"Jessica is an excellent tutor, who assisted my daughter with 11 + preparation. She was professional and created interesting and suitable lessons. Her knowledge of the 11 + exam requirements was very good and my daughter succeeded in gaining entry into her chosen schools, Godolphin and Latymer and St Paul's Girls."
Maria, 11+ Tuition
Diploma English Language and Literature, Jan 2020
City, University of London, 2008: Masters (MA) Sociology
University of Surrey, 2003: BSc (Hons) Psychology
St. Catherine’s Independent School, Twickenham, London (1994- 1997)
– 10 GCSEs (including Maths, English and Science)
St. Benedict’s Independent School, Ealing, London (1997- 1999)
– 3 A-levels – Biology, English Literature and Classical Civilisation.
I am an experienced tutor specialising in Psychology, Sociology, English (KS1-GCSE) and 7+/8+/9+/10+/11+ Entrance Exams. I have extensive experience with teaching/tutoring (15 years) both one to one and inside the classroom, having spent 5 years working as the Head of Psychology and Sociology teacher at Rochester Independent, a secondary boarding school in Kent. I am also an examiner for both Psychology and Sociology A levels and have also examined for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. In addition, I have worked with numerous students giving private tuition for these subjects, (Psychology, Sociology, English and Entrance Exams).
I have a friendly, enthusiastic and positive approach to teaching. I am well prepared, organised, passionate about all of the subjects that I tutor and have a wealth of experience, (over 15 years). My lessons are as creative and interesting as possible, and I always aim to make the learning as engaging, stimulating and visual as possible, whilst keeping progress focused and targeted.
I have high but realistic expectations from my students, and am able to support them so that they can achieve success. This includes always trying to be very positive and using targets to show progression. I also support students through my knowledge of exam technique. No two lessons will be the same as each student is unique and has different requirements. I always try to display my own passion for the subject in lessons which often tends to rub off on the learner. I have an expert understanding of the expectations and requirements for public exams, and have been an examiner for various subjects for AQA since 2007.
I have worked with over 150 tutees, please see below for a snapshot of my tuition experience:
I have worked with around 25 students in preparation for the 7+ exams, with students going on to secure places at top schools including St Paul’s Juniors, KCS, Kensington Prep, City of London Girls’, Dulwich Prep, Norland Place, Newton Prep, Hendon Prep, and Latymer. At this age I find that building confidence is key to helping students prepare and make strong progress in what are often short periods of time. Please see below for a selection of students that I have worked with at this level:
7+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with Andrews on all areas of his 7+ skills, particularly focusing on his confidence and on making the lessons fun. He went on to receive an offer from his first choice school KCS, and is getting on very well.
7+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with Sophie in the final 6 months ahead of her 7+ exams for Kensington Prep. Sophie needed to fine tune her English and maths skills, and gain confidence with her exam technique and familiarity of the tests. I am pleased to report that Sophie passed her assessments and secured a place at Kensington Prep.
7+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with Katie for a full year ahead of her 7+ assessments, starting with her near the beginning of Year 1. Katie was lacking in confidence, and there were some significant gaps in her maths and English skills, such as her times tables and creative writing. I helped to boost Katie’s confidence by building up levels of questions during lessons, starting with ones she knew the answer to, and gradually increasing the difficulty. This helped Katie to feel as though she was capable of doing much more, rather than focusing her attention straight away on the areas she couldn’t tackle alone. Katie was successful in securing a place at City of London Girls’ School.
7+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I am currently working with John towards his assessments for Dulwich Prep. John is a bright student, but can make silly mistakes and this can knock his confidence. We are working through past papers together to help fine tune John’s skills ahead of the tests in January.
7+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with this student for a the year in the build up to his 7+ exam for St Paul’s Juniors. He was successful and gained a place.
Year 2 Maths and English: James was finding the material being taught at school too easy and was getting bored and restless in class. We worked on more advanced material for his age in Maths and English and he clearly demonstrated that he was a bright child. We found fun ways to learn which kept him occupied for longer periods of time. He has now been moved up a year at school and is doing well.
