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English Literature

About Me
My specialist subjects are Philosophy/Religious Studies and English Literature A-Level, though I also tutor English and RE at GCSE and preparation for the 11+ and 13+.

Ive been a private tutor in London for over six years, offering A-Level and GCSE Philosophy, Religious Studies and English Literature tuition to mostly private school pupils. Ive worked as a tutor in two London secondary schools and provide GCSE teaching for children who have dropped out of mainstream education due to illness or learning difficulties. I have been a primary class teacher in a supplementary schools project run by the Westminster think-tank Civitas for the past six years, teaching classes of up to 10 after school and on weekends. Ive logged well over 5,000 hours tutoring and teaching children.

I enjoy teaching. Most especially, I like the Aha! moment when students finally get something theyve been wrestling with for weeks and you can see the recognition that their hard work has paid off. Im often struck by the thoughtfulness and sensitivity young people show when discussing religious and philosophical ideas or in their responses to novels, poems and plays. At the same time, I enjoy challenging pupils with new ideas and perspectives in order to broaden their knowledge and understanding. Its satisfying to see students written work develop over time to the point when theyre really pleased with something theyve produced. My tutoring tends to be quite structured with plenty of close-reading, so hopefully my students can bring some of what theyve learned into their other subjects, too.

Pembroke College, Cambridge: MA 2:1 in Philosophy (2006).
A-Levels in English Literature (A), Latin (B) and Music (B).
10 GCSEs at A*-A grade, inc. Double English, Double Science, History, Latin and Geography.


Recent Tuition
I have worked with students from schools including: Dulwich Boys, Oundle, Wellington College, Rugby, Whitgift, Ampleforth, Stowe, Kings School Canterbury, Latymer Upper and Tiffin.
Ive helped to prepare children for 11+ at: Dulwich Boys, Harrow, St. Pauls.

The below is a selection of previous tuition experience.

