In this blog, Claire discusses the benefits of having specialist subject tutors for 11+ English and Maths.
Gaining a place at secondary school can be a very stressful situation for both parents and students. When a parent is struggling to find the time or resources to help guide their child through the rigorous testing, they often rely on a tutor to help them through the process. Often a student has a stronger subject but still needs support in both Maths and English in order to reach the required standards and confidence levels. The choice of tutor now plays an even bigger role. Does the parent choose one tutor to cover both subjects? Do they pick one subject to focus on and choose a specialised tutor for that area? Do they take on two separate but specialised tutors? Unfortunately, not everyone can take on the services of two separate tutors, but the benefits of having an individual tutor for each subject easily outweigh the positives of a tutor who can cover both areas. One of the most obvious benefits is an increased amount of time on each subject. Even if a single tutor has two hours or more to cover both Maths and English, they may choose to spend more time on one area than entirely necessary (due to a variety of reasons). Another benefit is the ability to appropriately break down the high standard of content present in both subjects. It would be extremely rare to find a tutor who could say that their knowledge of both areas is equal (e.g. having a degree in a subject strongly related to English and also a degree in an area strongly related to Maths). A large amount of the content covered is not necessarily formulaic and methodical. It requires a specialist’s eye in order to see how best to teach certain areas or what approach to take. As a specialist 11+ Maths tutor, who also gained an A* in English IGCSE and oversaw the high level of academic writing in all of my university group projects, I still feel like I would not be able to match the standard which a specialist 11+ English tutor could provide in analysing texts, amongst other examples. I constantly draw upon my teaching and tutoring experience in Maths in order to source resources and explanations, which I would not have had knowledge of, or experience of, if I had not been solely focused on Maths. Ultimately though, what works best for the student is the biggest factor in play. The positive points for both sides of the argument, do not dictate the direct needs of the student.