8+ and 9+ – I have worked with over 15 students for the the 8+ and 9+ entrance exams. Of these 8 have been preparing for the 8+ exams, and I am pleased to say that all secured places at their preferred schools: St. Paul’s Junior (1), Dulwich College (3), Hill House School (1), Notting Hill Prep (2) and Knightsbridge School (1). Please see a selection of these students below:
8+ Preparation (Maths, English, Reasoning) – support for Elly ahead of her 8+ exams for Knightsbridge school. She was successful in securing a place.
8+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with this student last year for 8 months in the build-up to his exams for St Pauls Juniors. He gained a place and is doing very well.
8+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with Rupert in the build-up to his exams for Dulwich college. He lacked confidence in his answers, but through our work this built up, and he was offered at place.
8+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): I worked with Paul, who particularly struggled with Maths, for the year in the build-up to his exams. He grew in confidence hugely, and is now getting on very well at his first choice school, Dulwich college.
9+ Preparation (English, Maths, Reasoning) – I worked with Tamika for several months in the run up to her 9+ exams, helping her to gain confidence with the exam papers and questions. I am pleased to report that Tamika secured a place at Notting Hill Prep.
Year 3 Maths (dyscalculia) – I worked with a Year 3 student to help them develop more confidence with their maths. They struggled particularly due to their dyscalculia – with this I find that a fun and relaxed learning environment helps to take the fear out of the tuition.
Year 4 Maths: I worked with Rebecca for a year as she progressed through Year 4 at school. Rebecca had a tendency to rush her work too much and not take enough time to read through questions. This was causing her to make careless mistakes, and her low marks were affecting her confidence. Together we worked to help Rebecca to slow down and take her time with her maths. Over the course of our lessons together I saw Rebecca’s confidence grow enormously, and her grades shot up.
Year 4 Maths (dyscalculia) – Regular support for a student in Year 4 to help them progress with their maths. Due to their dyscalculia, I approached lessons from a variety of different angles, making sure to take extra time with them going through topics multiple times to help the concepts sink in.
10+ and 11+ Preparation – Over the course of my tutoring career I have worked with over 30 students in preparation for the 10+ and 11+, and have seen my students secure places at top schools such as St. Paul’s Girls’ School, North London Collegiate, City of London Boys, NHEH, Godolphin and Latymer, UCS, Haberdasher Aske Boys, Dulwich College, Henrietta Barnet Grammar School, Latymer, Maidstone Grammar, Dartford Grammar, King’s Rochester and King’s Canterbury. I have also helped prepare students of this age for online tests, such as the ISEB pre-tests. For these students we focused on online practice and strategies, along with specialised materials to help students prepare for the variation and time constraints of an online test. Some examples of my students are below:
10+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): Ongoing support for a boy preparing for the 10+ exams for City of London boys in January 2018. We are focusing on paper practise and on building his confidence.
10+ City of London boys – In recent years I have supported at least 5 students in preparation for the 10+ City of London exams. All of them have been successful in passing and securing offers.
11+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR) – Online: I am working with a student weekly online to help her prepare for her Henrietta Barnett exams.
11+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): Priya, Year 5, required weekly tutoring (1 hour a week) for exam entrance preparation for St Paul’s Girls School and Henrietta Barnet Grammar. Her weaker area was her writing skills, we practiced this immensely and found exciting topics to write about. Using specific strategies, such as mnemonics, to help recall key points to consider when writing (e.g. MAFS, metaphors, alliteration, feelings and similes), Priya improved greatly in this area. She successfully gained entry into both schools and decided on St. Paul’s Girls’ School.
11+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): Charlie, Year 5, had regular tutoring of 1 hour a week (and extra hours of tuition during school holidays) over the space of one year. The aim was to prepare him for the 11+ entrance exam for Latymer. Charlie showed great enthusiasm and definitely appeared to enjoy the challenge. He initially had difficulty reading through material slowly and thoroughly. However, he made much progress through, support, encouragement and regular exam practice. He successfully gained entry into Latymer and kept in touch to let me know how much he was enjoying his time at the school.
