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Sara O

"Sara makes her science tuition fun and engaging, and as a result, my daughter is now more confident and her science assessment results have improved significantly.”

Parent of GCSE Science student

  • 11+

  • A Level

  • English

  • GCSE

  • KS3

  • Maths

  • Science

  • University Applications

Academic History

University College London Institute of Education: Chemistry Postgraduate Certificate in Education

University College London (UCL): BSc Pharmaceutical Studies (Upper Second- Class Honours 2:1)

A-Levels: Biology (A), Chemistry (B), French (B)

GCSEs: English Language (A), English Literature (A), Maths (A), Science (double award) (A* A*), History (A*), French (A*), Arabic (A*), Product Design (B), BTEC Business (Distinction)

About Me

I believe that one of the most important aspects of tutoring is to ensure that tutees remain motivated during sessions, particularly whilst teaching difficult concepts. Therefore, a focal aspect of my tuition includes creating and using a wide range of stimulating and interactive activities to encourage proactive learning and maintain tutee enthusiasm. A significant example of this, that is very well received by tutees, is the ‘Oreo Cookie Moon Phase’ activity. Here, tutees use a spoon to carve out the inner filling of the cookie to match the 8 phases of the moon (KS3 physics).

Recent tuition

11+ Preparation

L was a year 6 student who was preparing for his 11+ entry examinations. His parents were concerned that he was struggling with maths and needed extra help to achieve his potential. To assist, I tutored L for a period of six months. I began by assessing L’s current knowledge and skills in maths, which allowed me to identify his strengths and weaknesses. This was then used to develop a personalised study plan to help L improve his maths abilities. To help L grasp key concepts in maths, I used a variety of teaching methods, including visual aids, practical exercises, and interactive learning. I also used an approach that was friendly, patient, and encouraging, this helped L feel more comfortable and confident in asking questions when he needed clarity on a topic. L was given regular homework to reinforce his learning, which was marked promptly with clear and constructive feedback. His progress was also frequently monitored and the teaching style was continuously adapted to suit L’s learning pace and preferences.

I provided L with numerous practice papers to help him gain familiarity with the exam format, questions, and mark scheme/s. We focused particularly on topics most commonly covered in 11+ maths exam, including arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages, and problem-solving. L’s progress was substantial, with his marks in the mock 11+ assessments improving dramatically in the months leading up to the 11+ exam. He often scored 90% and above, which was fantastic. L, his parents, and I were delighted that he achieved top scores in his 11+ maths examinations, resulting in him receiving offers from his top choices of secondary school (Whitgift School & Emanuel School).

11+ Preparation – Autism and ADHD

I tutored B, a student preparing for the 11+ who had been diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. At the start of my work with B, I made a learning plan in consultation with his parents suited to his learning requirements. We incorporated regular scheduled breaks into lessons, while also having a system for taking extra breaks if he felt overwhelmed or unable to focus. I also prepared checklists for what we were going to cover in each lesson. As the lesson progressed, we would check off each topic we had completed. This reassured B that the lesson content was going to be manageable, while also giving him a strong sense of achievement. B went on to achieve excellent results in the 11+.

Year 8 Maths

S was a year 8 student (Lady Margaret school) who struggled with maths. She regularly received low marks in her maths assessments and she did not enjoy the subject at all. I worked with S for a duration of two years to help her improve and develop her confidence in maths. Various techniques were used in our tutor sessions to explain concepts that S found difficult, such as visual aids, modelling, and maths games. I also broke down complex ideas into simpler, more accessible points that S could understand and follow. S was also given plenty of feedback and positive reinforcement, which helped to boost her confidence and motivation. Over the course of several weeks, S’s grades began to improve. She was able to solve maths problems more confidently and accurately, and her understanding of mathematical concepts increased significantly. Over time, S eventually began to enjoy maths, and she was excited to continue learning. Her maths assessment results also improved drastically from 40% when we first began tuition, to 70% and above.

