Passing The Knowledge Torch : Peer Tutoring At Brentwood

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - By: Maxine P, Alex ‘23

One of the many unique features of living at a boarding school is being constantly surrounded by classmates and friends. While this may come with some drawbacks – let’s be honest, we all crave some alone time – one of the most significant advantages is easy access to extra help resources: teachers, BFAs, duty staff, and, perhaps most importantly, our peers. In boarding houses where wise Grade 12 students live down the hall from Grade 9s and 10s, math or chemistry help is just a knock away. This accessibility of knowledge is what makes Brentwood’s Peer Tutoring program such an amazing resource.
Peer Tutoring started at Brentwood about eight years ago as a way to provide math help for students outside of the academic morning. Since then, with the help of people like Ms Murtland, Mr Wardrop, Mr McCarthy, and Derek Harrison, Privett ‘20, the program now has its own website and over 40 tutors (a record-high number) from Grades 10 to 12 who are available to tutor in nearly every academic subject. This wide variety of tutors allows people to find someone who is a good fit for them and their learning needs.
“Adding Peer Tutoring to the other academic supports that we have in place gives our students the ability to choose the type of support that works best for them and, thus, enhances the overall student experience” explained Mr Wardrop, Director of Teaching and Learning.
Tutorials and evening extra help sessions can get busy with one or two teachers trying to work with upwards of fifteen students, but peer tutoring provides an opportunity for students to work with another student in a one-on-one setting, allowing for more in-depth conversations and a deeper understanding. These meetings also give tutors the opportunity to gain leadership skills, volunteer hours, and reinforce their own learning while they work to help out their peers.
“Working with a peer tutor on English helped me receive a really good mark on my literary response paragraph and now I feel a lot more confident about similar types of assignments,” attested Carla W, Alex ‘24.

As long as the need for extra help remains, Brentwood’s peer tutoring program will endure as an integral part of our boarding community. Our tutors will continue to assist their peers with a guiding hand, upholding our school motto: De Manu in Manum.
If you are interested in the peer tutoring program, feel free to send me an email at
Maxine P, Alex ‘23

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