subjects

Pencilcase tutors cover a wide range of school subjects to the highest level. They’re trained in tutoring techniques for specific subject areas, as well as metacognitive skills. These techniques are supported by excellent local and international research. See each of our information pages to find out more about the experience you can expect when getting tutoring for these core subjects.

Biology tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

Evolution in progress

Our biology tutors are all specialists in their fields. Many are continuing to study biological science at university, from subjects such as New Zealand ecology to medical science. They’ve also been trained in methods designed specifically for tutoring biology with students of both NCEA and Cambridge.

These methods are supported by fantastic research, and include the following:

  • Using quizzing effectively (to introduce topics and to review them)
  • Asking deep explanatory questions
  • Helping students to make connections between abstract ideas and concrete examples
  • Helping students effectively manage their study time.

The Details: What Our Tutors Know

The New Zealand curriculum for biology is an advanced course in life sciences, focusing on learning skills in biological research, understanding natural systems, and communicating complex scientific ideas in long form. Biology students cover cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology and human biology. The course gives them a fantastic grounding for future scientific careers, as well as great frames of knowledge for understanding the world around them.

 

Chemistry Tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

Our chemistry tutors are all specialists in their fields. Many are continuing to study chemistry at university level, in various fields from chemical engineering to pharmacy. They’ve also been trained in methods designed specifically for tutoring chemistry for students of both NCEA and Cambridge.

These methods are supported by fantastic research, and include the following:

  • Using quizzing effectively (to introduce topics and to review them)
  • Asking deep explanatory questions
  • Helping students to make connections between abstract ideas and concrete examples
  • Helping students effectively manage their study time.

The Details: What our Chemistry Tutors Know

Chemistry is an advanced course, designed to give students a thorough understanding of the chemical world and a solid basis on which to build a scientific career if they choose to. The course covers the chemistry of molecules, organic matter (especially carbon), aqueous systems and processes of chemical reactivity. Our home tutors have all recently come through this curriculum in either NCEA or Cambridge, and are well-equipped in terms of general knowledge about each system and specific knowledge about the course content.

English Tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

Beyond Shakespeare

Our tutors all participate in training that is designed specifically to help them tutor English for NCEA and Cambridge students. We cover well-researched English tutoring methods for helping students with all the forms of internal assessment, as well as basic writing skills such as grammar and paragraphing. Needless to say, we’re also very confident at helping with essay writing, and the most common question asked of English tutors: how to study for an English exam.

The Details: What Our English Tutors Know

The New Zealand English curriculum gives students a fantastic grounding in communication, critical thinking, and knowledge of literature. Our English tutors know this well. All of them studied NCEA or Cambridge English within the last few years, so they are very familiar with the ins and outs of tutoring English for each curriculum. This is supplemented by us with regular training and up-to-date resources.

Both NCEA  and Cambridge English is about establishing vital life skills in communication, comprehension, analysis and creativity. The curricula covers a wide range of subjects and has high expectations of students’ performance. Examiners and internal assessors expect English students to develop the ability to analyse and critically respond to written and visual texts, and to craft their own pieces of work with great fluency and coherence.

The courses cover five main areas:

  • Genre study (novel, poetry, short story, theatre and film)
  • Creating meaning (writing formally and creatively, plus visual communication and speech-making)
  • Research (NCEA)
  • Close reading of unfamiliar texts (NCEA)
  • Developing personal reading habits (NCEA)

Maths Tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

From BEDMAS to String Theory

Our maths tutors are skilled at tutoring the general curricula of all levels of maths, from junior high school to the highest levels of NCEA and Cambridge maths. All of them studied maths at these senior levels and continue applying this knowledge at university, in a wide variety of tertiary fields for which maths is vital. We have tutors using statistics for subjects such as economics, psychology and social policy, and others applying calculus and other maths talents to engineering, science, computer science and the humanities. This means they understand just how important maths learning is and help students to realise this too.

Our tutors are also trained in methods designed specifically for maths tutoring.

