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Aptutoring Academic Assessments: Frequently Asked Questions

Can you believe that we’re well into term 1! We hope this new school year is filled with a plethora of learning opportunities and academic progress! Our tutors are out in full swing attending sessions to assist their students with kick-starting their learning adventures for 2017.

We’ve also been busy visiting new students and their families to provide our in-house assessment sessions that enable our tutors to begin planning the best way forward in academically supporting your child. Parents often have questions about our assessment sessions so we’ve put together a list of the most popular FAQ’s for you:

What are Aptutoring assessments?
• In our assessments we use booklets designed by Aptutoring (year level and subject area specific). They focus on key learning areas within subjects and are completed within the session to the best of the students ability.
• Don’t worry, our assessment sessions are not meaningless tests and they won’t leave your child feeling disheartened about their academic potential!
• In addition to your child completing the assessment booklet, our assessor will also talk with you about how they learn, what his/her strengths are and what they would most like to gain from tuition.
• Assessment sessions are also about gathering all the necessary information. This can include relevant school reports or other educational assessments completed previously. We take all this information and use it to help us formulate an individualized tuition plan for your child which your tutor will be able to implement weekly.
• You should note that Aptutoring assessments are NOT diagnostic tests for learning disorders such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. They are also NOT psychological or neurological assessments for various disorders (eg. Audio processing disorder).
• Aptutoring assessors will also run through the administration nitty-gritties, answer any questions you may have and collect important enrollment documents required to begin tuition.

Who conducts assessments for Aptutoring?
• Our assessors have all the skills of a teacher, organisational checks (such as Working With Children Check) and friendly personality of our tutors plus the extra Aptutoring Assessor training to enable them to gather all the relevant information needed to put together a supportive tuition plan.

So, why do an assessment before beginning tuition sessions?
• Well, firstly, we want to be prepared. Time is valuable and we see the value in knowing exactly what each student needs BEFORE they get started with tuition. By the time your tutor arrives for their first session they know what your child is wanting to achieve, what gaps in knowledge they may have in the subject area and how best to support them to achieving their academic goals.
• Our assessors want to understand how your child approaches their school work and whether they require additional supports due to a learning difficulty so an assessment prior to beginning tuition helps us plan with these things in mind too.
• Assessors get a valuable opportunity to speak candidly with parents and students early on about any concerns they might have.

What happens to the information gathered during an assessment?
• All information relating to your child is kept confidential and is only used to formulate an individualised tuition plan for your child.
• Your assessor will gather all relevant information which is presented to your child’s tutor for lesson planning and curriculum support.

Can I obtain a copy of my child’s assessment?
• We understand that parents are keen to hear feedback about their child. Unfortunately, our assessors are not able to provide specific feedback about your child’s booklet during the assessment session.
• Once tuition commences, your child’s tutor will be able to provide an overview of the assessment booklet and discuss the individualised tuition plan with you and your child.
• Aptutoring assessments are internal documents but should you require a written report please contact our office to discuss your needs and request a written report (fee applicable).

How does the assessment inform ongoing tuition practice?
• We use our assessments as an academic reference to help keep your child on track so they can achieve their learning goals.
• Assessments help us provide the academic support your child needs as we know how they learn best and what they need from tuition.
• Tutors often refer back to our assessments to help your child to track their progress in key learning areas.

We hope these FAQ’s have helped you understand a little bit more about our assessments! If you would like to book an assessment with one of our qualified assessors, please contact us on 97072761.

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3 Tips for surviving exam periods

Whether you are living with a Year 12 student, facing the toughest period of their secondary school careers with the finality and pressure of VCE exams or you are supporting your secondary school aged child to manage study time effectively during their end of semester exams, the question remains the same. How do we help them get through exam periods?