Maths and Science GCSE (Home Schooling)

A was a year 10 student (Latymer Upper School) who struggled with severe anxiety particularly at school. For this reason, her parents decided to withdraw her from school and opt for home education. I home schooled A in GCSE maths and science for a period of two years. This was to help her achieve top grades in these subjects, whilst also receiving support for her mental health. I ensured that lessons were tailored to A’s pace, with plenty of space for breaks if A was feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I also provided A with a clear timetable and worked closely with her parents to ensure that she was healthy, happy, and motivated. Besides this, I worked alongside A and her parents to develop a positive, safe, and comfortable learning environment for A, as well as helping her develop strategies for managing her anxiety. As a result of my tuition, A’s understanding and confidence in science and maths improved dramatically. She went from achieving a grade 6 in both subjects (upon commencing tuition), to achieving a grade 8 in her GCSE examinations. Additionally, A’s confidence and attitude towards her education improved significantly, to the extent where she was able to apply and secure a place at Latymer Upper Sixth Form, which she attended the following September.

Science GCSE

M was a year 10 student (Fulham Senior School) who recently moved to the UK and did not speak English as his first language. Due to the language barrier, M was finding it difficult to understand key concepts taught in his science classes and his parents were concerned about his progress. I tutored M for a period of two years to aid him in building a strong foundation in chemistry, biology and physics at GCSE foundation level. To help M improve his competence and language skills in science, I encouraged him to participate in discussions, ask questions, and explain concepts in his own words. I also worked with M on understanding and using scientific vocabulary and key phrases. Throughout our tuition sessions a wide range of assessment for learning strategies were employed to support M in his development. Writing frames, visual prompts, traffic light cards, targeted questioning, and compare and contrast activities are examples of this. Over the course of our tuition, combining language skills development with subject knowledge helped M’s understanding and confidence in science grow. This resulted in him achieving a grade 5 in GCSE foundation science, one grade above that predicted by his science teachers.

Chemistry A-Level and University Application

H was a year 13 A-level student (The London Oratory School) with a passion for chemistry and a desire to study pharmacy at university. However, H was struggling to keep up with the challenging A-level content and his parents were concerned about his grade for his chemistry mock assessment at the end of year 12 (grade C). I tutored H for the duration of year 13 in order to help boost his level in chemistry as well as assist him in securing a place at his top choice of university to study pharmacy. I began by assessing H’s current knowledge and skills in chemistry using his mock examinations as a guide to determine the strengths and weaknesses in his subject knowledge. Together, we developed a bespoke learning plan to focus on topics that H was less confident in e.g organic chemistry, and thermodynamics. I worked closely with H to prepare him for his A-level exams providing him with various tools such as comprehensive notes, practice past paper exam questions, and detailed marked feedback. This allowed him to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to excel in the subject of chemistry.

I also aided H with his university UCAS application, supporting him in writing his personal statement, as well as preparing him for university interviews. This proved to be extremely beneficial as H was offered a conditional offers from all of his choices including his top university of choice. Over the course of our tuition, H’s progress quickly improved, and he excelled in his subject knowledge, particularly in the topic of organic chemistry. My support and guidance helped H develop the skills required to solve complex chemistry problems, which was demonstrated in his A-level exams as he achieved a grade A, and secured a place to study pharmacy at Kings College London.

Hobbies and Interests

Travelling: Travelling as a hobby, particular to parts of the world where customs and traditions as different to that of the UK, fosters cultural understanding and allows me to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the world. Event organising: Event organising provides me with the opportunity to explore leadership and project management, whilst expressing creativity to curate memorable experiences for others. Charity work / volunteering: Engaging in charity work provides me with a profound sense of fulfilment as it allows me to make a meaningful impact to those less fortunate in my local community and around the world.

Testimonials

“I cannot thank Sara enough for her exceptional work in helping my son with his 11+ entrance exams. She provided an individualised approach to teaching, showing immense patience, understanding, and creativity in supporting my son’s unique learning style. Sara was able to keep my son engaged and focused, allowing him to make fantastic progress in maths and his exam preparation. This resulted in him receiving offers from his top choices of schools.”

Parent of 11+ student

“Sara provided exceptional science tutoring for my daughter. My daughter had low confidence in science and struggled to understand the subject matter at school, but Sara’s patient and nurturing approach provided my daughter with a greater understanding and appreciation of science. Sara makes her science tuition fun and engaging, and as a result, my daughter is now more confident and her science assessment results have improved significantly.”

Parent of GCSE science student

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