Feb

14

The Importance of a Positive Learning Environment


The environment in which learning takes place can have an enormous impact on the outcome of learning and the progress a pupil makes during their school and college years.

Pupils learn best in safe, comfortable surroundings

Pupils who feel safe and secure in their learning environment – who are engaged by the lessons and practices, who cope with tests and manage additional interests – can be expected to flourish and have more confidence and motivation to tackle tasks that they find difficult.

A positive and supportive environment is vital for a student to achieve their full potential. However, as we all know, while many children thrive in school or college, achieve good standards and enjoy the opportunities, others may not cope so well with the rigours of the school timetable.

There may be also be additional pressures at home or problems with friends or peers during this hugely challenging time, when pupils are growing up, forging relationships and developing their own identity.

The impact of bullying

If the learning environment is less positive, it can mean that a pupil’s capacity for learning may be compromised. We are all too aware that bullying or any form of intimidation in the classroom often has a significant effect on a pupil’s learning experience. A student is unlikely to be able to concentrate if they feel vulnerable. If their self-esteem is reduced, they will have less confidence and motivation to persevere and overcome challenges. We understand that issues like these are a real worry to parents.

Home-School Tutoring has helped many pupils who have been victims of bullying. With the patient encouragement and understanding of a tutor – and the support of a family – we have seen pupils overcome such issues and blossom again in their learning and confidence.

Take ‘Sophie’, for example. Her mother was distraught to discover that Sophie was being bullied and this explained much of Sophie’s difficult behaviour at home. When one of our tutors began to tutor Sophie, who was struggling with her schoolwork, the tutor concentrated on re-building Sophie’s self-esteem and confidence with constant encouragement.

Sophie responded well to her personal tuition  and, gradually, began to show real progress with her learning. She became positive again, able to cope, to move on from some difficult experiences and continue to make progress.

The effects of peer pressure

There are other reasons why some students are not fully engaged in the classroom. Peer pressure and the need to be noticed and popular within a social group affects a number of pupils.

A student may be at ease with his friends in the classroom but aware that, within his social group, active participation in classroom activities is just not cool.

Instead, the pupil may choose to divert their energies to less constructive behaviour. He may become disruptive or disinterested in learning and achieving better grades even though, secretly, he wishes to learn and achieve.

For this reason, the disciplinary climate of the pupil’s classroom is often a major factor. In a positive disciplined learning environment there are fewer opportunities for pupils to become distracted with non-constructive activity.

For many pupils, the opportunity to work one-to-one with an encouraging and supportive private tutor within the safety and security of their own home allows them to fully engage with learning in a way that they  may not do at school.  Here, they can catch up, ask questions, work hard to please the tutor and receive acknowledgement for their efforts.

As a result of home tuition, teachers at school may notice (to their delight) that the pupil is making more progress than expected. As learning is enjoyed more,  the behaviour of the pupil may also improve.

Learning in the home environment

Our tutors have helped many pupils to engage with learning in the comfort of their own home. For many pupils, provided they have all the tools they need (the necessary books, workbooks, writing instruments/computer and a comfortable desk and chair in a room with few distractions), the home environment can prove an ideal learning environment.

Margaret Sweetland, the Owner and Director of Home-School Tutoring UK, explains;  “Home tutoring enables pupils to learn through student-centred learning, i.e. learning that encourages autonomy of learning and places a student’s individual needs at its core. The tutor positions  themselves as a facilitator of learning rather than a presenter of information.

“In the privacy and safety of their own home, students  can ask  as many questions as they like and spend as much time on each topic or skill that they need. Students can really begin to feel that they are making progress.  Having a positive attitude towards their learning can make a huge difference to their future direction,  fulfilment and success.”

Home-School Tutoring is a  corporate member of The Tutors’ Association, an organisation formed to uphold standards in the tutoring industry, and has provided quality local home tuition for over 25 years. A rigorous registration procedure ensures that all tutors are suitably qualified, certificates of qualifications are verified, references are obtained, and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are made to verify tutors’ suitability.

Home-School Tutoring’s local Area Advisors are available to provide advice to parents interested in home tutoring support for their child and match you with a tutor near you. Please browse our list of locations or enter your postcode in the search box near the top of the page to find the contact details for your local Area Advisor.

Home-School Tutoring is also currently inviting applications from tutors interested in joining their local Home-School Tutoring area.  See Become a Tutor for details.