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Rupert Pearson – The ADHD Centre

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Rupert Pearson

ADHD Specialist Tutoring

BA (Dunelm), PGCE, PGCert

Rupert Pearson is a specialist ADHD teacher. He is also a giftedness mentor, a SEN mentor, an ADHD educational therapist and a teacher of generalist and of twice exceptional home schooling. Rupert is experienced at working with students at all ages and stages, from Early Years through postgraduate, communicating reassuringly and with good humour, age-appropriately and personality-appropriately. Particular interests of his include facilitating learning with ADHD, with commonly co-occurring needs—such as giftedness, fatigue or related neurodevelopmental conditions—as well as with context-specific challenges, such as ‘maths anxiety’, dysfunctional perfectionism or just learning in English with EAL. Rupert supports all essential study and execution skills, from phonics, handwriting and early numeracy to writing essays, timing exams, working independently and communicating in groups. He continually adds new subject curricula and levels, examination and admission criteria, pedagogies and educational therapies to his practice.

Heightening a lesson’s sense of wonder with excitement, or with compassion and humour, frequently provides a tutee with the enervation they long for; but not for every tutee. To a sizeable minority of students, tried and tested infusions of passion, surprise and experiential discovery can make a lesson feel distastefully domineering, or overwhelming, puzzling or even alarming, calling in such cases for a cooler, more regular or reassuring approach, with a somewhat more camouflaged teacher involvement, more like good classroom-teaching. The point this argues is this: tutoring that makes the big difference reaches out and seizes not only learning content and learning method but also lesson mood and rapport, and, by a process of planning and adjustment, fully and finely gears all these parts to the needs of that individual student, resulting in tutoring programmes that are entirely individualised. Partly, thus, by ‘intelligent design’, but chiefly, by ‘just recognising’ the natural selection and allowing it, the student’s own spontaneous and fluid responses to challenge will speak for themselves, commanding of the teacher whatever changes they have seen fit.

Except, there is no “just recognising” about it. This demands heavily of assessment.

Education’s beating heart—the classroom and class teacher—offers much that one-to-one tuition can never attempt; however, tuition does have one edge. One-to-one teaching allows lavish, fluent formative assessment that is also precise, rich and certain: assessment that explores a student’s foundational and contextual concepts and assumptions as easily as it explores their hopes and fears: assessment by means of Strategic Rapport. Strategic Rapport uses reflective listening that actually teaches, engaging and hopefully fascinating the learner through rich, challenging open questioning, that dares and rewards the tutee with structured agency.

Strategic Rapport is necessarily collegial and benevolent in character, further helping the learner personally identify with an approach to studying that is intuitive but rationally adaptive, objective-focused but curiosity-driven, and that promotes the idea of excellence as method and as aspiration in itself. Although Strategic Rapport seeks to be advisory and mentoring in style whenever possible, memorably structured interludes of clear and reassuring instruction are readily adopted, upon necessity: unlike the related idea of therapeutic alliance, Strategic Rapport is a form of teaching, and students and parents expect teachers to offer leadership.

To this style of tutoring and mentoring, Rupert Pearson will add, where appropriate, educational therapies / therapeutic learning (addressing ‘maths anxiety’, say), metacognitions (Does knowing your mind tell you or mislead you about a character’s mind? Or the author’s mind? How about your teacher’s mind?), relevant epistemologies (What pertinent differences exist between ‘explain’, ‘analyse’, ‘evaluate’ and ‘discuss’? And why does the examiner want you to know?) or personalised psychoeducation (How might neurological theories of ADHD inform compelling and profitable future planning, for you?) maintaining the most effectual blend of modalities for unfolding student and parental requirements.

a man doing a warm smile


Learning with Complex ADHD: CO-OCCURRING NEEDS including Anxiety, ASD, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, speech, language and reading challenges.

SUBJECT TEACHING AND SUPPORT—wide range taught; extremely wide range supported—with general educational mentoring and ADHD educational therapies.

Support for ASSESSMENTS: Admissions (3+ through 16+/CE/CASE/CAT/Ukiset; CEM, ISEB, GL, etc), (i)GCSE, IB-IBO, IB-CIE-OIB, Pre-U, A-Level, interviews.

STRATEGIC RAPPORT is an approach to combined formative assessment, scaffolded independent learning and didactics, developed by Rupert Pearson’s practice. It makes particular use of reflective listening and socratic dialogue, empathetic understanding and incidental teaching. Strategic Rapport emphasises discrete, acute qualitative formative assessment, enabling highly proactive adaptation of intended learning. These usually include a tight and precisely relevant spiral curricula of missed or maladapted fundamental and prefundamental skills, misconceptions and misperceptions, remedially or complimentarily folded into the originally planned learning, using procedures similar to those of Embedded Discrete Trial Teaching, Imitation Method, Incidental Teaching as well as standard best practice teaching methods. This results in heightened availability of the learning to the student… not to mention the heightening of availability of student to learning.

REFRAMING (without denying) of ‘difficulty’ and ‘mistake’ as method and opportunity: Although adaptations to planned learning can result from a student strength that emerges, mostly they are in response to snags and ripples in the fabric of the teacher’s predictions, which, as in Problem Solving Therapy, are redefined into opportunities, considered (or, if by the teacher only, at least sensed) more deeply, addressed by creative or intuitive solution and reassessed. Whereas involvement of the client in solution creation is the central feature of Problem Solving Therapy, in academic tutoring, even Strategic Rapport can but allow little opportunity to discuss, with the student, solutions to such ‘ripples’; however, these ‘little opportunities’ are nonetheless important, the student always being asked to ‘experiment’ with their proposed resolution, and, at least when the encountered result is then not as expected, the outcome will be declared a successful learning moment, the student being asked to suggest how they will make use their reaction to the unanticipated result.

Formal approaches to STUDENT SELF-KNOWLEDGE, SELF-REGULATION AND PERSONAL EDUCATIONAL HEALTH are fragmented across disciplines, yet integral for, and to, the student with ADHD. A unifying mechanism would make them more accessible and compelling to the mentee. Fortunately, strategic rapport naturally models enquiry-based learning for the student, easing the bringing of related fragments forth from such unlike forms as pedagogy, therapy, psychoeducation, metacognition, epistemology, preventative medicine, psychology, neurology, etc.. Here are some examples of theory and of method that are ready to be drawn upon. A method called Strategic Tutoring (belonging to an initiative known as Strategic Instruction Model) sets out practical methods for helping tutees to learn reproducible independence from tuition received. Another system, called Cognitive Strategic Instruction, finds procedures by which learners apply metacognitions in order to enhance processing of learning: to this end, the Self-regulation Strategy Development Model of CSI uses reflective listening, skill modelling and deep processing in ways in fact similar to Strategic Rapport. An exciting area to watch is the inter-disciplinary specialism known as Prevention Science that is bringing together and promoting all sorts of evidence-based interventions, less well known current examples of which include Motivational Interviewing (changing attitudes, comprehension and behaviours), while extremely well-known (and famously ignored) examples includes plain, rigorous, frequent exercise (supporting and even repairing cognitions).

Qualifications & Education

Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Keele University

Postgraduate Certificate in ADHD and Related Neurodevelopmental Conditions (neurobiology, epidemiology and management of ADHD and co-occurring disorders) and continuing training. New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling.

Exam board courses in teaching and marking history at GCSE and at A-Level

Professional association courses in pastoral and special educational care

Awards and Recognitions

PGCE logo
European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK logo

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ADHD Centre in London
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ADHD Centre in Manchester
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We have been diagnosing and treating people with ADHD since 2009.

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