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Science tutors - what do you do in your tutoring sessions,

9 replies

hmmwhatatodo · 02/06/2018 01:30

For an average 1 hour lesson for a child in secondary school (maybe not a levels yet though perhaps it doesn’t matter), what would a typical lesson look like? I’m just trying to work out if I’m wasting my money or not! Thank you.

OP posts:
BassemB · 05/06/2018 15:29


A 1 hour lesson seems kind of short for any science subjects. Most of the time my tutoring sessions will be 2 hours and here is a rundown of how they will go:

1)Recap of what was done in the previous session. See if everything has been correctly assimilated. Also gives time to the student for any residual questions that he might have

2)Overview of the subject that we will be looking at in the current session. Introduce him to the subject on a high level.

3)Exercises, exam style questions

4)FAQ where the student can ask any questions regarding the subject we addressed during this session.

This is, at least personally , how I run my sessions. It is also worth noting that prior to exams, it is worth having sessions that are complete exam style questions in complete exam conditions. This is to get the student in the zone of the exam before it happens.

hmmwhatatodo · 05/06/2018 22:05

Thank you. I don’t think I could afford 2 hours unfortunately! 1 is expensive enough. I’m also thinking of a student who is not yet taking GCSEs so hopefully 1 hour is ok.

My experience hasn’t been that good, 1 hour mostly spent watching videos on some sort of science website is what I seem to have paid for, barely any talking or explaining, mostly just watch the video and then answer the questions that come up at the end of the video.

Why is it so hard to find a decent tutor?!

OP posts:
catslife · 06/06/2018 10:28

Most of my Science lessons are for 1 hour except for some A level sessions that are longer (usually 90 mins). One-to-one tuition can be intense and wouldn't expect younger pupils to be able to manage more than 1 hour.
I do sometimes use videos, but do other things as well as I like to use a variety of different teaching methods. So basically I use a mixture of quizzes, worksheets, making things e.g. posters and revision cards and also use activities such as games and crosswords for pre-GCSE. For GCSE I do exam style questions as well with easier versions for KS3. I go over the basics in terms of talking/explaining but this would be in small amounts usually to introduce each activity.

Dr273 · 12/07/2018 14:59

I usually only do 1 hour for any student GCSE or under, as they struggle to concentrate for longer, and some even for that time.

I take the approach that tutoring is different from learning in school, and the primary focus is to get the student to take control of their own learning, identify gaps and weaknesses in their knowledge, and motivate themselves to learn. As a tutor, my job is to find out (from them) what they don't know, why, and how they learn best, and teach them strategies for learning using the examples of what they struggled with this week.

The aim is to get the student to the stage where they can self-identify a weakness, seek specific information and strategies from me, then use them to explain back to me the material they didn't understand at the start. This means that early tutorials with a student will cover "less content" than later ones, and that building a rapport with the student is essential. It also means it's more like a conversation than a lecture. I tend to draw a lot in tutorials and show them different approaches. Approaching an exam, or for a few short sessions, I might look at exam questions, including strategies for answering them, model answers, and comparing approaches, but this would not be core to ongoing tuition until the exams were approaching.

I think what this shows from the posters so far is that different tutors have very different styles, and you want to find the one who fits with your child.

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo · 20/08/2018 18:46

Just wondering how you go about identifying areas of weakness Dr273, especially in KS3.

juliekingg · 11/09/2018 13:38

Usually every session has pre-determined goals that are tailored to the student's progress.

Personally, me and all my other tutors who work for me have a set of topics we need to cover in that session and a segment of the session involves testing the existing knowledge of the student on those topics. I have no idea which good tutor would spend the entirety of the session showing a video to you child like you mentioned. Its such a waste of money for parents.

janettheganet · 16/09/2018 15:43

science tutor Leeds area LS27 or has anyone used good online resources they can recommend. My daughter is in year 9.

spinabifidamom · 16/09/2018 17:03

We have a set list of things to cover. I use a variety of teaching resources with my students. We might do a quiz, watch a short video, go over practice questions, fill out worksheets etc. If a exam is approaching we tend to tackle past exam papers and use flash cards to learn vocabulary.
I even make up games to play with the child to keep them from getting bored quickly as well. When I first see the child I make them do a short learning style quiz to determine how best to teach them and talk with the parents about any strengths and weaknesses.

greenlanes · 16/09/2018 17:10

Thank you OP for this post. Really interesting and relevant to my family.

Can I ask the tutors how you would approach science tutoring with a child with severe dyslexia, very poor working memory, poor spelling, maths weak? many thanks

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