“Lessons with Rachel are always fun! She makes maths so much easier for me to understand than my teacher at school and has made me think that I am quite good at the subject which I didn't think I was. I think I might actually do well in my maths exam this year for the first time ever!”
Sam, Year 5 Maths Tuition
Senior School Entrance
2016 – 2017 University of Roehampton – PGCE Key Stage 1 and 2
2009 – 2012 University of Leeds – BA Economics and Management (2:1)
2008 Cheltenham College A Levels – History (A), Art (A), Economics (A), Mathematics As (B)
2006 Cheltenham College GCSE’s – Mathematics (A*), English literature (A), English language (A), Science (AA), French (A*), History (A), Ancient Greek (A*), Art (A), Spanish (A).
I am a qualified primary school teacher, and have been working as a tutor since 2017. My main subject specialisms are maths and English. I also support with the 7+ and 11+.
My approach to tutoring starts with building a personal relationship with the tutee which is the foundation for effective learning. Getting to know my tutees on a personal level, has allowed me to find out what they enjoy both inside and outside the classroom so I can plan lessons to be more meaningful. For example, a year five girl I am currently tutoring is a keen tennis player who needs additional support on her maths, so I ensure that lots of the word problems and worksheets I create for her have a tennis or sport element to them. I like to offer a personalised approach to tutoring wherever possible just so the lessons are more engaging for the child. If the space allows, I like to be creative in my tutoring style – I have introduced ball games for times tables which has worked brilliantly, and I am lucky enough to be able to access a range of other creative resources through my teaching. I have a bank of tried and tested resources, particularly for assessments in both English and maths. I often find that setting a short homework for a tutee and going through it at the beginning of the next lesson allows me to pick up any weaknesses and work on these together, however I will always discuss homework setting with the parent.
I take a very child-centered approach to tutoring, I encourage children to ask questions, engage in topics and take responsibility for their own learning. Having seen children in my own class become disengaged when there is lots of testing involved, I try to come up with more creative ways to explore subjects that allows for more independent thinking and exploration as well as test preparation if required. I am a very energetic person and I believe my enthusiasm and positivity really helps the children to become excited about their learning.
I have built in excess of 100 hours of tutoring experience. Please find a snapshot of my recent tuition experience below.
Year 2 English (SEN Dyslexia)
Zara is mildly dyslexic and found that the pace of her English lessons at school moved too quickly for her to keep up with. I ensured I slowed the pace right down in her lessons and always started each lesson with some reading time – asking her some insightful questions about what she had read. We then took a picture from the book and focused on constructing simple sentences – always ensuring the grammatical aspects were correct and challenging her to use ambitious vocabulary where possible too. By the end of our sessions, she was writing full sentences with joining words and had the confidence to always try and improve my sentences too!
Year 3, English
Alex came over from Russia last year and needed some extra support with his reading, writing and speaking. He is a very energetic boy who needs lessons to be varied and engaging to be motivated. I have used games, pictures and cards to develop oracy skills and now his phonics knowledge has developed, we read and discuss interesting comprehension texts (from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts) and write ambitious sentences together using words from the Mrs Wordsmith curriculum which has really up-levelled his vocabulary. Alex now feels a lot more confident within the classroom with his spelling, reading and writing.
Year 3 Mathematics
Sam was a strong mathematician when it came to answering arithmetic questions, but it become clear that he struggled with reasoning and word problem tasks, primarily due to English not being his first language. Having identified this area for improvement, I came up with a number of word problems for him from a range of topics across the curriculum – including fractions, measurement and division. Where possible I ensured that these were sport related problems as I knew he would enjoy trying to work these out and he already had some of the vocabulary needed to answer the questions. Working through these together, allowed him to build up his confidence to know he could do these independently!
Year 5 Mathematics – 11+ preparation
My lessons with Maria focused on identifying addressing misconceptions over a range of maths topics covered in the Y5 curriculum. Maria is confident and competent at carrying out arithmetic calculations, but often rushes through and finds the reasoning and problem-solving questions more challenging. We focused on slowing down our approach to answering these questions and where appropriate, breaking them into smaller parts. I would then set her home learning to practise more of the questions which would embed the process and allow her the time to do this independently. This has improved her resilience and allowed her to make fantastic progress ahead of her 11+ next year.
Year 6 Mathematics – 11+ preparation
Zach needed a little extra support to boost his confidence ahead of the 11+ exams he was sitting. We went through several past papers together – going over key topics where there were misconceptions and also allowing him to create his own questions for me to answer and him to mark. This allowed for a much more interactive process and one that helped him to make steady and solid progress. He got into his school of choice and has a new found enthusiasm for the subject.
Hobbies and Interests
I have always loved sport from an early age and now run several times a week around South London for the Clapham Chasers. I also coach tennis during the school holidays. I am a trustee for a small Kenyan charity and run the teacher training and volunteer teaching side of the charity. I love doing this and try to visit the schools out in the Rift Valley at least twice a year.
“Lessons with Rachel are always fun! She makes maths so much easier for me to understand than my teacher at school and has made me think that I am quite good at the subject which I didn’t think I was. I think I might actually do well in my maths exam this year for the first time ever!” Year 5 tutee