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Alex M

"Alex is clearly knowledgeable and an expert in his subject, while making it accessible, and teaching useful study skills alongside it."

Parent of A-Level Chemistry student

  • English as a Foreign Language

  • GCSE

  • Geography

  • Japanese

  • Science

  • Spanish

Academic History

Exeter University: Evolutionary Biology (BSc) (2.1)

A-Levels: Biology (A), Geography (A), Physics (C)

GCSEs: Science (A), Additional Science (A), Geography (A), R.S (A), English Language (A), English Literature (A), Mathematics (A), French (A), History (B), Art (C)

About Me

Foremost I would describe myself as big-picture driven, always tying back material covered in lessons to how it will appear in exam settings. I also place tremendous emphasis on fostering self-study techniques in my students, aiming to improve their ability to retain information between sessions, as well as their confidence and self-reliance. With regards to lesson structure and flexibility, I aim for my classes to be highly bespoke and cater to the wide range of student personalities and abilities I have taught throughout my career, since I have found this to be one of the principal benefits of tutoring compared with classroom teaching.

As far as specific methodologies and techniques, I might mention the Natural Approach (Stephen Krashen) for my language teaching, and among many personal paradigms I try to follow, analogy-rich and two-way discussions, and variants of the Feynman Technique, would be one general and one specific example of each, respectively. I attempt to offer a degree of understanding and rapport with students that aims to bring those with an apathetic or even nervous attitude towards education out of this mindsight and facilitate a more relaxed environment in which they don’t feel judged. Lastly, I possess a strong understanding and ability to navigate students with a different cultural background to my own, having taught and lived abroad in East Asia as well as supported students from Oceania, India, the US and continental Europe.

Recent tuition

iGCSE Biology (Edexcel)

I tutored A in iGCSE Biology over a one-year period. A was at a very high-achieving school in Sri Lanka which expected 9s across all subjects, but he struggled with many concepts in Biology in particular, which had brought down his grade in mocks and progress tests. Like many bright students with excellent memory, A possessed comprehensive knowledge of most topics but it was clear had only superficial understanding of certain concepts such as Ecological Succession. He thus struggled with applied understanding exam questions. By identifying this early on, I worked with him in fully understanding the various topics he was confused by and spent much of our time working on exam technique in addition. A scored a 9 in Biology.

iGCSE Chemistry (Edexcel)

I tutored J in iGCSE Chemistry over a one-year period. J was a moderately-achieving home schooling student who clearly possessed good ability but was quick to feel bored during lessons. Prior to home schooling he had scored very averagely in mocks and his mainstream school teachers had expressed some doubt over his ability to even pass certain subjects, including Chemistry. By quickly ‘diagnosing’ J’s primary issue as his attention span, I worked over time to create increasingly engaging bespoke lessons that utilised an overwhelming-for-most amount of activities and learning styles that J could not get bored in. Despite struggling to motivate himself for self-study, J scored a 7 in Chemistry, which was a very pleasant surprise for both himself and his parents.

Spanish – GCSE (AQA)

I tutor J (The Camden School for Girls) in GCSE Spanish, and have been for four months. In our first lessons, J was outwardly defiant and expressed less than no interest in learning Spanish. Having recently changed schools due to bullying problems, she saw little value in taking her subjects seriously. It was clear an overly firm hand would not work with her, and so through expressing an understanding of her current situation and not taking myself too seriously, I slowly built trust. Eventually J would come to enjoy our lessons, and whilst it was of substantial surprise to her mother, I knew that it was being non-judgmental, calm but still firm and focused on learning that had potentially brought about her changed attitude. Though currently I have no quantitative measures by which to evaluate J’s progress (as she is still in Year 9 and we have not been working together for long), I felt it was important to include her case as her turnaround has been one of my proudest achievements in tutoring.

English as a Foreign Language – A2 (CEFR)

I tutored H in A2 English over a two-month period whilst he was between schools. H was exceedingly bright – with prodigal ability in maths and science, but his English ability had prevented him from scoring as highly as he could at his previous school. His mother also expressed concern over his seeming lack of progress in English since his arrival in the UK, and had even been told by an agent that H would ‘never improve’. In my first lesson with H it was immediately apparent that his comprehension was far greater than he was letting on, and by utilising my language teaching methodologies (the Natural Approach) I was able to bring him out of his shell and soon he was speaking at a level that his mother could not believe. I would tutor H both in reading and speaking comprehension as well as in interview preparation. H would ultimately be offered a place at Eaton Square School, despite having been in the UK for three months.

Biology – A-Level (AQA)

I tutored F in A-Level Biology over a ten-month period in the run up to his Year 13 exams. Though a hard worker, F found classroom learning difficult, and combined with the mountain of information required to learn for A-Level Biology, he had flagged in class and his dream of studying at his university of choice was under question. Through many, many hours of in-depth lessons where I fostered as complete an understanding as possible of the topics he was struggling with, F would score the grade he needed, a B, in A-Level Biology.

Hobbies

My primary interests and hobbies include language learning, socialising and various creative projects such as writing and making true crime videos. Language learning has been a central part of my life for the past five years – having grown up in a culture where bilingualism and multilingualism was relatively rare, the ability to speak more than one language always fascinated me. The sense of immediate progress that comes with the effort put into language learning has proven very addictive in my case, and I imagine it will be a lifelong pursuit. Socialising I feel is fairly self-explanatory as an interest to anyone who enjoys the company of others and both light-hearted and deeper conversations. Creative endeavours and projects also occupy a large amount of my free time, in which I enjoy creative writing of my own design, in addition to researching and creating true crime videos on lesser-known cases throughout history. I often research in one of my second languages in order keep my skills sharp and I thoroughly enjoy creating content which others might enjoy themselves.

Testimonials

“Alex has been an exceptional tutor to my son for six months running up to and on-line homeschooling for Chemistry GCSE. There was a lot of syllabus to cover, which they completed throughly and my son felt well prepared and confident. Alex kept him engaged, involved and interested throughout. He is professional, punctual, polite and patient; he established a relatable and friendly rapport with my son, which made lessons all the more supportive and enjoyable. Alex is clearly knowledgeable and an expert in his subject, while making it accessible, and teaching useful study skills alongside it. My son is now considering Chemistry as a subject for A-level. Genuine thanks to you Alex!”

Stephanie (parent)

“Alex was a fantastic tutor for my son J through his GCSE year. Alex taught all three sciences and would respond to what my son needed to focus on in the sessions. He was patient, encouraging and knowledgeable. Alex was also great at keeping me informed of the topics they were focusing on, what my son needed to learn well and how he was progressing. He was also flexible around sessions from time to time which was much appreciated and worked well with our family life.”

Jackie (parent)

“Thank you so much Alex for being my Biology (IB) tutor. From the bottom of my heart I appreciate the great amount of effort you put into every lesson, every explanation you give. The lessons have been very helpful and I will definitely be continuing with them!”

Chantel (current student)

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