Beyond the classroom with an education that travels: tuition and mentorship at its finest 

06/07/2017

At this time of year, as families’ thoughts turn to relaxation and holidays, parents will often consider how best to keep their children engaged during the lengthy summer break.

Many families consider employing tutors and mentors to cultivate their children’s interests and to broaden their experiences. For some, tuition is a helpful means of teaching children another skill or an additional language; for others, tuition is used to keep pace with the curriculum and to systematically revise more challenging content if their child is preparing for particular exams (including the 11+ exams and the Common Entrance 13+ exams) in the forthcoming academic year.

Broadly speaking, while tutors often focus on specific skills and subject areas, mentors provide support for the acquisition and development of more holistic life skills. The varying role of a mentor could include being a tour guide to children and to offer a depth of knowledge and insights into different cultures while they travel.

In recent years, Salamanca Group Education Advisory has witnessed an uplift in families who are opting to take an extended holiday to enjoy quality time away from their usual hectic lifestyles. For many families, finding a good tutor and/ or mentor is crucial to this process of establishing a personalised academic program and developing robust learning routines for their children.

Gabrielle Villani, Head of Education Advisory at Salamanca Group notes: “We have seen a general trend of families not only using tutors during holidays, especially during the summer, but for longer extended vacations during the school year, particularly for parents who are looking to travel around the world with their children. In our experience, Headteachers are more likely to agree to a child taking time off school if they know the parents are committed to their child’s education and the child won’t fall behind on their school work.”

Children’s leisure and education are often at the forefront of parents’ minds as they journey between unique, exclusive and remote destinations. The beauty of tuition for many parents is to have an education that travels with their child and which places the child at the centre of the learning. To engender learning that is completely adapted to their child’s interests and needs, wherever in the world they may be, is a particularly appealing aspect of employing a tutor.

In the modern age, a more flexible approach to education has become ever more in our reach. Children are likely receive a more well-rounded experience by studying while travelling for an extended period of time, with some wonderful opportunities to put what they learn to practical use. For example, if children are learning about ocean life and conservation, they can go snorkelling and explore marine ecosystems first hand. These experiences of travel expose children to different cultures and areas of the world un-encountered by many. Such unique experiences help children to gain confidence and to speak with passion and first hand insight when discussing their life experiences at interviews for schools, universities and future careers.  Additionally, studying remotely on a yacht may better prepare students to work remotely, or work while travelling more generally, which is potentially another practical benefit as technology continues to change how we work.

Establishing a balance between the rigor of a good education with the desire for travel and other world experiences may mean finding a compromise, perhaps, but never having to give up on either. With carefully considered tuition and mentors, a child’s education knows no borders.

 

The importance of choosing the right tutor

A 2015 study by Sutton Trust showed 25% of school pupils in England and Wales received some form of private tuition. While tuition can have many benefits, the quality of tuition is very well dependent on the quality of the tutor. Tuition is a self-regulated area, and so for the best quality assurance practices, Salamanca Group works closely with families to ensure carefully selected tuition providers constantly verify the identity of their tutors, view tutors’ qualifications and criminal clearance checks, and verify their tuition experiences to date, as well as character references and client testimonials.

By Gabrielle Villani, Head of Education Advisory