Encourage self-care

At a time where nothing seems more important than the looming test or exam, encouraging students to step out of study mode is crucial for their mental health, learning and exam success. Focus is wonderful and essential to succeed during this period of high stress but without the opportunity to take a break from the pressure young people can be vulnerable to burn out. So, to avoid extreme physical and mental exhaustion, encourage your child to find a regular activity that helps them take a break or ‘switch off’, preferably away from a screen or device. Get outside, go for a walk, play a sport, garden, do some yoga/meditation, read for pure enjoyment (not study related), visit a friend or family member. Self-care is about connecting and looking after ourselves on a deeper level so encourage your child to engage in activities that allows them to regularly take a break from the craziness and intensity of exam period.

Communicate

Talking is an obvious one here and it’s easy to believe that we are communicating effectively with our child when we are going about our lives but I’m talking more about the quality of communication here. Keep the lines of communication open (yes, this can be challenging to do with a stressed-out teenager) but find a way that works for you and your child. Does your child love to connect with you over a cup of tea or a walk around the block? Keeping the lines of communication open during stressful times allows you to get a better idea of what they need in terms of support during the exam period. Ideally, working this out in the lead up to exams is ideal but not always a reality for many families. Here are some topics/questions to use as a starting point:

– What do you need right now to help you get through this exam?
– Help them put the exam within a bigger picture context.
– Have realistic conversations about their study goals/plans.
– Who could help me with this problem right now (eg. Parent, teacher, tutor)? What steps do I need to take to get the help I need?

Get on the ‘Brain Break’ bandwagon

If you haven’t heard of a ‘brain break’ before then you can read all about it here: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/brain-breaks-focused-attention-practices-lori-desautels

The benefits of regular ‘brain breaks’ are well researched and evidenced as a tool to assist with re-setting the brains approach to a task, problem or situation. Help your child get on board with ‘brain breaks’ by explaining how they can make it part of their ‘toolbox’ for stress management. The internet has a plethora of great ‘brain break’ examples and activities that vary in time from quick 2 minutes to longer 20 minute breaks.

Until next time..
Happy Learning!

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Yes! APTUTORING Provides Professional Development

Looking to expand your professional development repertoire?

Did you know APTUTORING provides accredited professional development in accordance with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)?

The VIT states that “as a registered teacher or early childhood teacher you will need to engage in at least 20 hours of professional development (PD) activities, each year to renew your registration…(and) your PD must be referenced to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and address at least one standard in each of the three domains of the APST: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement.

www.vit.vic.edu.au

This year APTUTORING has offered professional development in the areas of conducting educational assessments, delivering scholarship preparation, induction for new staff and teaching for special needs.

Did you know that as part of the governments Special Needs Plan it is now a MANDATORY requirement (for VIT renewal) for all teachers to complete professional development to enable them to build their skills for working with learners with disabilities.

We now offer professional development ‘Teaching for Special Needs’ that complies with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers 1.5, 1.6 & 4.1. It is based on educational research & draws on the experience of our Educational Assessors to focus on how to meet students individual needs in both classroom & tuition settings. It covers:

Types of special needs disabilities & disorders
Specific strategies to assist students with varying special needs
Includes collegiate activity on individualising pedagogy and differentiating worksheets for students with special needs.

Why choose APTUTORING as the provider of your next Professional Development session?

Our sessions are provided FREE (or very minimal charge on some sessions)!!

– We offer professional development to ALL TEACHERS (not just those who work as tutors for APTUTORING)

– Our professional development is based on educational research & is directly relevant to both classroom & tuition settings.

– Our professional development presenters are knowledgable, experienced & engaging.

– We hold sessions in comfortable facilities local to our office in Berwick & we provide refreshments.

So what’s coming up for Professional Development at APTUTORING?

– Teaching for Special Needs – Autism

– Teaching for Special Needs – Auditory Processing Disorder

– Teaching for Special Needs – Mental Health Issues

So, what are you waiting for? Send us an email on admin@aptutoring.com.au or call our office 03 97072761 to register your interest in attending an upcoming professional development session with APTUTORING! Too easy!

 

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Why Make Up sessions ?

