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William K

"You were very helpful throughout my Cambridge application process. You gave me useful advice and suggestions for my personal statement and we met on multiple occasions to ensure that it was the best it could be. Additionally, once I received an interview you gave me extremely valuable mock interview practice which allowed me to build my confidence and ability to answer difficult questions, which I employed in my real interview."

Oxbridge student

  • A Level

  • English

  • GCSE

  • Oxbridge Applications

Academic History

Modern and Contemporary Literature, MA, Birkbeck, University of London, 2018-20 Awarded Distinction and the Modern and Contemporary Literature prize

Graduate Teacher Program, UCL Institute of Education, 2008-09 Awarded qualified teacher status (QTS)

English and Philosophy, BA Hons, Leeds University, 2000-03 Awarded upper second-class honors degree

A Levels: 1998-2000, English (A), Art (A), History (B) and Politics (B)

GCSEs: 1993-1998, English (A*), English Literature (A), Art (A), Double Science (AA), History (A), Maths (B), Geography (B), German (B)

 About Me

My tutoring approach is based first and foremost on creating a positive relationship. Every student is unique, and I always listen very carefully to students’ individual experiences so that we can work together on exactly what can help most. A primary focus is always to increase students’ confidence, so that they start to find their way to enjoy the subject and flourish. To do this I bring enthusiasm, excellent subject knowledge, and experience of inspiring students to put in the effort that will ultimately make the difference for them. Together we will set short and long-term goals so that we always have a clear focus in mind, and so that we can measure our progress along the journey.

As a tutor I always work in an individualised way, helping students to work on their particular weaknesses, and to develop their confidence in thinking, reading and writing. In practice, this often means working with students to understand how to write more detailed and developed paragraphs, in a more sophisticated academic style. In many cases this begins with encouraging students to speak their ideas aloud, before working together on planning and then co-constructing paragraphs together. Sometimes, students need help with a particular grammatical or syntactic misunderstanding which is holding them back; other students need support to organise and learn the knowledge for a particular part of their course; some students will need to work more closely to the assessment objectives of a particular syllabus. In every student there are particular personality traits that provide a guiding light for the tutor in how to make the student see the work as interesting and accessible. In the end, most students are working towards assessments, exams or academic interviews, and it is my most important job to prepare them to perform brilliantly in whatever challenges they face. My work will be complete when a student can approach their assessments with regulated emotions and looking forward to demonstrating exactly what they can do.

Recent tuition

I provide tuition for Oxbridge entrance examinations (eg. Oxford ELAT or Cambridge English admissions tests) and interviews, particularly in English and sometimes in the wider humanities.

GCSE English Language and Literature (AQA)

I tutored Francis for one year, working towards both of his GCSE English exams. Francis was an intelligent student who struggled to focus in English. We worked on understanding exactly what was required on each question in the English language exam and timing the paper properly. We prepared different ways of approaching the transactional and creative writing tasks. We created flash-cards for all his English literature texts so that he could improve his recall of character, theme and contextual information, including quotes. We did regular exam practice until he was confident to use his time effectively in the exams. He achieved grade 9 in English language and grade 8 in English literature GCSE.

GCSE English language (AQA) and English literature (AQA)

I tutored Kerem for one year in preparation for his GCSE English language and literature exams. Kerem was a low to middle attaining student with Turkish home language and little interest in reading. For his literature exams, we focused on making knowledge stick using competition and recall tasks. For English language, we focused on practising exactly the skills that were required for each question. For both exams we practised academic writing using paragraph planning systems. We did a lot of exam practice where we would both write the answers, followed by reflection and peer marking. Kerem achieved grade 7 for both GCSEs.

A level English Literature (OCR) and Film Studies (Eduqas)

I tutored Gemma for two years in both English literature and film studies at A level. Gemma was a middle attaining student with an average GCSE score of 5.3. She was highly anxious to begin with but she was also enthusiastic and hard-working and we were able to make good progress. Our work was about developing Gemma’s confidence and giving her the opportunity to succeed with presentations, essay writing and assessments. We worked extensively on extended writing skills practice: structuring, developing detail in the paragraph, using English specific subject vocabulary and getting excited about the contextual/critical perspectives that were interesting to her (eg. feminist interpretations of ‘Hamlet’ centring on Ophelia; and context around the New Woman in relation to ‘A Doll’s House’). In time Gemma began to see herself as an academic student working at the top of the class. Her essays were used as models for other students. She achieved grade A in English literature and grade A* in film studies.

