Computer Lessons for Beginners in Bury St Edmunds

I offer one-on-one computer and internet lessons in and around Bury St Edmunds. These sessions offer you the chance to learn the basics of IT in your own home, using your own computer.

Sometimes, when people try and teach you computer-related stuff, it seems to go at 100mph.

This is because you are having to learn dozens of new concepts for each “one thing” you are trying to do.

It’s like telling someone who’s never been in a workshop to “just” make a table; or asking someone who’s never seen a needle to “just” alter a dress!

My lessons break down each concept into the individual steps and explain why you have to do each one. This makes it much easier to grasp and remember.

The lessons can be scheduled during the daytime or the evening, depending on your schedule. Call 07899 688064 or email

Keep reading for more details. (If you would like this information in printed form but do not have a printer, send me an address and I will post it to you.)

Why opt for at-home lessons instead of evening classes?

For some people, group courses (like the excellent workshop-style ones offered by West Suffolk College) are a great option. You may thrive in group learning settings and enjoy the social time.

However, these classes do require a certain amount of IT knowledge before you start, which can be intimidating for complete beginners. You may want a couple of “starter” lessons so you can attend evening classes with confidence.

Or you may just learn better in a one-on-one setting. This is also common, and there are some good reasons:

  • You can ask as many questions as you like without worrying about monopolising a tutor’s time
  • Everything is at your own pace, so if you need an exercise or even a lesson repeated it’s not a problem
  • Exercises and lessons are built specifically for your ability level and goals
  • If you’re struggling with a concept, I can reword it so it makes more sense

Short courses designed around your goals

A big advantage of private lessons is that the course can be completely tailored to what you actually want to do. There’s no point learning a thousand irrelevant processes if it means your goal gets lost in the noise.

That said, it’s important to understand the whys as well as the hows of what you’re learning. Otherwise, it’s meaningless memorisation.

My lessons will give you building blocks leading up to your aims, so that you’re completely comfortable doing it all on your own before we’re finished. Plus, we can alter the lessons as we go along to suit your learning style.

Do I need to know how to use a computer already?

No. I can teach from any starting point, including how to turn on a computer, use the mouse and open the first applications.

You will need your own machine, though, or access to a machine you will be using in the future. This is because:

  1. Things work a little differently on different computers. I don’t want to teach you things you won’t be able to use in the future
  2. I teach side-by-side so that we can do things at the same time
  3. It is important to be able to practice between lessons

Note: I do not fix computers!

The computer you’re learning on will have to be functional, as I am not a computer repair technician. I can recommend you some very good ones. Churchgate Computers is my go-to.

If there are problems with your computer during a lesson, we can see if it’s something I can quickly sort out; if not, we can reschedule the lesson for another time.

What kind of things can I learn?

There are a lot of things you can learn in a few short lessons!

Some example goals are:

  • “Just the absolute basics – the mouse, keyboard and so on.”
  • “Make an email account to send and receive emails to keep in touch with family.”
  • “Transfer and edit images from my camera.”
  • “Effectively search for things on Google.”
  • “I’ve got a new job and I want to get ahead with the programmes I’ll have to use.”
  • “Start doing my writing on a computer or type up hand-written drafts.”
  • “Learn how to use online banking to pay bills.”
  • “The basics of Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel.”
  • “Use calendars and to-do lists on the computer.”
  • “Set up some social media pages for my business.”
  • “Update a website or blog.”

If you’re not sure exactly what to ask for, don’t worry – we’ll chat and work it out.

What do the courses involve?

Step one is an initial assessment. This is completely no-obligation. It’s a chance for me to find out where you’re at (and where you want to be) and a chance for you to decide if these kind of lessons will work for you. This session usually takes around an hour.

If you would like your spouse or other family member to be present, that’s absolutely fine. I’m also very happy around pets, although napping cats will have to be removed from the keyboard!

After that, if you decide to continue, we will book a few 90-minute* lessons in advance. Depending on your goals, this can be anywhere from two lessons upwards (very rarely more than six).

These lessons will involve:

  1. Introducing a concept, talking about it and going over things on paper before we dive in.
  2. I will demonstrate the exercise at a pace you’re comfortable with. Each step will be explained and questions are encouraged.
  3. We can repeat anything you didn’t quite catch, and then we will do the same task together or – if you are confident – on your own, with me prompting where necessary.
  4. You will have a reference sheet to help you (and me, of course!).
  5. We will then try and use the new skill in a real-life setting (e.g. sending a “hello!” email to a family member or researching facts about a historical event).
  6. Between lessons, I will leave you with a small exercise sheet for you to practice with. This will help cement the new skills in your mind.
    This isn’t “homework” to be marked, so don’t worry if it’s too much, but we will go over it together at the start of the next lesson.
  7. Each lesson will tie in the skills from the previous one, so you can see how everything works together.
  8. For the final session, I will design a final personalised exercise, so you can try out all your new skills in a practical way. This is not a test or examination! It’s to confirm you’re confident with your new skills.
  9. I will leave you with all the reference sheets etc. for you to use in the future.
  10. If you would like further lessons for other goals, we can arrange them.

* I try to keep sessions to 90 minutes, but I won’t be sitting there with a stopwatch!

Who is giving these lessons?

A belated hello! My name is Francine Carrel. I’m 28, which means I grew up using computers (but had to learn the intricacies of the internet as an adult).

(That’s me on the left. Neither the husband nor the dog take much of an interest in IT.)

I am a writer and editor. I also make websites for small businesses and sole traders.

As part of my work, I teach people to use the websites I set up for them. Sometimes this involves going right back to basics.

I started planning more structured lessons – even worksheets and “homework” – to make sure people could confidently use the tools I’d given them.

It turned out that these basic computer lessons were one of the most popular parts of my services (oh well!), so I decided to offer them more widely, as a standalone.


The initial 60-minute assessment session is £15.

Each following 90-minute lesson is £35. This includes all materials and exercises etc.

You can purchase three lessons in advance for £95 (works out at £10 off).

You can purchase six lessons in advance for £170 (works out at £40 off).

I offer the discount for bulk purchases because it helps me work out my upcoming schedule further in advance – something I find rather valuable!

Lessons must be paid for in advance. Unfortunately, they aren’t refundable – but I am reasonable about rescheduling when things come up.

Local computer lesson vouchers as a present

You can also purchase vouchers for a short course. They make a great gift.

If you are buying the lessons for someone else, the assessment and initial three lessons can be purchased together for £110.

Usually, I wouldn’t recommend buying the six-lesson package if it’s for someone else – we can always add more sessions later if necessary – but if you’re sure they would benefit from it, I am happy to work something out.

Obviously, if buying for someone else you won’t need to book the specific dates in advance.

I can even make a personalised voucher to include in a card, if you like!

Book a no-obligation introductory session

Call 07899 688064 or email

I can only offer at-home lessons in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding villages (within 10 miles). However, if you have a portable computer and would like to set up some lessons in a meeting room in town, we can work something out.

Sessions are very flexible: Monday to Saturday; during the day or in the evening.

The initial assessment should be scheduled at least a week in advance.

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