How to win pupils and influence learning

May 12, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

Illustration for How to win pupils and influence learning


Recently, I’ve been pondering what makes an an engaging tutor.

Last week, an old tutor returned to a school to as a substitute tutor for a one-off session. I knew the pupil would be happy to see them, as they had worked well together previously. Nevertheless, the look of sheer joy that spread across the pupils face as the tutor walked in was priceless. It may have only lasted for a second – but it was unmistakable.

So I decided I needed to dig a little deeper… and who better to ask than the pupils themselves?


Here’s what they had to say:


What makes a good tutor?

‘A good tutor is someone you can talk to as well as do work with… [who] is on the same wavelength. My tutor greets me like she wants to be here and is considerate and understanding, like when we’re tired at the end of the day’ - Asiila


‘A good tutor has a positive personality. My tutor asks what we need help with’ - Ayse


‘A good tutor is welcoming and has good explanations' - Fatima


‘A good tutor needs to be friendly. My tutor greets me with a ‘hi’ and a smile,

asking ‘how are you?’ and ‘how has school been?' - Fiza



What does your tutor do during the session to keep it interesting?

‘We do lots of discussions as well as writing. We do some role play to help us understand characters in texts’ - Fiza


‘Our tutor makes us help each other which helps us understand' - Ayse


‘Jokes!’ - Asiila


Of course, what works for some pupils will not work for everyone, but what came to light (in this very small survey) is just how effective it is to show an interest in your pupils as people.


It turns out, a smile and ‘How has your day been?’ can go a long way.


Written by Loren Nadin, London Programme Coordinator


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