Well… Where do we start this year? All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t start writing this blog a week ago because so much has changed recently! This has been quite the year for everyone and it’s been no different at Smart 11+ Tuition.
Late in 2019 we opened our centre in Sutton Coldfield and we saw pupil numbers there growing steadily in early 2020. Alongside our centre in Solihull, we were able to provide tuition to parents from both the north and south of Birmingham as well as the periphery. However, we weren’t satisfied with this so we set about opening a third centre. A site was found in Harborne and we began tutoring there at the start of March. You know what happened next…
23rd March hit many of us like a brick. This year has been difficult for so many people and we are mindful that some of you may have lost family members, struggled with balancing home learning, jobs and keeping your children entertained. As a parent myself, I can tell you teaching thirty children is far easier than teaching my two school-age children! However, we knew that we had to keep going because parents were relying on us to teach their children and provide continuity in uncertain times. As schools shut and went online, we followed suit. The online classes were well received and Jon, one of our senior tutors, provided excellent support through the videos he produced for us. We are grateful to all the parents who have stuck by us and allowed us to remain open and available to support children.
The Slow and Steady Reopening
When it was announced by the government that schools might be reopening, we began planning to get our centres reopened too. Unfortunately, our partners at the three education centres we were using previously weren’t able to offer us our places back due to understandable concerns around the transmission of Covid-19. I am glad to say that we were able to get a centre back open in Solihull and thanks to Solihull Methodist Church for allowing us to operate in their church hall.
We were so pleased to welcome pupils back to physical learning but it did look slightly different from before. No longer did we have an entrance hall abuzz with the sound of noisy chatter during drop-off and pick-up. Queuing and social distancing, one way systems and mask-wearing are now our normal. Our priority has always been to give children a safe environment to learn and we continue to do whatever it takes to allow for this to happen.
We are continuing in our efforts to reopen in Sutton Coldfield and Harborne. I want to thank our parents at these centres for their patience and support. We endeavour to have an update for you in the new year.
I will write more next week about next year, as well as giving some tips about how to help your child set goals and a routine if they are sitting the 11+ exam in 2021. However, for now, I would like to sign off by wishing you a very Merry Christmas and good health to you and your family.