11+ Preparation (Maths, English, VR and NVR): Fiona, Year 5, had regular weekly tutoring for one year to prepare her for the 11+ exams for Maidstone Grammar and Dartford Grammar. She was initially lacking in confidence in her maths ability. However, throughout her tutoring sessions, she managed to overcome this challenge. This was through teaching her suitable techniques that assisted her in understanding mathematical concepts and having regular exam practice. Fiona successfully gained entry into both of these schools and decided to attend Maidstone Grammar.
KS1 English- I have worked with over 20 students for KS1 English. I find at this stage learning should be as fun as possible while still implementing successful teaching, whether it be on grammar, phonics, writing etc.
KS1 English- Joanna had weekly lessons to assist her reading and writing ability. She enjoyed the lessons and showed a marked improvement in all areas of English after five sessions.
KS1 English- John had regular lessons for about 1 year as he was not enjoying English at school and as a result his reading and writing level was falling behind his peers. I managed to make lessons engaging and after a few sessions he was starting to show a new liking for the subject. He gradually improved in English overall.
KS2 English- I have supported over 25 students for the 11+ entrance exams in English for various selective and non-selective schools. (Please see above for examples)
KS3 English – Weekly support for Simone who needed additional support in particular with her writing and comprehension skills. She lacked confidence in English and we worked together to help her feel brave enough to have a go and put her ideas to paper.
KS3 English – Charles and I worked regularly together to help bring his overall English levels up to a higher standard. After some focused work his ability began to make significant improvements, and he is now working well.
GCSE English Language- I have successfully tutored over 25 students taking this course (all exam boards). Through my lessons I encourage students to develop and improve their ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both reading comprehension and writing. In addition, they learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. We also practice and improve exam technique including the use of past papers.
GCSE English Language-Joseph had regular weekly lessons over a period of 6 months to improve his writing and comprehension skills. He would make simple mistakes in his writing and it was apparent that he was having difficulty completing a comprehension within the allocated time frame. We worked on improving his ability to write and understand material quicker and over time this steadily improved. Joseph achieved his target grade (9).
GCSE English Language-Kai had regular weekly lessons a few months before his exams. He was already on a solid grade 7 and just needed some extra help to reach a grade 9. We worked mainly on exam technique using past papers and other exam style questions. This involved making sure that writing was clear of punctuation mistakes and that all literary techniques could be correctly identified within written texts and comprehensions as well as making sure that questions were understood. Kai was successful in achieving his target grade.
GCSE English Language-Veronica was studying GCSE English Language privately as a home schooling student. We had 4 hours of lessons each week over 12 months. We covered the entire specification including, reading, writing, comprehension, literary techniques and exam practice. Lessons were engaging and allowed Veronica to learn in her own unique style which was more visual. Veronica gained a grade 9.
GCSE English Literature- I have successfully tutored (all exam boards) over 25 students in this course. Throughout the lessons we analyse the different texts and discuss/ revise the themes, character and literary technique. These works are also reviewed in the social and cultural contexts in which they were written. In addition, students will focus on how to write literary essays, and there will be considerable focus on past papers in order to facilitate a better understanding of the texts, to improve essay writing skills and of course, to best prepare the students for the examinations.
GCSE English Literature-Sam had weekly lessons for about 6 months prior to his GCSE English Literature exams. We worked on understanding the deeper themes of the texts as well as applying these to the cultural context. We also practiced understanding the use and purpose of various literary techniques used by the writers as this was one of Sam’s weaknesses. Sam managed to improve in confidence in this area and he successfully gained a grade 9.
GCSE English Literature-Rebecca needed assistance with exam technique for GCSE English Literature as she would be confident in knowing the correct material but tended to stumble during exam conditions. We worked on various styles of exam questions and on timing. Rebecca began to improve and was extremely happy to achieve her target grade (9).
GCSE English Literature-Pedro was struggling with his GCSE English Literature course as he had gained a grade 3 in his recent mock exam. He had weekly one hour lessons for 4 months before his examinations. We worked from the grass roots up, tackling basic punctuation and grammar first, and then reading and understanding the texts thoroughly. We progressed onto writing techniques and sentence structure and finally worked through past papers. Pedro managed to improve greatly and gained a grade 8 in the exam.
GCSE Psychology and Sociology – I have extensive experience with teaching the
GCSE Psychology and Sociology curriculums through my teaching experience in the classroom and one-to-one. I am familiar with all relevant exam boards for these two subjects at this level.
