‘ Minnie has been working with my two children for the last two years. She has helped the elder one in particular to overcome confidence and concentration issues with reading and writing. She is now a confident reader, almost nine years old and ahead of her classmates in most subjects. Her younger brother has also been working with Minnie and although less academic in the work they have done (he hasn't yet started school) he has also shown a big increase in confidence in dealing with tasks and better focus and concentration. Minnie has been extremely reliable, very creative and wholly understanding of our needs as a family. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to anybody looking for trustworthy, resourceful and dynamic tutoring. ’
Catherine, Key Stage 2 Tuition
Sept 2012 – June 2015 Fine Art (First Class Hons), Goldsmiths College, University of London
Sept 2009- June 2010 Fine Art Foundation, City and Guilds of London Art School
Sept 2007 – June 2009 Davies, Laing and Dick College, London; A Level English Language and Literature (A*), A Level Sociology (A*), A Level Art (A*)
Sept 2005 – June 2007 The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology, London; GCSE English Lang. (A), English Lit. (A), Art (A), Sociology (A), French (A), Science (B), Maths (B), IT (B), BTEC First Performing Arts Music (Distinction)
June 2005 – Pimlico School, London; GCSE Music (A)
For me, education must always be completely tailored to the individual, age and ability-appropriate, adaptive and inventive, and learner-centred. It must also be engaging and active; I believe we learn best when we are learning through first-hand experience. Building confidence in students is key, and I work to find the ways to encourage a learner into being excited and interested in the subject. Everyone has a distinctive learning style; I am dedicated to developing the most appropriate methods for every individual to achieve their best, and pride myself in my ability to find an appropriate teaching/learning style for any learner.
My specialist subjects are English Language & Literature and Art, and I also teach all other humanities subjects up to GCSE, including Sociology, History, Psychology, Philosophy and Cultural Studies, and KS1 & KS2 Maths and Science. I am thoroughly familiar with the primary (KS1 & KS2) curriculum, and am also very experienced working with early years/pre-school age learners. I am experienced in tutoring for exams (7+, 11+, GCSE and A Level), working with study skills, revision organisation, revision skills, and coursework organisation.
I have worked extensively with students from ages 4-20, with as much experience in early years learning as at GCSE, A Level and Degree level. I have worked with a number of individuals with learning difficulties including dyslexia and ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, children with behavioural issues, and bilingual children who are less familiar with the UK curriculum. Though working towards and for academic outcomes is always my primary goal, I find that an exclusively academic approach to these goals is not always right for everyone. I endeavour to find the best learning styles for all students, and when relevant incorporate visual and auditory methods, and kinaesthetic teaching techniques. Finding the ideal learning style is integral for the best outcomes.
I moved schools a number of times growing up (all London schools) and in some ways struggled to settle in to classroom environments. Through this, I have a good understanding of the variety of learning environments on offer in London. Though I left school (and university) with good grades, it was not always a smooth ride, and my own experience of the education system informs my approach now as an educator. It is through deep empathy with young learners who are struggling with the pace and expectations of school (be that due to ability, attainment or simply confidence), that I am able to relate and find ways to make learning enjoyable and nourishing.
I graduated with First Class Honours in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, where my practice was actually largely writing-based. This was a practical art degree with a writing focus, and was engaged with philosophy and contemporary critical theory. It was practice and research led; my research was concerned largely with different modes of learning, educating and playing.
Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Experience
I have worked with 3 students on a long-term basis who have been either dyslexic or dyspraxic. The first of these was a GCSE student of mine who had ASD, and was also diagnosed with dyspraxia, motor issue and dysgraphia. I have also worked with a 10 year old and 19 year old both who were dyslexic and dyspraxic. All of whom came on in leaps and bounds through our work together
T – (1.5-3 years old) I worked with T on her literacy and numeracy for almost 2 years, supporting her from the age of 1.5 to 3 years old. We worked together through a lot of play-based learning, and I would use her interests (favourite animals, books etc) to bring learning into our time together.
Teddy (4 years old) I worked with Teddy on phonics, vocabulary, and numeracy in preparation for his starting at Wetherby; we also worked on building his concentration.
Theobald (4 years old) – Considering Theo’s age, the work we did together was largely experiential play-learning, working with Theo’s attention span and ability to engage with tasks and games, and preparing for the beginning of school with early literacy and numeracy work.
Rosa (4 – 5 years old) I worked with Rosa on phonics, literacy and numeracy, to support and develop the learning she was doing at nursery and reception.
Z (5 years old) Z is bilingual in French and English – she attends a French school, but as her parents would like her to move to an English school at 7, her numeracy and literacy needs help to get to the level that it would be if she were in the English system currently. We are working across a number of learning styles on her phonics and writing, and she is learning very quickly. I use lots of fun game work for her numeracy which is working really well, as she is a really visual learner.
L (5 years old) L struggles with hyperactivity and concentration. We work on his literacy through kinaesthetic and play-learning, also including some yogic breathing and balancing exercises, working both on his confidence with letters and words and his ability to experience calm.
A & M (4 and 6 years old) – I worked with these two sisters when they had just started for the first time at an English school having recently moved to the UK from China, with English as their second language. I gave them continuing academic support after school to support their developing reading, writing and number skills.
Aura (6 years old) – I home schooled Aura full-time while she and here family were visiting from Thailand. To begin with we were battling with some quite obstructive behavioural problems – Aura was incredibly resistant to the classroom and would come up with very creative new ways each day to avoid the learning environment. With the support of her mother, and creative strategising, we managed to begin to build a trusting relationship. By the end of our time together she was focussing for the full 5 hour session every day, making strides in her reading and writing, and producing brilliant work. Her mother and support staff were very happy with the behavioural transformation that took place.
J (7 years old) – I worked with J while he was in Year 2, until his 7+ exam in the autumn of Year 3. He was a considerably bright boy and it was mainly just exam familiarisation that he needed support with. He received a place at Dulwich College Junior School.
Hamu (7 years old) – Hamu had moved around a fair bit growing up (having lived in Pakistan and Dubai previously) and so had had large gaps in his education. I home schooled him full time, delivering the complete primary curriculum appropriate to his levels in English, Maths and Science, to prepare him for entry to a UK school. He made huge progress in a short time working with me, moving from a Reception level to a Year 3 level in English, and from a Year 1 to Year 4 level in Maths in 3 months teaching time.
Ophelia, (8 years old) We were working on Ophelia’s reading and writing, comprehension and concentration. Ophelia’s confidence in her ability with literacy had been knocked by being diagnosed with Dyslexia – we did lots of targeted literacy work, and her confidence has grown considerably, and now finds it easier to engage and concentrate with the task at hand.
Isabel (8 years old) Isabel is a very bright girl who attends a competitive and demanding girl’s school. Her parents wanted tutoring to make sure she was being pushed and challenged at the edges of her knowledge, and to make sure her literacy and numeracy skills were as strong as they could be. I supported her with her homework, with particular attention given to her mental maths skills, handwriting and comprehension.,
R (9 years old) R struggles with her writing, maths, concentration levels and her ability to stick to a task. We worked together to begin to prepare her for secondary entry (11+), as she had been attending an independent but quite relaxed primary school, and her parents had had the realisation that she may not be ready for 11+ assessment. I also helped her mother with looking at schools and making suggestions for places that might be suitable for Romy, eventually looking toward application to Christ’s Hospital and Sylvia Young (as she comes from a musical background). We began by using a story-telling method – as she was very resistant to both writing and maths of any kind, but is very creative minded and enjoys making up stories – and then gently bringing maths into the world of the story. As it was apparent that R is a primarily kinaesthetic learner, we interspersed the work with physical exercises and learning games which really helped her ability to then concentrate on the task again.
H (9-10 years old) H moved from Poland to the UK at the start of Year 5. She is a very bright girl with good spoken English, but needed some extra support to familiarise herself with the UK curriculum and help develop her Literacy skills in English. We have been working together on Maths, English, Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning to prepare her for secondary entry examinations / 11+.
Lena (9 years old) Lena had just moved to the UK from Austria when we worked together – she was bilingual, but had not experienced the UK school system. We worked together to identify and fill in any gaps in her skills and knowledge that would have held her back at school, and familiarise her with the common methods used in the UK KS2 curriculum. We had lots of fun working together; a lot of the work we did was familiarisation with different kinds of literature, and we found lots of fun ways to learn the stories.
L (10 years old) I worked with L doing targeted verbal and non-verbal reasoning practice for a language-aptitude-based entrance exam as well as general English and Maths preparation for her 11+ assessments for Grey Coat Hospital School. She gained a place the following year.
Henry (10 years old) Henry has dyslexia and is very good at avoiding reading and writing at all costs. We developed a game (similar to a board game) where acquiring letters in order to spell words is the way to win. I weave as much reading and writing into the sessions as possible, as we begin to work towards his secondary entry (11+) assessments. This approach has really helped him to build his confidence with language.
Erik (10 years old) I worked with Erik in preparation for his ISEB Common pre-tests and 11+ exam for Wetherby; he needed particular support with comprehension and verbal and non-verbal reasoning. He was offered a place at Wetherby.
Tomas (13 years old) I worked with Tomas in preparation for his 13+ assessment for Dulwich College; I mainly supported him for the English paper, and he worked with another tutor to support his Maths. He was offered a place at Dulwich College.
Bridie (15 years old) I worked with Bridie in the run up to her Art GCSE. After some confidence-knocking experiences Bridie had begun to lose faith in her abilities in Art, where previously it had been her favourite subject. I focused on her specific skills (i.e. drawing – the main source of her insecurity with this subject), and with gathering and completing her coursework load, whilst gently building her confidence in herself as an Artist. She was an awarded an 8 for her final grade.
J (15 years old) I tutored J for his English GCSE (he is in year 11) whilst he had some time away from school. The one-on-one time proved beneficial for J as we were able to tackle specific problems in his writing and analysis, and work closely on his creative writing.
H (15 years old) – H was in year 11 – I worked with him towards his GCSE’s. H has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and whilst he is high-functioning, he struggles with language organisation, comprehension, and concentration. I am taking a multiple pronged approach with him – working on the content of the core skills he needs in the subjects he is taking (Inc. English/Maths/Science/History), whilst also doing a lot of work on familiarising and desensitising him to the examination format. Our main focus is on his English Language and Literature (on the new syllabus) and Art. I am teaching him to learn how the examiner thinks, and what the language of the examination really means, as he often struggles to pull the correct meaning from the wording of exam questions. I am also working with him on his Art and Drama GCSE coursework, as both of these grades (though Art in particular) rely heavily on a thorough and well organised coursework folder.
Izzy (15 years old) I helped Izzy whilst she was working towards her GCSE exams, in English (literature and language), Psychology and Art. Izzy’s dyslexia affected her ability to organise her ideas – both in essay writing and with coursework (Art GCSE being coursework heavy). We worked out some systems together to help her memory in essay-based exams, and we thoroughly organised her coursework so that she was not missing out on any deserved valuable marks. She was very happy with her results which were all higher than her predicted grades and mock grades.
Izzy (18 years old) After tutoring Izzy during her GCSE’s, we carried on together through her A Levels in English Lang/Lit, Psychology and Art. She continued to gain confidence in herself and her ability in her subjects and was awarded pleasing results.
Harriet (18-19 years old) I worked with Harriet in the run up to her A Level exams in Sociology, English Lang/Lit and Art. We worked through lots of past papers, worked on revision methods, and devised ways for her to remember the information needed in her exam-based subjects. I also helped Harriet in her first year of university again with her essay writing, as the step from A Level to Higher Education was quite tough for her. She did well in the final grade of her first year.
Leo (19) I helped Leo in his first year of his Art degree at Camberwell School of Art. He was diagnosed with fairly severe dyslexia and dyspraxia only when he arrived at university – it had gone undiagnosed his whole way through school. He was finding the work load in first year very daunting – I helped him with some essay writing and essay analysis, and with the general organisation of his project briefs, seminars, reading etc. He ended his first year (and his degree) with a good mark
F (20 years old) I tutored F throughout his degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. F is diagnosed with dyslexia and struggled with the lectures and written work involved in his degree, especially in terms of translating his ideas into essay form. We worked together closely throughout his time at University and he did better than he had ever hoped with his final mark.
I have also worked since 2012 on the theatre productions at City Of London School. This has been with both lower school (10-14) and upper school (14-18) age children, supporting them in the run-ups to their shows. These are large-scale productions with confident and creative young people, and I have learnt a lot from working with them over the years.
I also ran after-school art clubs at Deansbrook Primary School in Edgware with a class of 30, aged 5-10. We worked through a huge variety of workshops and materials-learning. The clubs were mostly play-learning – they were exciting, messy (cleaning up always being a part of the task!), and lots of fun. We used the materials-experimentation to think about questions and ideas we had about the world around us. I built fulfilling and nourishing relationships with many of the children there. The group included a number of children with learning difficulties.
Hobbies and Interests
I am a practicing artist. As well as working with galleries, my art practice includes a lot of writing – I am working on a book. My research areas include cultural psychology and approaches to mental illness, language development and linguistics and various philosophies of consciousness.
I am also very interested in nutrition and the role it plays in psychology and wellness, and am training to teach yoga.
I have also worked in the past as a professional face painter since 2011, at the Natural History Museum and with clients including the World Wildlife Fund. Though this has not been teaching work, it has certainly informed my ability to relate and talk to children, especially early years. I have also worked through the years painting portraits, which are usually of children.
I was very musical growing up, playing instruments (saxophone, piano, flute, recorder) and doing music theory. I took my music GCSE early (in year nine). I went to a music school and received a lot of music training.
‘ Minnie has been working with my two children for the last two years. She has helped the elder one in particular to overcome confidence and concentration issues with reading and writing. She is now a confident reader, almost nine years old and ahead of her classmates in most subjects. Her younger brother has also been working with Minnie and although less academic in the work they have done (he hasn’t yet started school) he has also shown a big increase in confidence in dealing with tasks and better focus and concentration. Minnie has been extremely reliable, very creative and wholly understanding of our needs as a family. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to anybody looking for trustworthy, resourceful and dynamic tutoring. ’ (Catherine, mother of two tutees)
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