"An excellent tutor and I feel very lucky to have found him. He is extremely reliable, always on time and I would recommend him one hundred percent. He has been an invaluable help to my daughter with her A-level chemistry."
Parent of A-level student
MA (Chemistry) 2nd Class Honours, University of Oxford PGCE, University of Oxford
A-levels in Chemistry (A), Physics (B) and Maths (B)
O-levels at grade A in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths, Music, English Literature, and at grade C in English Language, Religious Knowledge, French and Latin. (B grades were not awarded at this time).
Chemistry needs a lot of explaining. There is some justification for its reputation as a ‘hard’ subject, especially at A-level, and many students struggle with it when taught in groups, even with good teachers and the best available textbooks and online resources. My work as a one-to-one tutor has enabled me to address many of the difficulties which arise. Concepts are introduced and developed gradually, the speed of this depending on the ability of the student, which I can generally judge early on through informal questioning. I am usually able to gauge how a student thinks, and the pace and content of lessons are closely tailored to the student’s needs. This is a creative process which I enjoy.
Building confidence is another vital aspect, and I constantly reassure and encourage my students where doubt is apparent. I invite them to ask me questions as often as they need to, and to ask the same question more than once if this helps. My experience with SEND pupils has helped refine my skills in achieving the best progress. For resources I will usually recommend a specific textbook, adding my own tailored material where appropriate. I work closely with the relevant exam specification, and enhance lessons at times by using video clips or molecular models.
As well as tutoring GCSE and A Level chemistry, I work with Oxbridge applicants for Chemistry/Natural Science.
I tutored M IGCSE chemistry for six months. She was a student at MPW but felt she was not progressing with her current chemistry teacher. She was fairly high in ability, but with a tendency to neglect details. We worked carefully through the specification content, with plenty of practice and feedback provided on past questions. The outcome was a top grade 9.
A was an A-level chemistry student at St Mary’s School, Gerrards Cross. Her strengths were in languages with chemistry the third choice A-level. I tutored her weekly for just over a year and initially she was working at around grade D. She was diligent but found chemical ideas abstract and lacked confidence in handling calculations. We worked on clarifying concepts, using technical terms accurately, and employing a stepwise approach to tackling numerical problems. She improved in all these areas and achieved grade B at A-level and a place at Warwick University.
S had studied chemistry A-level at Albemarle College but did not complete the course, having suffered from anxiety issues. I tutored her for her re-take year. Initially she lacked both confidence and motivation, but our lessons were able to nurture her academic potential. There were some low points, but she developed both her ability and interest in chemistry as well as self-belief. The outcome was a grade B and a place at Leeds University to study the subject.
V was an A-level pupil at John Hampden Grammar School whom I had tutored occasionally over a period of a year. He was bright and ambitious but underachieved in school exams, and during the pandemic the school-assessed A-level grade awarded to him was a B. He was unhappy with this outcome and we undertook intensive tuition over a period of just six weeks. He gained an A* in the Autumn re-take.
B was an able student but had issues with confidence and anxiety. He had studied A-level chemistry for one term at Collingham College. In fifteen months, with three hours teaching per week we covered the whole of the A-level course. He achieved a grade A and a place at his first choice university. He also markedly improved his social and communication skills.
J was an A-level student at Ermysted’s Grammar School in North Yorkshire. He was able and applied to study chemistry at Oxford University. During intensive tuition sessions spread over several months we worked on developing his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject, and on interview preparation. We looked at many stretch and challenge questions, taking topics well beyond A-level, and discussed a range of recent applications of chemistry. He gained a place at Balliol College.
I play clarinet in Ealing Symphony Orchestra, a prominent community orchestra in West London, and in other ensembles. Music for me is a lifelong passion and has provided great satisfaction and a contrast to my scientific and teaching work. I enjoy hill walking, which provides healthy exercise rewarded with fabulous views. I have also taken up creative writing, inspired by an enjoyment of words. I have completed a first novel although it is not yet published.
“An excellent tutor and I feel very lucky to have found him. He is extremely reliable, always on time and I would recommend him one hundred percent. He has been an invaluable help to my daughter with her A-level chemistry.”
(Parent of A-level student)
“I really enjoyed our lessons and was grateful to have your help and support throughout. I’m so happy with my result and I couldn’t have done it without you.”
(Chemistry A-level student)
“I could not be more pleased with my grade. I really appreciate all you’ve done to help me achieve a place to study medicine.”
(Student after retaking chemistry A-level)