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So, you’ve had to miss an awesome session or two with your tutor due to a commitment or your child being unwell. It happens. Life happens. So now what? Let’s talk Make Up sessions.

APTUTORING values your child’s relationship with their tutor, keeping your child on track to achieve their learning goals and the time spent for your child’s tutor to plan effective lessons to best assist your child during the school terms. Although we understand that life happens our 17 years of experience tells us a few important things about tuition:

1. It needs to be regular and consistent.
2. It is harder for students to stay connected with tuition and content if sessions are missed.
3. Progress is slower and gaps arise in the students knowledge when sessions are missed and not followed up.

So, what is a Make Up session?

Make Up sessions are your child’s opportunity to catch up on the content and learning they have missed out on through cancelling of a session/s due to illness, commitments or life getting in the way of tuition.

How do make up sessions work?

When sessions are cancelled and you are eligible for a make up session (see t’s & c’s here) we notify your child’s tutor who puts aside their cancelled lesson plan for a later make up session date.
You are then invoiced for your session as usual, but it sits in our system as a make up session for you to use at a convenient time for both you and your tutor.

When you’re ready to use your make up session it’s easy, you contact APTUTORING with your availability and we take care of the details of scheduling with your tutor so that he/she arrives at your door to do the important work of helping your child catch up and stay on track with achieving their learning goals.

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions that parents often ask us about Make Up sessions?

1. Is it compulsory to do make up sessions?

Yes, at APTUTORING we do ask that you adhere to our T’s & C’s and attend make up sessions. To be able to get the best out of your sessions, your child needs consistency. Missing sessions habitually and not having a chance to catch up on content does adversely affect your child’s understanding of curriculum content and ability to progress with their tuition learning plan.

2. Can I use my make up session before an exam or assessment?

Absolutely! It’s your make up session so if you feel that you would like to use it for extra preparation before an exam or assessment then let us know. Obviously if you are behind in a key area then your tutor may suggest using your make up session to catch up on core learning first so please chat with your tutor.
We ask that in using your make up session/s for exam or assessment preparation that you provide us with as much notice as possible so we can sort out logistics with your tutors availability.

3. Am I charged for Make Up sessions?
No you are not charged again when you use your make up session. When cancelling a session during the school term you are invoiced for that session as usual and this then sits as a credit for you to use as a make up session. Easy!

4. How long do I have to use my make up session/s?
Make up sessions sit as credits in our system until the end of the following term following your cancellation. So, for example if you cancel a session in term 3 you have until the end of term 4 to use it. Obviously we can use our discretion here so if there are extenuating circumstances as to why you can’t use a make up session then contact us EARLY ON and let us know so we can best help you.

5. Can I use my make up session on a weekend, public holiday or school holiday?
For sure! Scheduling a make up session is dependent on yours and your tutors availability. Do keep in mind that our teachers have lives and families too but they are very flexible and we endeavour to find a suitable day/time that suits everyone.

6. Who’s responsible for keeping track of my make up sessions?

That would be you. As you can appreciate, keeping track of a gazillion students, parents and teachers availabilities and schedules is a big job! If you’re unsure if you have a make up session owing then contact us and we will be happy to check for you. Or you can easily log into your child’s student portal (refer to your invoices for the details) to check if you have any Make Up sessions to use.

Have further questions regarding make up sessions? Need to book a make up session for your child? Then contact us and let us help you.

Until next time,
Happy learning!!

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Get the Most Out of Reading

For some children, a love of reading emerges naturally and with little encouragement from parents.  For other children, reading is a challenge from the beginning (for so many different reasons) or just making time to read regularly becomes a battle that a lot of parents dread on a daily basis. There is a large body of research supporting the positive impact of regular reading  on vocabulary, reading comprehension, general knowledge and verbal fluency (read this interesting research paper for more info). We know that reading proficiency is an important key to unlocking success at school and in later life so…

How do you encourage your child to get the most out of reading?

