"Sophie helped our son through his Latin Common entrance . She tutored through the whole syllabus and explained everything in a clear and easy to follow manner. He enjoyed the lessons and has now chosen Latin for GCSE. Her help was invaluable, and replaced some rather haphazard teaching at his prep school. I thoroughly recommend her!"
Mrs Y, 13+ Latin Tuition
1997-1998, Oxford University (Worcester) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English and Drama)
1994 – 1997, Durham University, BA English Literature. 2:1
Rodean School A-Levels: English Literature (B), Latin (A), Theatre Studies (A), A/S- Level: Spanish (A)
My specialist subjects are Latin and English. I have a proven track record of obtaining excellent results for pupils. I specialise in unknotting the difficulties that can so easily occur when Latin is taught in larger classes, and then moving forward through the syllabus at a pace that suits the individual. As an English teacher, my methods for helping children to generate ideas and structure longer pieces of writing are, I has been told, used by my students even once they have moved on to university! I also specialise in teaching reading techniques that allow exam candidates to maintain the focus they need to perform well in comprehension papers, even when under the pressure of an exam situation.
I has a proven track record of obtaining excellent results for pupils in both my specialist subjects. She does this by breaking down the curriculum into manageable sections, smoothing out any problem areas and reminding pupils frequently of the progress that they have made to boost their confidence.
My aim as a tutor is to prepare my pupils so well that they approach examinations or interviews fearlessly and embrace both as an opportunity to demonstrate who they are and what they know. I aim to give my tutees a love of learning – and even rigorous assessment – that will last for the rest of their lives.
I have 19 years’ teaching experience in public schools and preparatory schools; this means I have an intimate knowledge of Common Entrance examinations, and understand those elements that are often the most difficult for students. My aim is to prepare my pupils so well that they approach examinations fearlessly and as an opportunity to demonstrate what they know. I have a proven track record of helping my students obtain excellent results which I do by breaking down the curriculum into manageable sections, smoothing out any problem areas and reminding pupils frequently of the progress that they have made to boost their confidence.
I have been tutoring since the beginning of 2014, and have worked as the Head of Learning Support, Head of Learning and Director of Studies at well-known preparatory schools in the South-West of England.
English for 14+ public school entrance (online)
I have been working with an extremely able Chinese student applying for places at English boarding schools. Although fluent in English, this student was keen to improve his score in the English papers of his entrance exam. Our preparation has involved completing past papers from each of the 4 schools to which he is applying (Repton; Oundle; King’s, Canterbury; Cheltenham College), weekly writing tasks which are marked between classes and then redrafted and improved together and frequent Verbal Reasoning practice to ensure he is familiar with every style of question he might be asked in an online test.
Year 7 English (online)
I have been working with a student at Summer Fields preparatory school in Oxfordshire preparing him for the English scholarship examinations he will face in January 2020. Our work included a considerable amount of grammar leading to close analysis of literary extracts. We also undertook shared reading and study of Lord of Flies by William Golding and a considerable amount of creative writing practice.
Year 8 interview practice (online)
I have been working with a student to prepare him for his 13+ interviews at public schools including Marlborough College. These sessions include a close examination of each school’s website, identifying what makes each school unique and what appeals particularly to the student.
Year 7 English (online)
I have been working with an overseas student recently started at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She is finding that English at the school is taught very differently from in her home country so, whilst her spoken and written English is very strong, I have created a bespoke study plan for her based around the syllabus she is following at school and I am working through this with her in her school holidays. We are covering English poetry and some work on the topic of autobiography, including close reading of extracts from autobiographies I have selected myself as well as structured creative writing exercises on autobiographical themes.
Latin Year 1 and Year 2
I have worked with an extremely able 7 year old boy being home schooled through Level 1 and well into Level 2 of the Common Entrance Latin syllabus. This is usually studied by students aged 10, 11 and 12 and we have covered this content in one year.
Latin 13+ Common Entrance
I have worked with 11 tutees studying for 13+ Latin exams, either ISEB Common Entrance at Level 1, 2 or 3 or Scholarship exams.
The prep schools attended by the boys with whom I work include: Thomas’ Battersea; Westminster Under School; Eaton House (Clapham); The Hall School (Belsize Park); Horris Hill (Newbury), Ardvreck (Perthshire) and Beaudesert Park (Gloucestershire). These boys have been aiming for places at Eton, Harrow, Radley, Bryanston, Alleyn’s, Westminster, St Paul’s, City of London (Scholarship), Stowe and Dulwich College. I have also worked with students who have been aiming for scholarships at Marlborough and Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
All my Latin tutees have all passed Common Entrance and gained places at the schools of their choice, most have gained ‘A’ grades. All of them came to me totally bewildered by the subject at the start and all of them would tell you how much they enjoyed the lessons by the end.
I have also had one 13+ English candidate whom I was preparing for the ISEB CASE paper in English for Felsted School.
