"Alex took my two very different children and showed them the joy and fun in learning, I have no hesitation in recommending her.''
Year 10 and Year 8 English Tuition
Senior School Entrance
2012-2014 University of Westminster MSc in Psychology with Distinction
2007-2008 University of East Anglia PGCE (Secondary English)
2002-2006 University of Cambridge BA in Modern and Medieval Languages 2.1 (German and French)
1994-2001 Nottingham Girls’ High School A levels: English Literature (A) German (A) French (A) Special Level French (Distinction)
GCSE: Maths (A*) Science (A*) English language (A*) English literature (A) Religious Studies (A*) History (A) Russian (A*) German (A) French (A*)
I am a qualified teacher and I have been tutoring for over eight years. I specialise in English and Maths tuition, and I also teach Psychology, German and French. I can build rapport quickly with students, and I am able to assess their current performance very quickly and identify clear targets for improvement.
For each student, I create an individualised plan to develop their knowledge and skills, which I then adapt according to their progress. I teach students to succeed in their school assessments and external exams, and equally importantly I foster their curiosity, their desire to learn and their ability to think independently.
I have worked with many high-achieving students to secure top grades in examinations, as well as competitive university and school places. I also have particular experience supporting students with special educational needs, and students who are held back by a lack of confidence or high levels of anxiety.
I have worked with a wide variety of students over the last 8 years. Below is a selection of some recent tuition:
Key stage one dyslexia support for English and Maths with Zerlina – I worked regularly with Zerlina through the summer holidays after year 3 and the Christmas holidays of year 4. Zerlina had been falling behind at school in Maths, and I helped her to improve her mental and written arithmetic and times tables, and grasp basic concepts such as units of measurement. In English I supported her with learning spelling, as well as developing her ability to structure her writing and be consistent with her use of tenses. Zerlina’s parents were very pleased with her progress and increased confidence, and she subsequently received a scholarship to be a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral.
Key stage 3 and 4 Maths and dyslexia support for James – James was failing his school Maths assessments in year 7, and I worked with him regularly through years 8 – 11. I helped him to understand the basic concepts using visual representations and physical activities to aid his poor concentration, and gradually covered more complex material. I then supported him in his preparation for his GCSE exam and he achieved a B grade, with which both he and his parents are delighted.
11+ pre-test and 13+ preparation with a student in year 6 – He has difficulties due to his Asperger’s, and we have been working together for up to 3 hours each week on his English and maths. I am delighted to report that he has received a place at Winchester. Our lessons will continue together for the long term, and we will work towards his final 13+ CE exams. We are giving a particular focus to his writing, which is a weaker area for him.
IGCSE Maths support with Alice – I have worked with Alice through year 10 and the first term of year 11. Alice was struggling with Maths and had recently received a diagnosis of dyslexia and dyscalculia. I helped her consolidate some basic concepts which she had not fully grasped, and then supported her with the topics she covered at school. We have written revision cards together for the topics we have covered, to help her retain and recall information, and revise for her IGCSE. Her grade had improved from a D to a very high B by the end of year 10, and she is confident of receiving a high grade in her IGCSE Maths at the end of year 11
Year 9 Homeschooling in German, Maths and English with Syrie – Syrie had missed a couple of years of school as she had become unwell with autoimmune hepatitis. Although she was now well enough to attend school part-time, she was struggling to keep up because of having missed so much school, and her confidence was low. In German, we covered key material and vocabulary from her school textbook and covered easier material on the days when she was not feeling so well. I taught her important grammatical points and verb conjugations covered in the textbook as her understanding progressed and her confidence grew. From having understood little of school lessons, by the end of the school year she found her school German lessons easy.
Homeschooling for English literature IGCSE with Isabel – Isabel was attempting to pass her English literature IGCSE for the third time. As well as having ADHD, Isabel had been unwell and had also been bullied at school. She had lost confidence and motivation to the extent that she had not written an essay for three years, and her English teacher at school had refused to continue teaching her. We read and analysed the texts together, and gradually built up her confidence in her opinions and writing skills. After four months of working together, Isabel achieved an A in her IGCSE exams and she was delighted.
Homeschooling for English and Maths IGCSE with Terrel – I was responsible for Terrel’s education for the six months before his IGCSE exams. Terrel has missed much of his secondary schooling due to multiple expulsions. I broke the curriculum down into small, engaging chunks to help Terrel’s confidence and motivation, and helped him to increase his concentration span. Terrel’s attendance rate and ability to build relationships with adults increased significantly, and he was able to complete his IGCSE exams.
11+ English and Maths preparation with John – I worked with John weekly in the year leading up to the year 7 Harrow 11+ pre-test. In Maths I helped him revise all relevant topics and develop his ability to tackle the more challenging questions. In English we focused on including more relevant detail in his comprehension answers, and incorporating more complex sentences in his composition work. He received conditional offers from Harrow and UCS for 13+ entry.
11+ Maths with Connie – I worked with Connie weekly in the year leading up to her 11+ entrance tests. I helped her to understand topics with which she was struggling, such as fractions and compound area. We also focused on revision strategies, exam technique, and tackling complex questions. Connie gained an offer from North London Collegiate School.
11+ English with Connie – I worked with Connie in the three months before her 11+ tests. I helped her to improve the structure and details of her comprehension answers. We also worked on creative writing, with a particular focus on sentence structure, description and exam technique. Connie gained an offer from North London Collegiate School.
Online key stage 2 English with Julianne – I worked weekly with Julianne online through years 5 and 6. Julianne enjoys writing and I helped her to develop further her creative writing skills. We worked additionally on improving her grammar and the structure of her comprehension answers. The sophistication of Julianne’s writing has improved substantially, and her creative writing has been featured in the school newsletter.
