I started teaching French, Spanish and English in 2009 from early primary all the way up to undergraduate level. I have also helped students prepare for the IB exam and the American SAT subject tests.
Around 2012 I started to specialise in 11+ English, maths and reasoning, and as a 13+ generalist. I have also taught a steady stream of GCSE, IGCSE, and A Level English students during that time.
In addition to the aforementioned subjects, I offer essay-writing support across the humanities. Some of my other noteworthy assignments have included helping students with ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia, and I have completed residential assignments in Kent, Yorkshire, Monaco, and Jersey.
I have helped a number of students gain entry to some of the country's top independent schools, including City of London School for Girls (and Boys), Dulwich College, Eton, Godolphin and Latymer, Haberdashers, Latymer, Marlborough College, Westminster, and Winchester.
I studied French, economics and maths at A level (A,A,B) and pursued my interest in languages at St Andrews University. After graduation I moved to Spain where I taught English at the University of Valladolid, and on my return to London I embarked on a masters in linguistics (distinction). During that year I started teaching languages to students from KS2 through to undergraduate level, and since then I have come to specialise in 11+ and 13+ CE exam preparation. Since graduation I have juggled my time between tutoring and translation of technical and general texts from Spanish and French into English, and currently, as part of a career move, I’m undertaking a long, part-time training in counselling and psychotherapy.
I try to meet my students half-way, as it were, rather than attempting to exert my influence on them. I'm an excellent listener, and I enjoy listening to what my students have to say for themselves. I'm careful not to dismiss what they say out of hand, even if they are incorrect.
I take every opportunity to elicit responses from them rather than telling them what they ought to know, or how they ought to do something. Above all I want to encourage them, and I want them to go into the exam, if they are sitting an exam, with confidence in their own ability. Experience has shown me the importance of give and take in the student-teacher relationship; much of the fulfilment I get from teaching is derived from a dynamic of exchange.
For many students it’s necessary to practice the same technique, again and again, particularly in maths, in order for that technique to become automatic. But before this I make sure they understand what is being done, and its place in the wider scheme of things. It’s important that it means something to them, and it can only mean something to them if they learn to work things out for themselves. I like to play a game where I invite the student to put on their 'detective's hat' and to find the solution to a problem. I’m able to facilitate them in this task by giving them clues and by ‘showing, rather than telling’.
More generally, I consider thoughtfully the learning needs and objectives of each of my students and I tailor my approach accordingly. I won’t hesitate to try something new if I feel that given approach, or resource, is not working.
Finally, I feel it is important to establish a solid, trusting relationship with the student in order to make the process an enjoyable one, and to get the best out of them academically.
What I do when I am not tutoring
Until recently I divided my time between tutoring and translation. Now I’m expecting a baby with my partner and I’ve decided to retrain as a psychotherapist. The training is long and challenging, but very stimulating. I’m intending to tutor for several years to come until I achieve qualification. In my spare time I read avidly, write, watch films, and I love sports. I play tennis regularly over the summer and football in the winter. I like to run and swim all year round, and I love tinkering with bikes and going on long rides in the countryside at the weekend.
“Peter Clarke spared no effort in identifying precisely which weaknesses existed in the French knowledge of our two sons - and these were quite distinctive -but, further, in a focused and resolute manner set them exercises in order to eradicate these; doing so with a lightness of touch that ensured that the tutorials were welcomed rather than resented by two adolescents. They both received top grades thereafter.” -T
''Zoe enjoyed her lesson with Peter and I am so grateful that he could fit us in at the last minute. He was very nice, punctual and seemed to interact with Zoe in a way she really liked, more grown up than a teacher/pupil relationship at school. I would definitely use him again.''