Groups vs 1:1 Sessions

Making the decision of how best to help and support your child is always a tricky one, they often surprise us with their reactions and responses to things we thought weren’t for them. This week’s post is to give you pros and cons to online group tuition and online 1:1 tuition to help you make an informed choice. 

I was sceptical about online lessons, I am classroom trained and wasn’t convinced that online teaching could be anywhere near as effective, I am very happy to admit that I was wrong. Online learning can be as dynamic, responsive and supportive as learning face to face. So how do you decide whether to opt for group lessons or 1:1 lessons? Well here is my breakdown of the pros and cons for each to help you decide.


Group learning is effective when managed properly, just like in the actual classroom, the virtual space must have rules and boundaries in place to allow the opportunity for all students to be heard. Many children feel more comfortable working in a small group as they have peers to learn from and share ideas with. This develops their thinking and knowledge, improves their communication skills and develops good listening skills. Groups teach students the value of appreciating the opinion of others, while being comfortable with their own ideas. Mathematically group sessions lend themselves to math talk and the development of mathematical language to express thoughts and processes. The more this is done the better students become and reasoning and in turn problem solving. Working with peers allows students to realise that they are not alone, others feel just like they do, others find things hard sometimes and others have methods and ideas that could also work for them. Many students grow in skills and confidence when working in groups as they become aware of the knowledge they have, the role they fulfil within the group and that everyone really does make mistakes sometimes. Group lessons are even suitable for shy students. The technology allows them to be as visible or invisible as they wish within the group. They are able to share answers with the whole group through spoken word or written text in the Zoom chat. They also have the opportunity to just share their answers with me. Many students start this way, before becoming more confident and sharing with the wider group. The whiteboard technology used means all students can see what I am doing, but only I can see the work of each individual student, meaning only I am aware of their answers. During tasks, additional support can be provided in a breakout room, where other students are unaware of feedback and support being given. Group sessions follow a series of learning, designed to support students, with each mathematical topic going back a step to refresh the content for those who are confident and to resolve misconceptions for others. This still provides a level of personal tuition for your child, without the price tag of 1:1 tuition. Group lessons also allow students to work towards a common goal, for example, a test or entrance exam. They are all aware of how others may feel, have different areas to excel and need support and more importantly all meet new mathematical content together, allowing them to explore the maths in a natural manner.

1:1 Sessions

At the moment 1:1 sessions are popular, with many parents. With so much schooling being missed in the last 12 months, many parents feel that 1:1 tuition guarantees their child the opportunity to explore the areas of maths that concern them with a specialist teacher. This is of course the case, but to truly benefit in this way, extremely open and regular dialogue is required. Without this lessons cannot be tailored specifically to the needs of your child in an in depth manner. Lessons take a good deal of preparation, particularly to an individual student. Many students feel more comfortable expressing the areas of maths they find difficult on a 1:1 basis, however, they can also struggle to make progress in that area, as I have to be their peer. This often dwindles over a few weeks, but can be tricky to begin with. Finding a tutor that your child reacts and responds well to is essential in 1:1 sessions. 1:1 sessions greatly benefit children that need additional attention due to anxiety around maths, though often after a period of 1:1 sessions they enjoy group learning with their peers. Many children thrive in the 1:1 environment as techniques, methods and resources are tailored specifically to their learning needs.

Whether you choose groups, 1:1 or even face to face, there is an opportunity out there for everyone to release their inner mathematician. If you have additional questions please email: 

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