My specialist subjects are English language and literature and history. I have also taught English as a second language, and physics and biology at GCSE level.
Ive spent five years working as a private tutor, and Ive specialised in helping students who struggle to engage with English - either students who are looking for a C grade but are falling short, or students looking for an A grade who feel they need some help.
I have also done a lot of work with students who want help with a wider variety of subjects. While I have formal qualifications in English and history, I have read extensively in physics and biology and have experience teaching both these subjects at GCSE. I have also studied economics and write about business and finance, and would be able to help students struggling with these subjects.
My approach to English teaching is based around two tenets - making students comfortable and confident, and providing a consistent structure for good writing.
Ive found that a rules-based method works particularly well with students who like to take a systematic and analytical approach to learning. I also believe that helping a student become more comfortable with the subject and gain confidence in their own ability is absolutely key to success.
I previously taught full time but now work as a financial and political journalist.
Postgraduate certificate in journalism - Harlow College
MA in English Literature and Language (2:2) - Glasgow University
A Levels - English (B), Economics (B), History (C)
GCSEs - English Literature (A), English Language (A), History (A), Physics (A), French (A), German (B), Maths (B), Chemistry (C), Biology (C)
I have completed more than 1,000 hours of private tuition, most with students looking to improve their grades at GCSE and A Level. Ive picked out some sample experiences below:
GCSE: Jack was academically able but confused by the subject. He did not understand why he was being asked to complete pieces of writing, and what he was attempting to achieve. He benefited from an approach which allowed him more structure in his work, and quickly improved. His parents later reported that he moved from a D grade to a B grade.
GCSE: James was very gifted and was achieving mostly A grades in other subjects, but felt uncomfortable with English. He had developed a number of bad habits which he repeated in every piece of writing and was reluctant to change. He enjoyed challenging what he was taught and testing whether it was correct. As he had the opportunity to do so, he began to improve his own work, and eventually got As in both language and literature.
GCSE: Schoolwork was causing Kate to have a poor relationship with her parents which led her to doubt her own ability. She was reluctant to do the necessary revision in any subject. I worked with her in the run up to her exams, discussing English, history and the sciences. After a series of sessions she had grown in confidence, was working well again by herself, and had stopped arguing with her family about school.
A Level: Emily had got an A in GCSE English but was getting D and E grades at A Level. She had excellent insight and understanding, but had problems were related to organisation, planning, and gathering evidence. Four hour-long sessions focusing on how to plan longer and more in-depth work were enough to move her back to the level she expected to achieve.
Hobbies and Interests
Im passionate about all sports, although I harbour a particular love for cricket. Im a keen runner and cyclist and Im about to take on my third marathon. I also have a passion for books and learning, and I love board games, pub quizzes and the Times crossword. But Ive recently had my first child, so I dont have time for any of that just now.