A-Level Tuition

AS and A2 Philosophy (AQA), Elspeth: I supported Elspeth with a two-hour session each week as she moved from the private sector into a local sixth form. Initially disengaged with the subject and wanting to drop it after AS-Level, she gradually found her feet and started really enjoying our sessions together, which she initially found demanding. She saw her hard work pay off with an A at AS and decided to keep on to A2, where we spent many happy sessions reading through Mills On Liberty and discussing political philosophy together. She was particularly interested in the differences between philosophy and sociology, and I helped with her personal statement and suggesting background reading. She came through again at A2 with an A grade and A* in Unit 3 (well done!), allowing her to meet her grade offer to study Sociology at her first choice, Bristol University.
AS and A2 Religious Studies (OCR), Roxanna: I worked with Roxanna initially in holidays home from music college for her AS, focusing on essay-writing in particular. She was a motivated student with limited time to study due to her music commitments. She scored 100/100 in her philosophy exam and I was invited back to work with her at A2, where she received 96/100 in Ethics, after some real hard work on meta-ethics. She was pleased to say Philosophy was her fall back career after gaining scholarships to study oboe at top music colleges and it was lovely to see her really mature and become confident in the subject.
AS and A2 Philosophy (AQA), David: David was a sensitive student studying at a top South London Independent School who had fallen down in his AS exam, gaining a D and then E grade at re-sit. I worked with him intensively for 4-8 hours each week for five months, re-teaching the entire AS syllabus, and was asked to stay on re-teaching him all of A2 Philosophy of Mind and Platos Republic. Despite lacking confidence and being particularly reluctant to write essays, he gradually grew in ability and reported explaining difficult concepts to classmates at school (he had spent several weeks getting his head around this one and nailed it). His awareness of Philosophy as an academic subject really grew over the time and he showed great interest in what it might be like to study further and even began to break away from his teachers positions at school. He achieved a high B overall and was considering studying Philosophy at University after his gap year.
AS Religious Studies (OCR), Jessie: I tutored Jessie via Skype over a six-month period to support her for an independent re-sit from her (state) sixth form college. She had received a D in her initial exam and was struggling particularly with the Philosophy parts of the syllabus. Focusing especially on concepts and written expression, with her sending me practice essays t in the post, she received an A at re-sit and used what shed learned to go onto get a good B overall at A2. After much self-application, she was a considerably more independent and diligent scholar by the end of our sessions, taking her confidence into her other A-Levels.
AS and A2 Religious Studies (Edexcel), Ella: in most holidays back from her boarding school, I worked with Ella - a considerably driven student - to help prepare for AS and A2 exams. She was particularly puzzled by the ontological argument and the set-text on AJ Ayer, which she put considerable work into understanding. She achieved As both years.
AS and A-Level, Religious Studies (Edexcel), Stefan: Stefan was a foreign student who had done well with the Bible study aspects of his course but was struggling with the philosophy component. We had several 3-4 hours sessions to revise the philosophy syllabus, including preparation for an AS re-sit, working at A2 on religious language, the ontological argument and then the I am sayings of Jesus in the NT.
A2 A-Level, Religious Studies (OCR), JL: I had three intensive cramming sessions with this hugely ambitious student to help fill in some holes she claimed to have before the exam. In reality, she had been studying extension material and wanted to make sure shed understood the original passages from Boethius correctly - which of course, she had. This was a whirlwind of a job and hugely fulfilling for hopefully both of us.
IB Philosophy, Olga: Olga switched to Philosophy over a third of the way through the course at school, so had understandably lacked some grounding in the course. We worked together for ten hours over her half-term to help prepare her for an exam the following week, going over the topics of what does it mean to be a human being?, religion and philosophy of mind in some detail. She really grew and developed from the sessions, and would often come ready armed with questions the following day. I went back to help her develop ideas for A2 coursework, where she remained as engaged and inquisitive as ever.
AS Level English Literature, Reuben: Reuben was focused on his History and Economics A-Levels but had fallen behind in English, needing to update his understanding and technical vocabulary from GCSE. We worked to structure and improve his coursework, and spent much time on Yeats poetry and his set text, The Picture of Dorian Grey. Reuben tended to panic in an exam situation and found literature questions too open-ended. We devised a blanket essay plan and practised including context, form and structure sessions, alongside working through how to embed and analyse quotations in an essay format. He really applied himself over the sessions and fully deserved to receive his 187/200 overall in his exams.
AS and A2 English Literature, Natasha: Natasha needed help to structure and develop her Shakespeare coursework, before moving onto examine the importance of form, rhythm and rhyme in work themed poetry. We did some reading around her set text, Forsters Howards End, to deepen Natashas essays in their understanding of narrative, structure and context in the novel. We worked on developing her essays to be consistently in the high A range, since she had mainly been receiving Bs, and on really stretching her ability to analyse and interpret poetry. She brought this all together in regular practice efforts and received an A at AS. I went back to work with Natasha at A2, since she claimed she had fallen asleep (!) during her school lessons on WWII poetry and was receiving D/Cs in essays. We spent intensive sessions analysing the poems together and building up writing comparative essays to prepare for the comprehensive essay in the exam. After walking out of the mock in a panic, she worked incredibly hard to receive an A* in this module in the final exam.
AS Level Literature, Charles: due to teacher illness at his school, I worked with Charles when home for the holiday on his comparative coursework essay. We finished reading his set text and spent time discussing the significance of narrative approach and structure, before going onto to develop his thesis for the essay. Despite a sudden illness of his own, Charles spent a lot of time tightening up his comparative paragraphs and bringing together a good second draft to take back to school.
AS Level Literature, Kaz: in the run-up to the exam, I worked with Kaz to prepare poetry on land from the Edexcel anthology. In particular, she was unsure of some of the technical terminology and was worried about the unseen. Having read the poems out aloud, she became much more confident in tackling them and we also worked through previous unseens and other poems I brought in to help increase her confidence. She particularly found writing fast enough under timed conditions taxing but did really well to achieve a high B overall.
AS Level Literature, Victoria: I worked with Victoria over around 10 lessons to help her analyse and write about contemporary poetry. Victorias understanding and ideas were good but she was struggling to make the leap from GCSE in terms of running together analysis and interpretation to make a strong argument. She always had a lot to say about each poem and we worked to help her build up a comprehensive reading and stack of points for each one.

