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The UK is a great consumer of private lessons, adult classes for people seeking to acquire new skills as well as, increasingly, school-level tutoring. Does that mean that the British school system is failing? No more so than elsewhere. Rather, parents are being swayed by a some very weighty argument in favour of private tutors.
The British school system, as many others, uses tests to evaluate their level. The big national tests, such as GCSE and A-Levels, place an immense amount of stress to perform during a single point in time. Gaining entry into the right university to study the subject of your choice, finding the apprenticeship you want - all of it dependant on good grades. This race for good grades motivates many parents to look for private tutors for their children, even when they don’t have any difficulties with the subject.
However, private lessons in the UK don’t just encompass tutoring for children. A number of people decide to learn a foreign language, take music lessons, a yoga class, drawing lessons or sewing courses simply for pleasure. It’s an opportunity to live a passion, study something you decided not to pursue when you were younger or relax after work.
All in all, private lessons allow for personalised instruction with a teacher whose profile may be a little unusual. The better to adapt to your individual needs, to allow you to ask questions for which there may not be time in a group class and get tips adapted to your own personal needs.
A lot of people need a a lot of attention, with a professor who concentrates solely on them, to understand concepts correctly. Whether you are seeking to excel academically or simply perfect your skills in a specific activity, private lessons are increasingly popular in the UK.
School-level tutoring is one of the most common reasons for private lessons. Some students have trouble with the rhythm of the school curriculum, which passes from one concept to the next regardless of whether everyone has understood, while others have difficulties in one specific subject (maths, French, Spanish, History, Geography etc.) To avoid increasing the gap in comprehension as the school year drags on, parents often decide to get a private tutor for their children.
In the UK, up to a million students take advantage of private tutoring every year. They range from primary school to GCSE to A-Level students. Private tutoring can also help with various entrance exams to exclusive schools or for bachelor or master studies.
Whatever the reason, private courses can really help students avoid failure and reach the level they need to succeed. Private tutoring offer personalised learning opportunities, adapted to each student’s learning style. Whether language lessons, French lessons, English lessons, maths lessons, Physics lessons - whatever the subject, there is a tutor out there ready to help. Some teachers even offer classes in several subjects, depending on the level you are learning for and their current capacities.
The most important thing for you is to find a private tutor with good teaching skills and lots of patience to help with homework and studying. Home tutoring is a real chance to help students effectively when parents are in over their heads.
Private courses are not simply for homework assistance at home. More and more, private tutors offer their services for a plethora of other subjects and hobbies. You can learn to play the saxophone, take up knitting, learn British Sign Language or how to cook.
Private lessons offer the opportunity to engage in an activity you have always wanted to try out. It’s sometimes difficult to find a school or association that gives lessons in what you’re interested in. If you live in the country, specialised classes are often not easily accessible. Taking private lessons are also possible over Skype, so your tutor doesn’t even have to live in the same town as you! They also give you more choice in terms of teachers, hours, location etc. Even activities that are not taught at school - crochet lessons, ballet classes, guitar classes, computer lessons - all of these are available through private tutoring.
Most private teachers are passionate about what they teach, whether it is music, cinema, sports or other activites. They know how to transmit their knowledge and make their classes attractive. Taking private lessons gives you the opportunity to choose a teacher with specific skills you might not usually find in a school or academy. Whether it is a drawing teacher who can teach manga, a historian specialised in Mayan civilisation… Take advantage of what the profiles of each teacher tell you about their specialisation and take advantage of it to learn what you really want to learn and discover an activity you have always dreamed of.
There are many different ways to perfect your skills in a specific subject. You can see with your tutor if you want to go to their house or have them come to yours. Whether for remedial courses or after-school activities, the tutor can come to your home and save you time on a trip.
The advantage of having your lessons at home is, of course, the amazing time saving. You won’t have to factor in transportation time into your busy schedule; no more sitting in traffic or looking up bus schedules. You simply have to sit and wait for your teacher to show up. However, in some cases that can be difficult - piano lessons, singing lessons or sewing courses can get a little complicated if you don’t own a piano or sewing machine and are just beginning. In those cases, your tutor might be willing to let you use their own equipment in their home.
Another advantage of learning at home is that you feel comfortable there, which is conclusive for helping students learn and retain their lessons.
But be sure to warn your neighbours if you are taking lessons that make a lot of noise, such as drumming, saxophone lessons or tap-dancing.
Sometimes, luck isn’t on your side, and there are no private tutors teaching what you want to learn near you. Especially in rural areas it can be difficult to find someone to help you learn unusual hobbies. However, a great many Superprof tutors (and elsewhere) offer courses online, through apps like Skype or Facetime - allowing you to learn whatever you want wherever you might be in Britain.
Using the videoconferencing software of their choice, students can have private courses wherever they want to, even if they are ill or travelling. Maths courses can be given with screen videos and homework exchanged via emails. When preparing for exams or trying to improve your research skills at Uni, online courses are an excellent alternative for those living far from the big cities.
You can also organise long-distance lessons as group classes. Whether with friends, family or colleagues, it’s possible to co-ordinate with your tutor to find a slot that suits everyone, so you can all meet together to benefit from a Skype lesson with your teacher.
Taking private lessons online is becoming more and more common, as it avoids unnecessary transit. They are just as effective as face-to-face lessons. Of course, some courses are difficult to teach at a distance - massaging, for example, or physical therapy, but most subjects are suitable.
Whether you are prepping for your A-levels or taking college-level maths or seeking an apprenticeship at a tailor’s, private courses can take on several forms. The can take place at an institution or school, at home, online… Wherever you live in Britain, you are sure to find a tutor who suits your needs.
Sometimes, tutors set up leaflets or cards at local shops to make sure people in their neighbourhood are aware of their offer. Corkboards are often overflowing with tutoring offers. Don’t hesitate to look through them to see if you can find what you are looking for.
Certain specialised schools and institutes have their own tutors on staff who can offer private courses. Whether it be revision courses of GCSEs and A-Levels, textile institutes such as the Royal School of Needlework or the Goethe Institute for learning German, you have a number of options open to you right there.
You can also look for adult tutoring on the Web. Platforms such as Superprof serve to pair up students and teachers in a huge variety of subjects. Living all over the UK, our tutors are ready to impart their knowledge to students with a passion.