Give children a say in what they’re reading! Renown Australian author, Jackie French says:

“When giving kids books, adults think, ‘This is a kid’s book therefore it’s appropriate’, but just as not all adults enjoy every book, kids need the chance to develop their own preferences.” (A. Hennessy ‘Why kids should ditch consoles for books‘, Perth Now).

Support your child in developing their literary preferences and gently guide them in journeying through the many genres available.  This way they will really enjoy what they’re reading and it will be easier for them to read regularly. Not sure where to start? Head to your local library and encourage your child to browse the shelves to get a sense of what appeals to them.

Get talking with your child about WHAT they’ve read

I’m not just talking about a simple plot summary here…but more meaningful discussion around the characters, themes and interpretations in the text.  By encouraging your child to delve a little deeper in their thinking you are helping them develop key critical thinking skills which really assists their analytical skills now and in future learning.  Try asking these questions regarding a chapter, theme or character:

  • What?
  • Why?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • How?

Encourage your child to reflect and journal about what they’ve read

Use the above questions and ask your child to write down a few sentences (younger students) or paragraphs (older students) focusing on analytical thinking. Some children feel more confident in writing down their thoughts about a text rather than having a conversation so get them writing!

Quantity vs quality.

What’s more important here? The number of books read OR the quality of book and time taken to think critically about a text? Over the years we’ve seen many students read text after text almost robotically in haste without pause to think critically about the text. Choosing quality texts for your child’s literacy level (there are some starter lists here and here) and focusing on discussing and responding to the text in written form will greatly benefit your child’s literacy skills and help them to think critically about the world around them.

Until next time, happy reading!

A book is a device to ignite the imagination

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4 easy ways to get back into the tuition term…

Welcome Back

 

4 easy ways to get back into the tuition term…

Oh holidays…sometimes it can feel like they take FOREVER to arrive and then they’re gone in the blink of an eye!  We hope you had a wonderful school holiday!

So, In the face of a new term how can you ease your child back into tuition?

1. GET ORGANISED:

•Your child might need a little
extra help getting organised in
the first week back. Prompt
them to think about what they
need for their session and where
possible have it ready the day
before.

• Lacking motivation? Encourage
your child to write down-
a) One thing they need to ask
their tutor about.
…OR….
b) Something they need to work
on in tuition this week.

2. REST:

Remember that your child
will most likely be extra tired in the
first week back and may need an
earlier night the day before tuition.
If possible, get your child outside
(with lots of extra winter layers!)
and out for a run around before
their tutor arrives.

3. FOOD:

Back to school hunger will
likely strike in the middle of a
tuition session so have some
healthy snacks (nuts, avocado,
fruit, cheese & biscuits) and water
on hand to keep your child’s
concentration up during a session.

4. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:

Know that it usually takes a week or so to
get back into the routine of tuition
(even more so with younger
children). With the return to school
and the onslaught of extra
curricular activities students get
tired quickly at the end of the
school day. So, encourage your
child to talk to their tutor and use
part of their first session back as a
space to regroup, check in with
their organisational skills and get
on top of school homework and
assignments.

With these handy tips up your sleeve your child will be back into the swing of tuition in no time! And remember, if you have any concerns about your child then have a quick chat with your tutor and/or contact us  so we can help.

Happy term 3 & happy learning!!

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5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TUTOR WITH APTUTORING!

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TUTOR WITH APTUTORING!We get ALOT of tutor applicants at APTUTORING. We value passionate teachers. We value committed teachers and we value quality teachers.

As a family based business, we ALWAYS come back to one question; is this applicant someone we would be happy to welcome into OUR own home? By keeping this in mind we are confident that the tutors that we accept at APTUTORING will be in turn welcomed into our clients homes too with their abundance of expertise and professionalism too boot.

We also think that being particular about our tutors sets us apart from the pack. We make no apologies for only accepting teachers as our tutors. We are by no means saying that wonderful non-teacher tutors don’t exist in the world! But rather that through our experience, teachers as tutors make a great match to the varied needs of students who come to us with diverse learning needs.

