1. Why did we set up Oppidan Education?
Very simply we set up Oppidan Education to help change the expectations amongst parents and children as to the value of one-on-one support. The aim at Oppidan Education has, since its inception, been to reduce the friction between the formal education system and what we know as the growing provision of “shadow education” in the UK. Tutoring firms have historically clashed with schools and their teachers; differing teaching styles and a lack of transparency has meant that schools have tended not to endorse the support received outside of its doors. As a result, Oppidan has, over the last three years, focused on a form of education that emphasises academic improvement through a different methodology – one proven to help improve a student’s attainment in class without the added stress or burden of extra work.
2. What is the difference between a mentor and a tutor?
The philosophy of mentoring focuses on the development of a child’s mental capabilities surrounding their education; it helps change perceptions about what a child is capable of achieving academically and through changing the narrative it posits the idea that success comes from motivation. Crucially, it gives children those tools to then use, and improve upon, back in the classroom.
A mentor focuses on both the mental capabilities surrounding a child’s education, as well as the technical element to academic studies, an improvement on the latter created only by focusing firstly on the former.
3. What form does mentoring take?
Mentoring takes on any number of forms. One session might help a 15-year-old to overcome perfectionism; another one will create a game plan as to how a boy might take on the transition to senior school; on the one hand, an outlet to vent and overcome family frustration, and on the other, a means of giving a child the confidence to stand up and speak publicly, a skill very few of us still possess as adults. One mentoring session may help prepare a child for an interview, while another might remind them that they aren’t “bad” at a subject. Increasing peer (and parent) analysis has meant much of the work we do rests on changing a child’s internal sense of worth.
4. What happens when my child has exams to revise for?
A mentoring relationship allows for the most productive form of revision to take place. Perhaps the most crucial aspect to remember is that mentoring never gives way to tutoring. Mentoring does not become less appropriate for exam preparation and is not an abstract ideal that runs counter to exam revision. Mentoring is about navigating the complexities of the current education system - and exams are an unavoidable part of that.
5. Who are your mentors?
The purpose of mentoring is to disassociate teaching from the formalities of school. Children should become invested in the idea that education is fun and to be enjoyed and as such Oppidan employs a broad church of young professionals drawn by the wider scope they have to their teaching and the focus on the soft skills associated with more broad-minded concepts we promote. Oppidan’s mentors are young, enthusiastic graduates with a passion for teaching that they offer alongside their own particular vocations.
6. How do you choose a mentor for my child?
Today’s complex society necessitates that children’s educational development is holistic and guided by a cutting-edge and performance-driven methodology. This is our vision: to pair children with the best mentors to help them reach their full potential through the product: mentoring. The tidal wave of tutors in London has made tutors seemingly homogenous in the profiles sent to parents. As a result, mentors are chosen on personality, interests and shared common ground with that particular child.
7. Are your mentors DBS certified and qualified to work with my child?
All our mentors are fully DBS checked and have the requisite experience commensurate with your expectations required to look after your child. Many of our mentors are also EduCare Level 2 qualified.
8. What is the price of an hour’s session?
Lessons start from £65hr and go up incrementally based on the experience of the mentor.
9. Is V.A.T. charged on top of the lesson price?
V.A.T. is included within the cost of the lesson.
10. What other costs will there be?
All families join Oppidan Education as members and pay a standard annual membership fee of £240. To enquire and see our membership brochure and what that offers, please contact the office directly.
11. Will I be charged for communication and phone calls with Oppidan?
No – there are no other hidden costs, and time on the phone is not chargeable.
12. How do I book?
Call the team in the office on 02034093359 for an initial chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Where do the lessons take place?
In most circumstances, the mentor will come to your home for the lesson. However, lessons can also take place in the offices. We have even had, from time to time, a History lesson in the Churchill War Rooms or a Geography lesson on The Thames.
14. Can lessons take place on the weekends?
Absolutely – the majority of our lessons take place after school during the week, but of course if the weekend works for both of you, then that's entirely fine.
15. Will the mentor provide teaching resources?
Lessons should very much be guided by what the student would like to cover and it would be worth before the lesson going through the brief to ensure that the mentor can prepare accordingly. Oppidan also has subject-specific materials should that be of interest.
16. What happens if I don’t like the mentor offered for my child?
The first lesson with a new mentor should be seen as a trail session to see whether your child is happy. If the match does not initially prove successful, we are very happy to find a more suitable replacement and refund you for the lesson.
17. Will the mentor provide reports and feedback?
Yes – communication with you the parent is a huge part of a mentor’s role and constructive feedback is given after each lesson. Monthly reports are also written, which come attached to your invoice at the beginning of the month.
18. How do I pay?
Oppidan invoices all clients on the 1st of every month for the previous month’s work. You then have the option to bank transfer or pay by card via our stripe payment system. You will receive an automated reminder a week later if you haven’t yet settled the invoice.