@example.com.
Last year Greater London Education worked with over a hundred schools in the London area. Through providing tailored tuition programmes we were able to boost the results across schools and help inspire confidence in pupils.
We collated A Level, GCSE and Key Stage 2 results from the schools that benefited from our tutors and were able to measure the impact that our tutors had on overall attainment.
At Key Stage 2 level, 81% of students made at least one sub level of progress with the help of our tutors.
Among GCSE students 64% received grades A – C, while 60% of A-level students received A/B.
The inclusion of highly experienced tutors in your school can have a profound effect on grades. Whether it is revision sessions, boosters, or catch-up sessions, Greater London Education can tailor tuition programmes to meet the varied requirements of your school. Please call us on 02077273175 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Greater London Education, our talented tutors are carefully selected through a three stage application process. As well as having a stellar track record, they also have a passion for ensuring every pupil has the chance to succeed irrespective of their background.
Before becoming a tutor with Greater London Education, Melissa Desai was a teacher at an inner city school in New York City. She spent 8 years teaching children with special needs while studying for her master’s degree before moving to London. Melissa described the work as extremely rewarding:
‘When I was tutoring for GLE I had a group of 4 students that I was helping for the SATS. They loved their sessions and all ended up receiving marks that they had strived to earn. I felt like I helped instil that desire to learn.’
Our tutors also have strong convictions about the benefits of pupil premium funding, realising how grateful some of the students are for the additional help.
‘The groups of students that I have encountered have the desire to do well, but lack the funds to hire a personal tutor. It helps the students to succeed while also giving the students more confidence. I have had multiple students express gratitude to their teachers for getting them a tutor. If the students have the desire to learn, along with the confidence and the skills then the achievement gap should start to close.’
13+ tutor Charlotte Hyde also spoke about the benefits of pupil premium tuition.
‘All the children I tutor are rewarding for different reasons. However, children through pupil premium are especially rewarding to work with as you feel you’re giving them a chance to access opportunities that wouldn’t normally be available to them.’
‘Children who qualify for pupil premium are unlikely to be able to keep up with the rest of their class, so they are frequently overwhelmed in lessons. One-to-one tuition gives them an opportunity to learn at their own pace.’
Greater London Education’s in-school tuition programme has been highly successful at narrowing attainment gaps and improving standards across schools, with 83% of students making tangible progress last year.
Please call us on 02077273175 or email us at email@example.com for more information on how to arrange a tutor for your school.