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Leia

"Leia not only helped my daughter do fantastically in her GCSE Chemistry and Maths but quelled her anxiety around exams all together. My daughter now finds Leia a great help in planning essays for her A-level coursework and doesn't feel so overwhelmed in doing them. Thank you Leia!"

Parent of GCSE Chemistry and Maths Student

  • 11+

  • 13 +

  • 7+/8+

  • A Level

  • GCSE

  • Maths

  • Science

Academic History

MA Social Anthropology – SOAS, University of London

BA Psychology Major and Environmental Science Major – McGill University – GPA 3.71/4.00

A Levels: Maths (A), Biology (A), Psychology (A)

GCSEs: Maths (A*), English Language (A), English Literature (A), Physics (A), Chemistry (A), Biology (A*), Religious Studies (A), Art (A), French (A), Food Technology (A*)

About Me

My overarching goal in tutoring is to make learning a fun and motivating experience for children and young people. I have experienced and been witness to so much angst and struggle in trying to reach one’s potential in an academic setting and if I can make that process easier for someone, I absolutely will.

My tutoring style facilitates the learning style of my tutees in that prior to any lessons I ask questions that will reveal how my students like to learn and their general interests. I can then create analogies and parallels that make our lessons engaging even when the subject isn’t something they particularly enjoy.

My techniques and methodologies are always evolving thanks to the diverse range of students that exist and my ever evolving understanding of teaching. That being said I have found that learning information in small bites followed by lots of practice questions utilising exam format as well as more practical applications of information really helps students in capturing the knowledge they’re trying to gain. I also often ask students to teach me information that they’ve learned and structure questions themselves to offer another way of processing knowledge that help in its commission to memory.

I do like to organise a lesson beforehand and to ensure that it’s suitable to the student I’ll ask for preliminary information and shift my tactics as I get to know the student more. Flexibility within lessons is something I also pride myself on, as someone who has tutored for quite some time I do have the knowledge and experience to shift on my feet to accommodate a student’s wishes if my lesson plan hasn’t quite managed to capture them.

Recent tuition

I have prepared students for entry to schools including Marlborough College, Eton College, Sevenoaks School, Brighton College, Kings International College and Westminster School at 11+, 13+ and 16+. I have also prepared students for entry to Alleyn’s Junior School and JAGS at the 9+ level, i.e. entry into year 5. In respect to Further Education I have tutored students in personal essay writing for entry into Cornell University, University of British Columbia, Stanford University and Toronto University.

Pre-school English

I worked with R and S, who were two and four for over four months. They both found comprehension hard and there were certain words that were under the development average. I tried to engage them both with any activities that they were interested in, to try and improve their understanding and add to their vocabulary. R and S were both interested in animals so we went to the farm together, and I took them on dog walks to learn new words along the way. They really improved over time and they both have a lot more confidence now.

7+ English and Maths

Whilst tutoring M, quite a shy student, I focused on her ability to confidently and eloquently talk about her interests and answer verbal comprehension questions common at 7+. In doing so we engaged in role play, and used some of her favourite books to imbue our lessons with a sense of fun and ease to grow M’s confidence. To further improve on her reading and writing abilities M and I produced children’s books to assist in creative writing, spelling and vocabulary. We further utilised this project to improve her maths skills by creating profit/manufacturing cost spreadsheets alongside more standard 7+ style mathematics questions to keep our lessons fun but equally fruitful for M’s exams. Ultimately she was accepted into her family’s first choice school – Highgate School.

9+ School Year Science Preparation

S came to tutoring feeling very self-conscious about his English skills and how they would affect his study in Science. My task was therefore to build his English Science lexicon in conjunction with providing him with a better knowledge base to start the school year off to a great start. Over a few months of experiments and plenty of visual and tactile tutoring lessons, S remained engaged whilst growing an expansive Science vocabulary for his age and demonstrated rich knowledge in the subject during our progress tests. S is excelling at school and continues to enjoy Science thoroughly.

11+ Entrance

C had always been a diligent student but tended to underperform in exam conditions due to stress. My task was thus to build her confidence, exam technique and her maths, English and reasoning abilities to ensure entry into her chosen school, Alleyn’s. To achieve this goal I structured lessons to mimic exam conditions in question design and time constraints in conjunction with more relaxed mental maths and spoken English exam style questions to demonstrate to the student her already expansive knowledge. C reported feeling much calmer during her exams and subsequently performed excellently, not only securing a place but a scholarship that she has maintained following a successful year at Alleyn’s.

