Third Space Learning's pedagogy expert Candida Crawford talks outcomes, tests and tutors [VIDEO]

By David Leighton 

Find out how we ensure that the standard of our 1-to-1 Maths interventions remains high, how we observe tutors and how we prepare pupils for tests; also understand the pedgagogy behind the 1-to-1 tuition we offer with tips for your own teaching practice.

Candida is part of the teaching and learning team at Third Space Learning. She looks after tutor training and tutor development as well as the curriculum design for our 1-to-1 interventions, because as she says, 'these things work hand in hand'. 1-to-1 tutoring is what we do, so good tutoring is at the heart of what we do, and Candida is a large part of that.

She takes Maths specialists and trains them in pedagogy - how to teach Maths in an effective way to primary school children. Her work focuses on the cognitive side, so misconceptions and how best to introduce concepts; but also on the softer skills, using empathy, or building confidence, and instilling growth mindset.

Watch her interview with Jeremy from our schools team here:

Or read more below!

Our focus is on softer skills as much as cognitive gains 

Jeremy: Do you have any insights that you could share with teachers, perhaps those who have pupils who are struggling with Maths?

Candida: Well, I think there’s a danger of focusing too much on outcomes. On the cognitive gains rather than focusing - in parallel - on the softer skills and the process of how to get there.

I think, at Third Space, we train our tutors to train on both sides. So I’d say that it’s more looking at the holistic view and trying to use that to develop pupils’ understanding in Maths.

We provide continual, constructive feedback

Jeremy: What is your process for developing our tutors? 

Candida: So what we do is we give a session evaluation to each tutor every single week. We randomly pick a session so that they are not aware of it and we give them face to face feedback on how to improve and areas that they should pay attention to. 

This means that they are getting a lot of feedback on a continuous basis, a lot more than perhaps a regular teacher does.

Then, we also watch tutor videos to try and understand where common misconceptions are with pupils, or possible ways that we can improve our lessons. We take all of this information and share it with our tutors on a weekly basis, using videos or our online learning platform.

Insights from repeated teaching of the SATs lessons

Jeremy: What excites you about the work you're doing for Third Space Learning at the moment?

Candida: So, at the moment, I am responsible for our SATs programme and it’s really exciting to see so many tutors teach the same lesson again and gain valuable insights from this - taking that, harnessing it, and being able to use that for our teacher training and development. So I’m really proud of the SATs programme that we have been able to develop and I think that our pupils are definitely growing in confidence and will be super prepared for their SATs.

Influence on thousands of pupils per week

Jeremy: How would you compare being in the classroom versus working at Third Space Learning?

Candida: I was a teacher for ten years and I really enjoyed the personal contact that I had with pupils. At Third Space it’s different, I have indirect contact with the pupils, you know, direct contact with the tutors and I have an influence on the pupils through this way. But, it’s now with thousands of pupils per week. So I’d say that I do miss the classroom, but the impact is great.

Technology to provide real-time feedback

Jeremy: What's next for tutor CPD?

Candida: We have a lot of different inputs, for example we do a session evaluation and the tutor can improve through that feedback. We also have our pupil feedback, because [pupils] give feedback at the end of each session. So tutors have a lot of ways of how to improve. But we’re really excited about using technology to perhaps give real-time feedback to tutors while they’re teaching a session. 

The best way to find out more about Third Space Learning interventions is to visit our Year 6 foundation page, where you can book a demo to see a lesson and understand how we could work in your schools' context this autumn.

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