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Alessandra

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  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • Senior School Entrance

Academic History

Currently – PHD English Literature, University of Buckingham

MA English Literature, University of Buckingham (Merit)

BA English Literature, University of Buckingham, (2:1)

St Francis Xavier College, A Levels (Theatre Studies, A*, Spanish, A*, English Language, A*)

Kingsbury High School (9A*’s)

About Me

I have tutored since 2014 alongside my academic studies. My subject specialism is English.

I have developed highly effective lesson plans, motivational exercises and effective assessments that promote interest and knowledge retention. I have also been highly successful in helping children with special needs, such as dyslexia, succeed academically and socially within my lessons. When working with my students, I stress critical thinking and apply real-world examples to engage them, resulting in a high pass rate.

 My experience as an English Tutor has developed a passion and personal commitment to three things: fostering a positive learning environment for students with various backgrounds, maximising individual student performance and developing student interest in literature of all types and genres.

Recent tuition

I have accumulated over 100 hours of English tuition, and work with students from reception age to A Level. Please find a selection of my recent students below.

Reception to Year 3 English

I’ve been teaching Yassine for 4 years, since he was in Reception. Yassine hated English, especially comprehensions. It can be hard getting a year 3 student to focus for an hour, but with the promise of a Pokemon card if he produced good work, he is now excited for our lessons. I get him to read aloud both the text and the questions when we do comprehensions, that way he understands and absorbs more information. In the past few months especially, Yassine has become more confident in his reading – he especially likes reading about Greek Mythology and I regularly buy him new books to read. I try to find reading and writing topics that interest him, that way he looks forward to doing English. He is now one of the most advanced students in his class for both English and Maths and regularly writes book reviews for me as well as one creative piece per week for homework. We are now moving into his preparation for the SATs as he would like to go to North London Grammar School so that he can be in the same school as his sister. He loves doing verbal-reasoning so he can’t wait to do ‘grown-up’ English exercises as he calls them!

Year 4 English (SEN Dyslexia)

Jumain was in year 4 when we started working together. He has dyslexia and his mum was worried that he wouldn’t do very well in his SATs because of it. After getting to know him, I understood that he was rather good at English but lacked confidence because he felt he couldn’t achieve anything due to his dyslexia. We worked on calming techniques such as writing on coloured paper so that his brain wouldn’t scramble the words as much on the page, and had regular conversations about how he was feeling and what progress he was making. Jumain liked to have a routine, so every term I would print out a new lesson schedule outlining what we would do each lesson and put it on his fridge so that he knew exactly what was going on. After some difficult moments, tantrums and hugs, Jumain sat his SATs exams and came out feeling confident. He managed to achieve his dream of attending Mill Hill County School and was even granted a music scholarship from his French horn. His mum couldn’t believe how far he had come from the first lesson two years prior.

Year 8 to GCSE English

I first started teaching Ishan when he was in year 8. He was in set 3 and struggling with his English, in particular creative writing and literary explanations. During the first few lessons we discussed what his concerns were in English and where he felt like he needed to improve. Once this was established I created a plan of action to conquer his concerns in a systematic manner. We first tackled his creative writing; getting Ishan to write small paragraphs describing different areas of his house. Once he was comfortable with this we moved onto describing source images and using written prompts. The more he wrote, the more confident he became. By the start of year 9, Ishan had moved up to set 1 English, and we were all incredibly proud! We set about looking at PEE paragraphs and where he could improve in his own critical writing. I got him to analyse his own work and tell me where he thought he needed to improve and what he thought would make a higher-level answer. By doing this and looking at exemplar answers, in a few months he had become comfortable with analytical paragraphs and literary techniques. He’s now entering year 11 and has predicted grades of 8 and above for English. He’s confident and looks forward to his English lessons at school and also with me!

GCSE English

My GCSE English Language student Nawal had failed her Language exam at Harrow High School. After having a chat about her concerns, she reviled to me that she didn’t feel supported in her school and was upset that she couldn’t go into her A-Levels straight away. We worked through past papers, looking at where she had gone wrong in the past and what was missing to achieve the grades she needed to pass. Looking at exemplar answers was very useful for her and she was able to see first-hand what was missing from her answers and what others included. I was also keen to show Nawal the mark-schemes so that she could see exactly what the examiners wanted from her. I encouraged her to talk to me about any concerns that she may have during our lessons, she always felt better after talking to me. She was very confident and happy after our last lessons and updated me after her exam saying she was very happy. I’m confident that she will get good results on results day.

A Level English Literature

Gifty had failed her last Literature exam at A-Level, she wanted to go to university to study Art and this result had put a spanner in the works. I was keen to see where the issues were in her writing as she was very eloquent when she spoke. I soon concluded that she tended to ‘waffle’ – she would repeat points and go on tangents during her essays that were not relevant to the question. We sat down together and made detailed annotation of the Keats poems, this way she had many points to talk about and was not constantly treading on points she had previously made. This gave her room to expand and was able to expand to points that she wanted to make in detail and created fantastic essays that were concise and professional. Gifty would write an essay a week by herself for me to mark when we met on Friday mornings, that way I could see how her writing was improving while she was by herself. Looking at her first few essays and the ones she wrote near the end of our time together, the difference is visible. She had become a true master of the literature essay and I couldn’t be happier, she deserved it.

Hobbies and Interests

I adore cooking; experimenting with food and creating interesting and new dishes relaxes my mind and sets my creativity free. I like learning new recipes from different types of cuisines and what makes them so different and delicious. I am currently researching material for my PhD – I’m passionate about Shakespeare so I find enjoyment in researching papers and theories that apply to my thesis. Being a literature student books are essential to me, wandering around bookshops in central London and spending hours looking for interesting books makes me happy. I always find something obscure!

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