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Methods of Teaching

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The average size of a class is five and there are no more than eight students in an AS or A level group, nine at GCSE. Individual tuition can also be arranged. Small sets enable students to receive specialised individual attention, but also to develop confidence in discussion. Tutors and students work with a shared sense of purpose to achieve a high standard. Any difficulties can be speedily identified and rectified, to enable rapid progress.

In all our courses, at both GCSE and A level, there is a strong emphasis on exam technique. Exams are held twice a term with full mocks at the end of the Spring Term and further, more frequent, opportunities for exam practice as the exams approach. Success in examinations requires sustained effort and a disciplined approach to personal study.

A considerable amount of homework is set to consolidate work covered in class and to help students learn to research carefully, work independently and produce work of a high standard. All homework is promptly and constructively marked and any points arising from it are thoroughly discussed with the student, so that he or she can progress to a higher level. GCSE students complete some of their homework in supervised study periods.

Care & Flexibility

All students at Collingham have a personal tutor responsible for their welfare. The personal tutor monitors progress, provides a sympathetic ear and can give advice on both academic and personal matters. The job of the personal tutor is mostly one of guidance and encouragement, but also firm direction. Personal tutors are in constant touch with subject tutors and maintain close contact with parents. An attendance check is made each lesson and parents are informed of absence and repeated lateness. At GCSE level, students are required to attend from 9.15 to at least 4.00.

AS and A level students are expected to adopt a responsible attitude to their ‘free’ periods and to organise their personal study effectively, with guidance from their tutors and personal tutor. In cases where a student does not reliably submit work on time, study periods are added to the timetable. Reports from subject tutors and personal tutors are sent out twice a term and there are regular Parents’ Evenings. Parents are also welcome to make an appointment to visit Collingham at any time to discuss the student’s progress.


Some students need extra support to get the most out of their studies. At both GCSE and A level, Study Skills are taught as a matter of course, but we can arrange extra help with this and we have our own dyslexia specialist. Our EFL tutors help overseas students who also need an English Language qualification for entrance to university. If students feel that they would benefit from seeing a counsellor we can advise on the best help for their needs.


The teaching day runs from 9.30 to 6.00 in the A level building, and from 9.15 to 4.00 in the GCSE department. Most lessons are two hours long with a short break halfway through. This enables very effective coverage of the syllabus.

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