"When I started working with Declan I was on a C in Economics, and needed a B to get my university offer. I ended up getting an A in all my economics modules, and even got an A* in one module - something I never thought would happen! I definitely couldn't have done it without Declan."
Ella, A Level Economics Tuition
2010-2014 University of Manchester, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (BA) – First Class Degree, including 77% for dissertation.
1998-2009 The London Oratory School, Fulham.
A Levels: Mathematics (A*), English Literature (A), French (A), and Physics (A)
GCSEs Chemistry (A*), Mathematics (A*), Religious Education (A*), Biology (A), English Language (A), English Literature (A), French (A), History (A), Latin (A), Music (A), Physics (A)
I have tutored for 5 years now – I started during my second year at university – and have taken on over 25 pupils. My specialist subjects are English and Economics, and I also teach Mathematics, Physics, and Politics.
I am passionate about teaching and I love seeing a pupil improve in their ability in a certain subject. The class environment is less than ideal for many learners, and sometimes pupils need one-to-one sessions so the pace and style of learning is tailored to them. I believe academic achievement requires confidence – so many students tell me at the start how they “hate” the subject, or that they are “rubbish” at it. It’s a source of great satisfaction seeing a pupil progress to the point where they genuinely enjoy the subject and answer exam questions with real confidence.
A good tutor represents something different to a teacher; this is important since many pupils come to a tutor when they are having sub-optimal experiences at school. I believe students learn the most when they are in a calm and non-judgemental environment, and as such I place great emphasis into positive reinforcement when tutoring. It is also important to be able to get pupils to reach for higher standards than they previously felt possible. As a pupil gradually improves, I highlight to the pupil their growing ability and emphasise the grades they should now be aiming for.
I have an excellent academic record which is borne out of understanding how best to undertake assignments and exams. It is important to not only achieve a proficiency in the subject area but also to employ intelligent exam technique. Too often pupils are hindered by spending too much time on less-important aspects of assignments, and rushing the parts which provide the greatest amount of marks. My work with pupils therefore involves making sure they understand how best to take on exams and courseworks, in addition to providing them with a greater understanding of the subject.
Please see below for a selection of my tuition experience:
– I have worked with multiple students to provide support with their undergraduate studies. This has included helping with Economics-specific modules, and also with advising on students’ dissertations and foundation essays. I have included two recent case studies below:
– I supported a first year student studying Economics at Queen Mary’s University. She was struggling with her course, and through our work we focused on her understanding of the principles of Economics, along with Macro and Micro Economics. She improved dramatically, in confidence and skill and came out very well in her exams.
– I supported a student studying Economics at LSE. We focused on the principles of economics which underpinned his degree, and then built up the difficulty and skill from there. He is now in his second year and doing extremely well.
A Level Economics
– I tutored a pupil last year who was on a C in A Level Economics, but needed a B to meet her university offer. Through our sessions we were able to progress at a very fast rate, and she ended up getting a high A. She was awarded by her school for “Outstanding Endeavour in Economics”, and was invited back to give a talk to 6th Form students about how she managed to improve so quickly.
– I have been tutoring A Level Economics to a pupil who was on a C/D, but now predicted an A. After initially disliking the subject, he is now passionate about it and is applying to study Economics at university. He has shown a real improvement in his grasp of the subject to the extent that he will comment on current affairs with nuanced and well-informed criticism.
– Final revision preparation support for a bright student at the London Oratory School, who needed support with fine-tuning his exam technique skills, particularly with the essay based questions, where he was losing marks through not including enough of the relevant key points and details. He ultimately did very well in his exams, and secured a place at Loughborough to study Accounting and Finance.
GCSE Maths & English
– Last year I took on a pupil who had dyslexia and was struggling with GCSE Maths and English, but needed a B in both to get on to his preferred BTEC course. He found the class environment very difficult and was generally not able to keep up with the pace. With this pupil we therefore worked at a slower rate and the emphasis was on building the foundations, and consequently, his confidence in the two subjects. There was a marked improvement in the quality of his work and he managed to get the required grades for the BTEC course.
I teach a pupil at a performing arts school who aims to become an actress but needs to pass her Maths GCSE in order to get through to the next year. Although she has low confidence in the subject, and has struggled to keep up with the pace in her maths classes, I have recognised that she is able to learn how to do questions if we work at a slightly slower pace. Already, she is displaying a far greater proficiency at the subject and I have confidence she will be able to get the required grade this summer.
