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Ben A

“Ben tutored our daughter in English and History for 13+ entry and the KS3 curriculum. We were greatly impressed by Ben’s immense patience and excellent rapport with our daughter; our daughter’s performance exceeded our expectations.”

Parent of a Year 10 student

  • 11+

  • 13 +

  • A Level

  • English

  • IB

  • IGCSE

Academic History

University of Kent, English and American Literatures: 2:1

A-Levels: English Literature (A), Art (B), Biology (C)

iGCSEs: English Language (A*), Mathematics (A), Biology (B), Physics (B), Chemistry (C)

GCSEs: French (A), Art (B), German (B), Latin (B)

About Me

My approach to tutoring is to tailor my approach as closely to the needs of the student as I can. Succeeding at any level in English requires a mixture of technical skills and creative sensitivity, which can often be challenging for students, even when they are excelling in their other subjects. Teaching students a strong foundation in grammar and literary techniques gives them the confidence and freedom to appreciate and competently write about the more artistic elements of English poetry and prose. However, this works best when it is balanced by instilling them with a sense of enthusiasm for the language, and the things that you can do with it. I teach English because I love the language and the literature, and I want to help empower students to feel confident in their use of it. I believe that Shakespeare, and all the literature that has followed him belongs to everyone, not just the scholars, and I want to share that with as many students as possible. Overall, I believe that English is a subject that everyone can and should love, and that the best approach to teaching it is one that is both rigorous and fun!

Recent tuition

I have many years of experience preparing students for the 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance English and 13+ History exams, as well as a wide variety of specialised English entrance and scholarship exams for various independent schools in the UK. I’ve taught a large amount of English Language and English Literature IGCSE students studying under the AQA, CIE and Edexcel syllabi. I’ve supported students studying English at A Level, and both the SL and HL International Baccalaureate level. I have some experience teaching the SAT and SSAT exams for colleges and private schools in the USA. I also have experience with debate coaching and in particular support with MUN.

English – Winchester Election scholarship exam preparation

Over the course of six months C (13 years old) and I worked on preparing him for the interview process and scholarship exam for Winchester College. C needed to learn a lot in relatively short amount of time about how to understand complex poetry and prose, and how to write thoughtful answers to difficult comprehension questions on the subject. We also had to build his creative and argumentative essay writing skills from scratch.

English – Sevenoaks school entrance exam preparation

A (13 years old) and I worked on his English comprehension and creative writing skills over several months before he took the Sevenoaks entrance exam, and worked to prepare him for the transition from a local Hong Kong school to the British boarding school system.

English and History – St Mary’s Ascot entrance preparation

A (12 years old) and I worked on her English comprehension and essay writing skills to prepare her for a series of entrance exams for various different boarding schools in the UK. I am still teaching her, and currently preparing her for her IGCSEs.

IGCSE English Language

B (16 years old) required help in his IGCSE English Language and Literature exams, particularly Language. He was struggling with understanding exactly what each question required of him, and how much detail he was expected to give in his answers. Over the course of a year working together, we were able to raise his grades from a predicted 4 – 5 in both exams to an 8 in Language and a 9 in Literature. We achieved this by using a mixture of past papers with their mark schemes in order to help him understand the specific requirements of the exam questions, and also by helping him to appreciate reading poetry and prose. Understanding the exam and enjoying the process of how writers can use language to express their ideas made it possible for him to raise his skill level and achieve a much better grade.

English Skills

A (10 years old) had dyslexia and ADHD and needed to catch up after a long period away from his UK prep school (Twyford). We spent three intense weeks doing online lessons while he was quarantined with his family in a hotel suite. Under difficult circumstances, we were able to bring his English skills back to a decent level through teaching him methods of managing his attention issues and dyslexia, and to make him more enthusiastic about the subject.

English – Abingdon School entrance exam preparation

E (12 years old) and I worked on his English skills, taking him for a second language level to a high level of competence. He managed to go from being skeptical of the value of literature and poetry to being a keen student with a genuine interest in creative writing, as well as being successful in his school entrance exams.

English – Winchester College entrance exam preparation

J (13 years old) and I worked for several months on preparing him for the interview process and entrance exams for Winchester. In a short amount of time we managed to get him exam ready, and successfully through the interview process.

IB HL English

J (16 years old) required help in his IB HL English Language A: Language and Literature studies. Over the course of two years we worked on his understanding of a variety of different types of texts, how to apply his analytical skills to them, and how to write efficient, thoughtful responses to the questions about them. We looked at a wide variety of texts, including poetry, plays, novels, non-fiction prose, and advertising materials, both as part of the IB curriculum, and as extra work to help his analytical skills. This was effective in helping him with both his course texts, and with the Unseen component of Paper 1. We also worked on his presentation skills for the Individual Oral assessment, and how to link it to a common global issue. The IB English Language course can be confusing, and requires a lot of organisational skills as well as hard work, so we developed methods to help him stay on top of his many assignments, and work towards his goals with a sense of confidence and focus.

MUN

L (13/14 years old) was attending an International school in Hong Kong and required help with the MUN. The main weaknesses for them was lack of general knowledge about subject area. I helped with their confidence in speaking and educating them about strong debate tactics.

Hobbies and Interests

My main hobby is doing art and illustration. I’ve spent several years working as an illustrator and designer on various projects as a side job, and I try to spend as much of my free time doing something creative as I can. I like working on improving my drawing skills because it’s helpful to be reminded what it feels like to do something that requires a lot of persistence to succeed at, which helps me empathise with my students, particularly those that struggle with English. I’m also a keen runner and was an active open water swimmer and paddle boarder when I lived in Hong Kong. I’m currently looking for a new sport now that I no longer live by the sea.

 Testimonials

“It is a matter of great pleasure to write this recommendation letter to Mr. Ben who has been teaching my three sons since they were in primary school. My three sons have had the privilege of being taught by Mr. Ben. Mr. Ben is a very good and experienced teacher. All my boys have had a great improvement in their English. Mr. Ben always has a way to inspire my boys to create a real interest in English as a subject. It is really a great treasure for us. He is the best teacher we ever had. We all miss him a lot. I wish him all the best for his future.”

Parent of English students

“Ben tutored our daughter in English and History for 13+ entry and the KS3 curriculum. We were greatly impressed by Ben’s immense patience and excellent rapport with our daughter; our daughter’s performance exceeded our expectations.”

Parent of a Year 10 student

  • Entrance Exam Specialist

  • Fully Vetted