‘We are very happy with Joe. He is friendly, dedicated and always on time... Joe successfully motivates my son to engage more in the lesson and helps him to overcome his weaknesses. He also gives us regular detailed reports about the lessons which are highly appreciated. As we have already seen improvements in my son's marks at school, my daughter will start her lessons with Joe next month too!’
Mrs X, Year 6 Tuition
2011 – 2014 Guildhall School of Music and Drama – MA (with Distinction) Acting
2008 – 2011 University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College – BA (Hons) 2.1 – English Language and Literature
2001 – 2008 Reading School: A-Levels: English Literature (A), French (A), Drama and Theatre Studies (A)
2001 – 2008 Reading School: AS-Levels: English Literature (A), French (A), Drama and Theatre Studies (A), History (A), Critical Thinking (B)
2001 – 2008 Reading School: 11 GCSEs: Drama (A*), English (A*), English Literature (A*), French (A*), History (A*), Latin (A*), Religious Studies (A*), Mathematics (A), Biology (A), Chemistry (B), Physics (B).
Over the last three years, I have gained considerable experience of tutoring English at a variety of ages, including 11+, 13+, GCSE and A-Level exams. Though English is my speciality, I support students in all aspects of the 11+/13+ Entry process, including Maths, and I have experience of supporting students with other subjects up to Year 9 including Science, French, History and Drama.
I’m a friendly and inspiring tutor; I firmly believe that private tuition can be one of the most enriching and enjoyable forms of learning. A personal approach to tuition is key, and I always take time to ensure my students feel empowered to develop, and that we are always working towards their specific targets.
In addition to tutoring, I work as an actor and writer, currently based in London. I studied English at Oxford University, before graduating with a Master’s Degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Having had a tutor myself, I know the transformative impact a few hours of one-to-one time can have on a student’s confidence and progress.
Most students need a little bit of time, attention and encouragement. I make my lessons as active and focused as possible, so that the student progresses in confidence and ability. Making a difficult subject more fun – working out the way in for a particular student and then seeing them unlock a subject and develop a real enthusiasm for it – is a privilege and a joy, and the result I always hope to achieve with my students.
Please see below for a snapshot of my recent tutoring experience.
I’m currently working with around 9 different students, including several preparing for A-Level and GCSE English exams, and four students currently sitting or preparing for 11+/13+ exams in 2020, and one Year 3 student being home-schooled.
I’m delighted that several of my students have enjoyed our lessons so much that they have recommended me to others, or, in the case of one family who’s son I have been working with over the last year, I am now also supporting his sister with her lessons.
In terms of 11+/13+ exams, I’ve helped students prepare for entry exams to schools including Highgate, Dulwich, Alleyns, St Paul’s, KCS, Caterham School, St Benedict’s, and Westminster.
In Maths, I help students revise key topics and firm up their method – often the trick is explaining and practising a topic the student finds challenging in terms that he or she can understand. The key with Maths is always practise and patience, as it is very easy for students to feel they are being ‘left behind’ in class. A little bit of time working at a slower pace has produced real improvements in each of my students, and with those for whom Maths is a stronger subject, we spend more time on firming up Exam Technique.
A lot of work in English at 11+/13+ focuses on Comprehension; this is an area where I’ve found students often feel unsure of what is expected of them. I make sure they have a lot of practice and that we build up their technique; so that they feel ready to tackle any question. We also work on Creative Writing; which combines building up a student’s confidence in their imagination and their ability to sustain ideas with improving their vocabulary and general reading skill. There is nothing quite like seeing a student making a breakthrough with English – whether it is suddenly finding that they can tackle challenging questions with confidence, or watching the cogs click into place so they can write brilliant stories or essays, using the techniques we have worked on.
Earlier in 2018, I helped two students prepare intensively for their English GCSEs: both of them had very limited time to work with a tutor, so I made sure we targeted the key areas they needed to focus on, and I was pleased to see them both making huge progress in their essay writing skills.
11+ Exam Preparation. Following our lessons, going through all aspects of the exam and focusing particularly on English where the student was severely lacking in confidence, I was delighted to hear the student received an offer from Caterham School, his first choice.
Year 5 English and Maths – weekly lessons with a student throughout the summer term. Having struggled to keep up in class, it’s been wonderful to see this student make considerable progress this term and take more and more pride in his work.
Hobbies and Interests
I’m an actor and writer based in London. I have just completed a successful tour of a production, including a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I also run a theatre company, which has produced a number of new plays, including two plays I have written.
‘We are very happy with Joe. He is friendly, dedicated and always on time… Joe successfully motivates my son to engage more in the lesson and helps him to overcome his weaknesses. He also gives us regular detailed reports about the lessons which are highly appreciated.
As we have already seen improvements in my son’s marks at school, my daughter will start her lessons with Joe next month too!’
“Joe has been excellent with our son and I would thoroughly recommend him. Our son chose English as he couldn’t think of anything else and thought it would be relatively easy having done well at GCSE level. I was concerned about how a tutor would feel working with someone who isn’t very motivated but Joe managed to re-engage him by encouraging and tapping into the bits our son is good at and working with him on the trickier aspects. His confidence has grown and he’s spending more time on his work – with higher quality work and higher grades as a result.
Joe has been patient and persevering! He’s spent time preparing specific notes to help on certain topics aligned to what the school has been doing. What has particularly impressed me is that he has clearly taken time to adapt his approach to our son’s specific character and learning style. In his recent mock exams, he said that everything he wrote was “thanks to Joe” so thank you Joe!” Candida Harris, on-going A-Level English lessons with Isaac
“Joe is a very inspiring, knowledgeable tutor, with a fantastic work ethic: enthusiastic, patient, caring and with a very thoughtful approach to teaching. He has great flair not only for understanding his students’ learning needs and potential but also for knowing how to encourage them to see beyond their perceived limits. His lessons are effective, very engaging and fun and he has been really good with providing my son with exciting work suitable for his advanced understanding and abilities level. Having a child who is homeschooled I’ve met quite a few lovely tutors but I can definitely state that Joe’s enthusiasm and love of teaching, his exceptional knowledge of the texts, and his thoughtfulness and professional integrity really set him apart. We’re truly very happy to have found him” Susie Howitt, Year 10 English lessons with Alex
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