As children start back at school again after the long summer break it is natural for them to feel a bit overwhelmed by returning to full-time study. For some, it will be a transition to a new school year and a step up in the academic pace and for others, they will be entering into a key exam year and the pressure will be mounting. For many families, it seems sensible to think about getting some extra academic support for their children to ensure that they are in a strong position as the year progresses. We asked our Head of Tutoring Carl Morris, what he thinks are the key benefits of tutoring. Parents come to us for tutoring for a variety of different reasons, some feel that their children are struggling in school and need some additional support, for others they want their children to be stretched beyond the curriculum and others feel out of their depth with trying to help their children with school work and want some professional input. Whatever the motivation, we find that one of the major benefits for each child is that a tutor can build on subject understanding, and give the student confidence that they do fully understand the material. Tutoring is very different from teaching, as tutors are working one to one with a student and can, therefore, personalise the learning to that individual. They assess the student’s learning style and make sure that they build their lessons around a certain delivery style and include activities that are designed to stimulate that particular student’s learning. It means students are comfortable about owning up to which areas they find difficult and feel free to ask questions without fear of ridicule from classmates. Another advantage of tutoring is the dedicated study environment, free from distractions and interruptions. It is easier for the child to concentrate and to absorb the material they are working on. One of the advantages of individual attention means that the tutor can keep the student on track and help with time management skills. This can then lead into the student taking the initiative and setting the pace for themselves which is a great transferable skill across all of their academic studies. All of this encourages not only good work and study habits but also taking responsibility for their work. For many of our tutors, it is not just about getting the work done, it is also about making the learning process fun and engaging. For example, students can learn about robotics by building a robot rather than to go through the theory. For a high-level student in, for example, Physics, being taught by a recent Cambridge Graduate in the same discipline means that they can truly explore the subject in-depth and off curriculum and develop intellectual independence. For our tutors, it is not about ‘filling the bucket but lighting the fire’! By the end of a term of tutoring, we generally notice a marked increase in a student’s confidence levels and this is reflected in better performance in class which again helps build self-esteem across other areas. Ultimately tutoring can greatly improve a student’s academic performance. Tutors will not only improve subject knowledge but will also teach a broader set of study skills which will be valuable across a range of subjects. Many families see a notable improvement in academic achievement across the board even if the children are only having tutoring in one area. These sort of skills will stand any student in good stead for the rest of their education journey.