'A creative and patient tutor...makes all the difference. My daughter is the youngest student in her year group and was behind her peers in maths. She was frustrated and felt defeated. Over the past year, Gill has worked with her patiently and in a very creative manner. She actually looks forward to her appointment with Gill each week! She often doesn't even realise she is working hard because Gill manages to make each lesson seem fun. My daughter's teachers have noticed a marked difference in her ability to focus and grasp new concepts and supervising homework is much less stressful at home. From time to time, Gill also works with my daughter on reading comprehension. I recommend her highly for for either subject.'
Dara P, Maths and English Tuition
Sept 2011-December 2012: MA in Acting and Performance from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.
Sept 2006- June 2009: BA Hons High 2:1 in English and American Literature, with Drama and Theatre Studies from The University of Kent.
A-Levels: English Lit: A, Biology: B, Drama: A
AS Level: Geography: A
My specialist subjects are English Literature and Drama, up to A-level, including BA Hons lecturing experience. I also teach Maths, Core Science and Religious studies up to GCSE and prepare students for entrance into leading Independent schools at 11+ and 13+.
I am a very friendly and open tutor, wanting my students to feel relaxed in my sessions, so that they have the confidence to speak out and explore the texts we are studying. I’ve developed good instincts through my tutoring career, and have discovered great exercises and activities to help bring out the best in a student. I have a passion for language and I aim to enthuse my students with this same feeling towards language: metaphors, similes and other devices are not just terms to learn for exams, but literary devices that actually bring a text to life.
The key to being a successful tutor is understanding that each student will learn in different ways- some are visual learners, some work well through reading, some prefer to make up songs! Allowing the student to explore what works for them is fundamental to getting the best results for themselves.
Many of the students I have had in the past have seemed weighed down under the pressure of results. While this is understandable, I try to encourage them to focus less on their fears about the exam final result, and external pressure, but instead focus on enjoying what is in front of them, and discovering the best ways in which they learn. Learning good exam technique is an essential to passing with flying colours, but the enjoyment of a subject should never be overlooked.
Please find below a snapshot of my tuition experience.
I have been tutoring since 2013 and have extensive experience in entrance examinations, home schooling at GCSE and A-Level and tutoring on a residential basis. I have also gained experience working with students with a variety of additional learning needs, including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism and ADHD.
Weekly support for A in the final months leading up to his 10+ exams for King’s College and City of London. A is a bright and able student with strengths in maths. His English is a weaker area, and we are focussing on improving his levels and confidence ahead of his assessments, as well as fine-tuning his overall exam technique and understanding.
Molly required help in Maths and English for her 11 Plus Entry exams. We worked together for about 5 month, 2 hours a week preparing her for her entry exams. When I began working with Molly, there were large gaps in her maths knowledge and she had little enthusiasm for the subject, however things soon began to turn around. She got offered places at four schools (Wimbledon High, The Hall, Surbiton High and Sutton), as well as being offered a Scholarship for her performance in English at her first choice school. Her mother mentioned to me that since working with me her Maths grades have improved dramatically going from an average of 57% to about 80%.
11+ Preparation- English
Micol struggled with English to begin with as her family are of Italian descent. However, after a few months working together, she did her entry exams and got offered places at Latymer, North London Collegiate, City of London and Francis Holland. She had been really struggling with confidence, but I knew she would do well if she was able to relax. We had a discussion on interview technique that also helped to relieve stress.
11+ Preparation – English
I worked with Michael over the Summer on his maths in preparation for his assessments for Dulwich, Emanuel, Royal Russell, Wood Bridge and Cedars. Michael is a bright student but struggles with focus. I worked on making my lessons engaging and encouraging for Michael. Together we made great progress and I saw a lot of improvement in his work.
11+ Preparation – English and maths
I worked with a young girl in preparation for her 11+ exams. We covered all aspects of the tests; maths, English and verbal and non-verbal reasoning. I am delighted to report that she went on to secure a place at her preferred school; Godolphin & Latymer.
13+ English, Maths and Science preparation
I worked with Alexane for 6 months as she prepared for her 13+ Common Entrance exams. We worked closely on Alexane’s understanding of all the subjects, with a specific focus on the Sciences and her exam technique.
iGCSE English Language, English Literature, Religious Studies. (iGCSE Edexcel Syllabus)
iGCSE Biology- Edexcel Triple award
This student was getting E grades in their mock exams, but through more practice and revision I predict that she can get at least a C grade. We are going over past papers to help with her revision.
KS1 English, Maths and Drama (Processing and ADHD)
I worked with Weston (6) who was being home schooled. I worked with three other tutors for six weeks, supporting Weston with his phonetics, writing and numeracy. Weston has processing difficulties and ADHD tendencies, I was able to incorporate a lot of Drama into our lessons, which helped keep him engaged and focussed.
