Simon is a very experienced Teacher and Oxford graduate. He is a Classics specialist and also writes his own materials.
Primarily Teaches: 13+ Latin, GCSE Classical Greek, GCSE Latin, AS/A Level Classical Greek, AS/A Level Latin
Also teaches: 11+ English, 11+ Maths, 13+ Maths, Verbal Reasoning & Non-Verbal Reasoning
I have been a full time tutor since August 2021, focusing on CE to A Level Greek and Latin, although I do tutor other subjects on request, above all CE French. Private residential tutor for London and international tutoring companies (2002 -2008) teaching a range of ages and subjects, and including various special needs. Placements varied from game reserves to film sets. I have most experience in CE, Scholarship and GCSE work; I have tutored Latin up to degree level.
2010-2021 Teacher of Classics and sports, St Philips School, London SW7
2008-2010 Special needs TA, Falmer School and Varndean College, Brighton
2004-2005 Special needs TA, cover teacher, St Dominics Special School, Surrey
2002-2004 Head of Classics and History, sports coach, Barrow Hills Preparatory School, Milford, Surrey
2001-2002 Latin/Greek/Class Civ teacher to A2, English to KS3, Elizabeth College, Guernsey
1999-2000 PGCE Classics (Secondary), Cambridge
1998-1999 Latin/Greek teacher to A2, sports, boarding master, St John 's Leatherhead 1998-1999
I grew up in Lesotho and South Africa, went to boarding school in England, and worked hard to get straight As at GCSE and A Level, and a Double First in Classics at Balliol College, Oxford. I carried on to gain a Distinction in a Masters in Anthropological Archaeology. Classics teaching has become the main thread of my working life but I have a great interest in working out what makes people tick, and in pastoral work. This led me to travel much of the world, particularly the developing world. I have worked in many types of school, including special schools, and I specialised for almost two years with ASD and dyslexic pupils. I have also spent several years working as a tutor, much of it residential. The family feel of my current school, St Philips, strongly appeals, as does the age group (7-13), although I work happily with the 13-18 age group as well. I run a Classics department that is mentioned in the Good Schools Guide (North London) 2018 as 'particularly strong' and has several lines in the main Good Schools Guide 2018, which says 'the teaching is dynamic, making effective use of technology without sacrificing the rigour of more traditional methods. In a Year 8 Latin lesson boys were highlighting words they had problems remembering followed by a session based around pictures to assist visual learners. The image of a shouting clam (clamo) or a vampire sinking its teeth into its victim’s jugular (neco) certainly seemed to do the trick.' In the 2020 Tatler Schools Guide it says of my school that 'both parents and pupils are enamoured with Classics teacher Mr Aitken - one of them explains that ''the boys feel they can confide in him'''.
I'm strongly aware of how the exam education system and the sit-at-your-desk approach causes problems for many pupils, and enjoy helping people work out both what makes them tick and what learning styles and subjects best suit them. My own education was quite traditional, so I am familiar with the benefits of a more formal approach, and when to use it, but I prefer, if time allows, to allow the student a space in which to develop their own ways to remember and understand material. Exam revision, however, is time limited so is focused simply on giving the student the most efficient ways to remember the material, and ensuring good exam technique.
I spend a lot of time improving my tutoring material to cover as many learning styles as possible, and to make it as efficient as possible. I have written four text books, one for each level of CE Latin and one for Mythology. I also make extensive use of technology, and have built my own website for Latin students that uses educational games.
I do have downtime too, however! I enjoy travelling, especially to Africa and India, and to France to keep up my French. I also enjoy socialising with friends, meditation, reading, films, and time in the wilds where possible.
Available on request.