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Primary School Tutoring: A Parent’s Guide to Getting It Right

Here we speak to Lydia Scaltsas surrounding the reasons people decide to hire a tutor and why she opened her new center: The LS Tuition Learning Space.


What are the reasons parents/carers hire a tutor for primary school pupils?


Traditionally, tuition has been framed as extra support for pupils not achieving to the expected standard, against National Benchmarks. My experience, as a fully qualified Primary School Teacher, affords me the opportunity to see the greater potential tuition has beyond just this. The LS Tuition Learning Space was designed to reframe the way we think about and use tuition.


The impact of Covid on children’s learning is undeniable. Even 2 years after the fact, we are still seeing a massive impact on children’s academic and social development; as a result of this lived experience. Many parents/carers seek out tuition as a way of filling fundamental knowledge gaps without which, all further learning suffers. Learning is a process of scaffolding information, using foundational skills to continue building knowledge and confidence. If you consider building a house, each new brick added relies on the brick below providing a strong foundation. Learning functions very much the same as this. Our tutors are skilled at identifying ‘loose bricks’ and ensuring each child within our care develops and maintains a strong foundational understanding which opens the door to life-long learning.



However, we also see a large number of parents/carers investing in us for the impact we have on children’s emotional resilience, their motivation to succeed and their love for learning. LS Tuition is built on holistic education. This means that just as much, if not more, emphasis is placed on developing each child as a person, as well as academically as a learner. Positive praise and environment are a hugely important tool in achieving this. Part of childhood maturing is learning how to regulate emotions and how to handle setbacks. For children who are not yet at the stage of having developed regulation and having this resilience to perceived ‘failure’, positive reinforcement is 100% effective in supporting their fragility until they are more able to cope with the understanding that nobody is perfect and that we can nevertheless overcome challenges. Our tutors are highly skilled in developing the whole person, and can say with full confidence that the way in which your child feels about themselves as a learner, and their attitude towards their learning, is the number one indicator of their success academically. Support the whole child, and the learning will follow. This is what ‘tutoring’ means.


We also provide specialist exam support catering to children who wish to gain entrance to various private schools across Edinburgh. Many of our tutors also have vast experience in supporting children with the 11+ exams in England, which is the equivalent to GCSE level in Scotland. This experience allows us to not only support, but further, to challenge children who are ready for this next step; and to continue supporting children beyond Primary 7 into Secondary 1, where appropriate.


How do parents/carers know if primary school tutoring is right for their child?


At LS Tuition, we have a very open line of communication with all of our parents/carers/students. This means that out with our scheduled lessons, we are available to speak with you via text, call and email. Communication between your child’s learning provider and home is essential to ensure a consistent experience for the child. We develop this partnership with each of our families, and we cultivate collaboration, allowing us to work together to identify how your child is progressing, what resources/strategies are successful, and how we can further adapt our service to ensure your child’s tuition is right for them as an individual. So, in answer to this question, ‘being right for the child’ is not only something that may happen to be the case; importantly, at LS Tuition we collaboratively design it to be the case.

Are all sessions one-to-one or group based?


All of our sessions are one-to-one to allow for a completely tailored experience. No two learning programs are the same as we design and develop bespoke learning programs tailored to every child as an individual. We meet your child at their current working level and design learning week to week, based on their individual strengths, areas for development, likes, interests and personalities.


How does tutoring differ in the Learning Space compared with online tuition or in-home tuition?


The LS Tuition Learning Space is a perfect environment, to cover all the needs of all of our students. For ‘learning’ to be meaningful, it needs to be an all-encompassing holistic experience for the child, and the environment matters. The LS Tuition Learning Space has been specifically designed, not only to be a fun and engaging working space for children, but also actually to play an active role in your child’s learning experience and development.



Our classroom has been developed to stimulate your child to actively engage with every part of the space; whether this is reading in the Library Corner with a furry friend; displaying a piece of their work on the ‘Wonderful Work’ wall, spending 5 minutes in the ‘Mindfulness Area’ to discuss and regulate some tough emotions, selecting a positive affirmation and setting lesson intentions, rummaging through our expansive selection of Active Learning Resources; or even just putting their birthday on the ‘Birthday Wall’ to make sure they receive a special something on their special day!



This classroom has been designed through the eyes of a child and every inch has been developed to support your children in having a friendly, supportive and holistic learning experience alongside their regular schooling.

All this to say, our Learning Space plays an active role in motivating your children to want to learn and this is something that simply cannot be achieved to the fullest extent when providing in-home tuition.

Our classroom is fully stocked with the most supportive and meaningful resources which again, allows us to provide lessons of the highest quality each and every time. The difference is not what the child learns in-home or in our classroom; rather, it is about how the child comes to feel about themselves, in the stimulating environment of our classroom.


We also have our very own Virtual Classroom, which we use for all of our online lessons. Many of our online students are spread across the globe and therefore, in-person tuition is not a viable option. Having said this, we do have many Edinburgh-based students who prefer online tuition! Our interactive Virtual Classroom has a lot to do with the uptake for our online tuition service.


