• 11+ English and Maths: ISEB and public school exams
• 13+ English, History, Maths, Science, Geography, R.S: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• GCSE/IGCSE English, Maths and History (All exam boards)
• A-level English (All exam boards)
• A-level History (All exam boards)
• A-level Business Studies (All exam boards)
• International Baccalaureate essay writing in History and related Humanities subjects
• English as a foreign language (All exam boards)
• Oxford University History Aptitude Test preparation
• Oxford University interview preparation
• Post-graduate degree applications in the Humanities
• Undergraduates - mentoring and providing additional tutorial support for undergraduates reading for degrees in History, War Studies, International Relations, Political Science, Area Studies, Business and related subjects.
• Exam invigilation
Over many years I have accumulated ad hoc experience in tutoring students of varying ages and abilities in a range of subjects, in particular History, English and business-related subjects. I have tutored several students in preparation for the Oxford University History Aptitude Test (HAT) who have gone on to read History at Oxford. I have tutored (individually) a large number of students at A level and university level in essay planning and writing, particularly for History, but also for English and other related subjects. I also tutor students for GCSE English, especially those who are struggling at Foundation level. More and more courses now offer research project modules, requiring students to undertake qualitative or quantitative research; I have helped a number of students develop rigorous research proposals with appropriate methodologies and analysis at both IB and undergraduate levels. Some students at university struggle to adapt to unfamiliar academic challenges, and I have helped several students to improve their performance substantially at university. I should also mention that I greatly enjoy providing teaching support for my own daughter, now 14 years old. Because I do not teach full time, I feel that I can bring fresh perspectives to the curricula, and can give real help in students’ acquisition of a deeper understanding of their subjects.
I am an experienced writer on investment, business management and personal finance. I am the author of more than 30 books, and have been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Polish, German, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. My latest book. 'The Con Men: A History of Financial Fraud' (Financial Times/Pearson) surveys the major financial frauds of the last few decades and discusses ways investors can protect themselves from major losses in the financial markets.
I have also translated several academic books from Turkish into English, mainly on historical topics.
As a historian, my specialist research field is the eastern provinces of the late Ottoman empire. I am currently working on an annotated translation of the 1917-1918 diary of an Ottoman cavalry lieutenant who fought on the Turco-Iranian border against the Russians, and then in what is now Iraq against the British. The diary, which is extensive, was handwritten in Ottoman script at the front, and is a rare and important primary source for this under-researched aspect of World War One. This is a long term project.
For several years I have been providing transcriptions/translations of Ottoman seals found by the Great Arab Revolt Project excavations in Jordan. See:
As a journalist, I contribute occasional articles to various media outlets, mostly on current events in the Near East and in South East Asia.
I studied at Oxford University, obtaining a BA Hons in Modern History (defined at Oxford as beginning in the 5th century AD) and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, specialising in Turkish and late Ottoman language and history.
I attended Downside School, Somerset, UK (a well-known Catholic public school) during the 1970s, gaining A levels in Latin, English and Psychology.
Prior to that, I attended a prep school, Moor Park, near Ludlow, Shropshire, UK for two years.
I spent most of my early childhood in Turkey, where my father worked for many years as a British archaeologist. I also spent a year at school in the US and two years at school in Canada.
My main goal is to identify any problem areas the student is experiencing with the school or university syllabus, and to address these appropriately, using a range of techniques. I seek to make learning fun, and often find that this can be achieved by showing how and why a topic is meaningful. I encourage students to participate fully in the planning of learning goals and in assessing the learning outcomes. With older students in particular, I endeavour to encourage critical thinking and to broaden their understanding of their subject. I have a particular interest in helping students with critical thinking, essay planning, essay writing, understanding academic texts, and coping with difficult concepts.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When not tutoring, my main activities are historical research, language learning (I am currently learning Romanian), investment writing, occasional journalism, and editing academic articles for other scholars. When not working I enjoy flying gliders, sailing and foreign travel, particularly in the Far East, where I have a number of investments.
''My son thoroughly enjoyed his HAT sessions and found them extremely beneficial. Leo went above and beyond what was required. I have highly recommended Leo to other parents.'' (Parent of a student who was offered a place to read History at Oxford).
"The feedback from my daughter r.e. the tutoring was very positive. She found the session a great learning experience. As a parent, I feel Leo was extremely flexible with how he could support her during the run up to the HAT. Couldn’t ask for more!"
"I am so glad to see my daughter enjoy the lesson with you so much and she always smiles a big smile after the lesson. She is more and more fascinated with Classic and feels more comfortable with English. I really like your way of guiding her which she needs very much. She needs the guidance about what are the books she should read or what are the information she should explore. I told her she is lucky to have you as her tutor." English student in Singapore (UKiset test)
"My daughter worked very well with Leo in the first lessons. I also spoke to him directly and exchanges a few emails. I really appreciate Leo's efforts on understanding my daughter's background and tailoring the teaching method for her. He also worked hard to motivate her. It is not an easy task for Leo but I have faith that he can help her to make some real changes." UKiset test preparation from Singapore
"The first lesson was great! He gave me feedback on what I've done (a practice paper) and led me to think creatively when I was tackling question 3. Thank you for recommending me a great tutor!" History Oxford applicant - HAT preparation
'He was offered a place at Lincoln College [Oxford University] today. He is beyond happy. Thank you so much for all your help. It really made a difference.' [Oxford History entrance preparation]
30.10.22 'Thank you very much for this very helpful comment. He had clearly planned answers in his head as we had not practised with him! I certainly take your point on his being a people pleaser but not being able to follow with an argument!' [School Entrance interview practice]
'Maths and thinking skills were in the top 10% of the students ( total number of students 15,000) competing for about 10 schools with about 4000 total seats in the state (city and rural included ). Reading and writing results top 15% of the students.' [11+ selective schools test, Australia.]