GCSE Tuition

GCSE Religious Studies (OCR), school teacher: I taught this syllabus as the sole teacher to groups of 10-12 children after school, as an extra GCSE, at a South London state school. Pupils studied either Christianity or Islam and we had some excellent classroom debates about different concepts of human nature and also animal rights - the children showed admirable maturity and sensitivity for their age, while working hard to do extra study and exam practice in their own time. Some would come to the lesson to get the work set, while then going to extra revision in another subject. Others wanted to take the subject at A-level and had been worried due to the school not
offering RS at GCSE. The head teacher was happy that their work paid off with a 75% A-C pass-rate and asked me to come back the following year.
GCSE Religious Studies (OCR), Jackson: I worked with Jackson once a week over several months to help lift his grades in practice exams at school. While his understanding was good, Jackson struggled with the parts (d) and (e) of each question and was unclear on some of the material needed to access higher grades. We had some great discussions on most areas of the syllabus, read relevant passages from the Bible together and his mock exam grades began to lift to Bs and sometimes As. I felt he really raised his game during the tuition.
GCSE English and Maths, I worked with Charlotte for just over four months to help motivate her for her final examinations and to work through exam technique and essay-writing. Charlotte much preferred Maths to English and hated poetry, so we spent much time becoming familiarised with her set poems, reading them out loud and discussing various features of poetry.
GCSE Latin/History/Religious Studies GCSE, half-term tuition when at home from a residential independent school in Oxford. Ben had particular problems remembering key information and translations since he had no visual memory. We worked together for three hours each day from a white board to help him learn some of his Latin translations by heart, revising the topic of Nazi Germany and then going through the modules covered in Religious Studies. Despite the obvious frustration he was experiencing, he worked hard at memorising his translations and had made considerable progress towards the end of the week, helping to prepare him for the next term at school.
GCSE Double English, half-term revision for a boy home from school. We worked through a number of past exams to help with essay technique, analysis and poetic form.
English, Y7-9, North London Secondary School: I was one of a group of tutors providing catch-up (booster) sessions for groups of up to five children in English for a one-hour lesson each week over the course of nearly a year. I worked mainly with Y9s to brush up their analysis and writing skills, with children in general making progress on their termly tests due to participating in the tuition programme.


Maths and English, Y3, Aliya: providing home-schooling in Maths and English for this lovely little girl who had missed schooling in Y2 due to travel. I was responsible for all areas of the Maths teaching and shared English teaching with another tutor. In particular, we worked on areas such as times tables, place-value, handwriting, reading and then moving onto problem-solving and comprehension. I have then supported her for six hours weekly for seven months, alongside providing broader exposure to literature and culture and a trip to the National Gallery with a friend.
GCSE Religious Studies (OCR), B.: B. has dropped out of school due to learning difficulties and is currently undergoing a programme of home-schooling. I am her GCSE teacher and am covering Christianity 1/Islam 1/Mark and Lukes Gospels. While B. can only focus for short bursts of time and finds recall and revision difficult, she is really engaged with the subject and has lots of views and opinions that she wants to explore. We use lots of clips and different exercises in the session to keep her focused and are working together to ensure she does as well as possible in her exams at the end of the year.
GCSE Religious Studies (OCR), X, Due to behaviour problems that became acute among lots of people and changes to routine, this child had been expelled from school and was being home-schooled while a more appropriate school was sought. I was his GCSE teacher for several months to this high-functioning and lovely student, where we worked through initial modules from the course. His understanding developed nicely, while his aptitude for facts was fantastic and we had in-depth discussions on discrimination and human rights.