13+ Interview preparation
I worked with a boy with significant confidence difficulties who needed help preparing for interviews at London day schools. After a series of weekly evening tutorials during which I broke down the interview process for him, gave him plenty of exposure to the types of tricky questions that might be asked and taught him strategies for coping with being put under pressure in an interview situation, he was offered places by all his target schools, which included Westminster, St Paul’s, Merchant Taylors, UCS and Highgate. Many of them commented specifically on how well he had interviewed in his offer letter. This job was great fun and I undertook a huge amount of research and learned a great deal about the admissions processes of the London day schools as a result.
GCSE Latin (Online)
I am working with a Latin pupil who attends High school in Connecticut (USA). They are studying an American GCSE-equivalent Latin course called ‘Latin for the New Millennium’ so I am supporting him with the aid of online textbooks and resources. This boy was a pupil of mine when he was at prep school in London, and when he started finding the Latin tough at his American school, I was their first port of call.
I taught this student at Sherborne Prep and when he left to attend grammar school, his parents contacted me to ask whether I would consider taking him on as a private pupil as he loved his Latin and the school didn’t offer it.
This student this preparing for the AQA English exams in English Language and Literature in summer 2019. This boy was a Common Entrance Latin pupil of mine and his mother requested that take him on as an English tutee as he responded so well to my approach.
Hobbies and Interests
My main interest is spending time with my husband, two year-old son and our Border Terrier, Rosie. We love walking, particularly in the mountains. Cooking is another passion of mine, and I am a terrible collector of cook books. Finally, literature and drama remain a keen interest – weekend breaks for us always centre around a trip to theatre.
“We first worked with Sophie when we moved to London as our son was new to the subject at Year 6. She helped get him up to speed and excel in Latin and then told us when she felt he no longer needed her assistance. After further travelling and a break from Latin for a few years, we moved to the US. Taking up the subject again, our son could not keep up with the different expectations and standards required. We reached out to Sophie again. Despite the time difference she managed to fit us in via Skype. Though Sophie was not familiar with the school districts curriculum she obtained the relevant course materials and mastered the requirements our son had to meet. She got our son to these levels and he became very comfortable with the subject once again. We trust Sophie and her judgment implicitly. She is honest, gets to know how your child works, teaches accordingly and goes above and beyond to ensure your child is engaged and learning. We only wish she could assist in other subjects too! We feel incredibly grateful to have worked with her.” New York-based client (June 2018)
“Sophie was recommended to me for the purpose of interview preparation for 11/13+ entrance interviews, following 11+ exams and 13+ CE pre test in Year 6.
My son, although bright, was a shy 10 year old and was very nervous about the prospect of being interviewed for eight of London’s leading independent secondary day schools.
Sophie wasted no time in getting to know my son, putting him at ease & advising him how best to navigate the intended schools’ websites to identify discussion points that related to his interests.
Sophie’s tutorial sessions were pivotal to my son’s interview confidence and success. Her encouragement and preparation removed much of his anxiety, giving him the confidence to take the time to think in the interview situation and articulate himself coherently; thereby demonstrating his own personality and interests rather than appearing ‘over-prepped.”
My son received offers from all 8 schools he interviewed with including: City of London School; Haberdashers Aske; St Paul’s Boys School and Westminster.
I would recommend Sophie Hammond very highly.” London-based client (June 2018)
“Sophie has helped both my sons with Latin in preparation for their CE exams and I can’t recommend her more highly! Both came with very different issues (one is dyslexic and the other lacks confidence in his ability) and neither had been hugely stimulated by their schools. Latin is such a crucial subject in my opinion and I didn’t want them to scrape by (not sure they would have even managed that!), but wanted them to really get to grips with Latin. Sophie has a real knack at finding the tools and strategies to match the child. She is kind, patient, but firm enough and I know made all the difference to both my children.” Suffolk-based client (June 2018)
“My son was struggling with his Latin with 10 months to go before the Common Entrance exam. I had lost faith in Skype tutoring with another Latin tutor but was desperate and decided to have another go with Skype tutoring but with Sophie this time.
Sophie is a no nonsense teacher, she prepares ahead of the lesson, and recites (declines nouns and conjugates verbs) with my son at each lesson. She is so in control, has sound exam technique, knows the syllabus inside out. From being one of the weakest Latin student in his class, he ended up with a distinction in his Common Entrance exam. I am so grateful. My son gained entry into Westminster School.” London-based client (June 2018)
“Sophie helped our son through his Latin Common entrance . She tutored through the whole syllabus and explained everything in a clear and easy to follow manner. He enjoyed the lessons and has now chosen Latin for GCSE. Her help was invaluable, and replaced some rather haphazard teaching at his prep school. I thoroughly recommend her!” London-based client (2016-2017)
“Sophie is a great teacher! Well planned, productive, and fun lessons. My son’s confidence in Latin has grown!!” Oxfordshire-based client (2017-2018)
“Thank you for all your incredible effort this year in getting Ali up to speed with this class, we really appreciate how amazing you have been.” New York-based client (2017-2018)
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