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"Jess was able to help my son enormously with his English GCSEs. He had previously lacked focus and confidence and was not on track to do at all well, as he found it difficult to concentrate in class and always received negative reports and comments from his English teacher. After only a few months, his English grades and enjoyment of the subject began to be transformed and he ended up with an A* in Literature and an A in Language. This is more than we had believed was possible. Thank you so much for all your help."

Mrs Nendick, GCSE English Tuition

  • 11+

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • Senior School Entrance

Academic History

2011 – 2013 Institute of Education – Post-grad Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education (SpLD, Dyslexia)

1998 – 2004 Tavistock Centre (University of East London) – MA in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies

1995 – 1996  King’s College, London – PGCE Secondary English

1991 – 1994  University of Manchester – BA Hons English Literature and Language (2.1)

1983 – 1990 St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, London W.6

1990 A Levels – English (A), History (A), French (B)

About Me

My specialist subject is English and I remain passionate about Literature and Language. I also teach Primary Maths and am a qualified SEN teacher. I love teaching and working with young people; I find helping my students reach their potential extremely rewarding and fulfilling. I believe that one to one tuition can achieve amazing things and be enjoyable for both parties as it can be precisely tailored to the needs and learning style of the student.

My approach is always to have very high expectations for each student and to help them to achieve more than they believed they ever could, while carefully explaining and breaking down tasks into manageable and accessible chunks. I always try to match resources and texts to suit individual tastes and preferences, which can boost confidence and enjoyment of learning!

I have been extremely fortunate to work with talented, dynamic English departments at Fortismere School, where I taught for 12 years and NHEHS, where I have taught for the last 4 years. My practice has benefited from collaborative, creative and aspirational approaches to teaching English Language and Literature courses to students of all abilities and ages, designed to motivate and get the very best out of all learners.

At NHEHS, I have also marked the 11 + English entrance exam paper for the past four years, as well as been part a select interviewing team. These experiences mean that I am well-placed to know exactly what is required at 11 + on the English papers of selective London schools, as well as how children can perform well at interview.

I have also had extensive experience of teaching students with a wide variety of additional needs, from ASD, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia to emotional and behavioural problems. My studies as part of my MA in ‘the emotional factors in teaching and learning’ at the Tavistock Clinic (University of East London) helped me gain most useful insights into the factors which can form barriers to learning. I welcome the opportunity to really get to know your child, their particular situation and learning style and to help them achieve their very best!

Recent tuition

Please see below for some examples of my recent tuition.

I have been teaching small groups for 11 + English preparation for grammar and independent schools. 3 of my students have gained places at Latymer School (Edmonton) for 2020 entry.

In the summer I ran intensive 11 + revision courses covering English, maths, reasoning and interview skills, which were extremely well-received.

I am currently also teaching a Year 6 student via Skype for January entrance exams and ISEB pre-tests.

Secondary English classroom teaching:

I have over 20 years’ experience teaching English in top state and independent London schools and have consistently helped my students to attain outstanding results at GCSE and A Level. Last year, at NHEHS, my Year 13 Literature class of 11 students received 8 A* grades and 3 A grades. I have taught OCR at A Level for many years and have particularly enjoyed teaching Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and a variety of poetry including my favourite, T.S Eliot. My GCSE class last year also gained 100% A* and A grades. I have taught AQA GCSE English Language and Literature many times over and this year have enjoyed getting to grips with the EdExcel IGCSE course. Over the years I have taught students of all abilities and believe that by tailoring my approach, strategies and resources to individual needs, both as an English and SEN teacher, I have enabled my students to reach their potential and overcome any barriers they have faced.

One-to-one tuition:

I have worked on a one-to-one basis with many Year 11 and Year 13 students this year and they have all achieved outstanding coursework marks as a result. One Year 11 girl I have worked with this year missed a lot of school and needed lots of one-to-one help to complete her coursework, so that she could be entered for her GCSE Literature and Language exams. Not only did she complete all her work but she got full marks across the board! I have previously tutored occasionally alongside my classroom English teaching; I have mostly tutored GCSE and A Level students in the past. Last year I helped a Year 13 girl with preparing for her Shakespeare paper as she did not know how to address the assessment objectives or how to balance the different elements in her essays. She got an A and is now studying English Literature at university.

In a previous role as a specialist SEN teacher at Fortismere School, I have worked with a variety of boys and girls aged between 11-18 with additional needs such as ASD and Asperger Syndrome, emotional and behavioural difficulties, ADD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. I always aim to plan and deliver lessons which are tailored to the individual student and where students are able to measure their own progress and development each lesson.