These methods are supported by fantastic research, and include the following:

  • Using quizzing effectively (to introduce topics and to review them)
  • Asking deep explanatory questions
  • Helping students to make connections between abstract ideas and concrete examples
  • Helping students effectively manage their study time.

The Details: What Our Maths Tutors Know

The New Zealand maths curriculum gives students a fantastic grounding in mathematical knowledge and processing. Our maths tutors know this well. All of our maths tutors studied NCEA or Cambridge maths within the last few years, so they are very familiar with the ins and outs of tutoring maths for each curriculum. This is supplemented with regular training and up-to-date resources. At year 11, students cover algebra, trigonometry, geometry, measurement, number, probability and statistics. The year 12 maths curriculum adds an introduction to calculus. Following this, at year 13, students split off into calculus or statistics. As such, the course moves from a general foundation to a more advanced study in mathematics.

Physics Tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

Learning in motion

Our physics tutors are all specialists in their fields. Many are studying engineering and other science and mathematics subjects at university with great success. They’ve also been trained in methods designed specifically for tutoring physics to students of both NCEA and Cambridge.

These methods are supported by fantastic research, and include the following:

  • Using quizzing effectively (to introduce topics and to review them)
  • Asking deep explanatory questions
  • Helping students to make connections between abstract ideas and concrete examples
  • Helping students effectively manage their study time.

The Details: What our Physics Tutors Know

NCEA and Cambridge physics is an advanced course in natural and mechanical forces. The curriculum is positive and practical, covering the physics of mechanical systems, electrics and electromagnetism and waves, as well as atomic energy and the practical testing of the principles they learn. It is an excellent foundation for students wanting careers in engineering or other physical sciences, as well as students who simply enjoy learning about the forces at play in the physical world.

Science Tutoring for NCEA and Cambridge

Covering the bases

Our science tutors are all specialists in their fields, continuing to study science at university with great success. They’ve also been trained in methods designed specifically for NCEA and Cambridge science tutoring. These methods are supported by fantastic research, and include the following:

  • Using quizzing effectively (to introduce topics and to review them)
  • Asking deep explanatory questions
  • Helping students to make connections between abstract ideas and concrete examples
  • Helping students effectively manage their study time.

The Details: What Our Science Tutors Know

The New Zealand high school science curriculum is about learning the foundational skills needed to learn more about the natural world. These include skills in research, communication, experimentation and understanding natural systems. The curriculum aims to capitalise on every student’s natural curiosity, giving them a taste of how their worlds can be explored through science with a thorough introduction to scientific method, as well as the fascinating content each scientific discipline has to offer.

In Years 9, 10 and NCEA Level 1/IGSCE science, students participate in a general overview course. This overview covers the three major areas listed below, as well as geology, astronomy, human biology and electricity. Some schools offer a general overview at NCEA Levels 2 and 3 as well, but most students split off into the specific discipline that interests them the most, at NCEA levels 2 and 3 or at CIE AS, A2 and A levels: biology, chemistry, and/or physics.

For more information on our approach to these specific disciplines, click here:

Year 9 and 10 tutoring

Bridging the gap

Year 9 and 10 is a very important time for students. It bridges the gap between the general learning of primary school and the more advanced and specific kinds of assessment done for NCEA and Cambridge. Many new skills are needed for this change, from subject-specific knowledge to new communication styles and study techniques.

Year 9 and 10 tutoring

Pencilcase tutors are trained in proven and well-researched methods for preparing students for senior high school. We recognise that, at this stage, tutoring is more about helping students to develop confidence in their ability to succeed when faced with challenges than it is about complex content.

To this end, our tutors help with subject-specific knowledge alongside general skills such as:

  • Time management
  • Effective study habits
  • Writing clearly
  • Asking good questions
  • Ways of thinking positively, productively and creatively.

The subject specifics are used as tools with which to practice these vital skills. This way, our Year 9 and 10 students are as prepared as possible for facing the high demands of NCEA and Cambridge.

To see where our Year 9 and 10 tutoring programmes might lead, have a look at our senior subject pages: