“As you probably remember I started off really struggling in English, but have gained so much confidence and by the end of this year I've ended up really loving English and finding it interesting and enjoyable - and this change has 100% been down to you and your wonderful teaching.”
Hannah, GCSE English Tuition
1998–1999, University of Cambridge, Homerton College: Post Graduate Certificate in Education for English Teaching.
1994–1998, University of Stirling: English Literature B.A. (Hons), First Class.
1987 – 1994 , Richard Hale Secondary School:
– A Levels in English Literature, History and French.
– 11 GCSEs at A*-C.
I am a qualified teacher and have worked in Education since 1999. My subject specialisms are English Literature and English Language.
I have 19 years of experience of teaching all aspects of secondary school English and have a track record of helping students to achieve the highest grades at GCSE and A-Level. I have taught English Language and Literature at Key Stage 3 and 4, and English Literature at Key Stage 5. I have worked at high-achieving schools, demanding teaching at a high academic standard. Students that I have taught have consistently achieved the highest grades at GCSE and A-Level. At Fortismere School, I was the Second in Department, a position which includes responsibility for Key Stage 4 English. I have many years’ experience as a GCSE examiner and was consistently commended for my accuracy and efficiency of marking. I feel that this allows me an insight into this marking process which can also be applied across different types of exam.
I am knowledgeable about the 11+ and 13+ English tests and can provide tuition for students aiming to take these exams.
I aim to bring my teaching experience to my tutoring alongside my enthusiasm, patience and clarity of explanation. I have a friendly approach and strong interpersonal skills. I believe that a tutor should be adept at working with students to identify their needs and areas for improvement; tasks can then be tailored to suit these requirements. These will help to show the student exactly what is required to make progress and will also help to build their confidence in the subject. This confidence can be built more easily and more quickly in a one-to-one setting than in the classroom and so is a huge benefit in tutoring. Tasks can also be far more individualised and differentiated in this setting and this is something which I make centre.
Please find below a snapshot of my tuition experience.
I am able to provide tutor support for students at Key Stage 3 through to A-Level, as well as 11+ and 13+.
Key Stage 3 English
Maddie is an enthusiastic and dedicated student who was always keen to do well but who struggled to express herself effectively and accurately in her written work, partly due to issues with dyslexia. We started with some focused work on sentences and comma-splicing because this was something that was causing her issues. Through this work, she became far more confident in her writing and began to write in grammatically complete sentences as well as varying her sentence structures and using more sophisticated punctuation. This has led to increased confidence in her writing skills generally. She is now working at the top end of her class in English and finds the subject far more enjoyable.
GCSE English Language OCR and GCSE English Literature Edexcel
Billy had struggled with English since primary school but was a conscientious student. He needed help with some of the basics of writing and I addressed these first to give him the foundations to build the rest of his skills upon. The next target was to ensure that Billy did not over-extend his expression and phrasing; this was achieved through proof-reading and discussion about what he was trying to say, as well as going through each part of his English Language exam to focus on exactly what was needed for each question. Billy’s Literature essays were also targeted through working on planning and writing short sections of essays to ensure that Billy’s comprehension was matched by clarity of expression and an academic discourse. Billy exceeded his target grades for GCSE.
GCSE English Language OCR and GCSE English Literature AQA
Sophie was a quiet student who lacked confidence and often doubted her own ability in English. However, she was already capable of writing solid responses that achieved good levels on GCSE mark-schemes. In Literature, she needed to develop the depth of detail and sophistication in her essays and this was achieved through detailed planning work using mind-mapping skills. We then looked at exemplar high-level responses and identified exactly what it was they were doing and how they fulfil the assessment objectives of the task. Through writing sample paragraphs and self-assessing them in the same way, Sophie developed her analytical writing skills and style. For English Language, Sophie needed guiding through each part of her exam and needed to practice how to write for each question. For the writing tasks she needed to develop the sophistication of her planning and structure, and her written expression; this was again achieved through building confidence from planning through to writing. Sophie achieved Grade 9s for Language and Literature (two grades and one grade above her targets respectively) and went on to study A-Level English.
AS and A-Level English OCR
Lydia began her A-Levels lacking confidence and worried that she was not able to engage with the texts in a sophisticated enough manner. I encouraged her to share her thoughts and ideas, while using essay planning practice to help to tease out and fully develop these ideas. I also used feedback and praise which ensured that she began to see how much she had to contribute. Her essays began to be awarded the highest levels and were used in class as models for other students. Lydia achieved a mark at the top end of the A grade at AS-Level and is on course for an A* at A-Level.
A-Level English OCR
Alice needed help with her depth of understanding of her A-Level texts, the development of her ideas and fully meeting the assessment objectives for her essays. We addressed this by using characters and themes to revise in order to cover the whole texts and bring together the different parts that were studied in her class. We discussed these themes and characters, before making visual displays of them in order to consolidate her knowledge. We then focused on essay writing and colour-coding essays (both exemplar essays and her own) in accordance with the assessment objectives, annotating them with ideas that could develop the ideas further. Topic sentences were also crucial for Alice’s essays and helped to give her structure whilst ensuring that she stayed focused on the question. Wider reading suggestions enabled Alice to deepen her understanding of the context of her novels and prepare her for the unseen element of the exam. Alice achieved an A Grade.
Hobbies and Interests
I am a committed swimmer and train several times a week. I also have a Level 1 Triathlon Coaching qualification. I am a follower of the arts, in particular the theatre, comedy and music gigs, and books.
“As you probably remember I started off really struggling in English, but have gained so much confidence and by the end of this year I’ve ended up really loving English and finding it interesting and enjoyable – and this change has 100% been down to you and your wonderful teaching.”
GCSE English student
“I found it quite tricky to adjust to the new structure of things and my confidence was seriously knocked when I found I was finding English seriously hard for the first time… I started to wonder if I had ever been good at English… However, I can wholeheartedly say this all couldn’t be further from the truth now and I have you to thank for that… Particularly over the last year, I have never loved English more, and never been so inspired by, engaged with, and fascinated by it… Thank you so much for everything! You have shaped me as a person and everything that I have learnt from you will follow me to university.”
A-Level English student
“Thank you so much for your inspiring teaching and your extra help this year. I can’t believe quite how I got my B last year up to an A* but I couldn’t have done it without your dedication.”
~ A Level English student
“And thank you again for making English such a stimulating and creative part of Rosa’s school week. She genuinely loves, and looks forward, to your classes… we really appreciate that you prioritise inspiring curiosity and a love of learning.”
Key Stage 3 English student
“He has been an inspirational teacher for Lilah and I remember one night he marked not one, but 3 essays overnight before her GCSES. So not only has he been very kind and thoughtful but a great role model. We are sure the school will miss him very much.”
Key Stage 4 English student
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