Tutorial method is the key to success

Zoë Spilberg, the College’s Principal, talks about the value of independent learning – particularly relevant for all students who are now studying online. Zoë explains how developing critical skills leads to a marked growth in self-confidence and self-motivation. in this article originally published in the Independent School Parent.

In these difficult times Greene’s, Oxford’s oldest tutorial college, is opening its virtual doors for students to complete their year’s schooling online, get a head start for the new school year or to prepare for university. Taught individually or in small groups in Greene’s state of the art virtual classrooms by our expert tutors, students can continue their schooling or prepare for university during this period of isolation. For more information please contact +44 1865 66 44 00 or e-mail registrar@greenes.org.uk.

I am often asked to explain the difference between a school and tutorial college – the difference is often in size and approach rather than outcome.

Our aims are similar – we all recognise that some students cannot easily be slotted into a timetable; some will want a high degree of flexibility with choice of subject, while others may need to restart or retake an academic programme.

Some students need an accelerated programme to meet their specific aims, while others need to spend time consolidating their work. All these Greene’s can deliver with its individualised programmes.

Greene’s is a small, friendly college – where each student receives careful attention, an individualised study programme and subject tutors who match, as closely as possible, their learning style.

Our student-centred approach has been much praised by our regulating body, the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, and is reflected in the excellence of the reports we receive from them.

The inspectors likewise have commented on the extraordinarily high quality of our tutors and their teaching.

We have been welcoming students to Greene’s for over 50 years for full two-year A level, one- and two-year GCSE and gap year retake programmes, delivering engaging tuition in one-to-one and small group settings.

The rapid progress that our students make is testament to the effective learning partnership that exists between students and their tutors.

As the College Principal, I am passionate about the effect the tutorial method has on developing critical thinking, and it is wonderful to see our students’ confidence and self-belief grow during their time at Greene’s.

With the depth of experience that our longevity as a college brings, we continue to change and innovate.

We recently introduced our Leadership Programme, combining seminars and workshops with collaborative group projects, as well as giving students opportunities to hear visiting speakers share their personal and professional journeys into leadership.

The quality of some of our Greene’s additional courses and programmes are so regarded that we are asked to deliver them to schools nationally and internationally.

We strive to help our students lay the foundations for success through personal development and self-awareness, as well as developing lifelong skills and extensive academic knowledge.

The tutorial method of learning is the key to their success, and while we work with every student to achieve the university place or academic goal of their choice, even more valuable is the ability to understand how success can be achieved, and so taking skills forward into any career.

In the words of one of our former students:

‘A Greene’s tutorial style of education is amazing: it is the greatest gift an educational establishment can give you.’

Article last updated:April 16, 2021