"Just thought I'd let you know I got an A* in English! I got close to full marks in the written exam! Thank you so much for all your help, I honestly could not have got here without it."
A-Level English student
Personal Statement Support
Senior School Entrance
BA (Hons) St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge (2006-2009) English: 2.1
City of London School for Boys (2000-2005)
Advanced Extension Awards (2005) English – Distinction; History – Distinction
A levels (2005) English Literature – A; History – A; Government and Politics – A
AS level (2004) Latin – A
GCSE (2003) English Lit – A*; English Lang – A*; History – A*; Latin – A*; French – A; R.S. – A; Maths – A; Biology – A; Chemistry – A; Physics – B
I read English at Cambridge, where I specialised in Shakespeare. I am passionate about English, literature and teaching, and am keen to share my enthusiasm and understanding of the subject with others. I have been tutoring since I left Cambridge, and worked successfully with a range of students. This has included supervising on 8+ homework, to mentoring pupils for Oxbridge entrance.
My teaching style is heavily dictated by my student. My first lesson is all about discovering what type of learner they are. We’ll also talk about their interests and goals. This seemingly innocuous conversation often holds the key to motivating them towards success.
To my mind learning is always best done actively. I’ve personally never learned much by being talked at so that’s not how I teach. I ask lots of questions and expect a good level of engagement during a session. I also believe that at the heart of even the trickiest problems is a series of simple solutions. I aim to make those simple solutions clear and to help students to think clearly and effective for themselves.
Above all, learning doesn’t happen very well if a student isn’t engaged. I’m good at helping my students become interested in what they’re studying and, even if it takes a little while, it’s more than worth it.
Scholarship to St Paul’s Senior School, 13+
Oliver was methodical and precise in his approach to questions, but would often run out of things to offer. We went through passages together, identifying different potential techniques and devices, ensuring that he had a checklist of things to look for (similes; personification; alliteration) whenever he had to find evidence. He achieved his scholarship.
Key Stage 2 Maths
Robbie was 9 years old when we started our lessons together (and is now 13). He had a very analytical mind but he lacked confidence in his creative writing. We worked on unlocking his imagination as well as how to describe people, objects and settings in the most vivid way possible, using all the senses and engaging the reader’s imagination. We also worked on a structured approach, and I am pleased to say that Robbie has now been offered places at The American School.
Year 5 Creative Writing
Through a series of activities and games I taught Lisa a solid structure that she could build a story from, whilst also encouraging her style to become more expansive, being bold in her use of similes and metaphors.
GCSE English Literature
Jamie needed a few intensive sessions to prepare for his GCSE’s on The Old Man and the Sea; we focussed on exam technique, and building up lists of easily rememberable facts for the exam, so he would have banks of topics to discuss in the essay. He received an A.
GCSE English Literature (AQA)
Sabrina was a high achieving student who was flustered and lacking an overall strategy for tackling exam questions. We went through all the past papers we could find, and deconstructed how each question functioned, what was being asked of her, and what was needed to satisfy this. She achieved an A*.
GCSE English (Literature and Language)
Tatiana was under confident in analysing texts, and thinking for herself. We worked through several different poems, in which I was able to impart to her different techniques, devices and ideas to look out for. We did similar work on longer prose texts, and I helped her with both school and coursework. She received an A.
IB English Literature & Language HL
I prepared Sarah for unseen literature tests; she initially struggled with reading between the lines, and detecting nuance in the language. We worked together to prepare processes for her to detect tone and writer’s intent, alongside themes and settings which were more obviously apparent. We also worked on her set texts, which proved more straight forward as they revolved around essay structure, and organising material – the thing she was initially weakest at. Sarah took great strides through the academic year, and earned a 7.
A Level English Literature
After an initial session with Oscar, it was clear that whilst he was perceptive and articulate, he was failing to use a satisfactory essay structure to support his insights and ideas. We spent a lot of time breaking down exam questions, working out all the different parts that had to be answered, where to do so in the context of a long essay, and how to draw the examiner’s attention to this. He got an A* in his final exam.
A Level English Literature and Drama
Lily struggled with organisation and confidence when writing her portfolio and homework essays. We worked through her writing together, generating ideas, plans and arguments to ensure she felt both ready and prepared to answer the various questions.
Alex was applying to Oxbridge to read English on his gap year, having not been made an offer in his final year of school. Over 5 months we met regularly at the British Library, worked through his personal statement, his essays that were to be sent up, and his interview technique. He received an unconditional offer at Hereford, Oxford.
Hobbies and Interests
When I am not tutoring, I work as a freelance theatre director, and have worked on Shakespeare at the RSC, the Globe and also at theatres including the National and in the west end. I have found that the use of theatre exercises in tutoring sessions often unlocks solutions and inspires my students.
“Oscar I did it! I got an 9!! The questions you predicted came up! How did you know! Thank you so much – I couldn’t have done it without you!!!”
GSCE English Literature Student
“Just thought I’d let you know I got an A* in English!!!!! I got close to full marks in the written exam! Must have been because I defined my terms! Thank you so much for all your help, honestly could not have got here without it…”
A-Level English Literature student
“Oscar has a clear passion for his subject and his energy shines through. He immediately engaged my son Alex in his course texts and challenged him to look at things in a different way and have the courage of his convictions. He encouraged Alex to have his own opinion and understand that there is never one right answer (as opposed to the mathematical approach Alex is comfortable with). He gave Alex permission to be creative and write about his own feelings on a piece or response to a poem. This meant Alex truly began to engage in the subject and Oscar made it far more relatable for a teenager so Alex grew in confidence to expound his own opinions in course work literature essays and in his creative writing he developed the confidence to use his imagination to produce his pieces.
Alex went on to gain a 9 in his English Literature and an 8 (just 1 mark short of a 9!) in his English Language. He remains on course for an Oxbridge application and we are both so grateful to Oscar.”
Parent of GCSE English Language and Literature student