Olivia

“Olivia started tutoring my daughter in English for the 11+ from September 2017 until the exams started in January 2018. My daughter had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the year before and had missed the whole of Year 5 at school, so she was at a great disadvantage in her exam preparation. We were obviously concerned that she would be able to catch up with the other candidates, however Olivia was wonderful at putting our minds at ease. She was so encouraging in the gentle way that our daughter needed, that our daughter regained her confidence again and most importantly got her enjoyment for English back - something which had completely gone. Olivia kept her engaged while covering all the required criteria for the 11+ (comprehension, creative writing, verbal & non-verbal) by making the weekly lessons fun and enjoyable with no unnecessary pressure or stress. It was a pleasure to welcome Olivia into our home each week, as she is such a delightful person, and really helped both our daughters prepare for the entrance exams in a relaxed but focused way. I can’t recommend her tutoring skills highly enough.”

Mrs Weaver, 11+ Exam Preparation

  • 11+

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • Maths

Academic History

2016-2017, East 15, Acting School. (Distinction)

2013-2015, University of Bristol. Physiology & Pharmacology. (2:2) Extenuating circumstances.

2011-2013, University of Bristol. Veterinary Science.

2006-2011, Wycombe Abbey School. A-Levels (A* Biology, Chemistry A, English Lit A, Maths to As (A) ) and GCSEs (Biology A*, Chemistry A*, Physics A*, Maths A, English Literature A*, English Language A, History A*, French A*, Drama A).

About Me

I have been working as a tutor since 2017, supporting students with English and preparations for their Entrance Exams (11+). I believe my core strength as a tutor is my ability to communicate with my students about the areas they find difficult. I strive to develop lessons which will help an understanding of the concepts the students find tricky – often there is a key detail which hasn’t landed somewhere along the way. I don’t want my students to continually apply a set method without understanding the theories behind them, so we discuss how we do an exercise, as well as why we do it in that way. I am fascinated by the differences in each student’s approach to their work and my aim is to tailor my lessons to their learning style

I aim to work through the required syllabus I am covering with each student, going through theory and then practice exercises. If any areas present themselves as “tricky” I like to spend extra time on them and construct exercises to approach them together in a way that will work from the simplest place upwards. Around this, I work to develop basic skills in that subject (spelling, vocabulary and times tables, for example). I also aim to work around interests of particular students to engage with the work as much as possible, particularly as we start off with a new skill. In the lead up to any exams, I really use practice papers as a tool to expose students to different question types.

I consider it part of my job to arrive at each lesson with energy and passion. I want my students to leave my classes feeling invigorated and positive. I know that after a day at school they may not be excited about going into tutoring, so the lessons need to engage and reward them

Recent Tuition

I hold 350 hours tutoring experience, I provide support to students across a range of academic levels from Key Stage 2 to GCSE. This is a sample of my most recent tutoring experience.

Year 5 English & 11+ Exam Preparation

I originally started teaching Honor when she was going into Year 5 because she was struggling with English. Her parents had established that she was extremely long-sighted in one eye a few weeks before our lessons and they believed it was having an effect on her English ability. I noted that Honor was not confident with punctuation or vocabulary, even though she had read a lot. When she read aloud, the sentences were not separated, and she explained that she didn’t pay much attention to punctuation. Frankly, I think it is because it was so blurry before! There was also a question of whether Honor was dyslexic, although she was never tested and her parents decided to tackle the learning affected by her sight, before looking into anything else. We worked on basic grammar skills and punctuation skills, as well as word puzzles for synonyms to expand her vocabulary. We also looked into comprehension skills, as she was happy to read but did not like to offer an opinion or explanation about what was going on. Honor’s parents decided to prepare her for the 11+, to move her from the state sector to the independent sector. Her school did not prepare their students for the 11+ and Honor did not have some of the relevant skills or knowledge. We covered the maths syllabus, as well as english skills. We also covered verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions together. In the lead-up to the exams, Honor would do a maths paper and an english paper each week. We would mark them together in our lessons and work on tricky areas. We also worked through practice papers together, as Honor had a tendency to panic and drop any technique we had developed. We worked for 2 hours each week, which moved to 4 hours in the run-up to the exams. Energy and positivity were crucial elements to these lessons, to keep Honor feeling motivated and fulfilled by the work, rather than resenting it. She was always happily to go into our lessons together, which was a lovely feeling. Honor worked very hard and secured a place at Kew House following the 11+ exams.

Year 5 English and 11+ Exam Preparation

I originally started teaching Izzy to support her English as she moved into Year 5, as she found it boring and didn’t like to sit and work on it by herself. I soon realised she found it difficult to structure her creative writing, often beginning with big ideas that were too difficult to develop within the space of a few pages and getting lost in them. She also found it difficult to draw inferences from a text. We worked together on keeping her writing simple. Izzy particularly loves reading fantasy, so we had a guide of one fantastical element, which is based in the real world, as she didn’t have time to set up a world with a new set of rules. We worked on planning and structuring her writing. We looked at examples from different pieces of fiction she enjoyed and explored why they worked well, then explored how Izzy might use them. I taught Izzy for 1-2 hours each week, for 2 years. Her concentration span was a challenge, so we worked on short exercises with breaks. Izzy was successful in gaining a place at Wycombe Abbey in her 11+ exams.

