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Holly P

“Holly makes the student feel confident by emphasising the positives, she is very enthusiastic and delivers the tutorials in a fun, structured and productive way. She is an amazing tutor and we highly recommend her.”

11+ Tuition

  • 11+

  • English

  • Maths

  • Music

  • Senior School Entrance

Academic History

2009-2012 – East 15 Acting School – 2:1 BA World Performance

2006- 2008 – Barton Peveril College A Levels – History (A), English Literature (B). National BTEC Award in Acting: Distinction, Grade 8 Violin (Distinction)

1998 – 2003 – Brookfield Community School – English (A, A*), Double Science (A,A), Maths (B), French (A). 8 others (A*-A grade)

About Me

I have been working as a tutor since 2005. My main subject specialism is English, I also specialise in the 11+ entrance exams and am passionate about improving children’s English skills. I am also a specialist in helping young children learn English as a language – I use songs, rhymes and activities to help build vocabulary, clarity and confidence. I am also very experienced in home schooling and have exceeded many families expectations.

I like to engage children through fun and vibrant lessons. I tailor my lessons according to my pupils and customise games to make lessons more exciting. I like children to enjoy my lessons (almost as if the learning is disguised!) and use visual guides and physical props to help them access learning. At first I use practice papers as diagnostics and then delve into particular topics that are in need of improvement. My lessons improve pupils’ self-confidence and self-esteem.

I have over ten years experience teaching within schools. I began as a private violin tutor at the age of 16, and worked within schools running workshops in Drama whilst at university. After graduating, I worked full time in schools across London gaining knowledge in many different systems and approaches and have taught in subjects across the field including English, maths, Drama and Music. My experience in Drama makes me a very effective communicator, especially with younger children wanting an exciting lesson to keep them focused and active.

Recent tuition

I have over 200 hours of tutoring experience and provide support to students across a range of levels from Pre-School to Year 7, including the 11+ exam. This is a sample of my recent tutoring experience.

Pre-School English

When I first met this student, she knew very little English and had made up her own language and could not form words. She had lived abroad in many countries all her life and hadn’t managed to separate English from the other languages spoken in her household. Despite this, her family wanted her to go to the Garden House School, so I needed to teach her quickly! For a whole year, I would see her for two hours a day, three days a week. I began teaching her through song, as she was little, and she started to really enjoy our lessons together. She would try to sing along, and week after week, words would slowly start to appear. This would include counting songs to aid her maths and I would also use props to help her understanding. I would tell whole stories to her using sensory methods and we would draw and make characters and settings together. She then began to take over and tell the stories back to me. Once the words and understanding had come along enormously, I then set about teaching her to read and write, again using games to disguise the learning. After a year, she was a completely different little girl. She was eloquent, had full understanding and could have whole conversations with people. I was enormously proud and went with her to her meeting at Garden House School where she understood and responded correctly to everything they asked her to do, and has attended the school ever since!

Year 2 Home Schooling

When I first met this student, he was very reluctant to read, or in fact to do any work at all! Despite being taught numbers and the alphabet, he had forgotten a lot of it, and did not like the thought of having to learn it all over again. I decided that I would incorporate many games into my lessons, and for three hours a day, I would disguise the learning! Through my methods, he began to learn all of the phonics and gradually, we moved onto phonemes. His maths came along at a fantastic rate, and he began to believe that he was able to do school work after all. I carefully moved this on to table work, where I taught alongside the National Curriculum, making sure that he had the same education that he would have if he was at school. We worked together very well, and he became very proud when he started to see whole pages of work which he had written. He loved the Space Race topic and was enthused by the work that I set, he even wrote whole adventure stories without even noticing! I still work with this student, and know that his progress will continue.

11+ English

When I first met this student, she was struggling in English and didn’t enjoy her lessons at school. This bothered her and her family, as she was excellent in maths and wanted to apply for prestigious London schools. However, they felt that the English part of the exam would let her down. I began teaching her for an hour a week and stripped lessons back to the very basics. We began with structures, and week by week, I added new writing techniques, showing her how to apply them to her writing. I enthused her with books to read and let those inspire her writing. I wanted her to enjoy writing first and foremost, so our first goal was to create a story she was proud of. Her teachers at school noted her improvement, and within a term, she had already gone up two levels. With this growing improvement and enthusiasm, we then added another hour and a half to her timetable so that I could teach her the techniques of comprehension. Her confidence had grown, but teachers had still told her that she would not get into Alleyn’s (her preferred option) and this infuriated her. Thus, I made it my mission to exceed everyone’s expectations! We had (and still have) an excellent rapport; with my encouragement, she was happy to work extremely hard. As we neared the exams, her confidence was blossoming; in school, she had gone up another two levels. I made sure that she was well rehearsed for all of the exams she was taking. I worked with her on past papers from a variety of schools, including Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and Emanuel. I am very pleased to say that she got an offer from every single school she applied for, she was even offered scholarships in some. After 18 months of tuition, she will be attending Alleyn’s school in September.

Year 7 Homework and general subject assistance (SEN Dyslexia)

When I first met this student, she was very reluctant to do any work at all as her dyslexia caused her many difficulties. Writing, reading, adding, memorising and understanding were all challenging for her. I began working with her for one hour a day, four days a week, to help her with her homework and to assist her in learning new topics at school which she did not understand. I also wanted to enthuse her with books, as I knew that the more she read, the easier her learning would become. We began with shorter picture books, but gradually built up to more age suitable books. David Walliams’ stories really are excellent, and after three volumes of The World Worst Children, she actually began to enjoy reading with me. Her sentences became more fluent, her expressions when reading were beautiful, and her understanding of the stories flourished. This progress also showed in her other work. Studying History and Science became easier because she wasn’t so reluctant to read, and her memory in maths came on hugely. With this student, I always stripped complicated tasks back to their simplest forms, and built up slowly. She always responded very well to this, and has come on leaps and bounds this year! I continue to teach her and am very proud of her progress.

Year 9 Violin

When I first met this student, her confidence was very low. She loved playing the violin, but felt that she wasn’t as good as the rest of the girls in her school. She was embarrassed to play in front of people, and did not want to join in school concerts. She also struggled to learn with her old teacher and always found herself being belittled. I wanted to turn this around quickly so I began with some easy pieces to get her confidence back up, Irish folk is always fun to play, and she responded very well to it. She began to practise more and more, and so I introduced more level appropriate pieces and studies. I was always encouraging at every moment, and gave criticism in amongst a whole host of positives. She is now studying for Grade 5 ABRSM with me, and I have full confidence that she will exceed her expectations and receive a distinction! She is now happy to work hard and she finally believes in her own ability.

Hobbies and Interests

I am a professional actor and a violinist- much of my life is also filled with performance! My love of performing has been with me since a very young age. I have also written a children’s book, and I am half way through a novel. I love to explore the arts in my spare time and am always looking for new creative ventures.

Client Testimonials

“I’ve changed many tutors for my daughter’s 11+ preparation, until I found Holly. She understands the student’s specific needs and prepares the tutorials accordingly, she is very organised and has a plethora of resources. Holly makes the student feel confident by emphasising the positives, she is very enthusiastic and delivers the tutorials in a fun, structured and productive way. She is an amazing tutor and we highly recommend her.”

11+ Parent

  • Fully Vetted

  • Home schooling Experience

  • Mentor