How it all began
Flying Start Tuition was established by Sian Goodspeed in 2009 following the birth of her first daughter. Prior to starting the company, Sian was a school teacher for over twelve years, teaching in both state and private primary schools.
Having returned to teaching after maternity leave, Sian found combining motherhood and school life too much of a juggling act and decided to make a career move. She wanted a job that would better combine her love of teaching with family life and so Flying Start Tuition was born.
Ten years on, Sian has another daughter and the company has grown considerably, both in size and reputation. The business has truly become a family affair with husband, Alistair, joining the team as a director in 2014.
Sian says, “It has been a very steep learning curve. Building a business from scratch whilst raising (and home educating) two daughters is a constant juggling act but it has certainly been worth all the effort. I feel really privileged to be at the helm of such a wonderful team of people and to be contributing in such a positive way to the lives of so many young people and their families.”
Inspiring a love of learning
From the start, at the heart of Sian’s approach was the aim to inspire her students to love learning through fun, interactive lessons tailored to the individual needs and learning styles of each child.
Sian has always understood how children need to be in the right mindset before effective learning can take place and that self-confidence and enjoyment are fundamental to this. This approach is central to the Flying Start ethos and underpins the company’s five core values.
In 2010, Sian discovered neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and was struck by its potential for enabling children to be come more effective learners. She soon went on to qualify as an NLP practitioner and has, in collaboration with local company, EdgeNLP, embedded NLP tools and techniques throughout Flying Start’s courses and developed a programme of NLP training across the company.
Discover our core values here.
From humble beginnings…
Initially, Sian tutored out of a small room in her Chesham house (see picture opposite) but before long, with demand for Sian’s services rocketing, she moved into a larger venue, recruiting another tutor and a teaching assistant.
Over the past ten years, Flying Start has grown rapidly and, after several premises moves, now has a head office and main tuition centre in central Chesham, along with satellite centres across Buckinghamshire. Today, Flying Start Tuition houses a wonderful team of over twenty dedicated staff, including tutors, teaching assistants, customer service and marketing personnel – all trained the Flying Start way.
Over the past decade, the team has successfully guided thousands of children (and their parents!) through key exams such as the Eleven Plus and GCSEs, as well as helping many more to improve their literacy and maths skills, and become confident, lifelong learners.
Meet some of our awesome team here.
Unique approach to tuition
We are proud of our award-winning approach to tuition. To date, we have been shortlisted and/or reached the finals in all the awards we have entered, including:
- The NLP International award for education
- Best tutoring company (Education Investor Awards)
- Best business working with children (Best Businesswomen Awards)
- Most inspiring business woman (Best Businesswomen Awards)
- Best small business (Buckinghamshire Business awards)
We have won:
- West Herts’ Entrepreneur of the Year award
- Best Business working with children (Best Businesswomen awards)
- Best tutoring company (Education Investor awards)
Watch this space for more awards news in the near future!
Giving something back
At Flying Start, we believe it’s important to give back to our local community. We are passionate about equality of opportunity in education and we firmly believe that all children should be able to access additional help if needed. We offer a range of Flying Start bursaries and scholarships in order to help families with lower incomes access our tuition services. To find our more, go to our Financial Help page.
In addition to financial help for our students, we are actively involved in supporting a number of local causes. We regularly sponsor community events, such as Christmas in Chesham and the Schools of Chesham Carnival.
We are also proud to be key supporters of local inclusive theatre group, The Theatre Shed. Over the years, we have sponsored a number of The Theatre Shed’s fundraising events such as their biennial gala, as well as providing funding for various initiatives such as members’ t-shirts and hoodies.
To find out more about The Theatre Shed, visit their website.
The Tuition Plus Project
Improving educational equality
In 2009, Flying Start Tuition was selected by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust to deliver tuition for a pioneering charitable project now known as ‘Tuition Plus’. The project was organised in response to research that found children from lower income families were considerably disadvantaged when taking the Eleven Plus.
In order to address this imbalance, Tuition Plus provides free tuition to year five children resident in the Trust’s houses. The sessions give pupils an all-round boost in their core maths and English skills, with additional preparation for the Eleven Plus tests at a level appropriate for the individual children.
We are very proud to have been the sole tuition providers for the past decade, working with the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust on such a ground-breaking project. The project continues to grow, with pupil intake at around forty-eight each year and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
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