As an experienced form tutor, I have enjoyed getting to know students with different needs and from all sorts of backgrounds. I have  enjoyed guiding a Year 8 boy with Asperger’s in social as well as academic development, and have taught several students with ASD, all unique and fascinating individuals, on a one-to-one basis as well as in the English classroom. I had a most rewarding breakthrough with a Year 9 girl at NHEHS who was eventually able to convincingly enact a dramatic monologue, which she had learned by heart, in front of the entire school! I continue to offer this student, now in Year 12, mentoring and study skills sessions.

Primary and school entrance experience:

I am currently working with a Year 4 student who needs help with English and with preparation for her 11 plus exams. I am thoroughly enjoying this experience and the relationship and trust which is developing between us, which is also helping her to make excellent progress. I have found that regular chats with her mother and ongoing feedback helps to ensure a joined-up approach.

I helped my own daughter to gain an occasional place in Year 5 at South Hampstead Junior School and then Channing School, her first choice school, at 11+. I feel that my experience as a mother of two has given me valuable insights into the state and independent sectors at primary level, as well as understanding the need to make learning meaningful and rewarding and set realistic short and longer-term targets for children of all ages.

I am currently preparing 3 students in preparation for their 11+ exams. They are preparing for Harrow, Eton, Highgate and Latymer school.

Last Christmas I worked intensively with a student called Rebecca before her exams in January, she was successful in gaining a place at several top London schools, including Highgate where she is getting on very well.

Hobbies and Interests

I enjoy singing, walking (especially in Cornwall on the coastal path), yoga and cooking. Trips to the cinema and theatre are treats for me and I am enjoying experimenting with my own creative writing. I have two daughters and two guinea-pigs and enjoy family time and travelling. We hope to have the addition of a cocker spaniel one of these days!

 Client Testimonials

Jamie (Year 6 student with Latymer place ):

“Thank you all your help in English. I have improved so much and I am now very confident with my writing. Thank you so much.”

Jenny Hearn (mother of Year 6 student):

“Thank you so much for all you have done with Jamie this year. Your gentle, calm and pragmatic manner is so reassuring for us all and Jamie couldn’t be better prepared for Sunday. It won’t be long before we are back with Nia – please book us in for 2021!”

David Meade – Father of 11 + student:

We feel very fortunate to have put in contact with Jess for English/Comprehension tuition.  In less than six months, our son progressed from an average understanding of story writing and English comprehension ( a classic weak area for boys!) to being able to approach any English 11+ paper with confidence.

The joint sessions with another boy sitting the 11+ assisted our son, and made the sessions great fun!  The organised, methodical, but fun approach taken by Jess ensured that the each session was meaningful and productive and as parents we were confident that our son would be in a good place come the 11+ entrance exams.

The weekly homework and holiday tasks set by Jess ensured that a focused approach was maintained by our son. He thoroughly looked forward to each visit to Muswell Hill  – a good sign!

From the excellent support Jess offered, our son was fortunate to win places at all of the schools we applied to, this included several scholarships – a most pleasant surprise.  From the feedback on the examinations, our son was praised in particular for both his creative writing and comprehension results – something I would put down to the support and guidance from Jess.

As a final point, we are extremely proud that our son has won a place at Eton –  and once again, I would say the tuition from Jess, alongside the efforts of our son –were a significant factor in this success.

This is an honest review of our experiences using Jess.   We cannot recommend her highly enough  – good tutors are few and far between – if tuition sessions with Jess are available I would recommend for your son/daughter.

Mother of participant of 11 + summer course:

Thank you so much for organising the two day course. Olivia thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very interesting and helpful. As always you were very engaging, nurturing and supportive. She was in a really excited, chatty and happy mood when she left your house. 

Words from a Year 11 student I have helped this year (Irina Ono): “Dear Mrs Bendell, Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement that you have given me. Without your help and support I would not have been able to finish my coursework on time. Thank you so much!” and her mother, Mrs Ono: “With your excellent teaching Irina is now able to sit her English GCSEs – thank you so much for everything.”

“Jess was able to help my son enormously with his English GCSEs. He had previously lacked focus and confidence and was not on track to do at all well, as he found it difficult to concentrate in class and always received negative reports and comments from his English teacher. After only a few months, his English grades and enjoyment of the subject began to be transformed and he ended up with an A* in Literature and an A in Language. This is more than we had believed was possible. Thank you so much for all your help.” (Mrs Nendick, mother of Year 11 student)

“Thank you for all your help, good news Georgia achieved a B in her English language gcse, I got the result this morning as it’s Cambridge board …. she doesn’t know yet, she’s still fast asleep ! She wouldn’t have done it without you!!!” (Mother of a Year 11 student)

“Thank you so much for all the time and care you put in to Rupert – he got a 7 for lit – and 5d for language – the d is a distinction for his talk. He’s now debating as we speak taking Literature as an A level! Amazing from where you started from. We can’t thank you enough. It was great for his confidence as well – who’d have thought he’d be contemplating an a level in English lit ! (Mother of a Year 11 student)


  • Qualified Teacher

  • SEN Specialist