Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) PDF Print E-mail

Questions we are frequently asked are listed below. If you have a question that is not answered or not addressed adequately, please contact us.


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Frequently asked questions

I've never heard of Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West - can you tell me something about it?

Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West is a part of the Aldon Tutoring Centres Pty Ltd franchise group founded by Allan Matheson and Don Hawkins in 1996 (hence the name Aldon).  At the time Don and Allan both ran successful tutoring centres-Don in Brisbane and Allan in Maryborough.  Don developed many of the language and mathematics programs that form the basis of the system used by Aldon Tutoring Centres today. Currently, a number of Aldon Tutoring Centres can be found throughout Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and West Australia and there are plans to expand into New South Wales.  The current owners, Allan and Sue Matheson, are committed to the ongoing development of first rate learning materials for students working in Aldon Tutoring Centres.

Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West (ATC Manly West) was established in May 2011 and is directed by Tony Williams who is well-known in the Redlands, having taught at the Alexandra Hills State High School from 1991 until April 2002.  At the time of leaving Education Queensland, Tony was the Head of Special Education Services at Alexandra Hills SHS and managed a challenging and complex Student Support Centre.  He is well-qualified, having completed his Masters degree in Special Education.  He has over 30 years of teaching experience from Preschool through to Year 12.  After resigning from Education Queensland, Tony took up a contract as learning support teacher at St Margaret's Anglican Girls School working with students from Preparatory level to Year 5.  From 2003 until May 2011, Tony worked full-time as the director of ATC Bayside.  The Centre achieved notable success with much of its growth stemming from word-of-mouth and professional referrals.  After selling ATC Bayside in 2011, Tony with his wife and partner, Laureen, established ATC Manly West.  Since its inception, Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West has developed a reputation for excellence and integrity in tutoring. 

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What are some of the services offered by Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West?

  • After- and before-school tutoring for school-age students at competitive rates.
  • Irlen Syndrome visual screening (i.e. light sensitivity).
  • School Readiness Tests for preschoolers and early Year 1 students.
  • A comfortable learning environment where students will want to come.
  • Thorough pre-tutoring assessment to determine the starting point for tutoring.
  • High-quality and motivating tutoring programs using advanced multi-media technology and hands-on materials.
  • Carefully sequenced tutoring programs tailored to each student's needs (interests, preferred learning styles, learning level and rate).
  • Individualised and flexible tutoring programs in an environment that encourages independence, organisation, confidence and success.
  • Standardised achievement testing with detailed reports.  Testing allows parents to know more precisely the ability level of their children-their strengths and difficulties-when compared to other children of a similar age.  Please ask about this special service.
  • Progress reports delivered verbally to parents at the end of each 15-block session of tutoring.
  • Interviews with parents about their child's tutoring as arranged.
  • Liaison with each student's classroom teacher(s) when requested.
  • Special workshop classes for students, parents and interested adults-e.g. How to help my child with spelling, Assignment Writing, Study Skills, Mathematics Problem Solving.

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What is your general philosophy of tutoring?

  • All students learn, but at different rates and in different ways.  It is our aim to determine how each child learns and provide a tutoring program that best fits the student's needs.  Our overall aim is to help each student to develop the independence and confidence needed to succeed.
  • Although many students succeed at school others do not-students who struggle with their learning are often caught in a failure cycle.  It is our aim to turn this destructive cycle into an upward spiral of success:


  • Failure left unchecked can be difficult to break and may lead to a student becoming reluctant to participate in learning and even avoiding school.
  • The failure cycle often can be halted and reversed at tutoring by providing the student with activities with which he or she can succeed.  Tasks must be within a student's ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) whereby tasks are challenging, but not so much so that tasks become frustrating.
  • It is important to determine first the level of a student in order to assist him or her to move forward.
  • Learning often proceeds better for students with a learning difficulty when:
    • Content is carefully sequenced;
    • The learning environment is well-structured;
    • Teaching is adjusted to the student's needs-preferred learning style, learning rate and level and interests;
    • Group numbers are kept small; and
    • There are other motivated students doing the same kinds of things.
  • Interesting activities make learning fun, but the most fun is had when it is accompanied by success.
  • The value placed on education and tutoring by parents and others can have a positive influence on a student's motivation to learn.
  • To promote optimal success for each student, parents, teachers, tutors, sometimes outside organisations and the student need to work together as a team.