11+ and Primary

11+ English and Maths, Kyrollos: I worked with Kyrollos for two one-hour sessions each week after (state) school over a year period to improve his all-round Maths and English skills. He worked considerably hard to master skills from the Y5 curriculum (Level 3-4) before moving onto Y6 and extension topics (Levels 5-6). We looked especially to broaden his reading with books on Ancient Greek myths and poetry. We also worked through Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning skills to improve his ability to reason and use logic effectively. His school teacher was pleased with his progress and had asked whether hed had a tutor. He received offers for The Oratory and Cardinal Vaughan secondary schools and Level 5s in his SATs: excellent work.
11+ English and Maths, Kamran: I devised an intensive one-week revision course for Kamrans Maths from Y4. We worked together for four hours each day through a whole range of topics from times tables and mental arithmetic to area and perimeter, graphs, word questions and so on. I then worked with Kamran for 1h30 each week for a year, mostly focusing on comprehension and free composition. Despite finding reading difficult, I discovered that Kamran really enjoys writing short descriptive poems on things like seasons and the weather, which has really boosted his vocabulary and developed his imagination. You might say that we had a mutually-insulting relationship, trying to out-do each other each lesson.
11+ English: I worked with George over the Summer holiday with a number of 1h30 sessions. Our main aim was to work on his comprehension and verbal reasoning, using the Bond Books. I also devised a comprehensive course to work on Georges grammar, where he was becoming particularly confused, and we chose to read Hemmingways The old man and the sea together as a way into English Literature in a more canonical way and more challenging comprehensions. He was successful at Harrow pre-tests.
11+ English and Maths: I worked with Alex over a three-month period to prepare him specifically for examinations in both Maths and English outside of his (state) school. He was not familiar with many of the different question formats, while needing help with grammar, spelling and written composition. Alex passed the 11+ successfully and was in the top 15% of boys in his Dulwich Boys exam.
Maths Support, 10 years: I worked with Amy for ten months overall, bringing her Maths up to speed from a 3c to a 5b (National Curriculum Levels). We worked through core Maths skills before working through all areas of the subject required by the ISEB specification. She made amazing progress over this time and moved up groups at her (state) school, being much more confident and capable in Maths.
Maths support, 8 years: I worked with Finn over two separate Summer holidays to keep his Maths up to speed, teaching him his 12 times tables by jumping up and down his garden steps and introducing him to the concept of an average through cricket. Finn was particularly sporty and active but had struggled with Maths and school and lost confidence. His parents wanted him to enjoy the sessions and feel they were fun, but also to learn in a low-key way. He really enjoyed playing games together, and especially trying to defeat his nemesis, Dr. Maths.
Maths and English teacher, supplementary schools project run by the Westminster think thank Civitas
Teaching groups of five to ten primary school pupils, weekly, along traditional lines, 14 hours each week for the past six years. The role involves planning lessons across the year, teaching from a white board, setting and marking homework to a high standard. From September-December 2014, I covered the role of Educational Adviser, overseeing lesson content across over 30 schools and training and monitorsing new teachers.

Pupils include:

Yufus and Nawal (Year 2) - teaching the four mathematical functions with an emphasis on mental arithmetic. I have taught the children their times tables, column multiplication, column addition and column subtractions, alongside other basic topics.
Athirati (Year 4-5) - was falling behind at school and over two years made three and a half years of progress and is now working over a year above the national average for her age and taking maths lessons in the year above.
Inaya (Year3) - after a year working with Inaya, she has mastered her times tables and mental arithmetic, moved up two groups at school, while maths has gone from her worst subject to her favourite!
Muntaser and Liban (Year 4-6) - I worked with these boys over three years, covering all mathematical topics for their age group, taking them up to Level 6 in the National Curriculum, and working through topics for Levels 5-8. Both boys reached a Level 6 in their Maths SATs.
Alisha (Year 5-6) - I worked with Alisha through a series of extension topics for two years and she went on to win a place at St Pauls girls school in London.

Hobbies and Interests
I read privately around literature, religion and philosophy and follow the TLS and London Review of Books. I also edit PhDs and journal articles in Philosophy, History and the Social Sciences.

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