Small Group Tutoring


Penny's been working with children in a variety of structured situations for many years now: generalist teaching the the classroom, withdrawal programs for gifted children and individual tutoring. During 2011, Penny asked herself what would be the possibilities created by bringing together a small number of suiatble gifted children of similar abilities and interests in an intensive environment and setting them some goals?

Welcome to small group tutoring! New to Thinking Outside The Box, it's innovative, dynamic and fun!!


At this stage, this style of tutoring is only offered to children assessed by Penny as being gifted.Penny will keep this under review as the service evolves over time. Meantime, other abilities may be catered for by individual tutoring, if the student is suited.


Penny looks for 2 or 3 students who she feels will work well together and coalesce around some common goals in a particular subject. The students are likley to be of similar ages and learning styles - but this is not always the case. Often they are friends, though not necessarily. Their parent's usually live relatively close to each other - though not always do the students attend the same school. Extroverts are often well suited - but so too are more introverted students who flourish in the safety of a trusted environment and a smaller cohort to work with.


Parents are the first engagement point. Typically, one or more parents will talk and then approach Penny suggesting their children may be suited and expressing an interest in taking the next step. Other times Penny will initiate the dialogue between parents she knows. Once there is mutual interest, Penny then leads a selection process with the children based on standardised testing, learning styles, interests and aptitude assessment.


A subject is agreed with the parents and children: examples include numeracy, problem-solving, English or a purposeful creative endeavour. Penny will then specifically design a program that normally spans 6-10 sessions. The sessions themselves are facilitated by Penny and are usually held after school in a parent's home. Other times can be agreed between the parents. Sessions may even be arranged for during school hours with the agreement of the school. If desired, information can be provided to parents that they can give to their child's school to explain the educational goals and benefits of the intended sessions.


For students, the benefits include sharing learning with like-minded peers in a dynamic yet safe environment. Students feed off each other's ideas and are encouraged to think freely. If not already friends, they can become so during this style of interaction - where their bond can also be forged on ideas and academic interests.

For parents, benefits include cost effectiveness: this approach is more affordable than individual tutoring. Parents also get to see their children interacting and learning in ways they are unlikely to have seen before - this can be very interesting and rewarding. And parents' own friendships can flourish in this environment.

Getting Started

Please contact Penny ifyou'd like further information or to discuss how this innovative approach could potentially work for you.

Copyright 2006-2020 Penny Willoughby. All rights reserved.