Outstanding, personalised and convenient online tutoring in English and maths for children aged 8 to 12 years old, including: 11+ and SATs exam preparation; catch-up curriculum support; challenge for more-able students. Sessions are taught by a former Primary School Deputy Headteacher with a Master's in Education.
Benefits of Tutoring
Choosing a Tutor
Tutoring Service and Cost
Small Group Teaching Service and Cost
Meet the Tutor
The Benefits and Costs of Tutoring
Tutoring is one of the most effective forms of accelerated learning, with strong evidence that it offers up to 5 months' additional progress in a given year. Private tutoring costs vary widely across the country, ranging anywhere from £20 per hour to £80 per hour, depending on the focus and the experience of the tutor. For example, a tutor who specialises in A-Level Science and coaching for Oxbridge will cost far more than a Primary School maths tutor.
Tutoring sessions are specially designed for the individual tutee and this takes specialised preparation. Tutors must break down particular skills into manageable steps to support learners who may not be very confident and may have misconceptions which must be analysed and unlearned. A good tutor will consider what the learner already knows and the programmes that their school is following for English and maths. Tutors also build in lots of work on metacognition, test technique and learning skills, so that children become confident, independent learners who feel happy to tackle new material by themselves. Sessions may also need to be adapted at a moments notice to suit the learner's own pace and provide them with the type of individual support that just cannot be given in schools. Most state school teachers often have classes of 30 or more and cannot possibly give that level of attention to each child.
Tutoring is effective if done properly, but, remember, one hour of tutoring per week on its own will not be enough to ensure success: hard work is required! You will be provided with homework and will be expected to ensure that regular studying and preparation happens outside of the sessions. A good tutor will give direction on how and what to practice, and provide homework, but it is up to the student and their parents to make sure this is completed. Continual practice, independent study and revision are necessary to embed learning.
Choosing a Tutor
A good tutor is a wise investment, but you must choose carefully: anyone can be a tutor and set up a tutoring business without the need for qualifications. A study by the Education Endowment Fund found that school-based tutoring programmes that used unqualified tutors, such as volunteers or teaching assistants were "less effective than those using experienced and specifically trained teachers, which have nearly twice the effect on average". You might think that paying £15 per hour for tutoring is saving money, but if the tutor is less effective, you will need more sessions to achieve your aims or you may not achieve them at all. This is why paying a higher fee for a qualified and experienced tutor will actually be more cost effective over time.
While it may seem expensive, professionally qualified private tutors are providing an expert, bespoke service with materials selected specifically for the tutee's learning goals in order to accelerate their learning beyond that of regular teaching. A lot of work happens before and after the session, with materials and preparation time factored into the hourly rate. Therefore, a cheaper hourly rate might indicate less preparation and, therefore, a less personalised service. For example, the tutor may be following a published programme that might be well designed, but, if they just follow it blindly, then they may not be selecting the best activities for the tutee and their specific learning gaps or know how to adapt a session when needed.
You should enquire about a potential tutor's qualifications, experience and materials before engaging their services. If they offer to 'tutor' more than one child at a time, then you know that this is not tutoring, but small-group teaching and your child will not be getting the tailored service and undivided attention that one-to-one tutoring provides (see the section on small group teaching below to find out why this is different from tutoring).
What is tutoring and is it the right choice for you?
Tutoring is intensive, individualised support for one child and is recommended for children with gaps in their learning who are struggling in school, to support test preparation or to accelerate progress. As this is online tutoring, you will need to provide the learner with a suitable laptop or tablet with a camera and microphone, a Google account to enable access to lesson resources, a good internet connection and a quiet space in your house where the tutee can concentrate. I use a document camera, Zoom and Google Apps to support learning.
Curriculum catch-up support:
Weekdays: £40 per hour. Weekends: £45 per hour. Minimum of one hour per week.
11+ exam preparation:
Weekdays: £50 per hour. Weekends: £60 per hour. Minimum of one hour per week.
Spread Book Joy tutoring service includes:
Free consultations for all clients with no obligation to purchase any sessions.
Diagnostic assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses before we begin and at regular intervals to assess progress.
Personalised, fun and engaging weekly sessions tailored to each individual and their interests in order to plug gaps in learning. prepare for exams or accelerate progress as needed.
