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What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

by | Dec 21, 2022 | 0 comments

What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition – Introduction

In Singapore, education is highly valued and competitive. A strong educational foundation can unlock many opportunities for our children as they progress through school and into the workforce. Therefore, it is imperative that our children receive a quality education. This will enable them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to grow and succeed.

One way to help our children achieve academic success is by supplementing their mainstream education with additional support and resources. This is why many parents choose to enrol their children in tuition classes. They hope that by doing so, they can help their children to better grasp what they are learning in school.

What factors contribute to an optimal learning experience for students? How can parents use this information to select the best English tutor for their children? This article aims to provide insight into these questions and help you make an informed decision.


Factor 1: Class Size | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

Mainstream schools in Singapore often have teacher-student ratios of about 40 students to 1 teacher. This can be tough for teachers to give each student the individualised help and support they need. While teachers may desire to give personalised assistance to each child, there are also limits to what they can do. Because teachers divide their attention among 40 students, it can be difficult for individual students to get their questions answered. Many teachers may even feel overwhelmed by the demands of large classes.

The reality is this: In large classes, it is extremely challenging for students to vie for the attention they deserve. In smaller classes, however, teachers are able to give more individualised attention and support to each student. This can help students feel more confident in their ability to ask questions and receive the help they need. In large classes, the learning environment may not be all that different from what students are already experiencing in school. Why enrol your child in a class that offers a learning environment that doesn’t significantly differ from their regular school setting? If your child struggles in school, chances are they will not benefit from large class settings as well.

An ideal class size is often 8 to 10 students. This allows for a good balance between individualised attention and support, while still enabling group collaboration and discussion. In a small class, students have more opportunities to ask questions and get the help they need. Teachers are also able to cater to the individual needs of each student more easily. Asking questions is an essential part of the learning process. Being unable to do so in a large class can hinder your child’s growth and understanding of their schoolwork.


Factor 2: Tutor Background and Qualifications | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

Possibly the most important factor when choosing a tuition provider for your child is the tutor themselves. This is the persona that will be guiding and enriching your child’s experience of the subject. It is vital that the tutor possesses the necessary skills and expertise to bring out the best in your child.

Trained MOE teachers or experienced private tutors are arguably the best tutors for your child. Not only do they have professional training, subject mastery, and in-depth knowledge of the syllabus, but they also have years of experience in interacting and engaging with students. After all… What good is a knowledgeable tutor if they can’t get through to the student? Experienced tutors will know how to effectively excite and engage students while effectively impart knowledge. They are also likely to be able to spot trends and predict examination questions successfully.

Our tutors at Learning Gems are all NIE-trained teachers with years of experience at MOE schools. This means that we can deliver lessons that are closely aligned with MOE’s latest syllabus. In planning our lessons, we ensure that answering techniques are taught based on MOE’s standards. We also teach our students how to present their answers in a way that Cambridge wants. This helps them to maximise their scores in the most exam-smart manner.

Our tutors’ lessons are also regularly reviewed for quality control. We share teaching strategies to improve our craft so as to deliver the best possible lesson to your child. Our combined knowledge and experience allow us to continually enhance our teaching methods and provide a high-quality learning experience for your child.


Factor 3: Testimonials | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

When sourcing for a tuition centre for your child, it is essential to carefully evaluate their ability to provide a high-quality education. This involves more than just considering the promises made by the centre. Parents should also consider their track record and real-life experiences of other parents and students. One way to get a sense of a centre’s effectiveness is to read testimonials from other parents and students. These can provide insight into the specifics of the centre that have made others satisfied with the service. This can no doubt help you determine whether the centre is the right fit for your child.

Considering the centre’s track record and real-life experiences of others is therefore critical in helping parents make an informed decision. While a strong portfolio can be a good indicator of a centre’s capabilities, it is even more valuable to know that the centre is able to deliver results in practice. That said, some parents may be sceptical of the reliability of testimonials published by centres. This is understandable. It is hence also worth noting that verified reviews on platforms like Google Reviews can add credibility to these testimonials.