Unlike Zoom and other similar video platforms, our LS Tuition Virtual Classroom has a fully interactive layout, allowing for the student and teacher to experience successful and meaningful learning without leaving the comfort of your own home!


Here are but a few of the fantastic features of the LS Tuition Virtual Classroom for learners:

  • The student and tutor can see and hear each other whilst both having access to the same interactive workspace.

  • Both student and teacher have access to the same documents so they can collaborate in real time by reading together or working through Maths problems.

  • The ‘pointer’ feature acts like a human finger, directing the student’s attention to specific parts of a resource.

  • All manner of resources (videos, PowerPoints etc.) can be quickly uploaded, so lessons are varied and engaging.

  • A range of accessible classroom tools (pens, shapes, rulers, erasers etc.) allow the student and teacher to write and draw on the screen.

The positive response we have received for both our in-person Learning Space and our Online Virtual Classroom inspired us to work towards a fully hybrid teaching model for LS Tuition that supports the best interests of our students. This is to say, that all of our students have the opportunity to switch between working both online and in-person with us week to week. This hybrid teaching model allows our students to experience the best of both worlds and provides much needed flexibility for the non-stop nature of family life.



What is the lesson content provided by your primary school tutors?


All of our tutors are fully qualified primary school teachers and as such are qualified to teach every subject within both the Scottish and English Primary School Curricula. However, our most common teaching areas are Literacy/English and Numeracy/Maths. The specifics of what is taught within each of these topic areas very much depend on each child as an individual. Our initial ‘Assessment Lesson’ allows us to assess across the Curriculum for Excellence, in all areas, and enables us to pinpoint exactly where the strengths and areas for development lie within each child. Part of our assessment includes a subsequent debrief with the parents/carers, and this allows us to take you through the entire assessment, explain each assessment criterion against National Benchmarks, and discuss a bespoke, coordinated plan for your child’s tuition moving forward.


How long will the lessons be, and how often will they happen?


Each of our sessions is one hour in length and typically occurs once per week. We do however have children who opt for multiple sessions per week, to accommodate a more in-depth session on both Literacy and Maths separately. We welcome you to book with our tutors as many weekly lessons as you would like.



What of the Teaching Level at LS Tuition, and the Tutor’s Qualifications?


All of our tutors are fully qualified primary school teachers, collectively, with over 20 years of experience. Between us we also have a range of additional certificates and qualifications raging from Mindfulness-qualified instructors, training in working with low to high level Additional Support Needs and Further Education in Psychology. We consistently undertake new training to ensure our knowledge and practice is the most up-to-date, and share practice on a weekly basis to ensure consistency throughout our service. All tutors within LS Tuition are fully PVG checked.


Each tutor at LS Tuition is selected not only for their ability to teach academic material, but for their desire to support the holistic development of every child that comes into our care. Where would one find tutors who care as much as we do about your child as a whole person and who pour as much of ourselves into every interaction we have. We really are an all-encompassing service and work to support your family across the board as much as we can to ensure your child is receiving the best possible opportunities life has to offer.


How can parents maintain a good line of communication with the tutor and monitor their child’s progress regularly?

Parents have no option in this! Open, consistent communication is hugely important to us. This is part of the service we provide to you for your child, which enables us to design learning for our students.


We always leave 5 minutes at the end of every lesson to meet with each of our parents/carers and debrief on each lesson. This is time where we show you your child’s learning folder, the topic areas worked on in that particular lesson and share with you our plan for the following lesson. We also take this opportunity to discuss with you any homework tasks that have been set and answer any questions you may have.


Beyond this, we share our contact emails/telephone numbers with you, and invite you to please contact us any time between sessions; should you wish to discuss anything with us or ask any follow-up questions.


Our aim is to be a support network for our children and families and this extends beyond the one hour per week we see you for your child’s lesson.



Finally, where is your new tuition centre and what times do children attend? Is it open at the weekends and school holidays? And how can people contact you to find out more?


Our Learning Space is located in the East of Edinburgh, within the old Craigmillar Primary School. We are open Monday – Saturday; 9am – 8pm. With the exception of Christmas, our tutors all take annual leave at different times throughout the year. This allows us to stay open throughout school holidays and support our students 50 weeks per year. Where any particular tutor is on annual leave, we provide the option for their students to switch to another of our tutors for the period of their weekly tutor’s absence. All of our Tutors work closely together in child-led planning and engage in professional discussion surrounding our teaching to ensure we are providing genuinely individualised care and support. Your Tutor will ensure to fully brief the Covering Tutor on your child’s particular learning program, and will leave the appropriate lesson plans in place to cover the sessions for which they will be absent.


To find out more about our Learning Space and our lessons, to read more/see pictures of our lovely tutoring team and to book in with us for an initial assessment lesson, please visit our website: www.lydias-tuition.co.uk


You can also find us on:

Instagram @lydias_tuition and Facebook LS Tuition


To contact Lydia directly, please email lydia@lstuition.co.uk or call 07584064721


We look forward to welcoming you to the LS Tuition Family!


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