What students do you tutor?

  • Generally students in Years 2-10, but we do help others from time to time.
  • Pre-school children-we assist parents in how they might help their children at home.
  • Students who want to push ahead in their learning.  Such students might be those wanting to sit scholarship exams at private schools, or their present school does not offer extension programs.
  • Students who have fallen behind in school for some reason, e.g. absence due to illness or hospitalisation, change of school or education system, learning difficulty.
  • Students who learn best in a structured setting where student numbers are kept small.
  • Students who require that little extra, individualised assistance that may not be readily available at school when it is needed.  (Schools and teachers are under enormous pressure especially where there is such a wide range of students for whom they must cater.)
  • Students whose parents sometimes feel unsure about how they can best help their children with their schoolwork.
  • Students (and parents) who may like to know their ability level when compared to others of a similar age.

How much does tutoring cost?

Tutoring costs are very competitive, especially considering the amount of individual attention each student receives and the amount of behind-the-scenes effort required to help each student succeed.  The duration of tutoring sessions is 70 minutes and students are encouraged to attend at least weekly for continuity of learning and to realise success as soon as possible.

In 2016, the cost of a regular tutoring session is $61.  (There are no contracts and tutoring attendance is flexible according to our customers' needs.  EFTPOS and Direct Deposit are available for the convenience of our customers.)

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How long will it take tutoring to catch up my child?

How long a student attends tutoring is an individual matter.  There is no clear-cut answer.  The length of time required to have a student operating according to their age is determined by many factors including the starting level of the student, the student's rate of learning, the effort applied by the student, the student's persistence and the time it takes for confidence to be developed.  Once confidence comes, then a student is able to learn independently and tutoring might then not be required.  It is recommended that students cease tutoring when their academic level is approximately six months in advance of their chronological age.  At this time enough skills will have developed to allow the student the confidence and ability to 'go it alone'.

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What happens at tutoring?

This largely depends on the level and needs of your child.  All students are tutored as individuals and even if working two or three to a tutor, they still will be working on their own individual tasks or program.


Students undertaking tutoring for literacy (up to Year 12) or numeracy (up to Year 10):

Students undertaking tutoring for literacy and/or numeracy work with tutors in small groups of three.  If there is a fourth student then there is a trained and experienced adult assistant also working with the group.

Again, each student will have his/her program to work on that has been carefully developed from detailed assessments that will have been undertaken prior to enrolment.  Students work with experienced registered primary and/or secondary teachers who have also undertaken hours of training in Aldon Tutoring Centres methods.

Students work quietly and productively in an open space and may participate in a range of stimulating activities such as sensory and hands-on activities using movement, tactile and concrete materials, pen and pencil activities and computer tasks.  Students are encouraged to develop independence and have some control over their own learning.  Reflecting on learning and being able to communicate their learning to others (e.g. parents) is central to tutoring at Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West.

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How much computer work is involved at tutoring?

It does vary from tutoring session to session, but computers are generally used about 20-30% of the time. Computers are seen as a valuable tool for consolidating skills that have already been taught or which are to be reviewed following direct instruction from tutors.  Also, computers are used to cover routine skills that are best covered using this tool.  Computers are not central to tutoring, but computer activities are incorporated into learning programs according to student needs and interests.

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How safe will my child be at tutoring?

Your child's safety is of the upmost importance to us at Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West.  Each of our employees have had criminal history check and tutors are employed after personal interview and/or assessment of their skills.  Our staff have blue cards to verify criminal history checks.

Primary students are accompanied to the toilets when required.  Primary students must also remain at the centre until parents collect them from tutoring.

If a student fails to arrive at tutoring without explanation, the parent(s) are contacted immediately.

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Are your tutors registered teachers?

The tutors are registered teachers with years of experience as classroom teachers and tutors.  In addition to their classroom experience and formal qualifications, our tutors have been trained in Aldon Tutoring methods and other skills which enable them to adapt their skills to the needs of  individual students rather than class groups.

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What area/region does Aldon Tutoring Centres Manly West service?

Students attend tutoring from as far away as Jimboomba and Beenleigh, but the majority of our students come from the surrounding areas, namely:  Manly, Manly West, Wynnum, Wynnum West, Hemmant, Lota, Lindum, Wakerley, Gumdale, Tingalpa and Belmont.

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