Eton List Test and interview preparation

A was clearly an intelligent student and displayed a lot of general and political knowledge, far exceeding that of someone his age, i.e. 12 years old. A however, struggled with exams which posed a particular challenge when it came to senior school applications. In preparing the student for his Eton exams, a key focus was in developing his skills in working under pressure. The stage 2 Eton test is one that requires critical and lateral thinking in a time-sensitive, pressurised situation that isn’t necessarily cultivated in prep school education. By going through various example questions and developing a technique for each section of the test, A and I worked to increase his processing to ultimately complete more advanced tests than the Eton assessment in adequate time. In preparing for a more challenging test, A wouldn’t be blind-sided and panic in a test environment as is so easy to do.

In preparing for the interview A and I cultivated his already existing interests and discussed how they could be scaled up and down to accommodate the kinds of school-and-education-specific and society-concerned questions that do often come up in the Eton interview. Not only did this interview prep help secure A a place at Eton, but it also helped him feel motivated and excited in schooling, and more focused in his interests which has had great benefits in his schooling and hobbies to date.

13+ CAT4 Entrance Exam Preparation

A required help in preparing for his 13+ CAT4 entrance tests, particularly in question technique and time management. In achieving this goal, A and I reviewed my personally derived drill questions and mock timed tests I’d created to set up an environment that mirrored those under the test. Our focus during these sessions was in developing a formula to answer each question in under a minute, given the time constraints, which scored him entrance into every one of his chosen schools.

T.N. 13+ Mid-Year Entry – St Paul’s

T suffered from anxiety around the prospect of entering a new school mid-year which was directed towards his interview. Working with T therefore required plenty of interview practice and emotion-regulation techniques so that he could put his best foot forward as uninhibited as possible. I used the previous year’s interviews and written assessment questions as a basis for lessons with some elevated material to reflect the Year 9 curriculum that would have already been covered by his chosen school of St Paul’s Boys, in conjunction with expanding T’s general knowledge and curiosity as is often observed during interviews. T was accepted into St Paul’s and has integrated very well both socially and academically!

16+ CAT4 Entrance Exam Preparation

I began tutoring M in preparation for his upcoming 16+ CAT4 entrance test to several top independent boarding schools. M had no familiarity with the test structure nor the standard question styles. Our task, therefore, was to drill various CAT4 question styles before turning our focus to the speed at which the questions were answered. In using practice tests and drill questions I personally developed, M found his assessments to be easy and even stated the drill questions we had practised to be exceptionally similar to those in the assessment. Ultimately, M gained entrance into every school of his choosing, two of which with a scholarship.

M.S. Year 9 Entry – Sevenoaks School

M is an extremely outgoing student but needed to expand her vocabulary and scope of knowledge to be fully prepared for her interview. M also struggled with answering written English assessment questions concisely but performed well in her maths papers. To tackle these areas for growth M and I conducted reflexive interviews in which she would self-regulate her answers to questions given my feedback, although this tactic may make some students self-conscious, M is so outgoing she felt no risk of anxiety. To improve M’s English we worked on verbal comprehensions and answer planning to help focus her responses which proved very fruitful. M ultimately was accepted into Sevenoaks and is performing excellently in her GCSE preparation.

GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics

I.O. came to tutoring with a despondency in his abilities in the sciences that reinforced his poor attention during school classes. Over an intensive tutoring program through the summer holidays before his GCSE year, I utilised proactive learning through experiments, applying the required knowledge in ways that aligned with I.O.’s interests to generate improvements in his grades that motivated him to improve his work ethic and excel further. By the end of the summer, I.O. was achieving higher grades in the sciences than he ever had before and was eager to build on his knowledge during his final GCSE year.

