One to one or group tuition?

It is a question that faces most parents and students when it comes to the important decision of seeking that extra help that will allow them to achieve better results. In a previous post we already talked about the difficulty a large number of learners come across in main stream education. Large class sizes and various sources of distraction in state education make private tuition the most affordable and effective solution for many who are struggling to reach their full potential!

1-2-1 tuition

What is attractive about one to one tuition? Well, parents often feel that the money they spend on their children’s tuition is better spent, if the “full” attention of the tutor is on their child for the whole hour they’ve paid for! This is quite understandable and can be somewhat reassuring to know their child’s tutors doesn’t have to be “shared” with anyone else, but this view doesn’t take into account a series of factors that could make the time students spend on one to one tuition counterproductive rather than helping them to succeed.

The first and most obvious of these factors is that the student will have the expectation that their tutor will tell and show them exactly what to do at each stage of answering an exam question, or writing their notes, highlighting important keywords, etc… The tutor on the other hand will feel awkward if long pauses and confused looks are directed at them when they’ve asked a question to their student, or if they’ve set a task to complete “independently”, and they will be very tempted to offer too much help too early, with the result that little, if any, learning takes place.

He doesn't know the answerThis is treading on a very dangerous path, because the student will feel confident they now understand the subject and that they can answer exam questions correctly, because the tutor is always at hand showing them what to do, but when the big day of the exam comes and the pupil finds themselves alone to answer very similar questions, they might find that they are not so confident after all and that they have no one to help them sitting nearby. Disaster!

Don’t take us wrong. This is not what always happens, but it is a very familiar scenario, especially when parents have hired inexperienced tutors who have had little, or no, experience of teaching, so beware of graduate tutors, as many are not worth your money.

Is group tuition better?

Class on boardIn short, yes! At Ymestyn we believe that tuition in small groups is the ideal environment for learning and for achieving outstanding results. We use maximum group sizes of six students which is an ideal number to reach a good level of interaction between students and tutor, but it is not so large that the tutor has no time to focus on the individual needs of their learners. Working in a small class opens up opportunities for collaborative learning and removes the intimidation a pupil might feel in sitting for an hour with an adult who asks questions exclusively to them, as there’s no one else to ask questions to!

The social interaction between students before the lesson begins and in working together at various tasks during the tuition session helps in generating a relaxed environment where the students are more likely to feel comfortable with their tutor and with each other. This means that the fear of asking questions and offering answers to questions is considerably reduced.

Another advantage of small groups is that group work can become a frequent aspect of tuition lessons and learners can support each other by collaborating and offering equal contributions to the completion of tasks. In this way students become more independent learners and develop a confidence in their subject knowledge that is grounded in real progress rather than in the false impression that comes from being spoon fed all the time.

So, If you are a parent, or a student, who needs tuition, contacts us to hear more about our rates and our outstanding teaching methods and tools.

Send us an email at, or call us on 07968183329

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