Year 5 English & 11+ Exam Preparation

I originally started teaching Honor when she was going into Year 5 because she was struggling with English. Her parents had established that she was extremely long-sighted in one eye a few weeks before our lessons and they believed it was having an effect on her English ability. I noted that Honor was not confident with punctuation or vocabulary, even though she had read a lot. When she read aloud, the sentences were not separated, and she explained that she didn’t pay much attention to punctuation. Frankly, I think it is because it was so blurry before! We worked on basic grammar skills and punctuation skills, as well as word puzzles for synonyms to expand her vocabulary. We also looked into comprehension skills, as she was happy to read but did not like to offer an opinion or explanation about what was going on. Honor’s parents decided to prepare her for the 11+, to move her from the state sector to the independent sector. Her school did not prepare their students for the 11+ and Honor did not have some of the relevant skills or knowledge. We covered the maths syllabus, as well as english skills. We also covered verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions together. In the lead-up to the exams, Honor would do a maths paper and an english paper each week. We would mark them together in our lessons and work on tricky areas. We also worked through practice papers together, as Honor had a tendency to panic and drop any technique we had developed. We worked for 2 hours each week, which moved to 4 hours in the run-up to the exams. Energy and positivity were crucial elements to these lessons, to keep Honor feeling motivated and fulfilled by the work, rather than resenting it. She was always happily to go into our lessons together, which was a lovely feeling. Honor worked very hard and secured a place at Kew House following the 11+ exams.

Year 6 English & 11+ Entrance Exam

I started teaching Siena in the summer before Year 6, after she had missed a lot of school in Year 5 due to illness. She is a very capable student and, while she had missed out on certain skills, she mainly lacked confidence. We worked together for 6 months in the run-up to the 11+ and covered comprehension skills: structuring her answers; including point, evidence and explanation in each answer; time management; drawing inferences and addressing the question with relevant detail. We also covered creative writing skills: writing letters; structuring writing; planning the piece; describing pictures; figurative language and addressing the question. Siena was happy to work away for an hour and was very motivated in our sessions, so we worked together through the techniques and then, in the approach to the exams, she would cover a paper each week in her own time, which we would go through together. Eventually, I had Siena mark her own papers (because she got to use my coloured pens) and identifying where she thought she could have picked up more marks. We would then investigate that together. Siena gained places at Putney High and Kew House through her 11+ exams.

11+ Entrance Exam

I worked with Hector as he approached the 10+ exams. We studied Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. His focus could be distracted, so we did little bits of each subject over a one-hour lesson each time. The variety helped keep him engaged. We also did lots of creative writing around Vikings, which he was always keen to write about. We went through the syllabus together and when Hector didn’t know what something was or wasn’t sure how he would answer a question on it, we would stop and work on it together. We also worked on his proof-reading and formed a checklist, so that he was using the correct punctuation, phrasing and tense. Hector’s parents went to visit the school before he took the exams and decided they did not want him to take the 10+. Hector and I are now working on his Maths and English skills for the 11+ next year. We are working through by topic for both subjects and are aiming to develop better understanding of creative writing most intensely at the moment. He understands narrative shape but can be reluctant to include description very much (unless he is describing a dragon), so we are trying to go through the writing together and add the description once he has the structure. For some reason, this lands better with him than stopping midway through a sentence or paragraph to add it. The next step will be fusing the two elements together.

English GCSE

Georgia was in her first year of approaching her GCSE exams at Francis Holland and felt “stupid” in English lessons. We worked together for a term, developing her understanding of poetry analysis, while she studied The World’s Wife. We looked at the context of the poems, how their structure influenced their meaning and figurative language. We broke each poem down line by line, so Georgia really had the time to understand them and form opinions on them. After our lessons, Georgia said she felt more confident in her lessons and felt prepared to write an essay on the poems.

English and Maths GCSE

I worked with Luko while he was away from school with severe illness. We covered English and Maths in the run-up to his GCSEs, as his parents were concerned about him falling behind. We worked on his course text “The Woman in Black”, exploring themes, character, language and useful quotations. We also looked into the crucial writing techniques to achieve high marks at GCSE, including structure, effective language analysis, clear points, suitable links between thoughts and supported inferences. Luko was able to return to school without falling behind, so he could continue to work towards his GCSEs with his peers.

Hobbies and Interests

Outside of tutoring, I am incredibly passionate about theatre and run a theatre company. I find it to be crucial in maintaining a compassionate understanding towards other people. As such, I am a more patient and warmer person when working, when out and about, as well as in my personal relationships. The huge amount of team work that is required to create new theatre with my company, as well as the organisation required to keep us all up to date and moving forwards, is one of the most difficult things I have tried to do! It is also incredibly fulfilling for the same reason. Aside from theatre, I am fascinated in the food industry and agriculture. I love knowing where my food comes from and cooking from scratch. It really helps me unwind and I feel more mindful of what I eat than when I shop for ready-prepared food. Eventually I would love to grow my own food, but I have a lot more learning to do first!

Client Testimonials

“Olivia Baker started tutoring my daughter in English for the 11+ from September 2017 until the exams started in January 2018. My daughter had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the year before and had missed the whole of Year 5 at school, so she was at a great disadvantage in her exam preparation. We were obviously concerned that she would be able to catch up with the other candidates, however Olivia was wonderful at putting our minds at ease. She was so encouraging in the gentle way that our daughter needed, that our daughter regained her confidence again and most importantly got her enjoyment for English back – something which had completely gone. Olivia kept her engaged while covering all the required criteria for the 11+ (comprehension, creative writing, verbal & non-verbal) by making the weekly lessons fun and enjoyable with no unnecessary pressure or stress. It was a pleasure to welcome Olivia into our home each week, as she is such a delightful person, and really helped both our daughters prepare for the entrance exams in a relaxed but focused way. I can’t recommend her tutoring skills highly enough.” S. Weaver (Parent)

  • Entrance Exam Specialist

  • SEN Experience

Would you like to work with Olivia?

Email us today and we'll be happy to discuss your requirements.

Contact Us