So, thinking about tutoring with APTUTORING? Here are 5 reasons YOU SHOULD:

1. PICK YOUR OWN HOURS: Weekly sessions that are scheduled around days/times that suit YOU and YOUR lifestyle means that you run your own show.

2. BE YOUR OWN BOSS: Bring your innovative approach to learning and combine it with Aus VELS standards to support students and make a real difference!

3. COMPETITIVE RATES: we are proud to say that we love our teachers, value them and reward them with attractive pay rates that still keeps tuition affordable for all students.

4. ROOM TO GROW: Interested in developing curriculum with us? What about diversifying your role and conducting assessments? We provide these opportunities and more for our committed staff.

5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Need to ‘up’ your PD hours? We provide regular PD sessions that are recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

If you are a passionate teacher who would like to commit to making a difference with our students while setting your own work pace then WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU here. Apply Now!

Until next time…
Happy teaching!

I love tutoring

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Meet Our Teachers

Welcome back to the next instalment in bringing to you a snapshot of the faces and many talents that make APTUTORING such a professional and individually tailored tuition service.

To really love teaching, to embody passion, commitment, dedication and drive is ultimately infectious. When teaching is carried out in a manner that is supportive and focused on meeting students needs, then an amazing love of learning can ensue in a child.

We value great teachers. Not just teachers who know their stuff (clearly that’s pretty important), but teachers who can effectively reach their students. Teachers that can not only impart their messages but also plant the seeds for further learning and growth.

So why does APTUTORING only employ teachers as tutors? Well, because the teachers that we engage love teaching, and in turn, the ability to teach a love of learning to their students can become a natural inevitable result of their work.

All of our exceptional teachers embody a passion for teaching, they give a minimum commitment to APTUTORING to encourage a long term tutor/student working relationship, they have relatable personal skills and bucket loads of patience. Every teacher on our team has experience in working with students at varying stages of learning including those with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning difficulties right through to students undertaking accelerated learning programs.

When we select teachers from our many applicants we actually do background and professional reference checks. So, when we send you a high quality and friendly tutor, you welcome into your home a professional Victorian Institute of Teaching teacher who as a result also comes with a Working With Children Check too.

We are very fortunate at APTUTORING, to be able to offer both male and female teachers across all subjects from the early years all the way to VCE right throughout the Melbourne Metro area. As a collective group of teachers with a large subject knowledge base here is what’s on offer…

– primary levels English
– primary levels Mathematics
– secondary levels English
– secondary levels Mathematics
– secondary levels science
– secondary levels History
– VCE English & Foundation English
– VCE English Literature
– VCE Mathematics
– VCE Psychology
– VCE Physics
– VCE Chemistry
– VCE Specialist Mathematics
– VCE Mathematical Methods
– Grade 3 to Year 9 English & Mathematics Scholarship Preparation for selective school entry
– APTUTORING trained prep-12 assessors
– APTUTORING in-house Professional Development offered by senior staff

….I told you they were a talented bunch didn’t I?!?

As a parent you can rest assured that our tutors not only have a handle on the curriculum content to support your child’s learning but also are well skilled in teaching core areas of study. If your child is falling behind in the curriculum at school, you can be certain that APTUTORING tutors are both capable and confident in bridging your child’s gaps in knowledge and even consolidating them further.

So before I sign off this blog entry, let’s take a quick simplified look at how we match these awesome tutors with your child’s individual needs. How do we confidently select your child’s tutor to best match the myriad of needs that they might have? What steps do we take in order to reach the best working relationship between student and tutor? Take a look at the little flow chart below…

flow chart week 2 blog aptutoring

So, there you have it. A profile of our awesome tutors and a quick rundown of just how that wonderful tutor is selected to support your child in their eduction needs.

Have more questions? Or….
Have brilliant suggestions for future blog topics?
Then connect with us in the comments below, email or Facebook…we would love to hear from you!!!!