SEN GCSE Maths and English

Despite English GCSE subjects being those that I have less expertise in, it was really important to me that several SEN students that had been excluded from school be able to access future opportunities through the essential GCSEs. O in particular did not complete any GCSEs but thanks to our mutual dedication and my diligent and engaging lesson plans, she went from zero GCSEs to receiving 8’s and 9’s in Maths, English Language and English Literature. This result was mainly due to the focus being on her mental health during the time we spent together, having suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. The skills I helped O gain in conjunction with workbooks I’d created meant she then took Science, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs achieving 9s. O is now studying at university which has opened up a world of opportunity she thought previously unavailable to her. I couldn’t be more proud of O.

16+ Science, Geography, and Maths Papers

I’ve worked with K at many points over the past 3 years both in intermittent topic support but most recently in preparing for entrance exams to several schools including Brighton College and Sevenoaks School. K, although a bright student, struggled with Biology and Chemistry specifically and required special attention in this area. Through active engagement practices and actually applying subject knowledge in a variety of creative ways K quickly became adept at the sample entrance papers I’d created. K recalled feeling confident both before and after her examinations.

AS Level Maths

I worked with N for several months at a time over the course of a year in preparation for his AS-Level maths course and for his mock exams in the subject. N was an already high-performing student in respect to his grades and would be able to adopt formulaic work very quickly. His issue was in layering and conceptualising the array of maths knowledge he had together to be able to tackle creative questions and build on the GCSE knowledge as the A-Level course requires. To rectify this, I would break exam questions down to basics to demonstrate why exactly one performs certain formulas and routines, so that N would actually understand the maths as opposed to initiating a sequence that would be troubled by any deviation from a “standard” topic question. N subsequently found maths a joy again and achieved high 9s in his mock examinations.

A Level Further Maths

O was an already diligent Year 12 student achieving high grades but felt he could push himself a little further to achieve A*s safely in all his papers. By focusing on challenging exam questions that involve plenty of lateral thinking O continued to develop his skills in mathematics. To further support O in preparing for his exams I provided him with a variety of problems to practice in his own time at even more challenging levels than would be expected at this stage; these questions compiled skills from mechanics, pure maths and statistics in order to develop the creativity required to achieve top marks. O achieved A* grades across all of his papers and continues to excel in his Year 13 course.

A-Level Biology

I began tutoring F in the summer prior to starting her biology A Level course. F thoroughly enjoyed her GCSE course and had done well in her exams but felt anxious about the jump to A Level as she’d heard it was quite significant. We started working together by linking all the GCSE topics she’d covered with areas in the A-Level course she’d be learning about. We identified the key differences in what was required of her exam technique and also in the new detail brought to the syllabus. By doing this the A Level syllabus became a lot easier to manage given my teaching technique of integrating topics not only within the A Level syllabus with each other,  but with the GCSE material. I still tutor F and she continues to perform really well in her mock exams and topic tests.

University Entrance Essays

Working with C was an absolute pleasure. She was obviously an exceptionally bright student but struggled to create a narrative within her essays that conveyed her dedication, knowledge and excitement about her chosen programmes at Cornell and Stanford University. Through several sessions, C and I worked collaboratively to construct an essay framework that could be used to articulate her ideas in both these applications and for other essays she will be sure to right in the future. C received offers to both universities and is thoroughly enjoying her course with the same dedication and excitement she brought to the applications.

Hobbies and Interests

I love to learn new things, specifically those that are quite challenging initially. During the pandemic I learnt to sew and make clothing which is something I’ve continued to do. I’ve recently been trying to imbue my sewing work with concepts I have been learning during my masters degree to create an intellectualised artistic project that helps me to engage with knowledge in new ways as I encourage my students to do.

I also thoroughly enjoy reading and have a particular interest in mental health in young people and children from an anthropological perspective. My interest and knowledge in this field led me to create education programs as a support worker that assisted several young people in achieving impressive GCSE grades after having been excluded from school.

Like many people I do have quite an exhaustive range of interests but their importance to tutoring is that I am eager to tangentially relate skills and information to make the learning process even more fun and engaging for both myself and the young people and children I’m working with!

Testimonials

“It all seems so easy now!”

GCSE Maths Student

“Leia not only helped my daughter do fantastically in her GCSE chemistry and maths but quelled her anxiety around exams all together. My daughter now finds Leia a great help in planning essays for her A-level coursework and doesn’t feel so overwhelmed in doing them. Thank you Leia!”

Parent of GCSE Chemistry and Maths Student

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