A level English Literature (OCR)

I tutored Marcus for one year in preparation for his A level English Literature exams. Marcus was an intelligent but not yet hardworking student who came to sixth form with middle prior attainment (average GCSE grade 6.4). His main issue was understanding the level of reading and revision required for success at A level, and finding his own interest in the subject. We worked on planning academic essays with a clear thesis and structure, and then built Marcus’ knowledge with wider reading and discussion. By the end of the year he was working at the top of the class and achieved an A* grade in the final exam.

A level English Literature (OCR) and University application support

I tutored Talia for a year in A level English literature and supported her with her university application after a disappointing set of year 12 mock exam results. Talia was a very bright student who was at times low on confidence. My work was often about creating a space for her to talk through her own ideas, reflecting the ones with the greatest potential and getting her to develop them and write them down. We did a lot of work on improving her confidence in her own ability, working to hear, understand and overcome negative self-talk. We worked a lot on thinking skills: taking time, considering options, going for depth and development in answers, moving away from a mindset of ‘right answers’ to ‘demonstrating the thinking’. We addressed her tendency to spend a lot of time online searching for tips, tricks and ideas, eventually giving her a better understanding of the academic journey of investigation, a process of developing her own thoughts in a step-by-step manner. Talia is regularly writing top grade essays and now holds offers from several Russell Group universities to study English literature.

Cambridge University – English application support and interview preparation

I tutored Alice for her Cambridge University application for six months. Alice was very intelligent and capable in English literature, but with very low confidence and difficulties with the personal statement and the academic interview situation. We did a lot of work developing her personal statement from a document that made too many definitive statements about what texts mean, into something that expressed her intellectual development, that followed her genuine excitement about reading and showed her desire to deepen her understanding at university. We also did a lot of work on the academic interview scenario, explaining its purpose, trying different tactical approaches, building confidence, and eventually doing a series of challenging mock interviews. She achieved a conditional offer to study English literature at Cambridge.

Hobbies and Interests

I am interested in all aspects of culture, but particularly literature, film and music. I am currently studying psychotherapy and I have introductory qualifications in integrative and psychodynamic counselling. I am a keen swimmer and supporter of Arsenal FC.

Testimonial

“As a teacher, you were really great, you gave us all the information we needed but also you listened to our ideas about the films which was always very helpful and motivating. I actually have used some of the work I did with you at A-Level here at Uni!! You took the care to discuss ideas with us, as well as giving us the exam skills and essay writing skills for the final assessments which was incredibly useful. You also helped me with my Oxford application, firstly by encouraging me to apply, which I hadn’t even considered before, but you also helped a lot during the application process. You did mock interviews with me which were invaluable, as well as being very supportive after I thought my real interview had gone really badly. From start to end of the application process you were really important and I don’t know if I would have got my offer without you!”

Film studies A level (A*) and Oxbridge student, now studying History at Oxford University

“Thank you for being amazing. I think yours was the first lesson I had and it was one of the first times I had realised how engaging and interesting school could be. I will miss talking to you about films and subjecting you to my peculiar essays and will think of you when I read a book that is not in normal English!”

Esme – English Literature A Level (A*) and Film studies (A*) student

“You were very helpful throughout my Cambridge application process. You gave me useful advice and suggestions for my personal statement and we met on multiple occasions to ensure that it was the best it could be. Additionally, once I received an interview you gave me extremely valuable mock interview practice which allowed me to build my confidence and ability to answer difficult questions, which I employed in my real interview. Overall, your involvement in my application process was extremely useful and something that I’m sure contributed to my acceptance.”

Oxbridge Student, gaining an offer to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge University from September 2023

  • Fully Vetted

  • Qualified Teacher