I have a First Class honours degree from the University of Cambridge in Politics, Psychology and Sociology, and have achieved outstanding success throughout my academic career. This success has been founded not upon any intelligence, but rather a disciplined and organised approach to work, using a variety of deliberate learning techniques (flashcards, visualisation, mind-maps, the three tick technique) which I seek to teach to any student I encounter. These have been the reason that I have enjoyed academic success and I believe that they are skills which can be learnt by any student.
In the past year I have worked for a leading Westminster think-tank and for Monocle magazine, where I wrote across the Affairs, Business, Culture, Design and Edits sections of the magazine, as well as writing retail copy and undertaking advertorial work. As part of this work I have been required to remain abreast of developments in politics and economics. Such general knowledge and contemporary awareness ensures that I can offer broad context and stimulating examples from outside of a traditional syllabus, whether to brighten otherwise repetitive GCSE revision, or to test the Oxbridge interviewee.
I have worked with pupils from ages 5 to 18, including those with special needs including dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, experience which ensures that I am sympathetic and patient. Many students whom I encounter have found education to be a dispiriting process, and allowing them to regain their confidence with gentle prompts and encouragement is integral to my tutoring process.
Beyond this academic and teaching experience, my greatest asset as a tutor is my sunny disposition and enthusiasm. A passion for education is infectious, and the most important result of any tutoring session is a desire to learn. I believe that I can bring out this motivation in any student.
I always prepare rigorously for any student, researching thoroughly the specification and examination boards to arrive equipped with a variety of stimulating materials.
Contemporary British and American politics. Political philosophy and political theory. These are my passions, and as such I feel able to illustrate any point with examples from contemporary life which pupils find engaging and interesting. This is an area in which I intend to make an academic career, and as such I am exceptionally equipped to teach politics. At present I anticipate that my future research will concern the development of the philosophy German Social Democratic Party (SPD) from 1890 to 1914, although this will pose the challenge of teaching myself German from scratch!
My areas of speciality within history include British history from 1485 - 1625 and world history from 1900 to present, from the Vietnam war to African decolonisation, womens suffrage to American civil rights. The study of history is fundamentally about an approach: in learning how to structure an essay and the requisite techniques to analyse sources. It is this approach which will achieve examination and educational success.
Alongside an extensive knowledge of the analytical and comparative approach required for English Literature, my ability to teach the subject is grounded upon a love of literature. This is predominantly oriented around contemporary work, such as Arthur Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Tennessee Williams, but extends also to poetry from Tennyson to Plath. My knowledge of the work of Shakespeare incorporates much of the tragic and comic canon studied at schools, and has taken practical form when playing the role of Orlando in a production of As You Like It. One review described my performance as audible.
My university education in both sociology and psychology required that I be very confident with statistics, including an understanding of the calculation of effect sizes, sampling and the generation of statistical models to analyse data. Hence I have a practical and applied understanding of the Statistics material which is required of AS-Level and GCSE maths students alike. This ability to tutor mathematics extends to the Core-models at A-level, in which I performed exceptionally when I undertook the examinations. For most of my youth I intended to study mathematics at university, until being led astray by the bright lights of politics.
My undergraduate education in sociology concerns the material studied in human geography: urban development, globalisation, populations and migration, rural environments, or energy generation. I therefore have a highly sophisticated understanding of the materials. Having previously tutored geography to GCSE-level, I am also very well acquainted with the physical geography-covered by GCSE students: tectonics (volcanoes and earthquakes), rivers and coasts.
Skills and approaches to learning are as applicable for those undertaking Common Entrance or the 11+ as they are for undergraduates. My approach particularly emphasises organisation - I encourage my students to use calendars to schedule their time, to file their work clearly and to maintain an awareness of the specification. By physically organising their work, students become ordered in their thought processes. Similarly, I stress the creation of a dedicated working space without distractions, and the achievement of routine.
To complement this emphasis, I also teach certain memory tricks which have served me during my own academic career. For example, the construction of pegs, obscure or unusual connections as a memory aid, or the process of teaching a topic to a willing friend or begrudging parent in order to test and secure ones knowledge. In this area variety is important - in collaboration with a student we seek to discover the best method which will help them toward success.
