My specialist subjects are English Literature and Language ( of all levels - Age 9 to Degree ) Anthropology and all arts based subjects including History, Philosophy, Photography , History of Art and Art. I have been working as a one to one private tutor for over five years.
My specialist area of work is with Dyslexic and Dyspraxic learners, or anyone who feels unable to learn according to standardised educational systems. My tutoring combines tackling subject content with discovering an approach that is particular to each students unique way of working. My students range from year 5 and 6 to Phd as well as clients in corporate work places. I have experience working with all levels of assessment Sats, common entrance, GSCE, A level, year 1 and 2, degree, MA and PhD. My approach to tutoring is to enable students to develop a learning style that is unique to them. Several tutoring relationships have been built up over 1-2yrs, these have been extremely fruitful and have allowed a personal, self directed way of learning to develop, however I have also had equal success working with students intensively over 2-3 months.
With all my students I implicitly believe in their ability to overcome difficulties with subjects and learning more generally, these difficulties are often the consequence of not having been met with interest and understanding as to how-they work. The how-permeates every area of work and life for dyslexic and dyspraxic learners, for example a common difficulty for dyslexics is time management, in my experience this is due to trying to fit in with imposed or standardised ways of working with time. With each student we learn together their particular relationship with time and then create and develop visual, spatial and physical ways of relating to it in a way that makes sense to them. This degree of specificity is the way I approach every area of my students working life - which connects up with and has an impact on all areas of their life. We discover together how exactly they work best to process and understand information. For some students it might be coloured pens, writing and large sheets of paper, for others it might be cutting things up and physically constructing diagrams and charts, for others it might be creating songs and stories, visually mapping journeys. Many of these are referred to in the following testimonials from students and the images accompanying them.
I meet each student with interest and understanding, creating a non-judgemental supportive space for us to discover, invent, experiment and evaluate creative methods and approaches in keeping with their sensibility and temperament. This free form, gently held, safely supportive space is a new experience for many of my students where schools rarely have the time or the interest to listen, perceive and respond individually to their struggles. If they are given dyslexic support it is often delivered in a standardised package, all be it slightly different from the mainstream, but none the less a system that is assumed every dyslexic will fit. This, in my experience, compounds the problem further. I attend to each student with curiosity as to their unique way of doing things and a passion to assist in the discovery of their approach and facilitate its application.
At the outset of work with students they often feel overwhelmed, lacking in confidence, disengaged in learning, shut down and indifferent to the wonders of their subjects. Through our time together I have witnessed a reverse of these states, confidence grows, learning becomes interesting, they become curious, self aware and self initiating of how to go about tasks, they learn how to cope when overwhelmed- a true blossoming occurs. My hope with all students it to celebrate their dyslexic and dyspraxic ways and allow them to see and discover the richness of these ways of being.
Work covered includes preparation for exams, breaking down exam objectives and requirements, exam practice as well as attending to daily school work, meeting deadlines, getting to grips with subjects more generally and organisation. I have a broad knowledge of many subjects, I can therefor offer insightful suggestions and avenues for developing thought in terms of subject content as well as help develop their unique learning style, which is fused with the content being explored. My students discover the relationship between a way of doing something as akin to the content that is seeking understanding, from and content become understood as meshed and illuminating of one another. It brings both joy and satisfaction to see students become self directed and autonomous in their learning, internally resourced and self aware no longer feeling the diagnosis of dyslexia, dyspraxia or other learning difficulties-as a burden but rather a rich asset.
