I enjoy tutoring, I make the learning engaging and I am committed to the progress of my students.
I am an experienced and qualified teacher/tutor and I have formally taught all the Humanities subjects (History, Geography and Religious Studies) and also English. I have taught a broad range of students aged 11-16 with a variety of learning strengths and needs, from gifted and talented students to those with specific learning difficulties, English as a foreign or additional language, and students that are profoundly deaf. I have also read a significant amount of teaching theory to improve my practice. As such, I am familiar with a variety of learning strategies and I am skilled at identifying the relevant ones.
I like to make my learning naturally stretching, creative, personal and enjoyable. I recognise that students learn more when they are enjoying their learning, and when the tutor is also evidently enjoying the experience too, the effect is magnified.
I also have a broad range of experience that I can apply to learning, or give insight about: I have attended Eton and Cambridge and, in addition to teaching at a comprehensive school in London, I have worked in politics, journalism and technology. I currently work as an education consultant and I am keen to keep enjoying and improving at teaching/tutoring with a view to returning to the classroom in a few years.
2012-2013: PGCE with TeachFirst, Canterbury Christ Church University, Outstanding
2008-2011: BA (Hons), Theology and Religious Studies, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, Class I.
2003-2008: Eton College, A Levels: Mathematics, History, Latin, Theology (A), AS Levels: Economics (A), GCSEs: English Literature, English Language, History, Geography, French, Latin, Greek, Biology, Chemistry (A*)
Oxford Theology Interview Preparation: E, 18, was in her A-Level year at St. Pauls Girls School and was invited to interview at Oxford in December 2011. We met 8 times for an hour over consecutive weeks: on each occasion, E would read some material that I selected from various philosophers of religion and reflect on a few stimulus questions. I was deliberately stretching in our analysis. E was successful in gaining a place.
Oxford History Interview Preparation: J, 17, was invited to interview at Oxford in history in 2013 however was lacking in confidence because none of his peer group from his non-selective comprehensive school in East London had experience of Oxbridge interviews. I conducted a series of mock interviews, each followed by coaching and reflection. J was successful in gaining a place at Oxford.
English as a foreign language: I tutored English as a foreign language to 38 Scandinavian students over a period of three weeks in 2007. This was an interesting development experience for me applying similar content to students across different abilities. I learned to be agile and use naturally differentiating teaching methods that stretched all students and allowed for them to express their creativity.
The following experiences are from 2012-2014:
Year 7 English: Worked with U, 11, who was lacking confidence in her English writing. We did some work on reading and comprehension but the focus was on different activities that got U writing. This included non-stop writing, writing without verbs or omitting certain letters, and different styles of poetry or song writing. Framing the writing in terms of specific challenges really helped U improve her confidence in English.
Year 7 History: A, 11, struggled to engage with his history and to make the content relevant. We worked through a range of interactive strategies for Medieval Britain, including acting out the battle of Hastings together in slow motion and then reflecting on the different interpretations for victory. This was a learning experience that A wanted to repeat!
Year 7 Religious Studies: T, 11, was extremely disengaged in religious studies and from a non-religious background. I worked with him to link the religious concepts back to more fundamental first principles that interested him such as the sewa in Sikhism to equality through sharing a biscuit with him, and T began to make significant improvements. We also looked at character and narrative.
Year 8 Religious Studies: K, 12, is profoundly deaf and struggled keep up in her Humanities subjects at school and she wanted to focus more on her literacy and numeracy. We worked together on religious studies with a focus on expanding her vocabulary and transferable skills, using a variety of visual strategies that we transferred to writing. K found this an effective way of engaging with Religious Studies.
Year 8 English: S, 12, was not very good at arguing from two opposing perspectives, or thinking through what someone that might disagree with him would say. We worked through some cognitive acceleration material that was open to multiple interpretations together in stages. S articulated his thoughts at each stage and as the complexity of the narrative developed he was able to criticise his previous opinion. This was an enjoyable process for both of us.
Year 8 History: I really enjoyed teaching KS3 history as I believe the thinking skills required of students often surpasses KS4 public examinations. I worked with H, an extremely bright student, trying to achieve Level 8 in her work (A* or better at GCSE). We looked went beyond explanation, interpretation and analysis to the evaluation of sources and arguments on both sides of an argument, even comparing against different historical periods. I was very impressed by how well she was able to rise to new challenges and stretch herself.
Year 9 Geography: I worked with S, 13, a student from a disadvantaged background trying to understand the tourism industry and Geographical industries more generally. He had never been on holiday and the source material he was working with related to Majorca and was very out of date. We began by watching together sections of recent television shows that featured tourism or holidays and then analysing them for the same concepts of analogous examples that he was trying to conceptualise in his own work.
GCSE Religious Studies: I taught a student M for a year that had a target grade of a D in Religious Studies and went on to surpass all expectations by achieving an A at the end of that year. The credit for this should go to the student however I was able to recognise the level of cultural capital that existed in the student and unlock it so that they gained in confidence in applying this to their written work. I spent time showing how they could use what they already knew to form alternative opinions to those that were learning in class.
GCSE Religious Studies: I taught a student M for two years that had a target grade of a B and resulted in her gaining an A*. We were both delighted. The strategies I used for this were to make the content as relevant to her as possible so that she was initially very interested, and then investing a lot of time understanding the exam specification and assessment metrics together. This enabled M to recognise exactly what was required of her and being much more targeted in her revision and preparation.
SMSC: I worked weekly with a student as their enrichment coordinator for social, moral, spiritual and cultural matters. I would plan a huge variety of weekly activities that lasted approximately 30 minutes combining current affairs and significant annual dates with interesting cultural movements. We worked through these topics using diverse techniques that built up time planning skills, creativity and creative writing, and our identify personal goals, dreams and even prejudices.
2011: University of Oxford, Theology Interview, We met weekly for the two months preceding her interview to practice, She was successful in gaining a place.
2009: Student Travel Services (STS), Brighton 2009, I tutored English as a foreign language to Scandinavian students. They all moved up levels in their formal assessments.
Hobbies and Interests
I enjoy playing football, reading and listening to music. In my spare time I collect vinyl records.