Targeted tuition reaps rewards for 100 students

A  Peebles education centre, Elm Court, set up for out of school tuition recently celebrated its first birthday Pictured are Directors Ann Dalziel and Angela Preston with staff and tutors.
A Peebles education centre, Elm Court, set up for out of school tuition recently celebrated its first birthday Pictured are Directors Ann Dalziel and Angela Preston with staff and tutors.

A PRIVATE education centre, set up in Peebles for out-of-school tuition, has supported more than 100 children since it was established a year ago.

And, as a result, Elm Court Education, formed as a community interest company, is looking to increase its team of seven tutors who teach both primary and secondary pupils.

The facility at Cavalry Park was created in response to parental demand and provides one-to-one or group tuition using tailored programmes to improve numeracy and literacy. It also offers additional subjects and revision sessions at secondary level in English, maths, languages and chemistry.

At a special first birthday party, Elm Court’s two directors – Ann Dalziel and Angela Preston – reflected on the success of their venture.

“We have been amazed at the demand right across Peeblesshire with new enquiries coming in daily,” said Ann. “A little extra tuition and specifically-targeted help in areas where a child might be struggling can make the difference between a child failing or succeeding, not just at school but in adult life. Our aim has been to enable children to become successful learners, confident individuals and to meet their potential, and we are delighted at how it has turned out and new initiatives are in the pipeline.”

Financial support for the centre was given by Social Investment Scotland, the Scottish Community Foundation and Peebles Common Good Fund, which have supported set-up, running and further development costs of the special dyslexia programmes.

“We are currently developing programmes and assessments to support pupils on the dyslexia spectrum,” explained Angela. “Our centre benefits from support and close collaboration with Dyslexia Action and has close links with Dyslexia Scotland.”

Last year, Elm Court and Borders College agreed a partnership arrangement to offer a one-stop shop for adults and children in Peebles.

Deirdre McKendry, head of commercial and community development at the college, said: “The opportunity to work with Elm Court ensures we can retain a presence in Peebles and continue to provide both educational and leisure classes at a time and location that suits our customers.”

Elm Court’s service includes classes that fit in with fifth and sixth-year free periods outside of school hours, as well as revision periods during school holidays such as the Easter break when exam revision is vital.

Ann said: “We are also working with local charities who refer children numeracy and literacy support, and our aim is to tutor even more children through further funding applications.

“We would encourage any local businesses who would like to support a funded place for a child to contact them to discuss further.”