"Mark has done a fantastic job tutoring my boys – he had dramatically improved their attitude towards their studies, as well as their results."
Mrs J., GCSE English Tuition
Personal Statement Support
Senior School Entrance
2013-2016, University of Cambridge, BA Philosophy (1st)
2008-2013, King’s College Wimbledon, IB (45 points) including Philosophy HL, Psychology HL, English Literature HL, Biology SL, Mathematics SL, French SL
I have been a tutor since 2014, and specialise in supporting students with their University Applications, alongside providing English, Philosophy and IB Extended Essay tuition.
I believe that it is crucial to foster in young people a passion for the subjects which they are studying – if a student is intellectually engaged and stimulated by a subject, their results can dramatically improve. My primary goal when tutoring any child is to cultivate this academic engagement, by showing the relevance of that subject to their personal interests.
It is remarkable how much a student can improve their results and develop their confidence simply by becoming interested in their subjects – passion is a far more valuable tool than all the rote learning in the world. As a naturally curious and passionate tutor, I see my main role as being an academic role model for my students, showing them how to learn, and how to intellectually engage with their subjects. Once this has been successfully achieved, it then becomes much easier to help a student develop a deeper understanding of a specific curriculum, and therefore to improve their results.
Because of this philosophy towards education, my tutoring sessions are completely customised to the individual student, and are designed to identify the areas where the student most needs improvement, precisely targeting those topics for a highly focused yet inspirational tutoring programme.
A successful tutor has to distinguish themselves from the student’s school teachers, offering something unique and refreshing. I pride myself on being a tutor that students can relate to and trust – I have been in their shoes in the not too distant past, and have achieved outstanding results. As such, I position myself almost as an older sibling to my students, passing down the knowledge and techniques which led me to success, and inspiring them to achieve their potential.
Over several years of tutoring, and countless students, I have refined and perfected this approach, finely balancing making my lessons entertaining and enjoyable, whilst also forensically analysing the student’s strengths and weaknesses, giving them precisely targeted support to ensure that concrete improvements are made to the student’s skills, knowledge and technique in every tutoring session.
Please find a snapshot of my experience below.
GCSE English Literature (AQA)
William was a natural scientist who wanted to pursue sciences at A level and University. However he struggled with English and was concerned about passing at all. We worked closely together on his set texts, as well as essay structure, over sessions spanning several months. He was delighted to achieve a 6, and is now doing his A levels at the London Oratory School.
I am currently homeschooling Samuel for his GCSE English Language and Literature, after he left mainstream education due to bullying and mental health issues. As his full time English teacher, my responsibilities go far beyond teaching him the subject content, and I also work closely with him on study skills and exam technique, which he has found particularly helpful as he never really understood how to approach either when he was at a mainstream school.
IB English Literature HL, Psychology HL and Extended Essay
Giulia is a high achieving and ambitious student, who was predicted level 7s in both English Literature and Psychology, but wanted to guarantee success. We worked together over several months, focusing particularly on her Psychology IA, English Literature set texts (Coleridge’s poetry and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) and her Extended Essay. She achieved level 7s in both English and Psychology, and is now studying at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
IB English Language and Literature HL
Inga is a bright student, who had excellent analysis skills, but struggled with essay technique. We methodically worked through how to structure an outstanding essay, and practised applying these skills to the various papers within the syllabus. She achieved a level 7 in her final exams, and is now studying Law at the London School of Economics.
IB English Language and Literature HL
When I started working with Sara, she lacked confidence and struggled with analysing stylistic features in her set texts. She was working at a level 6 standard, but required a level 7 to meet her university offer criteria. Over the course of 6 sessions, we broke down how to efficiently analyse texts, particularly under the pressure of exam conditions. She went on to achieve a level 7 and is now studying at King’s College London.
IB Psychology HL
Thomas was a talented student, but struggled to get to grips with the volume of case studies required for IB Psychology. He needed a level 6 to meet his university offer, but was struggling to achieve this in his school assignments. Over two batches of sessions (in the Summer before Upper 6th, and in the Spring before his final exams), we went through the whole core syllabus, and set out a revision plan going forwards. He achieved the level 6 that he needed, and is now studying at McGill University in Canada.
IB Philosophy HL and Oxbridge Preparation
I first worked with Jack preparing him for his interview to read Philosophy at Downing College, Cambridge, drawing heavily on my personal experience of the Cambridge Philosophy interview process. He was successful in receiving an offer, but it required a 7 in HL Philosophy, something that he was concerned about. I worked with him in the lead up to his final exams, focusing particularly on essay writing technique, and the importance of developing original arguments. He successfully achieved a level 7 and took up his place at Cambridge.
A Level English, Study Skills and Personal Statement
I have just finished working with Valerie throughout the Autumn term, with weekly sessions aimed at helping her with process and study skills, as well as helping her with her Personal Statement. Valerie is an incredibly bright student, but struggled to always apply this to her academic work – in particular she would get stressed by exams and coursework, and as a result struggled to study effectively. We worked closely together on a range of key skills, including how to organise notes, how to plan and structure essays and how to structure revision, and she is now much more confident, and has just completed her English coursework to a very high standard.
A Level Religious Studies (AQA)
Rena was looking to study Architecture at university, but required a B in her A level Religious Studies. When we first met, her mother was concerned about her passing at all. We focused our sessions on the Philosophy and Ethics module, which she particularly struggled with. Over the course of several sessions, I showed her the joys of Philosophy, confident that once she took an interest in the subject, her grades would improve. She achieved the B she needed, and took up her offer to study Architecture at the University of the Creative Arts.
University Application (Economics at Cambridge)
I supported Ana with her application to study Economics at Cambridge and her US college applications. This involved helping her decide her college choice, working with her to draft and refine an impactful personal statement, teaching her interview skills and finally conducting a series of practice interviews. I also helped her with her IB English, ToK and Extended Essay. As a result, Ana received an offer to study at Trinity College Cambridge, alongside several Ivy League colleges. She also achieved 44 points in her IB. She has accepted her Cambridge offer and commences her studies this year.
University Application (Politics and IR at Sussex)
Valerie is a highly intelligent student with a passion for politics and world affairs. However, she is also severely dyslexic and so struggled with communicating her thoughts in writing. I supported her throughout the university application process, including helping her decide which universities to apply to. However, most of our sessions focused on crafting her personal statement, a task that she found very difficult. We worked through the problem step by step, producing multiple drafts until we got to a brilliant end product. She received five offers and is now studying Politics and International Relations at Sussex. I continue to support her with her university work.
University Application (Philosophy at Cambridge)
This year, I have supported Nev with his application to read Philosophy at Clare College, Cambridge. We started working together at an early stage, building his philosophical skills and developing ideas that could be explored in his personal statement. This involved setting him reading and essays alongside interview-style discussions. We also worked together on his personal statement, incorporating many of the ideas we had discussed earlier in the summer. Now that we have finished his personal statement, we are preparing for the TSA-style admissions test, alongside interview practice.
Hobbies and Interests
Outside of education, my passion is the creative arts, particularly cinema and theatre. As well as being a tutor, I am also a freelance filmmaker, and have worked on a number of international theatre productions. When not working, I will almost certainly be found in the cinema, catching up on new releases or old classics, or tracking down some obscure fringe theatre production. I love the thrill of seeing a creative vision brought to life in unique and different ways.
Alongside the arts, I am also a keen sports fan, with a particular love of football and cricket, and am also fascinated by news, politics and current affairs. I also have a deep love of travel, and have been fortunate enough to be able to explore a range of diverse cultures around the world.
“Mark has done a fantastic job tutoring my boys – he had dramatically improved their attitude towards their studies, as well as their results.”
Mother of two GCSE tutees
“Mark is doing a great job tutoring William, his confidence has really improved and Mark is helping him reach his academic potential. The difference in William’s attitude to his studies and results has been appreciated. We would highly recommend Mark.”
“I started working with Mark during the end of my first year of IB. Throughout the past year, Mark has made it clear that he truly cares about his students and wishes to help them as much as he can to see them succeed. He would never hesitate to prolong lessons if it meant that the work at hand could be finished in time and be of high quality. Moreover, lessons with him were always fun, as his teaching is highly engaging, and his sense of humour would make even the dullest subjects enjoyable. His insight was always very valuable to me as he would constantly give me creative ideas to take my work one step further.
I would strongly recommend Mark as a tutor for any student applying to university or undertaking the IB program. I am extremely grateful for his help over the past year.”