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Tom

“Tom was perfect at adapting lessons to our daughter’s needs. We couldn’t have had a better experience.”

Parent of GCSE English Student

  • 11+

  • 13 +

  • 7+/8+

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • SAT

Academic History

Distinction, Goldsmiths, University of London, Writing for Performance MA

University of Cambridge, BA Social and Political Sciences, First Class

A Levels (Tonbridge Grammar School): Politics A*, English Literature and Language A*, Philosophy and Ethics A, History A

AS Levels (Tonbridge Grammar School): Psychology A, Advanced Extension Award English (Distinction)

GCSEs (Tonbridge Grammar School): English Literature A*, English Language A*, History A*, Religious Studies A*, Drama A*, Triple Science, Maths, Art, Spanish – all A

About Me

My specialist subjects are, English (including creative writing), entrance examinations and Government and Politics. I also teach the SAT for US admissions. I am a warm and rigorous tutor whose approach embodies the best of the teaching I’ve experienced at Cambridge and elsewhere. I tailor my approach specifically to each individual student, but I always build confidence and expertise by creating a friendly and supportive environment that has high standards and expectations. With students who are older, we discuss and devise a set of targets to work towards in the short and long term and a plan to achieve those, ensuring they’re motivated and have a clear outlook on exam success. With students who are younger, I assess their strengths and weaknesses and ensure they have a thorough grounding in the content and techniques required so they can approach the examination hall without fear. I’ve worked in many different environments with students with very different needs, and so I’ve become adept at devising and deploying multiple, very different tuition strategies. My tuition sessions are creative, enjoyable, and specific to each student.

Recent tuition

11 + Maths, English and Reasoning

I worked with Jay over a period of six months to prepare him for VR, NVR, Maths, English and interview preparation. Jay’s family was based in West London and so were looking at state and private schools in the area. I worked to improve Jay’s written fluency, his ability to write creatively and answer precisely, his skill with higher level mathematical concepts and different approaches to non-verbal. Jay had an erratic preparation test performance, and his parents were nervous about how he would perform in exams and in interview situations. We spent some time making sure he knew what to expect and was thoroughly prepared. Jay received scholarship offers at King’s Wimbledon, RGS, and Reed’s, and a place at Hampton’s.

11+ English and Reasoning

Lara did not think of herself as an academically able student and was terrified of English comprehension and of creative writing. We worked in low-pressure, enjoyable sessions, analysing narrative extracts as stories, building up her confidence and soft skills. Lara came on leaps and bounds, was no longer afraid of the test, and achieved a score much higher than her parents’ initial expectations. Lara is currently studying at Ardingly College.

13+ English

I worked on Zoom with Alex on English for his Common Entrance. To start, Alex was unmotivated and found English deeply boring. We worked together on motivation, found texts that Alex enjoyed reading, and then began to work on exam technique and under exam conditions. Alex went from a completely unmotivated student to one who was very engaged and had become an avid reader. Alex won a place at Winchester, where he has just finished studying.

13 + English and History

I worked via Skype with Aaron on English and History for Common Entrance and on scholarship exams. For a period of six months, we worked on honing his answers and approach, meticulously looking at how to approach different types of questions and on the kind of creative approach that is required to approach some scholarship questions. To begin with, Aaron wasn’t particularly interested in preparing for the exams, but once we’d built a vision of what he could achieve he exhibited startling progress. Aaron won a scholarship to Westminster.

GCSE English Language and Literature (AQA)

Charley had been taken out of mainstream education because of her poor health. Her parents now worried that this meant she would not be able to have an academic career at all. I started with short sessions and rebuilt her confidence and stamina, and after a time her parents started to speak about how her improved confidence was carrying over to other areas of her life. In a period of 18 months, with sessions of 1 or 1.5 hours per week, I worked through the entire curriculum with Charley. She got a 9 and an 8 respectively and was able to go back to mainstream education.

A Level Government and Politics (AQA)

I started working with Bea in February after she got a D in politics in her January mock exam. She needed an A in order to meet her offer of studying Psychology at Bristol and was panicking. To begin with, her level of understanding and knowledge of exam techniques was poor. We worked through key concepts in areas of debate in the topic, building up understanding and interrogating different approaches in highly focused revision classes. We worked historically and thematically and made the subject exciting. After our work, Bea achieved an A* in her exam, achieved her offer, and went to Bristol.

A Level Sociology (AQA)

I worked with Hafsa for twelve weeks immediately prior to her A Level exam, after her regular school teacher had a serious health problem and the school were unable to find a replacement. Whilst other students had switched subjects earlier in the year or dropped or deferred it, Hafsa was determined to finish it, even though there were vast areas of the course she was unfamiliar with. We worked quickly and thoroughly, targeting key areas and making sure she was confident in terms of questions and content. Hafsa went from a D in her mocks to an A in her exam and was able to change sixth form college to complete further A levels.

SAT support, English and Grammar

Anna was an international student based at a UK school aiming for US College entrance exams. Anna was very mathematically able but hadn’t studied English or Grammar in years and was uncomfortable and unfamiliar with both the content and the challenge of the strictly timed tests. We spent a long time building up Anna’s familiarity with comprehension and knowledge of the grammatical rules needed for the test before slowly introducing working to time. Over the course of three months, Anna built the skills required to do very well – and achieved a perfect 1600 in her SAT. Having put herself in this excellent position, Anna is currently in the middle of college applications.

Hobbies and Interests

I’m a multi-award-winning writer for stage and screen, whose work has been broadcast on BBC One and published by Methuen/Bloomsbury and Nick Hern Books. I love the creative act – from redrafting and honing a piece to the initial rush of letting your characters tell you things that no one knew a moment before. There’s something special about creating something from nothing and something social about the act of sharing it with an audience. Writing spans the solitary and the communal. It’s a powerful thing. I love sport – reading about it, playing it, watching it. I think if Charles Dickens was alive today, he’d be a sportswriter or at least use it as an occasional outlet. I play five-a-side and am a West Ham fan, I’m afraid.

Testimonials

A Level Politics Student

“Tom saved my life. Genuinely. I was struggling so much with government and politics A2 level. Having achieved a D my mocks everyone in my family was panicking, I recruited Tom on a whim and he was able to explain everything I was struggling with in a manner that I was able to understand. Then, armed with my new understanding he was able to gradually and effectively start introducing new concepts and ideas to me that were beyond what I had been learning in school. I got an A* in the end. I would say I genuinely have no idea how I achieved that – but it was definitely down to Tom’s thorough and efficient tuition!”

Parent of English GCSE Student

“Tom was perfect at adapting lessons to our daughter’s needs. We couldn’t have had a better experience.”

Creative Writing Student

“Thank you for helping me enjoy writing. Before this I couldn’t think of anything more daunting. I feel like I’ve found a new love.”

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