Weekly homework to provide independent practice.
Activities and resources provided which will align with the tutee's school's own English and maths programmes to avoid any confusion.
Regular communication with parents or carers to update them on progress.
Online lessons are safe, engaging and convenient. No need to travel, you can stay in the room during the lesson and have complete access to all of the teaching materials. Online lessons include creative, engaging games, activity slides, shared whiteboard screens and video webcam.
Small Group Teaching Service
What is small group teaching and is it the right choice for you?
Small group teaching may be beneficial to support up to four children with assigned home learning lessons or to support with homework, particularly SATs or end-of-term test preparation, known as booster classes. If you know of several children who would benefit from a lesson taught by a qualified teacher on a specific subject, this is a lovely option which means that you can relax and leave it to a professional. Plus, the children can all access the lesson from the comfort of home, so there is no need to organise a teaching room.
Cost for up to four children for regular curriculum support: if the lessons and materials are provided by the school: £20 per child, per hour. If you wish me to provide planning and materials, the cost will be £25 per child, per hour.
Cost for up to four children for 11+ exam preparation: if parents purchase the suggested resources for preparation: £30 per child, per hour. If you wish me to provide homework materials, the cost will be £35 per child, per hour.
Cost for larger groups: I am willing to teach lessons or booster classes to larger groups. Costs will be provided by request only because it will depend on the number of children, as well as the aims and the length of the sessions. Please use my contact form to enquire and I will be happy to provide a quote.
Why does this cost less?
Small group teaching costs less than tutoring because attention will not be solely focused on one child and will be shared among the group. Equal amounts of tutor attention per child cannot be guaranteed because each child will have different needs. This also means that the lessons will not be individually tailored for each child, but will be pitched at a level that all children in the group should be able to access. This is why it is called 'teaching' as opposed to 'tutoring'.
It is not adviseable to choose this option for children who have significant gaps in their learning because this is the method that is used in schools: if small group teaching worked for every child, then they would be able to keep up in school and would not have gaps.
About the tutor: Jacqueline Doherty, MA.
Outstanding Primary School teacher and former Deputy Headteacher.
Qualified Teacher Status gained in 2003. I worked continually in inner-London primary schools until 2020.
Master's in Education (Distinction) gained in 2019. I am currently editing my dissertation research for publication in an academic journal.
Disclosure and Barring Service certificate dated 10 February 2021 is available to view on request (DBS is a criminal record check required for safeguarding purposes).
I have taught in every year group from Reception to Year 6, as well as being both Curriculum and Assessment Leader for my last school. Therefore, I am familiar with all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, National Curriculum, most UK English and maths programmes (including Read, Write Inc., Power of Reading, Power Maths and White Rose Maths), as well as all of the national statutory assessments for children aged 3 to 11.
Experienced intervention teacher, SATs teacher and moderator: I can support children to plug any gaps in learning and with test preparation for both English and maths.
English specialist, with particular strengths in reading and grammar SAT preparation, supporting struggling older readers and writers, and teaching for greater depth in both reading and writing. I have extensive knowledge of children's literature and have successfully led children's book clubs for many years.
As a Deputy Headteacher and Curriculum Consultant, I have mentored and trained dozens of teachers at all stages of their careers, including delivering sessions on assessment to student teachers at the Institute of Education.
I began my own website, YouTube channel and Instagram account, Spread Book Joy, in September 2020 to share my knowledge of reading and children's literature with parents and teachers. I have gained over 2000 followers across each of my platforms, a number that is growing rapidly each week. Take a look at my videos below to find out more about me and my work.
What does an online tutoring session look like?
The session was recorded and shared with permission of the child's parents. The tutee is 8 years old and his parents wanted me to re-ignite his passion for writing, which had waned somewhat since joining Year 3. His parents were also keen for him to learn how to plan a story because he tends to write a lot, but gets muddled with structure. See the full planning for his sessions below (the parrot plan). This video is unlisted on YouTube and client confidentiality is upheld.
What do I look and sound like?
How do I model test questions?
What are my teaching resources like?
An example of the quality of the teaching resources that I have produced for my online shop:
Example Session Plans
Click image to view: