"Lyndsay has been an excellent Biology, Chemistry and Physics tutor for my son. He has Aspergers and suffers with anxiety, but Lyndsay has been patient, flexible and creative in the way she approaches his lessons. She clearly loves the sciences and is able to explain quite difficult concepts enthusiastically and clearly. I have recommended her to friends and would happily recommend her to others."
GCSE Science Tuition
Senior School Entrance
South West Teacher Training, PGCE Science with Chemistry, QTS 09/2012 – 07/2013
Bournemouth University, BSc Forensic and Crime Scene Science, 2.1, 09/2007 – 07/2010
Forest Training Centre, NVQ level two in Horsecare, Pass, 06/2005 – 08/2008
My specialist subjects are Science and Mathematics up to A-level. I also teach English, History, and Geography to GCSE and iGCSE students. I teach all my lessons online, using Google Chat and Meet. We can talk, type and send images to each other during the session and share screens to see what the other person is doing. This is particularly useful when a younger student is learning a new skill on the computer. Part of the first session is about using these features so the student feels confident. I combine this with Bitpaper, an online whiteboard, to make the lessons more interactive.
I love being able to help my students to succeed in whatever they wish to do, particularly if they face learning challenges that make it more difficult for them. During my period as a full-time teacher, I discovered my ability to connect with these students and help them get past the barriers they face to learn effectively. I have since developed my skills in this area to support various challenges. These challenges include Dyslexia, Social Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Dyscalculia, ODD, Depression, Dyspraxia, ADHD, and Autistic Spectrum Disorders, including PDA.
I am a friendly person and do my best to ensure my students feel relaxed with me so that they can ask questions and make mistakes without fear. At the same time, it is important to set realistic goals they can achieve in one session and through a course of sessions to help them reach their academic potential. Every student learns differently, and therefore, I am very flexible in my tutoring, offering different ways of teaching to suit individual students and ensure they feel confident in their knowledge. This may include visualising tricky topics, using an audio recording to set homework, or learning an essay topic. I am open with my students about this and encourage them to tell me when they find a technique very beneficial to their learning or if they find something that does not work for them at all.
Many students feel great pressure to perform well academically, and I aim to support them in their goals without letting the pressure become too much. I offer advice on dealing with anxiety and maintaining a balance between school and home life. I want them to enjoy all aspects of their learning.
I have been tutoring since 2015, supporting students from five years old up to those preparing for University courses. This includes students who are Gifted and Talented in their subjects and those suffering from medical conditions which make full time education inaccessible. I also work with students with a range of learning difficulties and families who are home educating.
Please find below a snapshot of my tuition experience.
At the time, the student was four and preparing to start primary school. She needed a boost in her confidence due to an injury which meant having months off school leaving her feeling behind her peers. We played learning games to improve her memory and developed her literacy by reading stories and then asking her to tell me some facts from them. We spent time practising conversations to ensure she felt confident in talking to adults as well as her peers. She was able to go into mainstream school full time and is improving in leaps and bounds.
This Autistic student was fascinated with their body but was expressing this in an inappropriate way, so their parent asked me to teach them more about themselves and the differences between male and female bodies. We also covered the importance of personal space with regards to our bodies. We completed a number of projects, each focused on a different aspect such as how the digestive system works. These sessions allowed the student to ask the many questions they had in a safe setting and taught them what was appropriate in a social setting. This has helped to avoid some of the awkward situations they were getting into and has prevented trouble at school with other students.
I worked with this student to help them prepare for secondary school. They struggled with Dyspraxia and found organising an answer to comprehension questions impossible at the start. We worked on a method of breaking down pieces of text and identifying key points in each section. Then we discussed why they were important. Once the student was happy with this, we used the discussion points to structure their answers. They found this method very helpful and their writing improved over the six week period. This student also had speech difficulties due to verbal Dyspraxia so the discussion helped them practise expressing themselves. I also encouraged them to improve social conversations which they found challenging.
KS3 Gifted and Talented
This student was working above the level of their peers and was starting to misbehave in class because they were bored. I was engaged to go deeper into the subject and teach more complicated topics so that they could be moved up a year in the school without feeling overwhelmed. After six weeks of summer tuition, they started the new school year one class above their peers and began to excel with no further behaviour problems. I have recently heard from the family that they successfully completed their GCSEs a year ahead and achieved the grades they had been hoping for.
This student started with me when his family began homeschooling due to extreme bullying occurring at school. He is very anxious about getting things wrong and requires lots of reassurance that what he is saying and doing is correct. We are studying the era before 1066 at the moment and he is gaining in confidence to the point that he feels he can tell me if he doesn’t understand a piece of information, which is a huge step forward!
GCSE Science and Maths
I began working with this student last spring to help him prepare for his GCSEs. He has had multiple wrist surgeries and struggles with chronic pain and fatigue. He had hoped to postpone his exams until he was recovered but this was not allowed so he gave up hope of any success. We have worked to build his confidence so that he feels he can achieve what he wants. This has meant proving to him that he can do something he was unsure about. Each week we pick a topic he is worried about, break it down into manageable chunks and then find out what he actually knows and learn about the rest. We practise exam questions on the topic until he feels he can cope with whatever is asked. We have an agreement that he can cancel last minute, or change the length of the session without making me annoyed with him, as this is something he is anxious about. I have a chronic pain condition so am also able to offer advice about how to manage his pain and fatigue. This may include suggestions about a computer mouse for more comfort, or a more supportive pillow position when his wrists are bad. As I studied anatomy and skeletal anthropology I am able to explain what is happening to his bones and how the surgery will work. When he received his results in August he was pleasantly surprised to have passed all his subjects with better than expected grades of B’s and C’s when he was predicted to achieve a D or E in each subject.
GCSE English and Maths
This student is severely Dyslexic but has not received a formal diagnosis or the correct support in school, which has left him feeling stupid. He reached the point of being excluded, so the school asked me to step in and work with him online so that they did not have to exclude him. They hoped he might be able to take some basic courses but said he was unlikely to achieve any GCSEs. I realised that he was very bright, but his fear of failure makes him reticent to say anything. We began to find things he could do, and I relayed them to his love of free-running so that he was confident in talking about it. Suddenly he was less confrontational, was completing homework for me and began to ask questions rather than pretending he understood. He passed GCSE Maths and English last summer with a grade C and I am incredibly proud of the progress he has made as a person and in his studies. He is now confidently working part time in a gym and is completing training to teach free running which he excels at.
GCSE Maths (Dyslexia, Autistic, Partially deaf, Anxiety disorder)
Henry had been working with another tutor but they could not cater to his needs so he switched half way through the GCSE course. Henry’s needs are complex so it took some work to find what suited him best. I discovered he has an aptitude for Maths, in that once you show him something, he can do it, but he was unable to recognise what a question was asking and did not know how to apply what he had been taught. I worked through many examples of questions, and taught him the phrases that would be linked to each type of question so that he can recognise them. Although partially deaf, he is an auditory learner, so we recorded voice files of the phrases for him to listen to. We completed many past papers to ensure that he could apply this.
We also practised timed challenges and I taught him how to calm himself under stress so that he could complete the challenges without panicking. He achieved a grade 7 in his GCSE which he is happy with and is moving forward to complete GCSE Accountancy next. He has learnt how to manage his anxiety and we are aiming for one exam in each series to ensure he doesn’t become overwhelmed but will complete his GCSEs by the time he reaches 16.
This student is passionate about History but feels she is unable to access her exams as her Dyspraxia makes it difficult for her to prepare a structured essay and write neatly for long periods of time. We work on each topic for several lessons, breaking the question into short phrases and studying each part separately. For example: what were the main events leading to World War One and how did this impact the different countries involved?
This is split into separate events, so that the student feels confident about the order. In this example, we then looked at all the countries involved in the war and researched whether each event had an impact on them. This research information was then used to help build an essay answer. We practise a variety of these questions. I also helped her to prepare for her school week. When she received her timetable, we made a plan of which books need to remain in her schoolbag and which need swapped in the evening to prepare for the next day. This plan is printed and kept where the schoolbag is kept, to help keep the student on track. We also prepared a homework schedule which she follows to avoid it being late.
16+ Maths and Science
I have worked with two students in preparation for the 16+ entry exams for independent school sixth forms. One was aiming for competitive Welsh independent schools, and the second for the top schools in Belfast. The latter was successful in gaining a place at Campbell College, one of Northern Ireland’s top schools.
AS Level Physics
This student is extremely bright and would like to read engineering at University next year. I work with him on Physics and Maths to make sure he has a deep understanding of both subjects and how they are connected. He was nervous about his exams last summer so we were working together four or five times a week depending on his exam schedule. He is able to ask me to cover a particular thing in each session and finish feeling like he ‘gets it’ now. He completed his AS exams with two A grades and is now taking the A-levels this year.
AS Level Chemistry
I began working with this student when she was preparing for her GCSEs and we are continuing throughout her A-levels. She is very anxious about her studies and feels that she is not good enough despite producing nine A grades and two B grades last year. I work to build her confidence by showing her that she can understand the topics and developing her use of equations until it becomes second nature. I stay in close contact with her parents about her mental health and have also offered advise to the school about her access arrangements for exams. I taught her mum how to make a weighted lap pad which she is now able to take into school for her exams.
A Level Maths and Science (Dyslexia)
This was a home-educated boy who had trouble in school and had switched to home education following a bad GCSE year. He struggled to visualise how to complete solutions to questions and didn’t know how to revise for Science or Maths.
In Maths, I worked through lots of examples of each type of question with him, drawing and writing out the steps and then formulating a step-by-step process for each type of question which he wrote on his flashcards. He found audio descriptions useful, so we made voice recordings describing the tricky solutions so he could listen to them and then try practice questions.
In Science, we also made flashcards, but he found mapping out how things were linked helpful as well so we used MindMup (a free mapping tool online) to show the different topics and the material in each topic. We also made audio files to go with these maps, discussing how the material was linked.
By the time he came around to his exams, he was completing mock papers by himself and meeting his target grade each time. He achieved B’s, instead of the C’s he required for University and was thrilled. He has been in touch since and told me that he uses these techniques in his University studies and is very grateful that he can apply them on his own.
This student completed GCSEs in England and then moved abroad and was required to continue their studies until 18, so they were enrolled in a selection of IB subjects. I supported them through IB maths (applications) to ensure they felt ready for the examinations. Their working memory was an issue, so we had to focus on making notes they could review and revise and write model answers to questions. Teaching the steps for solving equations helped them, so we made flashcards to refer to when completing homework for each section. At the end of their studies, the student had a comprehensive set of notes to support their revision and went on to pass their qualifications.
University level (Dyslexia)
This is an adult student who I work with periodically when they are writing coursework for their degree. They have Dyslexia and find writing essays difficult so we discuss the topic and prepare some notes. Then I read each draft of their work and offer advice about the layout, where to include quotes and references and ensure that their writing clearly demonstrates their knowledge of the topic. We are beginning work towards the dissertation to be presented next year.
Hobbies and Interests
I enjoy playing Guildball – a tabletop game with a mob football vibe, and since the pandemic I also play online with friends around the world. I have become a play tester for new rules and teams as they come out, which is great fun.
I have recently begun LARPing, which involves creating a fantasy character and roleplaying as them for the duration of the event while camping! Usually, there are sixty-seventy people camping together and I have found a great community of friends. I enjoy helping prepare “monsters” by doing their faceprint and organising costumes.
I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction books and my favourite author is Terry Pratchett, and he is always my first recommendation to anyone. I tend to read three or four books at a time and usually will have one academic fiction and one autobiographical on the go at once.
I want to develop my learning further, so have recently started a Masters in Special and Inclusive Education, which I aim to complete over the next there years as part-time study. I hope this will be interesting and relevant to my work.
I have three sausage dogs, Sizzle, Bernie and Neava, who keep me busy! Sizzle is keen to tutor and helps to settle some nervous students if they are feeling a little overwhelmed. We enjoy walks at our local country park and at the beach.
“Lyndsay was very good at explaining the concepts clearly and making sure that my son had understood what she had explained. Lyndsay was extremely flexible and happy to cover three subjects.”
Year 9 Science
“Thank you Lyndsay for your dedication and helping Jack through his GCSE science. His confidence and knowledge have grown so much since being introduced to you. Excellent one to one sessions have made a massive difference to his grasp in science and I would highly recommend you to any of my friends.”
“Lyndsay came highly recommended by our friends for our daughter, who is homeschooled. We are so thankful to have found her. Our daughter has dyslexia and so finding the right tutor for her was incredibly important. Lyndsay is patient, understanding and professional. Sophia continues to learn at her own pace, working towards her GCSEs. Sophia is thankful that she has a teacher that is always happy to answer any questions and uses a variety of learning aids to help her understanding.”
GCSE Maths and English Homeschooling