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26 February 2024 / Category : School

Student-led tutoring initiative a winning formula

A free student-led tutoring group aimed at helping ākonga with their math studies, will continue in 2024 as interest and academic improvement soar.

The Study Hall (TSH), which takes place on Saturday afternoons during term time, began last year when Rangi Ruru students and math whizzes Polly Lee, Elise Tian and Tiantian Chen (now Year 12, 11 and 10), decided that tutoring was a way in which they could give back to their community.

“We want students to feel more comfortable and confident with their math skills,” explains Polly, who last year achieved NCEA Level 2 Mathematics endorsed with Excellence. “Additionally, they have this really supportive and encouraging new group of like-minded friends and tutors that they are able to meet and bond with once a week.”


TSH supported around 15 students last year, from Year 2 to 8, during a two-hour session each weekend. Pencils, erasers, workbooks – and even afternoon tea – were provided, while questions and test papers were tailored to each student’s needs.

“If there was an upcoming exam, we would focus the work to prepare them for it,” says Elise, who achieved NCEA Level 1 Mathematics last year. “It’s so great to be able to provide extra academic support. The feedback from parents and students has been very positive.”

While finding the time among their multitude of extra-curricular commitments has proven challenging for the trio, they agree that seeing the students’ progress is what makes it all worthwhile. “We’d meet up one evening during the week to prepare the sessions and mark homework,” says Tiantian, who last year earned NCEA Level 2 Mathematics and Level 3 Calculus, both endorsed with Excellence.

Adds Elise: “The feeling we get when we help them with something they’re struggling with, is for me, the most rewarding part.”

In November, they held a graduation ceremony to recognise their students’ achievements, complete with pizza and sushi. “It’s great seeing our young students enjoying the work they’re doing, taking initiative, and seeing their smiles when they finally get it!” says Polly. “We can’t wait to start up again.”

TSH enlisted the help of two more tutors due to demand, and there’s a growing waitlist of ākonga who are keen to join the sessions this year, which resume at the end of February.