An interview with the founding tutor, Aidan Thomson
What sets Caledonia Tutors apart?
Our tutors are highly motivated young students or recent graduates of Russell Group universities. Having recently sat similar exams to their tutees, they are able to build a sympathetic, yet informed rapport.
We have a rigorous recruitment process for tutors. Although young, they must be able to evidence teaching experience and qualifications above the level they tutor. (PVG certification is also obligatory.)
Can you offer online tuition?
We use the best available technology to ensure continuous provision when in-person tutoring is not possible. Tutors and students both have graphics tablets, and lessons are run using video calling software in conjunction with the online collaborative whiteboard software, Miro. This software is free and a graphics tablet can be purchased for as little as £20.
Why do you recruit students and recent graduates?
This is the sweet spot between studying the subject at university level, and also belonging to the same generation, so being able to build a good rapport. Feedback from parents indicates that students often come to see their tutors as academic role models.
How old are your pupils?
Around 95% of our pupils are at secondary school. Many pupils are preparing for National 4, National 5, Highers or Advanced Highers.
What subjects do you offer?
Over 50% of parents approach us for Maths tutoring, which is my specialism. But we offer tutoring in all primary and secondary subjects across the Scottish and English curriculums.
Is it possible to trial a tutor before committing to weekly lessons?
Yes. We offer a free 60-minute lesson to all new students.
What is the minimum lesson duration?
1 hour. However, students studying for Highers and Advanced Highers may benefit from 1.5-2-hour lessons. This is especially true before exams, when lessons incorporate past papers.
How did Caledonia Tutors evolve?
In 2018, after 4 years as a private tutor, I saw an opportunity to expand. By the end of the first month, I had hired my first tutor. By the end of the year we had 15 tutors teaching 100 students. Nowadays we have 35. But I never let this rapid expansion affect the quality of our tutors.
We now offer group lessons (2-3 students) online at competitive rates, which makes tutoring more affordable.
Aidan’s advice for parents managing home learning?
Encourage children to stick to a routine. E.g. Wake up at 7-8am, start work by 9/9:30am. This will help the student’s motivation and mental health.
Be patient and understanding of your child’s frustrations. Everyone is finding the current circumstances tricky. Your teenage child will not be used to having to use their own initiative.
3-4 hours of good consistent work is much better than 6 hours of scattered, unfocused work. It’s important to manage everyone’s expectations.
Aidan’s tuition for the Maths and Physics content for the Cambridge University BMAT exam was absolutely invaluable. Recently, I have been offered a place to study medicine at the University of Cambridge – something that would never had been possible had I not achieved a high BMAT score.
Cambridge University Student
To find out more about Caledonia Tutors:
Mobile number: 07456 626962
Location: 93/8 Slateford Road, EH11 1QR