I specialise in tutoring English and biology, either as an on-going process to complement school work, or for more intensive exam preparation. I also teach 11+ maths and English, maths, geography and general science.
I believe that extra individual attention in the subjects I tutor can be hugely beneficial. The main part of my approach is to increase understanding by working through each subject simply and methodically. At the same time, however, I also encourage the student to look more deeply into specific aspects that spark their interest. I believe that learning can always be fun, particularly when subjects are placed in their wider context.
During my time at St Andrews I also worked for several months as a councillor at the International Summer School of Scotland (ISSOS). With a balanced programme of academia and culture, ISSOS provides an environment where students can learn within an encouraging and supportive environment. In charge of a group of boys (mainly thirteen or fourteen years old), it was my responsibility to organise their free time, maintain a positive and healthy atmosphere, and fuel their appetite for learning. I hugely enjoyed my time at ISSOS and believe that it gave me important skills for tutoring. A good tutor obviously requires a great deal of patience and empathy as well as creativity and knowledge of the subject. This is something that I have brought to my own tutoring with very positive results.
2014 - Present: School of Oriental and African Studies, MMus Ethnomusicology
2008 - 2012: University of St Andrews, MA (Hons) First Class (Social Anthropology)
2006 - 2007: Stromness Academy, Orkney, Scottish Highers A,A,A,B (English, Biology, Geography, Maths)
2003 - 2006: Stromness Academy, Orkney, Standard Grades 1,1,1,1,2,1,1.
(English, Maths, Biology, Geography, Art, Chemistry, Physics, French).
Following my first year at St Andrews, I completed an introductory TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Part of the course consisted of planning lessons and coming up with ideas for exercises. By teaching my own class of foreign students, I was able to implement this training in a full classroom context. It was a great experience that convinced me that I could be a successful teacher or tutor.
My first job was a week long residential placement in rural Gloucestershire with a nine year old boy. My main objective was to consolidate his creative writing and story-writing skills, as well as his maths knowledge, including consolidation of times tables knowledge and algebra. The purpose of this tuition was to get the child up to speed with the school curriculum, as well as prepare him for 11+ exams in the near future.
For story-writing, I led brainstorming sessions, followed by writing, analysis and editing. At all times, we worked around the structure of a basic story pyramid. For maths, we worked methodically through a suitable course book, highlighting and overcoming different problem areas. Times tables were consolidated through various means, including by the identification of patterns.
Over the week, the child became increasingly enthusiastic about lessons and had clearly made great progress when it came to adding extra details in his stories and remembering times table facts.
Key Stage 1, 2 3:
Since my first tutoring job in Gloucestershire, I have taken on several London-based tutoring positions. For the last three months I have been tutoring maths and English to two siblings aged seven and nine. The younger sibling requires normal tuition, but her older brother, who has mild autism and attends a special school, requires a different approach. With him in particular, I need to be more creative and open-minded when it comes to finding ways to help him understand the material. He responds particularly well, for example, to exercises involving physical objects. I find that sometimes these more challenging situations can also be the most rewarding.
For both of the siblings I use specifically selected course books as well as my own personally developed exercises and strategies.
For another client, aged 12, I tutor maths, English, and science on a weekly basis. The first half of each lesson is spent working on maths from his school curriculum, using relevant books, and the second half is spent studying other areas of his schoolwork that he finds interesting, or difficult to grasp. I often set him homework including book reviews and opinion pieces involving a degree of independent research. I have recently been helping him revise for upcoming school tests. His school grades are, I understand, improving all the time and I hope that this is partly a reflection of my tutoring!
Last month I gave daily tuition over Skype for a fourteen year old boy who was preparing for a test in his iGCSE Biology course. Using my own knowledge of the subject, as well as relevant text books, we worked through all the relevant areas of the course in a methodical and clear way. Given that the lessons were over Skype, I made sure that he regularly showed me his notes and quizzed him at the start of each new lesson on what he had learned from the last. He benefited hugely from this extra tuition and did very well in the test.
Hobbies and Interests
Since graduation I have been living in London and working predominantly in journalism and music. I am currently studying towards a masters degree in ethnomusicology. In my spare time I enjoy running, playing football, cricket, and other sports, writing and performing music, and exploring the diverse connections between culture and nature.