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The Wisdom or not of extra lessons


The wisdom or not of extra lessons

Trend:
Extra lessons have become a “roaring business” as can be seen by adverts placed all over the internet, on lamp posts, in your spam box and on shopping mall notice boards. It has become a “fashion statement” to have a tutor for this and a tutor for that. Girls suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  What happened to the good old fashioned “buckle down and work?”

Who should attend extra lessons?
Those pupils who are finding difficulties in a subject, the underperformers who need help to pass.
Those pupils that are just short of achieving a possible distinction and need an extra push to reach their goal.
Those pupils who missed out on a lesson for a legitimate reason.

What should happen during an extra lesson?
Concepts are taught in the class and often practice homework is given. If the pupil still struggles with certain concepts after she has done her homework, she should approach her own teacher for help in an extra lesson. Your own teacher should know your short comings and will be the best person to help. Saying that, it sometimes is also good to have a concept explained by a different teacher at the same school, who might explain it from another angle.
No pupil should come to an extra lesson and say; “I do not understand anything!” That means she has not applied her mind to the concepts and did not try to do it independently first. Group extra lessons are there to practise more examples of difficult concepts to increase your confidence in the topic.

Disadvantages of extra lessons with tutors:
Tutors are expensive.
Often the standard of tutors is not known.
Where are these lessons taking place? Can you ensure your daughter’s safety?
Pupils “switch off” in class, thinking that the tutor will explain it anyway later.
The tutor does the homework or assignments for the pupil.
Tutors are often not experienced teachers and teach the pupil incorrect methods or practices.
The opportunity to learn to work independently is lost.
Pupils tend to give up quickly and they are not determined to solve a problem themselves.
Pupils are “spoon-fed”.
Pupils “play around” in class instead of doing the home work and making use of time available in class to ask their teacher when they struggle.

In summary, St Mary’s DSG is a very good private school with small classes and individual attention. We have good quality and focused teachers who undergo regular staff development and are prepared to walk the extra mile. Your child is exposed to proper building blocks from year to year. Ideally it should not be necessary for your child to attend extra lessons and definitely not on a regular basis but only when it is absolutely necessary. So if your child insists on regular extra lessons, ask yourself the following question: “Is my child making full use of resources available or is she simply taking the easier route and use the extra lessons as a “cop-out”!”