A-Level Psychology and Sociology (AQA): I have extensive experience of teaching these subjects at A level in the classroom and one-to-one. I am familiar with all exam boards and am an examiner for both subjects.
A Level Psychology & Sociology- Sarah (Year 13) required regular tuition sessions for A-Level Psychology (AQA/A) and Sociology (AQA) as she was unable to study these subjects at her school. We had 8 hours of tuition per week, spaced over one academic year. Sarah gained much confidence over the tutoring period, she was able to grasp psychological and sociological concepts with ease and developed a thorough understanding of relevant theories and research. Sarah demonstrated much enthusiasm for both subjects and after achieving an A* in
Sociology and a grade A in Psychology she successfully gained entry into UCL to study a BSc in Psychology. She is now studying for a PhD at UCL.
A-Level Psychology (AQA/A): Joshua was in Year 13 and required weekly tuition as he was struggling with evaluation and research methods. He had gained a grade D in his mock exam at school and was somewhat concerned. After regular tutoring, he was able to increase in his confidence – particularly in his ability to evaluate exam answers. I taught him simple ways to break down and understand all of the evaluation research so that it was not overwhelming. He also improved greatly in his ability to answer research methods questions by developing his application to knowledge techniques. Joshua gained a grade A in psychology and after a gap year, is studying Psychology at the University of Manchester.
IB Psychology – I have successfully taught IB Psychology (HL and SL) to over 20 students. This has included Mary. I worked with her on her exam technique and psychological knowledge and she gained a grade 7. In addition, Phillipe, gained a grade 7 after regular weekly lessons with me.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Psychology- I have successfully tutored over 30 degree level Psychology students, in various topics, including Social and Political Psychology. I worked with Matthew who was completing a BSc in Psychology at UCL and after tuition lessons, gained a 1st in his degree. In addition, I worked with Tabitha who was at LSE completing an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology. We worked on the structure and writing of assignments and research methods. She gained a Distinction.
A-Level Sociology (AQA): Ash had weekly tutoring for about 7 months, preparing him for the A-Level Sociology exams. His weak area was exam technique. Having shown him a suitable exam technique strategy for writing sociological essays his confidence improved. He was able to demonstrate his understanding of the relevant sociological theories with ease. He gained a Grade A in Sociology and has been accepted at LSE to study Economics.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Sociology- I have successfully worked with over 25 degree level students for Sociology.
SEN dyslexia – I have worked with many students with dyslexia, in both a classroom and a one to one setting.
Hobbies and Interests
I love to read, and have a particular interest in feminist literature and literature relevant to Psychology as well as classic novels (I am currently reading ‘The Selfish Capitalist’ by Oliver James). I also have a passion for nutrition and love to discover new healthy recipes and how to keep the body and mind healthy. What is more, I love yoga and have a keen interest in fashion.
“Jessica is an excellent tutor, who assisted my daughter with 11 + preparation. She was professional and created interesting and suitable lessons. Her knowledge of the 11 + exam requirements was very good and my daughter succeeded in gaining entry into her chosen schools, Godolphin and Latymer and St Paul’s Girls.” Maria
“Jessica tutored me in A level Psychology. I found her lessons very interesting and extremely helpful. I was able to fully grasp psychological material that I was having difficulty understanding previously and was successful in gaining a grade A. She really knows her stuff!” Joshua
“Jessica tutored my son Roberto for the 7+ for Dulwich Prep. Her lessons were totally focused on what was required for the entrance exams, but taught in an enjoyable way for my son to understand. Roberto used to look forward to the lessons and successfully gained entry into Dulwich Prep.” Marissa
“Jessica helped my son immensely to achieve his desired grade in GCSE English Language. She was extremely professional and definitely seemed to have very good subject knowledge.” Roma
“Jessica is tutoring my daughter in GCSE English Literature and we are very happy with the progress that she has made in the last few months. She not only has more confidence in the subject but she also enjoys it much more.” Mary
“I had tuition for about 8 months with Jessica for both A level Psychology and A level Sociology. I found her way of teaching really useful and understood everything that she explained. I gained an A* in both subjects.” Rachel.
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