I started teaching French, Spanish and English in 2009 from (I)GCSE and A level to undergraduate level. I have also helped students prepare for the IB exam and the American SAT subject tests in these languages.
In addition, around 2012 I began to offer support in Common Entrance (English, maths, and reasoning at 11+, and languages and humanities subjects at 13+).
I have experience helping students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD, and I have completed residential assignments in Kent, Yorkshire, Jersey, Monaco, and Girona.
I have helped students gain entry to some of the country's top independent schools, including City of London School for Girls, City of London School for Boys, Dulwich College, Eton College, Godolphin and Latymer School, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, Latymer Upper School, Marlborough College, Westminster School, and Winchester College.
I studied French, economics and maths at A level 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 at UCL. In 2009 I started tutoring in modern foreign languages and in 2012 I started offering support in Common Entrance. Until recently I juggled my time between tutoring and translation of texts from Spanish and French into English. Currently, as part of a career move, I’m using my work in tutoring to help finance a training in counselling.
I carefully consider 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 a given approach, or resource, is not working. The needs of students differ greatly. Some retain new information or grasp new skills very quickly and should be pushed in order to advance their learning; others require repeated practice in order to achieve automaticity.
In either case, in classroom teaching as in tutoring, there is sometimes a temptation merely to teach students at the expense of engaging them in the process of learning. For me, being told how to do something and then being instructed to simply get on and do it is a disempowering experience. Instead, I invite the student to put on their ‘detective's
hat’ and help them to find the solution to a problem themselves. Not only is this more interesting and exciting, it gives them a sense of autonomy and self-belief that will stand them in good stead in the exam. In addition, I try to help students see how a task fits into the big picture in order to give the task meaning. If it means something, they are more likely to be motivated to do it.
One of the most important attributes I bring to my tutoring is my listening. I take an interest in what my students have to say for themselves, and I encourage a dynamic of exchange which makes the lessons lively as well as productive.
What I do when I am not tutoring
Since having a baby I decided to retrain part-time as a psychodynamic counsellor. The training is challenging but very stimulating, and I’m intending to tutor through to the end of my training in 2025. 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.”
''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.''