KS2 English and Maths home schooling (ADHD and Autism)
Stephan has been taken out of his specialist school, and required home schooling. I worked with another tutor to ensure he was getting the attention he needed in an environment that he felt safe and secure in. He was working at a much lower level than the national average so he needed a tutor who was patient and able to explain the work in a way that was clear and logical for him. At times, he would get very distracted but on the whole, he really enjoyed our time working with him. We would have to keep the exercises relatively short and interactive so as to ensure Stephan’s focus and engagement.
Science KS3 and GCSE (AQA Syllabus (Double Award))
Weekly sessions with two brothers in Year 10 and Year 8. These boys are following the AQA syllabus, across Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Having seen the school reports for both students, there has been a marked improvement in their Science grades since working with me and I put this down to them being allowed the time to really delve into each topic and ask questions that can sometimes be overlooked in a busy classroom. I encourage both students to begin each session with a couple of questions they aren’t sure about, and by the end of the session they have a much more solid understanding. In my tutoring sessions, I place particular focus on learning specialist terms that must be used correctly in exam answers.
I spend an hour each week with these students, from the age of 5-9, developing their communication and creativity skills, as well as boosting their confidence and ability to concentrate. We play various games that require the children to use their imagination in a focused way, using different sources of inspiration. These children really love my sessions, and I have noticed a huge difference in the communication since I’ve begun working with them.
Adam was behind the rest of his class when it came to times tables and basic addition and subtraction. He was really reluctant to learn when I first arrived, but after only a few sessions with me his confidence, ability and passion for maths grew stronger. We would use real money when learning about adding and subtracting with money, so that he saw the practical use of maths. His timetables improved rapidly as well. We’d start each session with a mini-competition between him and I on our times tables. He likes this competitive element, and it forced him to think faster, but in a fun way.
Amir was very good at maths, and had a passion for it. I worked with him to develop the skills that he already had, and to begin looking at the GCSE syllabus to get a head start.
KS2 English to students at the Dharitri Tuition Centre, Leyton
Here, I have between 3-4 students working together on punctuation, creative writing, spelling and SATS preparation. The children find my sessions very engaging, and I enjoy working with them also. Any news words they may be unfamiliar with, I get them to write sentences with these words in them to help them remember the definitions.
KS3 Maths, Science and Maths Tutoring
I gave half-term booster sessions for a 14 year old girl at Bedales School to prepare her for her end of year exams. Having looked at what she had covered over the past few months at school, I created a revision timetable so we could easily manage the workload in preparing for these exams.
Devine had 2 English teachers leave her school in a very short space of time, which left gaps in her learning. When I started with her, her passion for English was not there, and she was confused as to what they should have been doing in class. They had been reading ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, so we spent the first few sessions exploring the themes and character within this novel. I have been working with Devine for a while now, and have covered more in my sessions then she has in her English classes, exploring various poetic forms, poetry, Shakespeare and various other proses. We have explored what it means to talk about rhythm in poetry and how that can be used to affect the reader. Devine is a lovely student to teach, and I notice her skills developing every session we have.
KS3 Maths and Science
I tutor a Year 9 girl in English, Maths and Science- (GCSE Level). When I began my sessions with her, she was reluctant and hesitant to do English with me, as she preferred Maths and Science and wanted to focus on that. I brought to light the importance of English in all subjects, particularly science because the exam requirements have changed, and longer, grammatically correct answers can obtain 6 marks. After suggesting a few tips, she is now much more confident in her English, and her mum mentioned the other day that her English teacher is impressed with her progress in English. This student has also commented that she finds accessing questions much less intimidating after my help. This student’s main struggle was with understanding English, for example when to put punctuation in, for what effect. I had a few physical exercises that I suggested, which I’d learnt from acting, which helped her understand when commas are appropriate.
GCSE English (Dyslexia)
Yesmina needed help with her English to prepare her for her GCSEs. She has dyslexia, so we worked on her confidence with reading and writing. Her coursework was on Macbeth and Othello, comparing the protagonists’ Fatal Flaws, and subsequent fall from grace. She admitted to me she found Shakespeare very intimating to begin with, and could not understand what it meant. For the first few sessions, I would read the passages so she could hear the words being spoken which made it easier to draw out the meaning of the language. Then we would look at more detail of certain passages, exploring the imagery that Shakespeare uses. I would help her pull out relevant quotes to support her coursework, and guide her into being able to explain the relevance of each quote. I also suggested a few theatre shows to go and see which would really bring Shakespeare alive on stage.
