Intrigued about personal tutoring and it’s benefits, we invited Smiles & Miles along to STAG HQ for our Mini Mumbler (MM) to do a review.
Our MM is 5 and we wanted her to understand who was coming and why; she was so excited. She immediately ran to her desk and started drawing a picture. When I asked her what she was drawing, she replied with “It’s me and my teacher”. There was a tap at the door and we opened it to the smiliest of faces and there stood Sarah, Smile & Miles Founder.
Sarah and our MM sat at the table (while we quietly observed from the corner). She had brought along a special folder, workbook and stationery which our MM loved. They began by reading, Sarah immediately showed great interest in our MM’s likes and hobbies. When reading books with our MM, she will often ask us lots of questions about whats happening in the book before she attempts to read and we always pause the reading, answering her questions. We have loved how inquisitive she is, however, Sarah taught us something new. Each time our MM asked questions, she replied with comments such as “Well let’s find out shall we”, it re-focussed our MM back to the words and enabled her to discover the answers for herself. Every step of the way Sarah praised her, encouraging her to give herself a clap, lots of high fives, all whilst ensuring she continued to find the session fun and engaging.
Our MM has never held her pen correctly, Sarah ensured this was addressed straight away as they began writing sentences and understanding more about full stops and taking breaths when reading. When they moved onto maths, it wasn’t just numbers in books as we’d expected, instead Sarah used a wide variety of engaging tools, including counting jewels and magic mermaid treasure and throwing and catching balls to help with counting.
What we loved the most about the session is it gave us an opportunity to see what our MM might be like when she’s at school. When we collect her from school, we long for her to tell us everything she has done, but she is never very forthcoming. We wish we could be a fly on the wall, seeing how she behaves at school and how well she listens to the teacher etc and this gave us a wonderful insight. It also helped us to see that her maths appeared perhaps a little weaker than her reading and writing which now enables us to focus more on this.
Having never experienced personal tutoring, we had always thought it was there to help students who were perhaps struggling a little and would benefit from some extra support. After observing the session, we now realise PT is for everyone and can be utilised regardless of ability. Many moons ago, when at school ourselves, we really struggled with maths and as a result failed our GCSE. This resulted in us having to re-sit it a further two times in order to pass. Sadly, having to focus so hard on the maths re-sit, took away some of the time that could have been spent focussing on our A Levels. If only Smiles & Miles had been around then, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and unnecessary pressure.
At the end of the session, our MM left the room while Sarah and I talked about her progress which was lovely to hear and be able to ask questions. Once Sarah left, I asked our MM to answer just two questions, below are her answers. She genuinely loved her time spent with Sarah and has continued to ask when she can see her again, which speaks volumes, but if you’d like to hear the opinions of others, you can read more here.
In summary, we cannot recommend Smiles & Miles enough, Sarah is such a wonderfully warm and friendly person who immediately puts the child at ease. It is so clear to see the vast experience she has. Sarah’s teaching styles and methods are fun, engaging and packed full of learning. Smiles & Miles are growing from strength to strength, with 7 tutors, offering lessons to students from Reception to Key Stage 5 inc. Maths, English, Science, Languages and more.
If you’d like to give it a try, you can contact Sarah here for further info.