EDUCATION: An innovative approach to tutoring

14 August 2019

There are many reasons a child might need maths and English tutoring – the student might be struggling to keep up, or bored and needs extension. Rochelle Callard, owner and tutor at NumberWorks‘nWords in Sippy Downs, has been a teacher, Deputy and Principal, and has seen first-hand how difficult it can be to cater for everyone’s needs in the classroom. In the hope of making a difference, she recently left her teaching career to open the tutoring centre.

Designed for students from Prep to Year 10, the innovative NumberWorks‘nWords maths and English tuition program has been developed over 35 years and is now widely used in New Zealand, the UK and Singapore. All Australian capital cities have centres, but Sippy Downs is the first on the Sunshine Coast.

Many people who come to Rochelle have tried tutoring before – such as one-on-one in the home – and haven’t had much success.

“Because the NumberWorks‘nWords program is so engaging and structured, students make far more progress here than other methods,” explains Rochelle.

First, NumberWorks’nWords offer a free assessment which gives the student an opportunity to work with the tutors and Rochelle a chance to show the parent the centre, how they operate, answer any questions, as well as give feedback on the assessment. From there Rochelle sets an individual program, aligned to the Australian Curriculum with structured, achievable goals.

“With high school students, we work very closely with their term outlines,” says Rochelle. “For example, in English for the senior students we look at essay writing; expository, persuasive, and analytical. These skills can be transferred to many of their other subjects and assignments and gives them a foundation they feel confident using.”

A key to the success of the program is that it is fun and engaging. This, combined with in-built ‘brain breaks’, means students are able to focus for their whole session and they get through a lot of work.

“There’s lots of praise, lots of fun and lots of certificates,” Rochelle says. “When one person in the centre achieves a goal, the whole centre claps and celebrates. It’s a wonderful learning culture where everyone thrives and is successful.”

“Seeing your child struggle at school is heartbreaking,” continues Rochelle. “Now I chat to parents whose child was struggling and they are amazed! One recently said: 
‘I don’t know what you are doing, but she’d rather come to you and 
do maths than go to hockey!’”

“There’s so many of those ‘light bulb’ moments when students realise, they can do it!” says Rochelle. “NumbersWorks’nWords is such a different style of tutoring that parents need to come in, experience the centre and see it in action for themselves.”

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