More About Me - Ron Skoczylas
My secondary school education was at Saltley
Grammar School in Birmingham. I went to Leeds University
where I obtained an upper second class honours degree in
Civil Engineering. After my degree, I decided to enter the
teaching profession, obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate
in Education with emphasis on Physics and Mathematics, also
at Leeds University.
Great Wyrley High School, in Staffordshire,
was the first school at which I taught. I spent ten years
there as a Science teacher, specialising in Physics, teaching
the subject to A Level. I then moved to Cardinal Griffin
RC High School in Cannock as Head of Physics. I spent 19
years there until I retired having completed 29 years of
I started Private Tuition in 1997 whilst I was still teaching.
This was necessary because my son was offered a place at
Sedbergh School in Cumbria and an extra source of income
was needed. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Leukaemia and took
early retirement from teaching. However, thanks to my sister,
I had a successful bone marrow transplant in 2005. I have
continued with Private Tuition to supplement my pension.
I live in Stafford and I am married with
three children and four grandchildren.
My Working Method
Reasons for Hiring a Tutor
There are various reasons for hiring a
A student may;
be struggling in a subject and too shy
to ask questions in class.simply wish to maximise their
be aiming to obtain at least a grade
'C' GCSE to get on a specific course. (number grades are
be aiming to get the grades for their
chosen university course.
be wishing to maximise their chance of
entering an institution which is heavily over subscribed.
For example, Oxbridge, Imperial College, The American
Universities. ( for example one of my students is due
to start this autumn (2016) at Columbia University, New
One of the usual side effects for a student
who commits to the tuition is an increase in self confidence.
One to one tuition is a method of teaching
that is virtually impossible to replicate in school. It
is not possible for a class room teacher to devise individual
lessons (and closely supervise the delivery of said lesson)
for 25 plus pupils.
Each morning I sit down and devise a lesson tailored to
the specific needs of each student that I shall see that
day. Usually the aim of the impending lesson has been decided
in advance in consultation with the student and/or with
the student's parents.
When I first see a student I make an assessment of what
are the priorities for that student. In the time available
it is not possible to teach an entire course*(see below)
- this is why it is important to set priorities.
I encourage students to think about their learning, and
to a large extent, decide the directions that we take. This
can be done at the end of the previous lesson or by sending
me an email the day before the next lesson.
Students are taught mainly by 'doing'. Of course I will
go through the neccessary theory - but as soon as possible
we will do questions, worksheets etc. Having to listen for
too long is not conducive to concentration.
I always bring to the lesson two copies of each worksheet,
exam paper etc. As the student answers the questions I answer
the same questions on my copy. The reason for this is two
I will know exactly what challenges and
potential pitfalls the student is likely to come across
and what opportunities for teaching points are likely
At the end of the lesson the student will
have the solutions to the questions, which can inform
When we encounter a problem I always try
to elicit the answer from the student by asking a series of
questions which lead to the answer. One of the rewards of
this job for me is to see the dawning realisation on a student's
face when they see that they have answered the question.
Some months before an examination we will
start doing past examination papers. The papers are done
in conjunction with the official mark scheme and examiner's
report. This ensures that we identify exactly what the examiner
is looking for.
Even though we have the mark scheme I
still do the exam alongside the student. The mark scheme
contains the 'bare bones' of the solutions - no explanations.
A mark scheme can be a daunting document to read; especially
A level maths mark schemes. When I answer the questions
I try to put in explanations and tips etc.
I have in fact taught OCR Additional Mathematics
to a Year 11 student because her school could not offer
the course. However, she was secure in her Science and Mathematics
GCSEs, so we were able to spend all her tuition time on
the OCR course.