Kumon Tuition: Community based, child focused

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Advertising Feature, Featured Story

Kumon tutor Gillian Graham (left) and assistant Tanya Copeland (right)

An innovative and unique angle on children’s after-school tuition has officially landed in Newry and Banbridge. Kumon is a unique method of study which aims to give each and every child skills that last a lifetime. Focusing on the vital subjects of maths and English, they can help your child to develop their learning skills and exceed expectations with their worksheet and study centre-based programmes. At Kumon, they are passionate about your child’s development. Whatever their age or ability, Kumon programmes will help your child master maths and English skills as well as developing excellent concentration and study habits. Additionally, Kumon will build lasting confidence and self-belief and improve your child’s all-round academic achievement. Kumon offers far more than private tuition. Their aims are not just to prepare children for passing an exam or catching up with schoolwork, but to nurture confident, independent learners – children who will be prepared to meet challenges in school and beyond. Gillian Graham, the maths and English tutor for the Banbridge and Newry centres, spoke to Newry Times about the children’s programme. She enthused, “I opened my first Kumon Centre in Banbridge during August 2011, and started my quest to help the children of the area improve their English and maths skills. I took over the Newry Centre in December 2011 and I am excited to be getting involved helping the children in the city I grew up in. I aim to foster a generation of confident, independent learners, with a passion for study.” Gillian continued, “Kumon is a fantastic study programme that enables children to boost their confidence from the beginning of study as we begin at an ‘easy starting point’. From there we work on the children taking ownership of their study skills by getting them to independently complete worksheets daily. The worksheets progress naturally to more challenging work, and before they know it, children have developed the skills to take control of their own learning, guided by myself and my assistants. This is a vital skill to master, especially when preparing for an exam. These skills carry right through to their adult life, and teach children the value of daily study.” Parents can take an active role in their children’s education and development too as Gillian explains, “Kumon gives parents the opportunity to become more involved in their children’s learning, as they mark work at home and encourage their child’s progress. They also understand their child’s learning better. The real benefits are when a child begins their Kumon journey lacking in confidence and skills in a subject, and within months the school teacher wants to know why they have improved so much, what has changed?” Gillian speaks with confidence and a passion, knowing that what she is doing will help children for the rest of their lives. She cited an example of one young student who recently developed through the Kumon programme. “I have one student who began Kumon in August with very poor English skills, had the lowest reading skills for their age group, and now are above class average. I also had a student who began with bad habits in study skills and poor results in practice tests as a result. Their practice paper scores in school went from 31% to 96%. I’m now eagerly waiting for their Transfer test results.” But is Kumon for every child? Gillian insists it is. “Kumon is for every child, the reason it works is because the programme is individually tailored so that each child can realise their own potential. They aren’t behind in a class, or being held back by a class. It is a long-term study programme, and the benefits are never ending if you stay committed.” So what happens when you enrol your child in one of the Kumon Centres? Gillian explained, “I will assess your child in an individual meeting to determine the right level for the Kumon programme. Then, your child will attend the centre once or twice a week during class times to complete a small piece of work and get feedback on their progress. This usually takes between 20-40minutes depending on whether your child is studying two subjects. They will then be given a small amount of work to be completed at home on days they do not attend the centre.” Of course, not every child is at the same level as Gillian adds, “The work is individually set and will go at a pace that is suited to each student’s ability. Each student is carefully monitored to ensure the work is right for them at all times. If necessary a level can be repeated until it is mastered before moving on to the next level. Kumon works on long-term goals and targets with incentives, motivation and praise to help your child attain their potential.” If you are interested in enrolling your child on a place in the Newry or Banbridge Kumon centre, contact please contact Gillian Graham on 028 3025 0806 or newry@kumoncentre.co.uk to arrange a mutually convenient time for an enrolment.  
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