Factor 4: Method of Instruction – the Digital Benefits of Online Learning | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world how things can be done differently. It also showed us that children of today are indeed digital natives, as they took to “working from home” rather naturally. In fact, many students that our tutors know have given feedback that they now learn better online.

Online learning can improve learning outcomes for our children who are often referred to as “digital natives”. Our children are very comfortable with technology as they grew up with technology as part of their daily lives. The screen has somehow become second nature to them and works to capture their attention and activate their learning mode. They are more accustomed to interacting with screens and using technology as a learning tool.

Additionally, online learning provides access to a wide range of resources, such as videos, animations, simulations, and interactive quizzes. All these can help students learn in a more engaging and interactive way. This can be especially helpful for students who are visual or kinesthetic learners, which most of our children are. They are able to learn through hands-on activities and visual aids. This is also exactly what we do at Learning Gems. We use a wide variety of online tools that will keep students engaged.

Parents may be concerned about how their children may be engaged in their own activities behind the screens during lessons. Our teachers are aware of these concerns and take steps to ensure that students are focused and engaged during class. This may involve constantly calling on students to speak up so they will be kept on their toes. We also use breakout rooms to allow students to work in small groups and collaborate with their peers. Interactive quizzes and polls may also be used. All these are helpful ways to keep students engaged and encourage participation.

For parents whose children are transitioning from primary to secondary school, you might be aware that they will be busier, and their time is limited. They are taking on more subjects and have CCAs that they commit to after school. Having them go to a physical centre for tuition after school may exhaust them. Online lessons will enable them to still gain the benefits from tuition without losing time and energy from travelling. Parents are also able to observe and support their children from a safe space.


Factor 5: Personalised and Detailed Feedback | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

One common gripe from parents about their children’s marked essays in school is the lack of thoroughness. Students often don’t get sufficient comments, or they don’t understand the marking symbols. As a result, students may be unsure of what they are doing correctly, or what they need to work on to get better. They are left to make sense of the red scribblings on their own, often without much success. In their next compo, they may even end up making the same mistakes!

It can be challenging for school teachers to provide detailed feedback due to the sheer amount of marking they have. We know, because we’ve been there! Feedback is only useful when the student understands it and knows how to work on it. Detailed feedback is a valuable tool for students to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. It also gives students the support and guidance they need to succeed.

Thankfully, because of the smaller class sizes at Learning Gems, our teachers are able to give detailed feedback on our students’ work. We highlight areas of strength and provide suggestions on areas for improvement. This helps your child understand specifically what they did well and what they need to work on to improve. We also give personalised feedback that is tailored to the ability and readiness of the student. This no doubt will aid their mastery of the subject in an efficient and realistic manner.


Factor 6: Lesson Materials | What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition

Another factor that parents need to consider when choosing a tuition centre is the quality of the lesson materials. Notes and worksheets written by the tuition centre themselves are often of higher quality because they have a curriculum team specifically dedicated to this purpose. These types of notes give your child an extra edge because they have access to materials unavailable to other students. It is also important to consider whether the notes are tailored to the latest syllabus and exam trends. This can help ensure that your child is receiving an up-to-date and relevant education.

At Learning Gems, we place a strong emphasis on providing high-quality notes to our students. Led by a current teacher with more than 10 years of experience, our curriculum team crafts teaching materials according to the latest MOE syllabus and exam trends. We also provide model essays with curated vocabulary to give our students an advantage over their peers. Our students have found our notes to be very helpful and have reported feeling confident and well-prepared for exams as a result.


What to Look For in PSLE / O-Level English Tuition – Conclusion

We believe that the factors mentioned here are top considerations when choosing an English tutor for your child. Overall, the goal of tuition should be to provide a high-quality, enriching learning experience that is able to fill the gaps from school. Learning Gems is one centre that does that well, all while catering to the learning needs of our children. We hope that these can help you make an informed decision that will help your child achieve academic success!

Learning Gems is a premium tuition centre that provides quality online English tuition classes to PSLE and G3 / GCE ‘O’ Level students in Singapore. Our teachers are well-versed with the latest MOE syllabus and have taught at various schools in Singapore. Be it the primary or secondary level, we possess the relevant experience and are fully qualified to help your child.

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