Peter Skelton Driving School can offer driving lessons in Thatcham and the surrounding areas. We cover both manual and automatic driving lessons. We can also provide lessons in motorway driving, refresher lessons, intensive and semi-intensive driving courses, plus a whole host of other options.
Why choose Peter Skelton Driving School
- Male and female instructors
- Manual and automatic
- Catering to nervous and anxious pupils
- All lessons are taken at your own pace
- High pass rates
- Intensive and semi-intensive courses available
- Free theory training
- The highest standards of tuition
- Motorway lessons
- Refresher lessons
We pride ourselves on high standards and great pupil rapport. The way in which we teach pupils to drive has changed over the years from being an "instructor" to that of being a "coach". The difference being is that we no long "tell" pupils what to do but instead we empower them to "seek out" the answers for themselves. That doesn't mean we sit back and say nothing until a pupil works it out for themselves but instead we ask questions that help the pupil to work out what they need to do. As an example, a pupil approaches a roundabout and it doesn't go particularly well. As the instructor I may see that it was the approach speed that was too fast which gave the pupil very little thinking time. Once we had cleared the roundabout I would often ask a question such as "How did that feel?" or if I want to be specific "How would you describe the approach to that last roundabout?" By asking questions we allow the pupil to see for themselves what they need to do to help them to deal with the roundabout next time.
Questions are not the only thing we would use to empower the pupil. There is also the level of help they may want. If we use the example of the roundabout and after we have established that the approach speed could have been a bit slower, we would then empower the pupil to decide what level of help they may need, the next time we approach. Some pupils will say "It's fine, I'll see if I can get the speed right by myself" others may say "Can you prompt me with when to start braking" while others may say "Can you talk me through the whole thing?"
At Peter Skelton Driving School we believe that by empowering pupils to make their own decisions regarding how to fix a problem, they are more likely to learn not only quicker but also be less stressed about the whole learning experience. They then control the nature and the direction the lesson takes rather than the instructor. That isn’t to say the instructor doesn’t have an input. The input is given in a much more “client centred” way. We work together with the pupil to provide the best solution to any problems they face.
There are many other benefits to coaching. When anyone is empowered to make their own decisions, they are more likely to continue to use the skills they’ve learned long after they pass. No one, including me… actually especially me… likes to be told what to do. They may do it at the time to keep the instructor happy but they are more likely to rebel against it when no one is looking i.e. after they pass their test.
Another thing a pupil may do is to find another Thatcham instructor or simply quit driving altogether. Neither is a good option. It’s important to us that pupils are considered our clients. They are regarded as being on a par with the instructor. It’s easy for the instructor to feel superior and in many cases the pupil believes the instructor is superior. This may come about as the instructor is usually much older than the pupil, has many years of driving experience and has a qualification in how to teach.
Peter Skelton Driving School have a number of pupils in and around Thatcham. We treat all our pupils as equals. This is done by creating good rapport. Rapport is not something that is earned immediately. It takes time to build rapport, trust and respect. We will ask coaching questions to engage the learner in the learning experience. We will praise and try not to criticise mistakes. That’s not to say we won’t acknowledge a mistake. As an example if a pupil misses their mirror checks, it would be easy to say “You didn’t check your mirrors!!! You’re going to fail you test if you don’t check them!!!” A different, more client centred approach would be to say something like “Remind me, what mirrors do we check when passing a parked car?” Their answer might be something like “Middle and right.” This question may well be followed up with a question like “Why is it important to check those mirrors?” “So that we can see if it’s safe to move out, just in case another car is overtaking.” The pupil is now aware that they probably didn’t check their mirrors and secondly reminded themselves of the importance of checking them.
There are many skills to learn in order to not only pass a driving test but to also become a safe driver. Each new pupil will be assessed on their first lesson to see what driving skills they already have and to see how they take to driving. Some pupils have some or a lot of driving experience already having driven before, possibly with parents. Some are complete beginners, with very little knowledge at all. Some of the beginners take to driving very naturally and unfortunately some don’t. As a result we will tailor lessons to the pupil’s ability and needs. Our teaching methods are not a “one size fits all” approach. We are aware that some pupils will learn quicker than others and teach them accordingly.
Something else we take into account is that everyone has different learning styles. Those styles fall into 4 main categories known as “VARK”. They are “Visual”, “Auditory”, “Read/Write” and “Kinaesthetic” . We will look at greater length in one of our posts at all of these styles. In summary however, we all learn in different ways. Personally I learn best by seeing and doing. If I listen to someone talk about how to drive it means nothing to me as I need to visualise what’s going on.
The closest test centre to Thatcham is on Hambridge road in Newbury, however many of the tests routes go through Thatcham. There is evidence of settlements in the town going back to prehistoric times. The town is actually listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest continuously inhabited place in the country. The town most probably derived it’s name from the Saxon Chief called Tace and the word “ham” is derived from hamlet. One distinctive landmark is the “Chapel of St Thomas The Martyr” which dates to around 1300.
“I’ve passed my exam on my first attempt thanks to Peter Skelton and especially my instructor Tomasz. I’d like to thank you for all your efforts and great lessons.”
“I’m so thankful for Pete (Burke) being my instructor. He’s so calm and patient and it’s thanks to him that I passed my driving test first time with 1 minor.”
“Peter (Skelton) was amazing, thank you so much! I passed first time and I’ve never been happier, the best!”
“I learned to drive with Peter Skelton Driving, and Louise was my driving instructor, Louise is a lovely teacher, she was always really friendly and patient.”
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Why our customers choose Peter Skelton Driving School
We teach both nervous and anxious pupils. Lessons are always taken at "your" pace not ours.
We have instructors who can provide lessons in both manual and automatic cars.
For those who are keen to pass quickly, we provide intensive and semi-intensive courses.
We can help you with every aspect of your learning including "Free" Theory Training.