I am a passionate and enthusiastic Chemistry tutor, I also specialise in Maths, Physics and Finance and advise on Oxbridge entrance. My approach to tutoring is unique and has been successful with a range of students up to undergraduates. I bring a diverse range of skills, experiences and interests to the role but most importantly I have an excellent understanding of the subject material, having been awarded a First Class degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.
Tutoring is a very personal experience and the impact one-on-one tutoring can have, especially when its tailored to the students learning profile, can be huge. I think this is especially true of chemistry - the main subject that I offer - where I have seen first-hand the benefits of helping each student find their own way to make sense of abstract and conceptually difficult topics, often not covered sufficiently by the classroom teacher. There are several key principals essential to successful private tuition that I endeavour to follow:
Strong student-tutor relationship - Every student has their own individual needs and effective communication is the first step to helping them.
Baseline assessment - At the beginning of any placement you must establish the starting point
how much does the student already know? This does not necessarily mean setting a test or an exam.
Structured programme based around the relevant curriculum - Both the student and parents should know what the aims of the sessions are and how we intend to get there.
Adaptable teaching methods - Original and creative techniques are key to helping students understand what are often difficult topics.
Positive learning atmosphere - Tutorials should be intense but enjoyable. Mistakes are always acceptable and an integral part of the learning process.
Regular, honest feedback - It is important that both the student and the parent understand how much work there is to do and the level of progress that has been made.
My interests and experiences outside of chemistry and education are somewhat unique. Im a keen sportsman, a voracious reader and an experienced financial analyst, having worked for three years at the investment bank Morgan Stanley. My teaching methods very much reflect my own passion for learning, which I believe should be a lifelong, holistic and, above all else, enjoyable process. Each time I teach, I hope to give my students the same sense of enjoyment and reward that Ive been fortunate enough to have from my education. The most enthusiastic, engaging and ultimately successful students are always those that see for themselves the rewards that are possible from a sustained period of structured learning. It is my aim as a tutor to give each one of my students an opportunity to experience learning in this way.
2012-2013 CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYST INSTITUTE
Passed CFA Level I examination.
2008-2012 BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD UNIVERSITY, OXFORD, UK
MChem in Chemistry: graduated with First Class Honours in both Bachelors and Masters degrees.
Academic Scholar: Awarded the Andrew Pang Scholarship (2009) and the Michael Freeman Bursary (2012) for academic distinction.
2003-2008 MILL HILL SCHOOL, LONDON, UK
AEA (Advanced Extension Award): Chemistry (Distinction).
3 A-Levels: Chemistry (A), Mathematics (A) and Physics (A).
5 AS-Levels: Chemistry (A), History (A), Latin (A), Mathematics (A), Physics (A).
9 GCSEs, all at grade A*: Maths, English Literature, English Language, Double Science, Spanish, French, Latin, and History.
In Roses case, the question was how to help her make the step from a B/A to an A*. The limiting factor for Rose, as with many other students in a similar position, was the conceptually challenging subject of moles and related calculations. To help her, I split the problem into three distinct parts. Firstly, I explained fundamentally why we make mole calculations in the context of chemistry topics she already understood, making sure I used physical and visual representations wherever possible. Secondly, I made a list of the formulae that she would need to remember - these were the tools she would use to solve the problems. And finally, I created a flow chart, which acted as a template for her to follow whenever she attempted these questions. As a result both her understanding and confidence have improved hugely and she is justifiably confident when approaching questions on this topic now.
Level: Oxford Entrance/Interview
I helped Jenny with her application to read Chemistry at the University of Oxford. I drew upon my own personal experience of the application process and the university to ensure both Jennys UCAS application and interview preparation gave her the best possible chance of success. I believe my close interaction with the professors who actually run the selection process has given me an excellent insight into how it works. I know exactly what college tutors are looking for during the application and interview process as well as how the final decision is made between the colleges. None of these are secret, and theyre all aimed at uncovering an innate curiosity and ability in chemistry. However, given how fine the margins are, Im confident the help I gave Jenny played a significant role in her success as she ultimately received an offer to read chemistry at University College, her first choice.
I tutored Natasha in Maths during the year leading up to her GCSE examinations. I feel Natasha was representative of a number of my science and maths students who, despite being smart and diligent, struggle with the problem-solving nature of maths. Maths is unlike many other GCSE subjects, in the sense that factual recall can only get you so far - typically to a B grade. In my experience, making the leap to the top grades requires getting pupils like Natasha to think about the problems in a different way. To do this I first focus on teaching the student a generic, step-by-step process, which they can use to formulate solutions to questions. We then go through exam-style questions ensuring the student understands how to employ this process across different topics. Ive found this approach incredibly successful in helping students make the jump to the top grades and in Natashas case she ultimately achieved an A* in her GCSE examinations.