– I took on a mature student who needed to get a C in Maths GCSE so she could qualify to become an Art Teacher in this country. She initially displayed a real dislike of Maths and very low confidence, as she had strongly disliked her Maths teacher at school. Through gradually building her confidence up she started to enjoy it, saying that it was “actually quite fun!”. She progressed to the point where she easily acheived a B in the GCSE.
Home Schooling (Maths)
I am currently home-schooling a GCSE pupil who has dyslexia. He wasn’t enjoying the classroom environment, and felt he was falling behind and unable to catch up. We work at a more suitable pace, and since I took on this pupil only 3-4 months before his exams, our focus was on ensuring he was as prepared as possible to take on the exams. Therefore lessons focus nearly entirely on building up the foundations of Mathematics as well as improving exam technique. As a result of our work he has now reached a much higher level of proficiency, and is able to take on the vast majority of the questions in the exam with ease.
Home Schooling (English Literature)
I home-schooled a pupil who wasn’t enjoying the classroom environment. Although he had a natural understanding of characters and plotlines when reading works, he lacked the ability to put it into a coherent argument within a literature essay. We therefore worked on tightening up his knowledge of literary devices, and covering the basics on how to create well-constructed essays. With frequent practice and feedback sessions, we were able to progress to the point where his essay technique was adding to his inherent ability, rather than hindering it.
GCSE English Language/Literature
I’m currently tutoring a girl in her first year of GCSEs. She is a bright student who is used to getting the highest grades in her subjects, but struggles with English as it is not her first language. She is determined to get an A*, but sometimes finds the subject difficult as she is slightly more “rationally” minded, and understanding the subtle messaging and literary techniques does not come naturally to her. However, we are making progress and she is starting to be able to recognise what differentiates good literary analyses from bad. I am therefore confident she will achieve an A* next summer.
Skype (Maths GCSE)
I currently tutor a pupil over Skype in Maths and English GCSE. This pupil prefers lessons over the computer as it enables him to achieve greater calmness and focus. I use the program iDroo which provides a shared whiteboard, where we both can see each others workings and graphs etc. I have found it to be an excellent method of tutoring over Skype with the same results I expect from tutoring in person.
– I helped one pupil improve the personal statement for his UCAS university application form. At the start, his statement had some good aspects but lacked focus, and contained some elements which I considered to be and therefore unattractive to admissions offices. Working together we kept the stronger aspects and found other experiences to include, and created a far more suitable and attractive personal statement. The pupil managed to get offers from 4 out of the 5 universities he applied to.
English Language Classes
– I helped one pupil improve his English for an upcoming job interview. Initially nervous and hesitant, we progressed to the point where he was speaking with confidence about complex issues.
– I spent 3 months teaching in Ghana to small classes of 4-5 pupils, aged between 13-18. Subjects included Maths, English, and General Sciences. This experience improved my ability to teach to a group, which requires a different approach to teaching one-to-one. One has to be prepared for a range in abilities, and also be ready to alter lessons depending on how pupils respond to the areas being taught. In Ghana I was able to help improve the academic results of the small groups through setting difficult but achievable assignments, and offering both individual and group-level interactions to ensure lessons were highly productive.
Hobbies and Interests
I specialised in media-state relations in my degree and plan to do a part-time masters next year in Media & Communications at Goldsmiths University
I love music and play the violin and piano to past Grade 8. I’m currently part of The Street Orchestra of London (SOL) and we play in a wide range of venues, including schools, hospices, and care homes. I also love sport – I’m in a tag rugby club, and enjoy playing football, tennis and ultimate frisbee recreationally.
“When I started working with Declan I was on a C in Economics, and needed a B to get my university offer. I ended up getting an A in all my economics modules, and even got an A* in one module – something I never thought would happen! I definitely couldn’t have done it without Declan.” Ella, A Level Economics pupil.
“Working with Declan helped turn around my English Literature GCSE. I hadn’t enjoyed my classes as I found it very difficult to follow, and didn’t know where to start when writing essays. But thanks to Declan I improved a lot – building up my knowledge of the works we covered but I also gained specific skills on how best to construct an argument within an essay. This made me much more confident walking into the exam, and I was very happy with my grade!” Adam, English Literature GCSE.
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