Ali’s confidence and passion for maths was almost non-existent when I began working with him a couple of months before his GCSE’s. Through regular sessions, his focus and determination to do well became more evident. He ended up getting 2 full grades higher than predicted for his GCSE Maths.
Ava, 16, needed support in her GCSE English. I’ve worked with her on The Tempest, and Wilfred Owen poetry. For her first piece of coursework she got an A, when previously she had been getting B’s. Her teacher has noted an improvement in not only the structure of her essay, but also the sophistication of her argument that had improved after spending a few sessions exploring the text with me.
Sara needed help in retaking her GCSE English exams. Together we have been working through the language, transcripts and creative writing. Her confidence in writing and analysing has come along leaps and bounds, and she has been constantly hitting the higher band brackets for the work she has submitted.
A Level English
Juma, 17, needed a tutor for her A-Level retake. She had not got the result she had wanted the year before, so was determined to do better. Her coursework was based on A Streetcar Named Desire. This coursework was split into two sections: the first being about the theme of loneliness within the play, and the second part involved a creative writing exercise based on one section in the play. Juma wanted to explore the play just after they take Blanche away, so she wrote a short story about Blanche’s experience in the hospital. After reading her first draft it became apparent that, though she had good ideas, Juma would benefit from reading a bit more from other writers dealing with madness. I brought a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories, so she could identify other ways that writers explore madness in their writing. This lifted her piece of coursework to a new level, and her final draft got her an A.
Philippine was studying at an International School here in London, and required me to tutor her for her A-Level Coursework, based on Thomas Hardy’s Wessex Tales. We spent a lot of time discussing the themes within each of the short stories, and the socio-political context in which Hardy was writing. I assisted her with planning and structuring her coursework. She had great ideas, but stumbled with committing these ideas on to paper, so I introduced ways in which she could make it easier for herself. In my experience, a lot of students struggle with the same thing: getting their ideas in order and on paper. Planning is key.
Hahn, from Vietnam, had been living in the UK for 9 years, but really stumbled with his written English. He wanted me to help him develop his English language skills.
Screen Writing BA Lecturing
I was asked to Guest Lecture at The University of Falmouth, as part of the writing for screen course. Here, I gave feedback to the Ba Hons and Masters students on what is required in TV/ film script writing. This is one of the top institutions for Film-making so it was an honor to be asked to lecture here.
I worked with Mohammed on his Literature Review for his Masters Degree. I helped him structure his review, and plan in the most productive way, as well giving booster lessons on grammar and punctuation, as English was not his first language. He contacted me a few months after he handed his Review in telling me he had got a high 2:1 for his Literature Review, when he had previously been working at a 2:2.
I worked with a mature student originally from Vietnam who had moved to the UK. We worked on improving his vocabulary and confidence with his spoken English.
Hobbies and Interests
I love reading, so I always have a book I can recommend. I try and go to the theatre as often as my timetable will allow. Seeing live-theatre is an incredible experience. I love to travel and used to live in South Africa where I learnt so much.
‘Gillian a perfect match, thank you! One lesson in and Lily is amazed at how many gaps have been filled in her basic understanding of first principles.’ Age13 maths, Judith
‘A creative and patient tutor…makes all the difference. My daughter is the youngest student in her year group and was behind her peers in maths. She was frustrated and felt defeated. Over the past year, Gill has worked with her patiently and in a very creative manner. She actually looks forward to her appointment with Gill each week! She often doesn’t even realise she is working hard because Gill manages to make each lesson seem fun. My daughter’s teachers have noticed a marked difference in her ability to focus and grasp new concepts and supervising homework is much less stressful at home. From time to time, Gill also works with my daughter on reading comprehension. I recommend her highly for for either subject.’ Dara P.
‘Gillian has worked with my Son Jack for this academic year focusing on English and RE 2 days per week Gill has proved to be an excellent support to Jack increasing knowledge, exam preparation and confidence substantially. We are very happy to recommend Gill to future tutoring opportunities.’ GCSE Home schooling in English and Religious studies, Mark O’C.
‘My daughter feels very relaxed with Gillian. Her lessons are always well thought-out, but she allows for some flexibility if my daughter needs to focus on something else.’
‘Molly’s maths marks have improved by from about 57% to about 80% since working with Gill. She really enjoys her sessions. We were over the moon when we found out that out daughter has been offered places at 3 of the top schools after her entry exams- as well as a scholarship for her English writing.’
‘Gillian has helped both our boys (12 + 14) with all three Sciences for some time. She has really bonded with them and there is a genuine relationship that has developed. Gillian mixes seriousness with a fun approach as required, which has really helped. I would recommend her unreservedly.’ Ed D.
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