Since opening their first office in Dubai in October 2012, Carfax has provided one-to-one tuition to families throughout Dubai. We spoke to them to find out more.
There are many private tuition options already available to kids in Dubai. What makes Carfax stand out from the rest?
Carfax looks to provide a higher quality of tutor, with an individual focus. We recruit our tutors directly from leading universities in the U.K. and U.S., putting them to work with pupils one-to-one. This increased attention, combined with a higher level of subject knowledge are our key assets to parents. Where time allows, we offer lessons in the home which can also make parents’ lives easier.
Time Out Kids hated after school tutoring. How do you make sure that kids are taking it all in and gaining a deeper understanding of their chosen subject?
The approach that our tutors take has to be accessible and thorough. If children do not like the tutor or the lessons, they’ll switch off. This does both them, and their parents (our clients), a disservice. At the same time, tutors have to cover all of the topics asked of them, and we do try to push our pupils wherever possible. We ask our tutors to be mindful of continuous assessment, to ensure that pupils understand each topic as they go along. This can be as a formal written test, or through verbal questioning as is suitable.
What kind of results have you seen from kids you have tutored in Dubai? Any notable stories?
The ability level of pupils in Dubai can be very varied. To some pupils, getting back to the level of their peers is a success, while to others, nothing less than full marks will do. We work with pupils from across this spectrum and I am pleased to say we have had successes from all abilities. Helping pupils to pass entrance exams is a key part of our work. Our pupils have entered the Dubai College entrance exam with success, while overseas, other Carfax Dubai pupils have received offers from Winchester, Charterhouse, Brighton College, Rugby School, and Le Rosey. This year, we are helping more pupils looking towards Oxford and Cambridge, with the hope that we’ll be seeing offers in December and January.
On your website is says that you provide residential and home schooling services. What does this entail exactly?
Our residential services are for families looking for a live-in tutor to work with their families. The tutor will either live with the family or will be housed nearby, with lessons being provided as requested by the family. This service is bespoke to each family, with a range of preferences available. For example, one family was looking for an American tutor able to provide academic oversight for all of their children, while we have also been asked to place tutors with specific SEN experience in the British system.
Although not for everyone, these tutors provide parents with peace of mind. Our clients are often very busy families, with a strong understanding of the importance of the role of education in their children’s lives. Our parents wish to have a knowledgeable and trustworthy presence around their children, to assist them with their learning when they might otherwise not be able to.
Our home-schooling service is aimed to help pupils back into schools wherever possible. We discuss at length which curriculum the children have been following, and look to match their existing knowledge to the curriculum they are looking to follow in their new school. These are typically shorter-term commitments, but can also cover full-courses if the pupil is unable to take a place in school for a specific reason.
Home schooling is a hot topic in Dubai. What are your thoughts on it?
We fully support the KHDA stance of looking to have children in full-time schooling where possible, but it is clear that home-schooling does take place in a range of contexts, and often for valid reasons. We are pragmatic in our approach, believing that it is better that someone approach us rather than leave a child without any form of structured education. The key issue for authorities and parents alike with home-schooling is how can each side validate progress made by children when they are out of school? This is difficult with home-schooling, and reflected by the KHDA position.
What kind of support can you provide for older kids who are starting to think about University? How can their parents ensure they are making the right choice when it comes to the application process?
For older children and parents, we often advise that they speak with our sister company, Carfax Educational Consultants, based in London and Oxford. We have a specialist team of consultants who advise international families on the range of options open to them and how to access them. Ultimately there is no substitute for visiting these institutions and asking the right questions, which we can assist with. We act as advisors on behalf of families, and are able to give a balanced view based on our experience of hundreds of past pupils.
Prices start from Dhs450 per hour at Carfax in Knowledge Village and from Dhs600 per hour at home. Visit www.carfax-dubai.ae or call 04 438 5276 for more information.