Smith Mathematics Sydney: Coach and Tutor

Smith Mathematics Coaching Sydney

Maths Coach from Year 10 to the HSC
Tuition on the North Shore from an experienced teacher
Expert Maths Tuition: Year 10 to Year 12 HSC

Phone: (02) 9498 8883

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Frequently Asked Questions

Smith Mathematics Coaching and TuitionThe following provides answers to frequently asked questions about Smith Mathematics Coaching, and the techniques used to provide the best results.

Question: Why classes? Surely students need individual help?
Answer: Yes students certainly need individual help – and we provide it at the weekend as part of the course! Individual help is needed to fix individual problems such as preparation for tests or exams, fixing problems from past years of school or fixing current problems with work at school. For all of these, you need individual help.
But, what about revision, what about standard exam questions, what about exam strategy, what about exam summaries, what about the time needed by the student in order to do examples rather than watching the teacher do them? What about the questions asked by other students, questions that you hadn't thought to ask? For all of these reasons, we recommend class tuition. And when we feel that the student needs extra help, or you as parents think that your student needs extra help or when the student knows that he or she needs extra help, then that help is provided automatically.

Better done individually: Classes are better for:
Assessment test preparation Revision
Fixing current problems Doing examples rather than watching a coach do them
Identifying weaknesses Getting lists – past HSC questions, summaries etc
Fixing problems from the past Hearing other students' questions – questions that you haven't thought of
  Teaching the course
Question: But do students come on the weekends for individual help?
Answer: Yes. We never have a free weekend.
Question: Can my student ask anything at all at these weekend lessons?
Answer: Yes. If possible, when booking a weekend lesson, we like students to say what topics are to be covered. Sometimes we need to prepare revision sheets for the required topic and hence we need this information. If we don't have the appropriate revision sheet already, we will happily write it for the student.
Question: What should we bring to class?
Answer: Paper, pen, calculator and a positive attitude … We'll provide the Mathematics.
Question: Do we have to bring our textbook?
Answer: No. Notes are given out each week, together with homework. And part of every class will entail the students making notes from work on the board.
Question: Is the homework compulsory?
Answer: Ideally I'd like the homework done each week. In practice, we can't expect this. Schools will be setting compulsory homework. Adding extra homework on top of that makes too great a burden. What most students do is to leave the homework until they have a free weekend and use it to complete 2 or 3 weeks worth of Smith Mathematics homework. Or, when a test is coming round, they use the homework as a source of new exam questions that they have not seen. Any problems they have with questions in the homework can be fixed with a weekend lesson.
Question: But how do they know whether their answers are correct?
Answer: All homework-sets for students in Years 11 and 12 come with complete worked solutions. Hence it is seldom that a student runs into a problem at 11pm when working alone that cannot be fixed instantly.
Question: What success rate does Smith Mathematics Coaching achieve?
Answer: As far as ATAR is concerned, our best year was 1996. Ninety percent of our students got a ATAR of 90 or more. Each year our students achieve similar results. But remember that there are other ways of measuring success. We often have students who have never got more than 50% in any senior school exam and one student who had never passed a maths test in her life! The first exam these students passed was their HSC. We count these results as successes as well.
Question: But learning the material is only part of the problem. What about exam tactics and study techniques?
Answer: The structure of the classes has evolved over the years. We listen to students and we listen to parents. If possible we incorporate their ideas and requests into the classes. Hence each class starts with a half hour test which I then mark on the board. This gives me the opportunity of talking to students about
  • how to start questions
  • what examiners are looking for
  • how to get marks for questions you cannot do
  • how to organise yourself
  • study techniques
  • how to manage time in exams
Each week these ideas are reinforced and extended. They have added meaning for students because I relate my ideas to the examples they have just been doing. And if extra help is needed, my book 100 Study Tips That Work! is recommended.
Question: Classes are fine but what about behaviour problems?
Answer: We don't have any. The students who come to us do so in order to learn Mathematics and to improve their results. Usually you can cut the atmosphere with a knife. It is a very rewarding situation for any teacher.
However, if ever a problem arose, we would inform the parents at once that their child was not taking advantage of the opportunity being provided. We would then recommend another form of coaching. Hence, your child will be doing a minimum of 1½ extra hours of maths each week. Maths that is 100% examinable!
Question: What about payment?
Answer: We bill per term. A term bill will be attached to the notes on the second week. We would appreciate payment ASAP after that. Click on Fees.
Question: Can we pay each week?
Answer: No.
Question: What do we get from Smith Mathematics Coaching?
Answer: Short term: At the end of a typical lesson you will have worked examples, past HSC questions, summaries, notes on the night's topic – everything you need to sit down and study.
Long term: you will learn how to learn, you will learn how to analyse your own performance and rectify your weaknesses. By following our performance recipes, your ability will improve and this brings with it the self confidence necessary to become a student.
Question: Who teaches the classes?
Answer: I do. We employ teachers – highly qualified teachers, to help with the weekend coaching, but all classes are taught by me.
Question: What sort of student goes to Smith Mathematics Coaching?
Answer: The only common thread to our students is the desire to do better. Each class is unstreamed academically since all students have to cover the same material.
Question: What do you do if a student doesn't understand something you have said?
Answer: Firstly, we assume that it is our fault and not the student's. One of the most common pieces of feedback we receive, is the delight of a struggling student whose questions are taken seriously and answered immediately. If the student's question suggests a lack of knowledge or understanding of previous work, we book the student in for individual help.
Question: How do you cater for both ends of the spectrum?
Answer: We write material for all types of students. Each week the notes include remedial and extension worksheets or exams. And remember we are teaching for exams. Even bright students must learn how to present their work in an acceptable form for examiners. And we would be failing our students if we did not insist that they understand the foundations of their work. From a purely practical viewpoint, the methods used in the derivation of a formula, for example, are the same methods needed to solve examination questions. Both ends of the spectrum benefit from these ideas.
Question: Do you cater for acceleration?
Answer: Yes.
Question: Do you have university students working for you?
Answer: No. We believe that some university students are excellent teachers. We just haven't met any.
Question: Is it too late to join a class?
Answer: No. Each lesson is designed to be a stand alone lesson. At the start of the lesson, there is a revision section, where any mathematics needed later in the class is revised. Thus students can join the classes at any time. However, the sooner the better.
Question: Do you set exams at Smith Mathematics Coaching?
Answer: Yes. In Year 12, students receive six 3-hour exams. These are taken home and done under exam conditions – we ask parents to help in the supervision. These are marked and returned with as much red ink as possible.
Other classes sit for regular tests. We may ask students to redo questions which they should have got correct but didn't. In this way students reinforce their work while being taught to get it right the first time.
Question: How do we enrol?
Answer: Phone me on 9498 8883

Our Students come from these suburbs:

Baulkham Hills, Bellevue Hill, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Carlingford, Castle Hill, Chatswood, Cheltenham, Cherrybrook, Cremorne, Crows Nest, Croydon, Darlinghurst, Duffys Forest, Dural, Edgecliff, Epping, Frenchs Forest, Girraween, Gladesville, Gosford, Homebush, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Killara, Kirribilli, Kogarah, Lane Cove, Manly, Milsons Point, Mona Vale, Mosman, Normanhurst, North Parramatta, North Sydney, Parramatta, Petersham, Pymble, Randwick, Roseville, Ryde, St Ives, Stanmore, Strathfield, Surry Hills, Sydney Square, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Willoughby, Woolwich

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Email Smith Mathematics Coaching now! Click here to Email John Smith
Smith Mathematics Coaching and Tuition
North Shore & Sydney
Phone: 9498-8883
Fax:     9498-4118
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