Goldsmiths University - BA Hons in Fine Art Practice - High 2:1 (2012 - 2015)
University of Oxford - BA Hons Anthropology and Archaeology - 2:1 (2003-2007)
University of Oxford - Post Grad English Literature and Language - 1st (2007 - 2010)
Foundation Course in Fine Art - Byam Shaw, London (2010 - 2011)
A Levels: History of Art - A, Geography - A, English Literature - B, Biology - A
GCSEs: History - A, Geography - A, English Literature - A, English Language - A, French - A ,Latin - A, Chemistry - A, Biology - A, Physics - B, Maths - B
A level English Literature and Language - on going
GSCE History and English - on going with two different boys - on going
Key stage 2 and 3 Literacy and Language - on going
Anthropology Sussex University - on going, essays we have worked on have achieved 1sts and high 2.1s
At the end of her first year of studying Anthropology faced with exams this student didnt feel skilled in how to read Ethnographies or her ability to discern and extract relevant information for the purposes of essay questions and exam revision. Anthropological terminology confused her as did the premise of anthropological investigation, its methodology made little sense. After three intensive weeks work I had make clear the purposes of ethnography, how to unpack its concepts and content as well as how to extract necessary information to answer exam questions. We devised together a form of note taking that worked in keeping with her personal/particular way of thinking - working horizontally on the paper, in colour allowing space around notes for further thoughts that arouse threw discussions. Discussion was an essential way in which she processed and understood information -s analytical orientation, the process of its questioning and a new found enjoyment for reading ethnography and the subject as a whole. She also had a good sense of how she thought and methods to employ to assist her thinking. Her concentration improved dramatically as did her mood towards studying.
Foundation In Fine Art - distinction and entry into Ruskin School of Art
Maya had decided not to take A level art focusing on Science A levels and maths . Dissatisfied with these subjects and stifled by academia at the end her A levels she decided to explore her artistic inclinations. Maya embarked on a Foundation course which proved to be unhelpful in her desire to apply for Oxford, providing little support or rigorous input generally. Our work together initially was focused on writing her section 10. During this process she began to gain a whole new way of thinking about and making artwork. I encouraged her to think about her interests and aptitude for further maths in relation to the way she liked to draw and the things she was interested in, in terms of the project work. Once this way of connecting concerns and making began, our discussions in relation to her projects, took a whole different orientation. Creative and imagination space opened for her as she began to realise the mode of making akin to contemporary art. She has said of our work that the fabric and framework of her thinking was broken down and rebuilt in a way that has given both her everyday life and making practice creative and imaginative scope. She gained an unconditional offer to Oxford university (January 2014), a highly competitive school to get into. She received a distinction for her foundation course where they recognised she had surpassed both intellectually and practically the work of her peers. During our work together I tutored her in drawing, sculpture, photography and film making as well as general idea development and research.
A level History and English Literature - As for both
A receptive, positive, creative student who often felt overwhelmed with the requirements of approach and information needed to be understood and retained for her History and English A level. Although very capable the key to unlocking her potential and capabilities was to devise an approach that was aligned to her spatial /visual way of thinking. She fully grasped the relationship between inventing a form of how-to work with information as equivalent to enabling the understanding of this information. Large A3 sheets of coloured paper where the rubric for creating maps, charts, elaborate diagrams along with other formats invented to unpack convoluted information, such as the war of religions in Queen Elizabeth the 1st Reign. These formats allowed her to process the content as well as capture it in a clear, memorable, way assisting both revision and exam conditions. At the end of our work tougher she was fully resourced in taking an overwhelming situation into her own hands asking herself how do I need to attend to this and recognising once she had discovered the how-she could calmly work with the overwhelm rather than feel paralysed by it. Her creative capacity and intellectual ability became aligned each assisting the other to achieve the task. She was delighted and empowered with what she had discovered.
A level religious Studies achieved, Photography A level and applications
A bight, determined and competitive student whom I worked with on her A level religious studies her extended essay for Art A level and various applications including section 10 for UCAS and others related to opportunities within her school. These successful applications enabled her to attend a master class at Cambridge university and to spend two days work experience at CERN. During this process she learned how best to think through and write proposals and applications to meet criteria making intelligent connections between what she was interested in and what the various institutions were asking from her. In the work we did on her extended essay she gained a grasp of how to structure long pieces of writing and transform her research into well argued and analytically sophisticated essay. She developed the necessary resources for thinking critically about her own work and how to redraft her work and thereby rethink it through the redrafting process. We also worked on her Photography books - the requirement for A level, discussed the technical aspects of her photographs as well as the lay out for the books and the reflective analysis of both her own and other peoples photographs.
