About us

We offer professional tuition in Maths and English to Primary and Secondary school children in the Shirley area and particularly in Monkspath, Dorridge, Knowle, Hockley Heath, Dickens Heath, Earlswood, Hall Green, Hillfield and surrounding Solihull areas.


The Centre Director is Carmel Sumner, a highly qualified and experienced teacher who has taught at both Primary and Secondary level and has over twenty years experience. In addition, Carmel has been trained in the Kip McGrath tutorial system.

Maths and English tutors LisburnDoes your child need tutoring in Maths or English?

Children attend our Shirley centre for additional tutorial assistance for the following reasons:                                                                           


  • Pupils lacking in confidence in English and Maths
  • Pupils falling behind in school
  • Reading, writing or spelling issues
  • Struggling with Maths
  • Specific Learning Difficulties
  • GCSE Exam preparation.
  • Entrance Exams

Maths and English  - Diagnosing any issues

Before we agree to commence tutoring we undertake a comprehensive educational assessment which is free of charge and without obligation. Carmel will discuss the results in full with parents and highlight any areas of weakness. Should you wish to proceed with tuition, the results will enable her to create an individual learning programme for your child.

Our unique Tutoring Service includes:                                                                                

  • Free assessment of your child                                                                                                       freeassessmentayr                      
  • Individual learning programmes to assess individual learning needs
  • Fully qualified experienced teachers
  • Ongoing assessment and regular parental feedback
  • Early Reading Programme
  • GCSE English and Maths
  • 80 minute session in positive learning environment
  • Reading, Spelling, Comprehension
  • Exclusive educational resources in English and Maths
  • All teachers have an enhanced CRB certificate



English and Maths programmes

English and Maths programme at Kip McGrath Shirley

Our English and Maths tutoring programmes ensure that every student works at a level they are comfortable with before moving onto the next level. Each child has an individual learning programme which is prepared following a comprehensive educational assessment. Our tuition will help students fully understand every level of the curriculum, build confidence and allow students to reach their fully academic potential.



Early Reading programme

This programme takes children right back to the basics of reading and is an intensive intervention programme.

Early Reading programme highlights       

  • 10 lessons targeted towards key reading skills
  • Booklet based activities and homework sheets
  • Computer based activities to engage children and accelerate drill

Depending on age they can progress from this programme to the Kip reading Programme

At Kip McGrath Shirley we also offer a specialised reading programme for children aged 6 to 16 that includes:

  • An individual learning programme based on your child's needs
  • Varied learning activities including the use of Audio Cd's, written exercises, computer based activities and tutor interaction.
  • Regular and consistent homework to reinforce learning

An English tutoring programme may consist of activities to develop:

  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing skills


Maths Tutoring

Our accelerated mathematics learning programme targets students 6 -16 in all Maths areas and levels. Many students feel uncertainty about their Mathematical ability or have a fear of Maths.We break down maths concepts into small chunks, ensure that students have fully mastered each one before going onto the next step.


Whether your child needs:

  • Basic number skills
  • Mental Maths
  • Times Tables
  • Decimal Places
  • Fractions or Percentages
  • Time or Money
  • Place value
  • Algebra
  • Data Handling
  • Geometry
  • Help understanding new concepts introduced in Years 8,9 and 10

The Kip McGrath accelerated maths tutoring programme is the answer for your child's maths difficulties. A thorough understanding of basic maths is required before students can progress, so it is important that the source of any difficulty is identified and addressed early.



Frequently asked questions about Maths and English tuition at Kip McGrath Shirley















What subjects do you teach ?

What ages do you teach ?

Do you tutor exam preparation for selective school entrance ?

How do I know that my child will improve ?

How long will it take to solve my child's problem ?

Can you tutor my child with a disability ?

Will you come to my house to tutor ?

Do you tutor online ?

How does the initial assessment work ?

How long is each lesson ?

What times are the lessons held ?

Will my child get homework ?

How should I help my child while at Kip McGrath ?

What subjects do you teach ?

We help students primarily in the areas of Reading, Writing, Spelling, Comprehension, English and Maths - from Year 1 to Year 6. From time to time we offer expert courses in Essay Writing, Study Skills and Intelligence Development. At appropriate times of the year we also offer exam preparation for entrance exams to local schools as well as GCSE Maths and English and SAT's.Back to top

What ages do you teach ?

The majority of students we tutor in English and Maths are between 5 and 16 years old. We also cater for adult students who need to "brush up" on their school knowledge, for example, a workplace examination or to improve their reading or writing skills.Back to top

Do you tutor exam preparation for selective school entrance ?

We do exam preparation for selective school entrance exams as well as SATs and GCSE preparation. It is important that you contact us well before the exams to give your child the best chance of success.Back to top

How do I know that my child will improve ?

Your child will improve if they are supported at school, home and at Kip McGrath. Every child that attends tutoring each week and does all of their set homework will improve - both academically and in self confidence. Back to top

How long will it take to solve my child's problem ?

Every child is different and every problem is different. After the initial assessment, we will be able to provide an indication of how long tutoring may be required and your child's progress is monitored regularly.Back to top

Can you tutor my child with a disability ?