Level: GCSE level
I tutored Freddie for four months leading up to his GCSE levels examinations. At the start Freddie would find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time: an issue that was complicated by the often abstract and complex nature of physics. As a result, I would try to vary the content of the sessions as much as possible to ensure Freddie stayed engaged throughout. I also used physical examples and props for topics such as Newtons laws of motion to give Freddie a tangible example making it easier for him to understand the concepts involved. At the end of our time working together, we were able to have two hour sessions with only a short five minute break in the middle and Freddie achieved a B in his GCSE Physics - a real success given he was predicted a D when I started working with him.
Theos chemistry knowledge when we started working together was inconsistent - some areas he had clearly covered and learnt in depth whilst others were completely lacking in even the basics. The first step I took was to give him a brief test in order to locate the gaps in his learning. From then it was clear that the priority should be to tackle the factual deficiencies, what I would consider the low-hanging fruit, before working on anything more conceptually challenging.
In Theos case, this approach was the most efficient way to boost performance in the short space of time that we had. To do this I devised a revision strategy for him that identified what needed to be learnt (mainly chemical tests, ions, definitions etc.) and how he should tackle it. The use of revision cards dramatically helped in three ways. It firstly condensed the factual knowledge he needed to know into a finite, simplified and manageable form. Secondly, it offered a novel way for Theo to approach his learning - he could break up his daily routine with 15-20 minute sessions working with the revision cards, which not only helped his chemistry but also positively impacted the rest of his revision by acting as a mental refresher. And thirdly, the instant feedback produced by revision cards (normally you can see a clear improvement each time you go through them) has boosted Theos confidence, as he now knows he has a factual foundation that will essentially guarantee him a pool of marks come exam day.
Subject: Mentor/University Application
Level: A level
I worked with Anayatul as part of volunteering with the UK Career Academy Foundation - an organisation that offers aspiring A level students a chance to be mentored by young professionals. I met with Anayatul on a monthly basis and the majority of the time was spent helping him with his university application. This included assessing which subject he wanted to study and at which university as well as helping him to complete his personal statement and UCAS application. Anayatul has been offered a place at his first choice university to study finance and Im confident hell achieve the grades required to start there this September.
I acted as a mentor and informal finance tutor to Julia during my time working as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley. I tutored Julia in the fundamentals of finance on a weekly basis to help her improve her understanding of the products and services that the bank offered. I also acted as her mentor, ensuring her induction into the firm went smoothly and she was enjoying her work. After six months, Julias financial knowledge had developed rapidly and she received the highest possible rating from her manager in her biannual review.
Student: Groups of 3-4
Whilst in my final year studying at Oxford University, I ran revision workshops for students in the first two years of their undergraduate studies. This provided a uniquely challenging environment due to the complexity of the material and the exceptional ability of the students. The sessions really demonstrated to me the importance of truly understanding a concept in order to be able to explain it with clarity to a student. The experience developed both my communication skills and fundamental understanding of the subject and has without doubt made me a better teacher at all levels.
Student: Group of 40-50
Subject: Finance/CV Workshop
Level: A Level/Undergraduate
During my time working at Morgan Stanley, I gave four introductory lectures to groups of 40-50 A level students who were interested in a career in finance. The lectures lasted 45 minutes and the purpose was to give the students an overview of how an investment bank like Morgan Stanley functions as well as advice on how to improve their potential job applications. Having successfully been through the exceptionally rigorous application process for both internships and full time roles, I could offer the students an insight into what assessors were looking for as well as potential pitfalls. Given how opaque the application process can often seem, the feedback from the lectures was very positive and I know a number of the students who attended were subsequently offered positions on the internship program.
Hobbies and Interests
I have a keen interest in a number of areas outside of teaching including sport, travelling and reading. I regularly rock climb, cycle and practice yoga and have in the past represented Oxford University at rugby and Hertfordshire County at squash. I also love to ski and have recently come back from a trip to the northern Japanese island, Hokkaido.
Generally speaking, I love experiencing new places, particularly when it involves outdoor activities. Last year, I was fortunate enough to complete a 10 day trek in the Indian Himalayas, which included the Gongmaru La pass at 5,300m. Prior to that Ive also backpacked around South America and Indonesia, where I earned my P.A.D.I diving qualification.
My reading interests span an array of genres from cognitive psychology and behavioural economics to Japanese fiction. As well as reading for pleasure, I also try to continually incorporate structured learning into my reading.