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Maths and English tutoring during Covid-19

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Education, school and tutoring in the face of Covid-19

Many students are finding it tough since the learning disruptions associated with Covid-19. And consequently, we’ve seen an increase in Sunshine Coast families looking for English and maths tuition and learning support.

As the coronavirus social restrictions intensified, our minds kept coming back to the sever setbacks that some students would cop if their education was disrupted. We know it’s important to parents too, not to let students’ hard-won gains fall by the wayside.

During this trying time, ELC is still supporting, motivating and progressing our students’ learning. We are keeping an eye on student progress through their assigned schoolwork, and keep the momentum of their progress ahead of school maths.

Good news for many ELC students is that learning they have done with us ahead of the school curriculum has lessened the effects of school closures or absences. That’s one big benefit of extended learning in any circumstances.

 

Our tutoring centre is open with hygiene precautions

After some weeks of remote learning in Term 1, students can now attend ELC once again in our student-limited in-centre sessions (since the start of Term 2 2020).

It’s terrific to have so many students able to return to in-person learning. This is much more effective learning, and feels much closer to normalcy than the online learning many students are dealing with.

Even with the extra hygiene precautions, from our students’ perspectives, attending their lesson in person is pretty much business as usual.

  • They still ask us about content they haven’t understood from school. Recently, this need has increased.
  • They still use their time here to work ahead of the curriculum to boost confidence and avoid potential difficulties down the track.

Students are grateful for the ease of interacting face-to-face after so much recent screen time, video lessons and remote learning.

Now that teachers and friends aren’t right there to help with schoolwork, there is a renewed appreciation from students for just how much they benefit from their weekly session at ELC.

 

 How are students coping?

As well as getting physical exercise, and keeping up friendships, keeping children’s brains active and engaged is an important part of mental health. Cooped up at home, boredom and motivation have become big challenges for many students.

Some students have needed more-than-usual support with their school maths since schools moved to online learning, because those students rely on the physicality of being at school, interacting, in a class, with a teacher up the front in order to learn. ‘Left to their own devices’, so to speak, even some motivated students have found it hard to learn at home as effectively as they do in a classroom.

We’re pleased to be supporting them through this period, unlike anything most have experienced.

On the other hand, some students have noticed little impact to their schooling, except the excess of spare time they have unshackled from the requirement to physically attend classes. They had already learnt ahead of their maths curriculum with us, so they are confident in handling the work as it’s assigned. They use their time efficiently to get schoolwork out of the way, and spend the rest of the day surfing. Good on them!

We’ve been able to maintain the pace of their progress ahead of school. For these students, this has been an opportunity to see just how far ahead they can go without the usual distractions of school.

And as for the distance education and home school students we supervise, well, they are right in their element. Remote learning is nothing new for them. It really is business as usual.

 

How are Year 11s and Year 12s affected?

School closures have especially affected Queensland’s Year 12s, already finding it tough as the guinea-pigs in the curriculum transition from OP to ATAR.

To ease the stress, QCAA have allowed schools to skip one of the three planned internal assessments in most subjects. As I write (12 May 2020), their final external exams are planned to go ahead as normal. Updates and more info on QCAA’s Coronavirus FAQs page.

For seniors who need more maths help than school can currently provide, we recommend the following QCAA-suggested online resources:

Resources lists are available for all subjects to help students cope.

 

Need support with school?

Schools have had to make their own calls on how to react to the new coronavirus, and their remote learning strategies vary hugely. So, we’re happy to be consistently supporting students in person in our centre within these increased safety precautions.

If you can see that remote learning due to social distancing restrictions is causing hassles for your child, they’re certainly not the only ones. Let them know that learning remotely is difficult for many.

Let them know that they can have help if they want it. Our program is more than just maths tutoring, or English tutoring; it’s holistic student coaching – the psychology has to be in place before academics can flourish.

Because of our precautionary student limits, we don’t currently have as much capacity for new students as we’re used to, but there are places available here and there. And more will open gradually as restrictions are lifted.

So please talk to us now about how your child is coping – it’s easier to prevent a student from falling behind than it is for them to catch back up to their peers.

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Last updated: 19 May 2020

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About the Author: Dan Blore
Dan Blore manages and teaches at Extended Learning Centres. He has spent 15 years in education, having studied secondary education at University of the Sunshine Coast. He has taught in Australia and Germany and studied at university in Italy. He most enjoys teaching and studying mathematics and languages, both of which he focused on at university.

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