There are many disabilities with varying levels of disorder. We always recommend that you seek professional advice on this question first, however we have taught students with disabilities such as ADHD, Aspergers, Dyslexia, Autism and others in the past. It is very important that we have an interview and assessment with you and your child before we can determine if we can effectively tutor them. Our main focus is to ensure that your child's disability will not interfere with their ability to learn in this environment. Please contact us to discuss your child's needs.Back to top

Will you come to my house to tutor ?

All tutoring is done within our Centre. This gives us the ability to provide the best facilities and teaching aids to meet the needs of your child and creates an optimal learning environment.Back to top

Do you tutor online ?

Online tutoring is currently being developed and once available will mimic the proven Kip McGrath method of tutoring currently delivered in the Centre. Due for release in 2012, it will be a great option if your child finds it difficult to regularly attend our centre.Back to top

How does the initial assessment work ?

Many parents are concerned about how their children are performing at school and whether their children are at the appropriate level for their age and class. We provide a free, no obligation assessment and discuss the results with you in detail to determine exactly how your child is performing.Back to top

How long is each lesson ?

Lessons are 80 minutes long and students attend for one lesson a week. Some older children do attend more often, according to their needs. Even young children attend for 80 minutes - their lessons are broken up into 10 minute activities, designed to keep them keen and interested.Back to top

What times are the lessons held ?

There are a variety of lesson times available to suit you and your child's activities. The majority are after school during week days however we try to be flexible according to the availability of your child. Please contact us to discuss your needs.Back to top

Will my child get homework ?

Homework is an essential part of the Kip McGrath program, particularly for Reading students. We are aware of each student's school workload so set homework is generally limited to around half an hour each week. If you have difficulty getting your child to complete the homework, please contact us immediately.Back to top

How should I help my child while at Kip McGrath ? 

Make your child's school teacher aware that you are getting your child tutored and ask to be kept up to date with your child's performance at school and any areas that the teacher believes needs attention. Set aside a place and a time for your child to do homework from both school and Kip McGrath and ensure that they complete it each week. Make sure that they attend their tutoring sessions each week - regularity is a major key to improving your child's results. Always let the tutor know if you have any concerns about the progress of your child or the type of work that they are doing.Back to top

GCSE /SAT's/11 Plus

At Kip McGrath Shirley we offer GCSE English, Maths, SATs and 11 Plus Entrance exams.

How we teach GCSE Maths...

At Kip McGrath we aim to pinpoint a student's areas of weakness and bring them to a level that enables success at the test. For those students who are doing either foundation or the higher tier, a thorough grasp of topics covered in the curriculum is required to achieve their best grade and a knowledge of how these topics relate to each other. Because we work to the individual needs of the students, we can establish why a student fails to grasp a topic and correct any mistakes to ensure the student now has all the background needed to understand. Our combination of targeted reinforcement of mathematical facts and past paper practice will ensure your child is ready for the exam.

  • Free assessment
  • Targeted programme of study
  • Past paper practice     



How we teach GCSE English...

Unlike other subjects, there are few facts. Rather, GCSE English is almost entirely focussed on acquiring skills – principally reading and writing. At Kip McGrath we give students the confidence to write an essay with fluency and structure, developing their comments and observations appropriately for an examiner. We concentrate on improving comprehension, spelling, grammar and essay writing skills to produce a well rounded student, ready for the exams. As the students approach their exams they are able to work through past papers under exam conditions, which are marked with the examination board's criteria in mind.

· Free assessment

· Comprehension /Spelling/Grammar

· Poetry

· Drama

· Essay writing

· Past paper practice


11 Plus Tuition

We provide a comprehensive programme which focuses on all aspects of the exam including preparation, timing and methods.

A typical 11 plus programme wil include:

  • An initial no obligation free assessment
  • Small group of 3 to 4 students
  • Individual tuition as and when required
  • Non verbal reasoning (technique and practice)
  • Verbal Reasoning (technique and practice)
  • An individual Learning programme based on results
  • Balance of modern and traditional teaching technologies including use of computer software
  • Tuition in English (reading,writing, spelling, comprehension, grammar and punctuation)
  • Tuition in maths (mental maths,fractions, decimals,data handling,shapes, measurement and problem solving)
  • Regular feedback, ongoing support and progress report.


Contact Details

Centre Owners Carmel Sumner
Address 6 Highlands Court (Ground floor Suite), Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, West Midlands, B90 4LE, England
Directions We are situated in 6, Highlands Court,(Ground Floor Suite) Cranmore Avenue, Shirley. B90 4LE

Free car parking available.
Phone 0121 7093388
Mobile 07521 962 435
Centre Hours Weekday sessions

Monday to Thursday
4:00 - 5:20 and 5:30 - 6:50 p.m

9:00 - 10:20 a.m
10:30 -11:50 a.m

Shirley Centre

Centre Owner

Carmel Sumner


6 Highlands Court (Ground floor Suite), Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, West Midlands, B90 4LE, England


0121 7093388

Email Shirley

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