Robert and Abdi- Shakur are Year 11 pupils at Arts and Media School Islington and have maths tutoring every week with Chike. Abdi-Shakur says he has learnt a lot through tutoring, and Robert agrees: “My tutor knows everything!” Chike finds watching his pupils master topics they struggle with really satisfying, and enjoys volunteering with Action Tutoring because “everyone deserves the right to an education”.
“I study biomedical engineering at Queen Mary University. When I got to my first tutoring session I was a little bit stressed about what I was going to be doing and how it would go but having sat down with my two pupils it was pretty chilled and they work well with each other.
“It is very important that I can give my time and my skills – and other people as well – because everybody deserves the right to an education and, at the end of the day, you need basic GCSEs in order to go forward in life.
“I think the best thing about volunteering is the fulfilment, to be honest. I think just seeing that they’ve clocked the particular concept that they wouldn’t have got in class, but I’ve been able to break through the barriers and teach it to them – that’s quite satisfying.
“In the Bright Ideas [tutor training and development] sessions, Grace will go through the books, how we use them, the topics and their application and how that will benefit the pupils. I have Grace’s email so I can also ask her questions if I have any trouble.
“Since I’ve started I’ve seen a lot of change in my pupils. One of my pupils has gone up to set one, so that’s very good. Overall they’ve become more confident in their ability to do maths. When they started, I’m not sure if they knew each other too well but it seems now that they’re really good friends.
“I’ve become more confident in my teaching ability. I suppose it’s reinforced my knowledge of teaching and the maths itself because I haven’t done it for a few years.
My communication skills have definitely improved, especially with children – I’ve never worked with children before.
“To anyone looking to get involved, I would say go for it, definitely go for it. It’s a worthy cause and it’s very helpful. It will be helpful in the future for them and it’s definitely going to be helpful for you right now. I would also say don’t stress out too much – just try and get to know your pupil. At the end of the day, it’s not a classroom/teacher environment, it’s more relaxed. Just take it slow to begin with and increase the pace as the weeks go on.”
“My tutor helps me a lot. He helps me memorise the formulas and the things I am stuck on in class. He knows everything. He always helps. He can relate to us basically, and it’s like he can understand us and what we go through in school.”
“I want to gain good grades in my GCSEs. I want to study engineering in college and try to get an apprenticeship. And this is going to help me.”
“They teach me a lot of stuff and I have learnt a lot. He explains things to me and I actually understand it and get it quick. I want to get good grades in my mocks and GCSEs. I hope I do well. My favourite subjects are maths and PE. I want to do business and economics and if not, PE.”