At the beginning of this year, Elite Tutors Sussex took its personally tailored tutor services to Chichester, where families have a variety of educational priorities. Heading up the expansion into West Sussex is Melanie Haagman, a qualified teacher and specialist in SEND education and multi-sensory learning. Melanie will be using her experience to link parents and children with qualified Chichester tutors who share the holistic educational ethos of Elite Tutors. Just as in the Brighton area, tutors will work to bring out the potential and increase the confidence of their pupils, across a range of neurodiversities, from primary to sixth form.
Independent Schools in Chichester
The number of independent schools in the Chichester area means that entrance exams and scholarship awards can be a preoccupation in the minds of many parents. ‘Our tutors can give specialised help,’ says Melanie, ‘whether the exam is the ISEB Common Pre-Test at 11+ or the school’s own entrance or scholarship exam. Tutors have access to an online platform featuring examples of a similar style used by senior schools, so they come to sessions with a wealth of knowledge of how best to support the child through this process.
However, bursary and entrance exam tutoring are only part of the services offered by Elite tutors in Chichester. For parents who have decided to home-educate their children, regular sessions with a tutor who has established trust with a young child underpins their own teaching and encourages a creative balance. And, at the other end of the education journey, one-to-one tutoring delivers a critical boost in subject knowledge for GCSE and A levels. Importantly, a tutor provides an additional dynamic in the familial relationship; a third person who can diffuse tension in the overheated area of academic expectations.
Supporting students with specific learning difficulties
For Elite Tutors in its home base of Brighton, perhaps the greatest need for individual learning support has been across the whole spectrum of special educational needs, including children who are gifted and talented. The same demand is expected in Chichester and West Sussex. ‘It’s critical to build a relationship with a child with specialised needs,’ says Melanie, ‘or no learning will take place. Once you have built a rapport, you can tailor lessons to that child.’ Melanie and her team of Chichester tutors have developed a range of empathic skills designed to maintain a child’s focus and enthusiasm throughout the lesson. ‘I tutor a child with ADHD who needed to be active during the lesson so we would put words around the room and he would run to them when I called them out. Another child who loved trucks wheeled a truck to collect the correct letters for a word. There are so many ways of tapping into a child’s interests to make the learning process memorable and fun.’
Tutors in Chichester
Melanie is keen to stress just how high the tutor calibre is within the Chichester tutors team. The tutors have a wide range of experience, from state and independent schools to more specialised learning environments. Each will assess their potential pupil holistically, taking into account any other specialised support which the child receives. ‘We provide a truly comprehensive service,’ says Melanie. ‘And I must admit that the interview process is rigorous! But we have to make sure that a tutor is prepared to go above and beyond the basic academic offer, tailoring the lesson to the individual within the family.’
Outstanding communication from tutors
Parents can expect a written report from their tutor after each lesson, with ongoing feedback and discussion. ‘But it doesn’t stop there,’ says Melanie. ‘Elite tutors also provide advice, assistance and resources with any educational issue. Parents only have to ask.’ Schools are frequently involved with the tutoring process, and at Elite Tutors, we go the extra mile to get communication between school, tutors and home in an excellent place for the best possible outcomes for students.’
During lockdown, when her one-to-one work with an autistic teenager was disrupted, Melanie responded with poetry. She wrote a poem every day describing the changing world, and posted it on her social media poetry page. There was a huge public response and the poems have now become a book, ‘Lexical Lockdown’. However, Melanie would be the first to say how glad she is that life is returning to normal. Like everyone in the Chichester tutors team, she is happy to be visiting families again for one-to-one bespoke tutoring sessions. During the next months, she will be focused on bringing together Chichester-based tutors and families in West Sussex. ‘There’s so much demand out there. I know we have the educational excellence to match.’