Robert Gibson studied History at Cambridge University and followed this with an M.Sc. in Remote Sensing at London University. Mary Gibson studied Mathematics and French at Manchester University. Before working as a tutor, she spent thirteen years computer programming in Bracknell, Berkshire, where she gained an ICL Excellence Award.
Our private tuition business was established in 1995 in Windermere, Westmorland with the aim of offering maths tuition. At least, that was what we advertised! However, within a matter of weeks, we had a family of three children who all needed help with reading. Thankfully, we had a close family friend who had taught reading for 30 years. She was able to recommend the excellent materials of EGON Publishers to us and even made card games for us to use with our pupils. We invested in books and hundreds of photocopiable worksheets from EGON which have proved of immense help to our pupils over the years.
With many parents concerned about Key Stage One exams at that time, a large part of our business was centred on 7-year-olds. Problems at our local comprehensive school at the same time also meant that we had many pupils who needed to be coached for GCSE maths.
January 2002 saw us take on an 11-year-old who was too unwell to attend the secondary school she had just started at. She was with us for normal school hours during which time we taught her all her subjects. She stayed with us for 15 months and was well enough then to return to school. She went on to gain 9 A*s and one A at GCSE.
The late 1990s also saw us take on tutoring in French and Italian. Mary is qualified to degree level in French and Robert attended school in Brussels as a child, being part-Belgian. Robert is very keen on Italian language and literature, having taught himself in his teens so that he could read Dante's Divine Comedy in Italian. (He can quote a lot of it from heart too!)
Robert has been delighted and very grateful to have had several adults studying Italian with him over many years. A retired couple with an Italian daughter-in-law took lessons for 12 years, and a college lecturer enjoyed learning the language with Robert - in a relaxed atmosphere with coffee and chocolates - prior to buying a villa near Rome.
Since 2001, Mary's main focus has been 'A' level maths. She teaches Pure Maths, Statistics and Decision Maths. Problems with asthma in Windermere meant she has always done less tutoring than Robert. Since the move to the Lancashire coast in 2015, her asthma has been less troublesome and she hopes now to tutor more lessons.