11+ English and dyslexia support with Sarah – I worked with Sarah weekly for six months in the run up to her 11+ tests. I helped her to develop her inferential reading skills and the structure and clarity of her comprehension answers. We also worked on her creative and discursive writing skills. Sarah’s comprehension scores increased by 25% and her writing scores increased by 15%. She gained an offer from Latymer Upper School.
13+ English with Catherine – I had a few lessons with Catherine in preparation for her 13+ English entrance test and following scholarship exam for St Edward’s. We worked on developing her inferential reading skills, and expanding her explanations in her comprehension answers. I also helped her to incorporate more high quality vocabulary into her creative writing, and to include more sophisticated sentence structures. Catherine was told in her subsequent interview that she had scored more highly in her English scholarship paper than all of the other scholarship candidates.
Key Stage Three:
Online English support with Isabel – I have worked regularly with Isabel through the summer term of year 8, the summer holidays and the autumn term of year 9. I have helped Isabel improve the relevance, detail and structure of her comprehension answers and essays. We have also worked on including more varied sentence structure, detailed description and high quality vocabulary in her creative writing. Isabel has been moved up to the top set for English at school; she is achieving well and her confidence in her ability in English is growing.
GCSE English with Kathryn – I worked with Kathryn weekly through year 10 and 11. Kathyrn was struggling with her essay writing skills, and I helped her learn how to organise her ideas and structure her essays clearly and coherently. We also worked on developing her ability to express her ideas verbally. This led in turn to an increase in her self esteem and confidence in her abilities. She achieved an A* in her English Literature GCSE as well as an A in English Language, and chose to continue studying English Literature for A level.English GCSE with Ali – I worked weekly with Ali through year 11 in preparation for his GCSE English exams. I helped Ali to perform more consistently by helping him to understand and work to the mark scheme, so that he was meeting all the criteria for each part of the exam. I also encouraged him to include more independent thinking in his essays, to develop his abilities as well as to give him the best chance of hitting the top grades. Ali and his parents were very pleased with his results: an A* in English Language and an A in English Literature.
French GCSE oral exam preparation with Jamie – I had one lesson with Jamie the week before his French GCSE oral exam. He was very anxious, having performed very poorly in his mock exam. We set a realistic target grade which he both wanted to achieve and felt capable of achieving. We focused on learning and practising key sentences in the past, present and future tenses which he could use to answer questions on the relevant topics. He left feeling much more confident and his teacher could not believe the difference in his performance compared to previous exams.
Oxford University application with Verity (History) – I worked with Verity weekly in the months leading up to her Oxford University interviews. She was applying to read History, and I helped her prepare for the History Aptitude Test (HAT), as well as her interviews. I helped her to produce more concise and well structured written answers to past HAT questions. I also helped her to improve the organisation of her verbal answers to interview-style questions, her lateral thinking, and her interview technique. Verity received a conditional offer to read History at Oxford University.
Oxford University application with Anna (German) – I worked with Anna regularly while she was writing her personal statement and preparing for her entrance test and interviews in the autumn after she had completed her A levels. Anna had decided after leaving school that she wished to apply to read German rather than Medicine as she had previously planned. She had taken her German A level a year earlier, so I helped her to revise her language skills and prepare for the written grammar test. Together we selected German literature texts for her to read, and I helped her to think critically about the texts, and structure verbal answers to practice interview questions. Anna was delighted to receive an offer to study German from Hertford College, Oxford.
Hobbies and Interests
When not working, I enjoy playing the piano and singing in a large choir in the City. I have always loved running around, and at weekends often spend time on a tennis court with some friends or cycling around North London.
Discovering new places has always held fascination for me, whether it’s a day trip from London or a trip to the Middle East, and I make an effort to visit friends in Germany and Switzerland regularly to catch up and keep my languages from getting too rusty.
Alex took my two very different children and showed them the joy and fun in learning, I have no hesitation in recommending her.” (Mother of 15 and 13 year olds)
”Alex is a very open and approachable teacher who clearly knows her subjects very well and I would not hesitate in recommending her to others.” (Oxford interview candidate)
‘I didn’t know English could be fun!’ (Year 7 pupil)
“I attribute almost all of my academic successes to my lessons with Alex” (Year 12 pupil)
”Alex is perceptive and intelligent about the subject and how to teach it” (Head of English Department, Notre Dame High School)
“I was delighted with Alex’s tuition … as a result Anna was much better able to clarify her thoughts and structure her answers, to better manage her workload, and therefore to be more confident. I am sure Anna would not have got in without Alex’s assistance” (Father of Oxford candidate)
“We are extremely happy with Alex. Zerlina loves going for her sessions and has asked if she can have sessions with Alex every holiday for the rest of her life! We have noticed how much more confident Zerlina is in terms of her Maths and writing. We are also impressed by how much fun Alex makes it, using a variety of techniques to keep things interesting … a great tutor! (Mother of year 4 student)
“Alex was an extremely friendly, supportive and patient mentor who had expertise in helping pupils who were shy and under confident … I cannot recommend her highly enough” (Mother of year 10/11 student)
“Alex was particularly useful at identifying his strengths and weaknesses and building on the former. She approached each subject in a logical and analytical fashion, ensuring he knew how to work to the mark scheme for his exams and encouraged independent thought within the framework of the syllabus” (Mother of year 11 student)
“Thank you so very much indeed for all your help and patience with her – I am sure results would have been truly dire without you!” (Mother of year 11 pupil)