A level religious Studies achieved, Photography A level and applications
BA Hons St Marys University London - Film studies essay module - Bus 174
Achieved an A
I met this student three weeks before her deadline, in a state, having failed previous film module essays, yet having to pass this module in order to stay on the course. She had no understanding of how to analyse a film at the outset of our work, making a relation between the form of the film and its content was a foreign notion to her. Her writing lacked analysis and structure. To begin with we watched the film together and began to analyse it, discussing each of the frames and how the film was constructed and the impact this had on the storytelling, interpretation of the subject and message conveyed. The film became visible to her in a whole new way. We then turned these discussions into small manageable chunks of writing and worked closely on analysis. She would write and send me sections, which I would comment on, and push her to analyse further giving examples of what further analysis might sound like. Having examples of thought to follow and questions to ask herself greatly assisted in her ability to develop this capacity. We then dealt with structure and the argument of the essay thinking carefully about how the chunks of writing she had done could be constructed into an argument following themes, strands and investigations. She met the deadline and received an A enabling her to take her year abroad. Her confidence was greatly improved, as was her whole outlook on looking at films and other forms of media.
GSCE English literature and Language AQA - Achieved a high B
Kirien was not an academically gifted student and unfortunately attended a less than average school. Her parents were ambitious for her future hence calling in a tutor for her GCSEs. Working with her was hard work, nothing could be assumed, it required immense patience and a flexible approach having to constantly come up with different approaches in the hope she would grasp one of them. She was not used to having to think for herself and outside the box but over time began to grasp what was expected of her and how to go beyond that and achieve the high results she wanted. The best way I found to help her was to talk in the way I was encouraging her to think, having this tangible example of what she needed to develop inside her own head was the beginning of her building an analytical and explanatory way of thinking. By the time of exams she has improved considerably and achieved a high B in English Lit and an A in English language. The challenge of not being able to assume anything meant I had to slow down, think around each suggestion I made, come up with different words to explain things and keep encouraging her gently but firmly to push her thinking further.
A level Film Studies, History and Politics (OCR and AQA) - A and a B ( predicted two Ds)
This young man was disengaged and indifferent to his studies at the beginning of our work, diagnosed as Dyslexic he had no desire to study for his exams or entertain the idea of university. Previous Dyslexic support offered had been ineffective. Discussion was integral to reanimating his interest in his subjects and discovering what did motivate him and what he enjoyed. When talking about his subjects I would capture his thoughts and responses, this capturing was done on large sheets of unlined paper - through this process he began to regain interest in his subjects as I guided him towards exploring his ideas and thoughts in a free form, unlinear way. This had significant effects on his mind - he felt at ease and freer, it enabled him to access his subjects in a less constricted manner. We worked intensively on Film studies, I was able to bring both content and approach assistance. We watched, discussed and analysed the films together logging observations in a memorable and assessable format, small chunks of information in a table form with lots of space around. He achieved three Bs, in film studies he had been predicted an E and is enrolled for university October 2013.
Non Exam focused - tutoring/mentoring with 40 year old ex banker
Dispirited and down trodden by the corporate world, flattened by virtual comuputurised ways of working, disembodied from the world and himself - working intensively over the months he has recovered and we have invented a way of working that has reenergized and revived him. Attending to subtle details - what paper and pens to use, how to work on the paper, how to organise his space, seemingly unimportant but actually essential to presence and autonomy. Attending to every particular relationship with the material world has liberated and ignited his imagination and is enabling him to recreate himself and life anew.
Hobbies and Interests
My hobbies are broad and interests diverse. Activity is important to my life I swim, run, box, play tennis and go on long walking holidays. I am a member of the outdoor swimming society - which takes me to rivers, lakes and coves for cold water dipping. Travel - I have travelled extensively, both for work and pleasure. Research work took me to Greenland and the depth of the Amazon in Peru. Closer to home I read a great deal of poetry and go to readings, have a niche interest in Sound and the accompanying experimentation and performances of it. Gardening, growing vegetables and cooking with them are also pleasurable pursuits as is swing dancing and the discussion, debate and implementation of ideas into the continual growth of life.