University of Cambridge:
Politics, Psychology and Sociology (BA) - First
Awarded 2012 Presidents Subject Prize and Bachelor Scholarship
A-Levels: History A, Politics A, English Literature A, Maths A GCSE: English Literature A*, English Language A*, Geography A*, History A*, Mathematics A*, Latin A*, French A*, Chemistry A*, Physics A*, Biology A*.
August 2014 (continuing)
GCSE Maths and Chemistry work
Revision tuition to best prepare the student, who was somewhat behind her peers, for the coming academic year. I have been asked to continue working with this student in September.
Focused predominantly on Maths, forming a personal bond with a student who tended to be disengaged and disinterested, in order to maintain her attention for a two hour session. Our work varied from the simpler elements of number (ratio, fractions or decimals) to the more complex (algebraic fractions or simultaneous equations). By adopting this holistic approach, studying all topics rather than only the most recent material, I could understand that her performance varied not by the difficulty of the topics, but seemingly whether she had been concentrating in particular lessons or periods of education. We could then address these difficulties through constructions of increasing challenging questions so that the student was always tested and never merely coasting.
In Chemistry, we adopted a different approach, focusing rigorously upon one of the topics which I have found troubles students the most - moles. This calculation-based topic is frequently poorly taught in schools, and coincides well with Maths work because of its orientation towards ratio and fractions.
July - August 2014
Employment as an educational consultant with a prominent Oxbridge tutoring organisation, offering guidance to students on the applications process, college choice, personal statements and interview preparation.
International Baccalaureate Global Politics-tuition.
Residential placement in Kurdistan.
Examination technique in approaching both stimulus response and essay-based papers.
Enlivening occasionally tepid International Relations theory with illuminating examples of humanitarian interventions, successful developing countries and contemporary conflicts.
A-level politics tuition.
Revision for political ideologies and American politics for Edexcel A-Level examinations, bringing the subject to life with discussion of contemporary issues such as gun control or Affirmative action.
January 2014 and April 2014
15 year old GCSE student.
Repeated residential placement in Gloucestershire.
Tuition in Biology, Geography, History, French and Maths.
Particular focus on developing the discipline of French grammar, and working on maths problems. This student had always dismissed maths, protesting that she just couldnt do it-and that she simply didnt like maths, so my task was in encouraging and building confidence in a subject she had always neglected. Her progress during two intensive periods of work was very impressive, and noted by her school.
January 2014 - April 2014
13 year old - early stages of GCSE Maths tuition.
Shy girl who needed encouragement in maths in order to realise her obvious potential.
Developing upon homework with more complex examples to ensure that she was stretched, especially in the study of algebra.
January - April 2014
10 year old student with confidence issues approaching maths.
Essential numeracy, such as fractions, decimals, percentages and probability, to build the foundations for later work in mathematics.
January 2014 - April 2014
Degree-level political thought tuition.
Essay technique and content.
Encouraging insights, offering intellectual and historical context, and guiding the direction of reading for the study of Kant, Rousseau and Mill.
5 year old primary school student
English, maths and broader social development.
Structured alphabet and counting games, educational play (collecting leaves, drama work or I spy literacy games). For this student I integrated imaginative and creative methods into education to keep him focused and interested.
November 2013 - April 2014
12 year old approaching Common Entrance examinations.
Student with dyslexia approaching examinations for school entry at 13. In anticipation of his English examination, we have been studying literature from Catch 22-to A Tale of Two Cities, from John Betjemann to Ted Hughes. Studying these pieces has allowed us to practise comprehension and to further the development of his vocabulary.
Furthermore, as preparation for school entrance processes, we are looking towards admissions interviews, with lively debates about current affairs, history and literature to encourage him to express his ideas clearly.
December 2012 - January 2013
16 year old GCSE student.
Residential placement in Scotland.
Tutoring in English Literature, English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Geography and French. This student had been recently diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, conditions which had been severely affecting his concentration and focus.
Much of the work with this pupil involved organising his approach to education, seeking to structure his thoughts and become more rigorous.
Hobbies and Interests
My interests range from cinema to the theatre, art to literature, with a particular affection for portrait photography and the work of Arthur Miller. Im also a keen sports fan, supporting Manchester United (a forgivable affection bearing in mind my Mancunian origins), Lancashire (cricket) and Sale (rugby union). When given the time, I am also partial to a ramble in Richmond Park.
I write extensively, with work published from Monocle magazine to TimeOut Beirut, Soccerlens to the CambridgeTab newspaper. I am currently completing my first collection of short stories.