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Our New Blog

Welcome to APTUTORING’s first blog, in what has been a long time coming plan of ours to reach out to you all; wonderful parents, students and very dedicated teachers.  Every fortnight we will be coming direct to your inbox with what interests you (read on a little further for the details).

Some of you maybe thinking… this isn’t their first blog?!? But seeing as it’s been A WHILE we are starting a fresh. We have some wonderful ideas brewing in the background for how to make the best of this space but what is most important to us is that we use it to meet your needs.  So tell us on our Facebook page or drop us an email  if that’s more your thing.

We would love to know what topics you would most like to read about? Some examples that come to mind are:

  •  Study and organisational tips for your child
  • Discussion on education news/hot topics
  • How to’s (e.g. ‘How to get your tutor to do your homework?’ Lol just kidding! …more like ‘How to prepare my child for undertaking their VCE’ or ‘How to support my child in getting the most out of their tuition sessions’).

We are open to all your suggestions so let us know what YOU want to see!

So, to start the ball rolling we thought we would start our first ‘real’ blog with a little about the people behind the scenes…namely behind the screens, on the other end of the phones and in the office crazily coordinating each student and teachers day/time/schedule preferences (which mind you is a MONUMENTAL task requiring A LOT of coffee…haha).  Some of you have been with us for sometime and others are fairly new on the scene.

The voice you will be hearing in this blog is me, Allison.  So who am I? I’m the AP in APTUTORING.  Without giving my age away (hehe) about 17 years ago I began APTUTORING as a one woman show after I discovered that students all around me were really struggling both in the classroom and at home with homework. What I noticed was that so many students, for various reasons, were falling through the cracks in our primary education system and reaching secondary college without the skills needed to reach their academic goals.  Secondly, I identified with students  who like myself, were from non-English speaking families, whose parents didn’t have a natural flair in the English language that could support them in their curriculum understanding and consolidation.  So, off I begun on the wild adventure of starting APTUTORING and taking my passion for education out into the world.

Now, let’s fast forward about 13 years……… where together with my partner, Mark (the business brains of APTUTORING), we welcomed our first baby 4 years ago and then our second little one 19 months ago.  It’s been a busy time where I have mostly been a quiet observer watching and listening in the wings.  In this time he has done an amazing job at solidifying  APTUTORING as the family based business that it is and catering tuition to the needs of each and every student that we meet.

As I mentioned before, Mark is the very hardworking business brains behind APTUTORING. He loves finding ways to personalise your experience with APTUTORING and to make our service interactive for you across our website and student portal system. But as talented as he is, he simply couldn’t do all this alone.  Anthea, our knowledgeable business manager and fantastic English teacher too, works alongside Mark to coordinate everything that goes on behind the scenes to bring your tutor to your home every week.  Together, they work tirelessly in meeting your family’s needs.  They manage and support our expert teaching staff to provide your child with a tuition service that helps them achieve their academic goals.

So, on that note…we will say thank you. Thank you for supporting APTUTORING whether you have been with us for a term or many years.  Thank you for entrusting us to support your child in their academic journey and thank you for giving your time in reading this blog.

We look forward to introducing you to our teachers in our next blog post, they are an amazing group of education professionals!

In the meantime, please help us make this blog serve you and your child’s needs by commenting on our Facebook page or sending us an email with what you would love to see or read in this space!!!

Until next time,
Happy learning!

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Welcome to the new APTUTORING Blog!

Welcome to Aptutoring’s Blog! We’re very excited to start this new feature on our website, and glad to have you with us for what we hope will be an interesting bloggy journey through the education world.

This blog will explore the issues and ideas of the day by analysing new educational research, discussing debates in the media, providing updates about curriculum, explaining how the school system and testing programs work, and linking to useful academic websites that will complement your child’s tuition.

All our blogs will be written by experienced and passionate education professions, and you can look forward to reading them once a month. New blogs will be posted around the 15th of each calendar month all year, and Facebook posts will be made when one is up so that you are guaranteed not to miss a thing!

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