Situated on the Ngunnawal country owned by the Aboriginal Peoples of the region, Canberra was officially named as the capital city of Australia on 12 March 1913. It is believed the name Canberra derived from an indigenous word meaning 'meeting place', though this has never been substantiated.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has been described as 'a student's dream'. Not only is Canberra home to Australia's top-ranked university, but the lifestyle here is also easygoing, active and immersed in nature. It's little wonder a quarter of the population are students.
If you are one of the nearly 115,000 students studying online, at primary or high school or at university in Canberra, there is a good chance you may require the services of a tutor at some point in your learning journey.
Perhaps you need tutoring support with maths, English, chemistry or music? Or maybe you require help with study skills, essay writing or research?
Whatever your needs, finding a tutor in Canberra will be the least of your worries.
Let's get started.
Do I Really Need a Tutor?
There are a number of misconceptions surrounding tutors and tutoring. Possibly the most prevalent is the assumption you 'must be dumb' if you require tutoring.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Think of it like this:
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
~ Carl Bard ~
In other words, smart people try to better themselves.
How Can a Tutor Help Me?
Different tutors have different skill sets, so it helps to know what your specific learning goals are before you start looking for a tutor.
High-end Academic Tutoring
A tutor in this field will be a qualified and experienced teacher or academic with specialisation in the subject her students are learning.
Students may be in senior secondary school, vying for entry into a university course with a high TER or ATAR requirement. Or you may be a student of physics or economics who is needing to keep your head above water when it comes to rigorous course content or exam preparation.
Tuition in Secondary School
Students in Years 7 - 10 (high school) and Years 11 - 12 (known as college in the ACT public system, or senior secondary school) often employ tutors for targeted assistance in maths or English, or for subject-specific tutoring in areas such as history, chemistry or languages.
Private tutors can work with secondary school students to:
- fill gaps in general knowledge (such as basic maths or English skills)
- boost grades
- prepare for tests
- complete homework tasks and assignments
Primary School Tutoring
It is not uncommon for a student in their first year of formal education (Foundation), or Years 1 - 6, to access private tutoring.
Generally, a primary-age student will work with a tutor for either maths or English.
In the younger year levels, tutoring is mainly sought to develop reading skills. From Year 3 and beyond, a tutor is often employed to assist a student with concepts in numeracy, reading comprehension and writing skills. However, this is not a hard and fast rule as it is up to the parents, often in consultation with the teacher, to decide what areas their child requires help in.
Often, private tutors will communicate with the child's teacher as a means of gauging learning needs and progress. Occasionally, the tutor will work directly with the student in their classroom.
Tutors for Speakers of English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
Canberra is a popular destination for university students from overseas. Many Canberra schools also have a high percentage of EAL/D students making up their total enrolment.
Accessing the Australian Curriculum, or university courses, when English is not your first language can be challenging. As such, private tutors are often sought to help international students with:
- oral and aural comprehension (i.e. speaking and listening practice)
- research skills
- reading comprehension
- essay writing
- preparation for presentations
- study skills
All public primary schools, high schools and colleges in Canberra have at least one dedicated EAL/D teacher on their staff who provide targeted assistance and small group lessons. However, their time is stretched, so parents may also elect to employ a private tutor, particularly for their children at the higher end of their schooling.
Whether you're in a band, a small ensemble or just learning an instrument for fun, working with a private teacher can help you progress your playing skills to the next level.
Canberra is sometimes referred to as the 'education capital' — people in this city love to learn, and where there's learning, there's a need for tutoring as well. Whatever skill you wish to develop, finding a tutor in Canberra or online to assist you will be easy.
So, Do I Just Type in 'Find a Tutor Canberra'?
Actually, yes. It's that simple.
Try it now. Open your internet browser and just type the words find a tutor Canberra.
Ok. It's a little overwhelming, isn't it? Narrowing your search parameters a little could be useful.
Think about starting with the Superprof platform. Here, you can search tutors' profiles to find the level of expertise and subject specialisation you want. There are over 100 Superprof tutors in the ACT alone, covering a wide range of academic subjects, music, languages and leisure activities—and they cater for all ages and academic levels. Competitively priced (average rates are $30 an hour) all Canberra-based Superprof tutors offer their first lesson for free.
If you can't find a Superprof tutor to suit your needs in Canberra, broaden your search to look for those who offer online tutoring.
General Academic/School Tuition
A number of tutoring agencies across the ACT provide tutors for all ages, preschool to university, and all subjects.
- Canberra Tutoring — both online and face-to-face, all tutors are qualified teachers or university graduates in specialised fields
- John's Academy — online, small group and private tuition for Year 1 through to university, IB Curriculum, maths, physics and chemistry, and IELTS writing
- Big Improvements Tutoring — online and one-to-one, all year levels (F - 12), English and maths only
- High School Tutors — online and face-to-face, Canberra-based senior high school and university students offering specialised tuition to Years 7 - 12 and IB
- Student Tutors — online and private tuition, university students offering tuition in a full range of curriculum areas from primary school to university
Tutoring agencies and private freelance tutors (who advertise on different platforms, including Gumtree, as well as through university and community noticeboards) will often also specialise in lessons for people whose first language is not English.
Over the last decade or so, the music education culture in the Australian Capital Territory has seen a huge revival and it is now relatively easy to find a private music teacher, or music school for any instrument you are interested in learning.
- Canberra Music Tuition — lessons for all instruments at all levels, three conveniently located studios or the option of in-school lessons at participating primary schools
- Canberra Music Education School — private or group lessons for a small range of instruments for ages 5 and up, beginners through to advanced
- Music For Canberra — group lessons (drum, guitar, recorder, ukulele, hand drumming), private lessons and Music Play classes (for children 18 months - 5 years)
Many freelance music tutors advertise in school newsletters, library and community noticeboards and through platforms such as Music Teachers Online or Gumtree.
Tutoring for Languages and Other Interest Areas
As mentioned above, many freelance tutors advertise their services on platforms such as Gumtree or on noticeboards in public spaces or schools. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a tutor — try asking your teacher or even your peers.
For languages, the ACT Community Language Schools Association can be a useful resource and should be able to put you in touch with reliable tutoring services.
If you are keen to start learning another skill, such as a style of cooking, computer skills, sculpture or archery, joining a club or attending a short course at an evening college or the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) will not only give you the basic skills but will also provide you with contacts if you wish to pursue learning with a private teacher.
If you can't afford a private tutor at the moment, but still need help to boost your understanding or get your head around concepts, why not start your own informal tutoring group with your classmates? This is particularly useful for older students, Years 10 - 12 and university, who already have good organisational and study skills.
Not everyone understands everything or learns at the same pace, so the chances are that you and your peers will be able to help each other out or work together to find a solution.
If you or your child are experiencing difficulties with learning, don't continue to struggle. In the ACT, you are spoilt for options when it comes to people who can help you succeed.