For students in Grade 3 to Grade 6, the focus is on consolidating basic skills (tables, operations, comprehension and genre writing for example) and extending these skills in line with the child’s ability.
Children come to us in Primary school for a variety of reasons. It may be that they were only just coping in Grades 1 & 2, and Grade 3 with its more demanding curriculum becomes overwhelming. We have taught Grade 3 children who essentially could not read or consequently spell and write. The classroom teacher does his best to modify class work for these little ones, but even so, homework becomes a major issue as does behaviour problems in the classroom. I recall one incident where the child had to write a different ending to the story they had read in class – but if you are unable to read, you certainly won’t be able to spell and write sentences!
Other children might come to us in response to a glitch in their learning journey – sickness which has disrupted their schooling, a move from interstate or some aspect of the curriculum that has taken their confidence. Most children like Mathematics but it doesn’t take much to compromise this, especially if they don’t have their number facts (that 5 + 7 = 12, for example) or times tables and need fingers and toes to calculate the answer. Sometimes, the stumbling block is fractions, sometimes percentages or problem solving.
We have children who attend because specific learning difficulties, such as Aspergers and Autism, works against them in the school environment (see Learning Difficulties). We have children who attend because they are functioning two or three years above their peers and again their needs are not always met in the classroom. We have children who are educated through Distance Ed and touch base with us from time to time to ensure they are working at the required standard.