"English lessons with Iona were pure pleasure. She brought so much energy and adventurousness and made me want to get more out of my life. She is also a very hard-working person, and her lessons were very carefully prepared."
EFL Advanced Level Student
International House, London July 2020 Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)
Universität Hamburg—MA in South Asian Studies: First Class 2012–2014, Hamburg, Germany
University of Oxford—BA (Hons) Classics and Oriental Studies: Double First 2008–2012
A Levels (Queen Elizabeth High School): A grades (highest mark) in Classical Greek, Latin, Ancient History and English Literature
AS Levels (Queen Elizabeth High School): A grades (highest mark) in French and German
GCSEs (Homeschooled until Sixth Form, took 4 GCSEs): A* grades in Greek, Latin, French & German
I have a highly personalised tutoring style: I put my student’s interests, goals and aspirations at the heart of my tutorials. I strive always to connect with my students on a personal level, to get to know the whole person and understand their individual needs and potential. I help students to set SMART goals from the get-go in order to have a clear road-map to success and maximise the effectiveness of our lessons. Based on each student’s personal needs and interests, I create imaginative and stimulating curricula and learning strategies, as well as lesson plans, materials and assessments. I pride myself on providing rigorous, insightful feedback on written work. I encourage students to apply the same curiosity and intellectual rigour that I have used in my academic career to uncover and develop their passions and thereby become outstanding students and life-long learners. I love encouraging my students to get out of their comfort zone, try new things, uncover their passions and grow personally, spiritually and professionally. I am highly flexible and adaptable in my approach: I am a life-longer learner, and I thrive on student feedback in order to grow as a tutor and as a person. I am always ready to go back to the drawing board, and change my approach or materials to suit every need.
As well as specialising in Classics and English Literature, along with other subjects. I also provide support for students ahead of their Oxbridge interviews and applications and am well versed in teaching IB along with varying A Level exam boards.
CEFR English support, Year 8
I worked with Sabina in English Language and Literature for her entrance exams in the Czech Republic, 1 hour per week for 2 years. She moved up 3 bands on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from beginner A1 to B2). She then came 2nd top in her year in final exams in English and gained entry to her secondary school of choice.
EFL English support, Year 8
I worked with Max in English ahead of his entrance exams in the Czech Republic. I taught him 1 hour per week for 2 years. He moved up 2 bands on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from beginner A1 to B1). He then came top in his year in final exams in English and gained entry to his secondary school of choice.
A Level Ancient History (OCR)
OCR Support was provided for Max for 3 months of lessons, 3 X weekly. He went up from a D to a B in just three months of intensive tuition in preparation for his A Level resit. He ended up gained entry to his university of choice in the UK
A Level English Language (AQA)
I provided support for Tamara, for 3 months of lessons, 5 times a week. She went up from D to a B in just three months of intensive tuition prep for her A Level resit. She gained entry to her university of choice in the US
Group IB Theory of Knowledge tuition, Year 13
Diploma support was provided to 14 students for 1 year of lessons, 2 times weekly. The entire class successfully gained the IB Diploma, rising on average 1 band higher than predicted grades from the year before
Intensive group EFL English (Cambridge, CAE)
I provided support to 15 students over 1 year of lessons, 1x per week. The entire class moved up 3 bands on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from B1 intermediate to C2 advanced). They then all gained the CAE certificate at the end of the year
Hobbies and Interests
Apart from teaching, I have had a varied career so far, almost all of it abroad—spanning academia, interpreting for the International Red Cross in Sri Lankan prisons, documentary-making, travelling and volunteering. When I am not working, I write short stories, read voraciously in different languages, and enjoy sports (especially swimming, long-distance trekking, horse-riding and yoga). I am passionate about languages, foreign cultures, and all things creative—art, film, and writing. I am also addicted to adventures: I have lived and worked in eight different countries so far, and counting! I took an 18-month sabbatical during which I made a series of solo journeys across France and the Caribbean on foot and by bike, living and working with local families and taking part in eco- and creative projects. In short, I am driven by a passion for two things in particular—people and words. I am fascinated by stories—the stories we tell about ourselves and our world and the words we choose to tell those stories. That’s why I love communicating, reading and writing in multiple languages and connecting with people of all ages from varied cultural or linguistic backgrounds who have lived markedly different lives from my own. And that’s why I love to feel that I have touched others’ lives, and inspired them to ask more questions and to revel in all of life’s mad, blossoming variety.
Nadja, Parent of 12 year old English student
“My daughter Sabina loved every minute of her weekly lessons with Iona. In two years with Iona she has gone from very basic English to reading Harry Potter and becoming the top non-native English student in her secondary school entrance exams in English. I am delighted”
Alexandra, Advanced EFL Student
“English lessons with Iona were pure pleasure. She brought so much energy and adventurousness and made me want to get more out of my life. She is also a very hard-working person, and her lessons were very carefully prepared”