The Tutorial System

"…… tutors are teachers, who apart from their classroom teaching take on an additional professional task that requires specific study and expertise. They are selected to fulfill this task according to individual preference, professional commitments, and personal suitability for working with individual students and parents. But all members of staff, whether they are tutors or not, are involved in a team approach based on the common awareness that they are educators of the whole person, above all, by their personal example of their own virtues."
Extract from “Parents for Education”

Virginia Monagle in Kappa Delta Phi Record (Autumn 1993)

At the core of Montgrove’s educational philosophy is the conviction that parents are their child’s first and most important educators.  Therefore a close and constant link between the school and the parents is essential.  This link is the child’s personal tutor. 

The Personalised Tutorial System, pioneered in Australia by PARED, ensures that the educational input is effectively tailored to the individual student and facilitates the working together of home and school.  It is one of the most distinctive features of Montgrove.  As far as we know there is no other tutorial system that is one on one, for all students, and involving all parents in regular interviews, in which tutors are prepared to offer all the time that is needed to students when a student has a particular need. 

The tutors support parents in exercising their privilege and duty as primary educators.  An individual tutor, from amongst the teachers of the school, is appointed to each student as their mentor and given the necessary training to do the job.
The tutor meets with the student in regular tutorials, and also meets each term with the parents to review progress and establish priorities.  The focus is on leading the young person to think for themselves and to work on acquiring the balanced strengths that they will need in adult life.  Through her rapport and friendship with the student, the tutor provides an effective service of personal example, guidance, and advice.  She helps the student develop positive habits and qualities in areas of character development such as responsibility, thoughtfulness and good use of time.  A young person who has received this support throughout the years of their schooling will draw great long term benefit: they will have grown in qualities of character, they will have learned to look more objectively at issues, to better reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and to set and monitor their own goals.

The tutorial is also an effective reinforcement for parents. Parents comment on how helpful it is, particularly when their children are in teenage years, to be able to rely on a trusted mentor to reinforce key values with one’s child. The tutor is ideally placed to coordinate, on behalf of the parents, the efforts of all who are contributing to the education of their child. She is able to provide objective suggestions and useful observations for both the parents and the child's teachers. Close cooperation between parents and tutor ensures success.