How is Mathstar different from other tuition centres?
At Mathstar, our goal is to ensure that each and every student acquires the foundation to excel in their secondary school years. To do this, we assess each child at enrolment to identify their strengths and weaknesses and start them at the level that is allows us to fill in the gaps in their education to ensure success.
As it is a structured programme, this guarantees that every student that completes the levels have a strong base on which to build their secondary mathematics education on. All students are assessed at each completed level and spot revision is given to hone areas of weakness.
Unlike other repetitive programmes that focus on arithmetic alone, we train our students to fully comprehend the mechanics of division, multiplication, addition and subtraction so that they are able to identify the correct operation to use in word problems that require multiple steps to solve. We do this by teaching students to draw bar models to help students visualise the problem to trigger the thought processes required to solve the problem.
Aside from basic arithmetic, we also teach concepts of time, measurement, geometry, picture/line graphs, percentage, average and ratio to name a few.
Topics are introduced and built upon as the levels progress. Many students who have studied and completed Level 6 before entering secondary school have found Year 7 maths “easy”. These students are able to pick up new concepts quickly and enjoy the challenges that secondary mathematics brings.
When is the centre open?
Mathstar is open after school from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 12pm on Saturday morning. We are open throughout Term 1, 2 and 3 school holidays, but we close for 2 weeks over the end-of-year school holidays. We are closed on all Public Holidays.
How often do students come to the center?
Students come to the centre once or twice a week, depending on the student’s needs. Students coming twice a week, will progress at a faster rate than students coming only once a week.
How long is each session?
Each session lasts for an hour. This may seem a long time for younger students (Grades 1 and 2), however, we have rarely had an issue with any of our younger students. In fact, they are so engrossed in their worksheets that sometimes we have to remind them that it is time for them to go. Hour-long sessions are great for developing concentration and good study habits.
If my child misses a group session, can I get a makeup session?
No. We don’t allow swapping for the following reasons:
What is the student to teacher ratio?
Classes have a maximum ratio of 5 students to 1 teacher. Keeping our classes small ensures that the tutor is able to attend to each and every student during the session. As students are assigned to the level that is “just right” for them, they generally don’t need a lot of hand holding to complete the work. Every now and again, they may come across a problem they may find challenging or they begin a topic/concept they have never learnt before – this is when the tutor will be able to give them that extra guidance to help them continue with their work. Other times, the tutor will observe students in action and may need to step in if the work is not completed correctly.
What do students do at the center?
Each week, students complete exercises on a specific topic in class under the guidance of the tutor. Instructors will review the key concept pages of the week with the students to ensure that students have understood and mastered the topic. Extra worksheets are assigned for class or homework, if the tutor feels that the student has not fully comprehended and able to apply the concept.
What does my child need to bring to class?
Students are assigned a level after the initial assessment is conducted at enrolment. A workbook is given to students to cover the topics covered in that level. Students will be required to bring their workbook to class as well as 3 sharp pencils, an eraser and a sharpener. Pencils break, so having 3 sharp pencils will allow students to continue with their work and reduce the interruptions caused to their own and other students’ study by getting up to sharpen their pencils. Pens are not allowed at the centre because it is natural for students to make mistakes and it would be easier to erase mistakes rather than scribbling all over them and making a mess of their workbooks. We encourage students to write out their steps in a neat and legible manner.
Is there any homework?
Each concept is covered in 10 to 20 pages. If the worksheets are not completed within the 1-hour session, students are asked to complete the remaining worksheets as homework. Daily practice will help students to comprehend and memorise the concept/facts better than studying it for one session and leaving it until the next session, 7 days later. Mathstar recommends students complete a few pages under parental guidance each day.
How much homework should my child do each day?
Study time varies with age. Primary school-age students should study 30 minutes a day and secondary school-age students should do an hour of homework a day.
How do I know how my child is progressing?
For Mathematics, students will take Interim tests after the completion of 4 topics and a Level Completion test at the end of the Level. A report is given to parents to show test results, any areas of weakness and further recommendation.