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Creating Lifelong Learners

There are many reasons that families reach out for expert tuition for their children, the role of tutoring has enormous proven benefits. However, are there potentially some negative aspects to private tutoring?

The rise of "grade hysteria" puts pressure on parents and their expectations and also on pupils to be at the top of the class, in order to secure their academic future. Managing expectations can be a challenge, and pressure on tutors to help children get these grades quickly can sometimes take precedence over slow and steady progression. The ‘winding road’ of learning is where pupils pick up skills, think critically, discover their passions, and develop their curiosity through being challenged. When grades are prioritised over skills, tutors are often a "go to" solution, however, in this situation there can be a temptation to provide an overly supportive ‘hand holding’ culture which can ultimately lead to an over-dependency on tutors. This can deprive pupils of the satisfaction of achieving things by their own efforts with prompts and encouragement from their more experienced mentor.

Knowing this and combatting it is what separates a good tutor from a bad tutor. Carfax tutors offer their top tips on how they mentor pupils to be curious, independent, self-motivated, and skilled learners.

Lydia, our English and Humanities tutor suggests that once you have covered a topic, you can swap roles and tell the pupil to be the teacher. She also advocates encouraging pupils to pick out the key points and do some extra research on these areas, ready to answer a range of questions that the tutor might pose.

Older pupils may ask a tutor to edit or proofread their work but Lydia says "it is important to explain to a pupil why it is necessary for them to develop these skills for themselves". The skill of re-reading and editing work is as important as writing the essay in the first place and will stand them in better stead in the future.

Making the lessons interactive ensures pupils are engaging with the material. Being ready to summarise content and give oral feedback or written answers, shows that pupils have understood and applied their new knowledge.

For more information about one to one tutoring, please call us now on +971 4 438 5276

Nicole, who tutors a wide range of subjects says “For maths you can test whether students have understood the concept by giving them a problem to do completely by themselves. For this step, they hold the marker and I remain silent until their work is complete, like a mini test.” This encourages them to think out loud and share their workings as they go along.

Olivia, a Humanities and Social Sciences tutor says, "I try to encourage all my students to look beyond the curriculum, whether that's suggesting interesting books, news articles, local art galleries and museums, or even Netflix documentaries”.

For older students in particular, Olivia likes to use real-life case studies and approach them from a problem-based perspective. “I have an undergraduate student, for example, whom I asked to collate data and information on a particular business problem. We reviewed some McKinsey reports on the phenomenon and were able to learn a lot about how to approach problems and propose solutions in genuine business situations."

Other tactics include eliciting information from a pupil prior to starting on the topic, so they can demonstrate their existing knowledge. This builds confidence and allows them to connect new content to their pre-existing knowledge.

Children who are reluctant to work without support might need the five-minute rule: tell the student they must work on a task for five minutes before they can ask a question - something has to be on the paper before the time is up, and in those first 5 minutes there are no wrong answers.

Likewise, set a race against a timer for the pupil to answer a question. It can be a competitive game against the tutor and you can compare answers afterward. Just don’t forget to go back and edit the work!

A good tutor encourages curiosity and mistakes; they ensure that pupils know the value and importance of learning over and above achieving high grades. They instil confidence in their pupils, so they learn to trust their own judgment. These skills are the attributes of a lifelong learner and are key to setting a child up for academic success.

To book or meet our tutors, call us now on +971 4 438 5276, email at, or visit:


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