I just wanted to write to you to express our deepest gratitude for all your work that you’ve done with him. He got 9 9s and just one 8 in English literature. [English Literature, English Language, and History GCSE tuition and general study skills mentoring.]
I wanted to write you to thank you for your help in his GCSEs. I think that during the time that he’s worked with you his work ethic has tremendously improved and this culminate work the GCSEs where I witnessed him working very hard to try get underneath the skin of the exam and I think that without your help that wouldn’t be the case. He has just recently got back home and I think after some rest in July it would be beneficial for you to restart lessons in August to start discussing the politics and philosophy reading in preparation for his A levels. [English and History GCSE, general revision guidance for other GCSEs.]
My husband and I have talked about their reading as well. We can see they really started to enjoy all types of books in many different area. And also, they both love to talk to you. [13+ and 16+ English]
I just wanted to say an immense thank you as [he] scored very high in his national exams and [her] tests are steadily in the mid 90 percentage. It’s been a wonderful experience. [11+ and 14+]
'You are the best tutor that he has ever had.' [11+]
5.2. 22 'I have just done my English assessment. The questions were perfect. You predicted everything!!!! [16+ School entrance]
7.1.22 'She got 91% in her Maths exam - thank you for all the support!' [14+ Maths]
14.12.21 'He was successful, so we're very pleased! Thanks so much for your help and valuable support.' [13+ Maths entrance]
1.12.21 ''A few minutes ago I received my acceptance letter from Sevenoaks, before that from Bromsgrove and Ardingly. I wanted to thank you for adequately preparing and supporting me for my exams. I learned a lot in each one of our lessons. You opened my eyes to many topics that I had never studied before and motivated me to discover more about them. I am very grateful to have had you as my tutor, I wouldn't have succeeded without your support! Thank you so much!'' [16+ History]
23. 11.21 ''Leo was a fantastic help. [She] not only found the sessions immensely useful but also hugely enjoyable.'' [11+]
12.11.21 ''Thank you so much for helping me with my CAT4 testing. I have done the test for Malvern and your help was essential. Thank you.'' [16+ entry]
9.11.21 ''...he loves your teaching which inspires him a lot.''[13+ English and Maths]
10.9.21 “I’m very happy that Leo is teaching him. He enjoys the lessons with Leo even during his holidays! Leo is very professional and very kind.”
1.9.21 'Thank you for having tutored him over these four sessions. He truly loved it and it is wonderful to see the interest you have created in him for the subject.'
27.8.21 'Thank u soo much u hav been amazing with him.'
10.8.21 '...you were a perfect match to give her exactly the amount, content and style of support she needed: perfectly tailored to the client! Thanks to your flexibility in lesson planning, we were able to make optimal use of the short time. She -and we as parents as well- felt comfortable throughout the whole journey. We would like to say 'Thank You' for your very professional engagement.'
'I have shared with Keystone how exceptional you have been. We have greatly benefited from your considerable experience and guidance.'
'He has got his City of London place... We are delighted/relieved and he is ecstatic. Thank you again for all your hard work.
''I am so glad that my son has you as a mentor and guide.'' [Successful entry to John Lyon School]
''I would like to thank you very much for helping, to prepare me for my exams. I am delighted to tell you that I got into St. Albans, HABs and Merchant Taylor's with a DT scholarship! Again I would like to thank you very much for all the support you have given me.''
“Leo has been an exceptional tutor. My son has thoroughly enjoyed working with him and we are very grateful to have had his help with the process. We are also very impressed with Keystone, it is an outstanding tutor company and I would highly recommend both Keystone and Leo. We are hoping to use both in a few years' time for our daughter who is currently in year 3.”
2/12/20 'He has been offered a place at Brighton and a scholarship at Hurst, the two schools at the top of our list. Thank you for all your help.'
18/9/20 'She has learnt a great deal from you and recognizes she has a lot more to learn.'
30/7/2020 'James enjoyed the lesson with Leo, he felt the quality of the teaching was amongst the best he’s had so far.'
8/6/2020 'As much as I know my son, he’s capable of reaching great heights when attended with love and patience, which is exactly what you offered to him.'
8/2/2016 'My parents have just got an email saying that I have been accepted into the school. Thanks for all the help in preparing me for the entrance exams!'
21/10/2015 'Your tutoring has started him thinking in ways he would not have otherwise. And for that we are grateful.'
15/09/2015 'I would like to thank you for the ongoing tuition you have provided since January 2015 to my daughter... who is doing the International Baccalaureate finals this year in Singapore.
You have helped her enormously with her essay writing and with her use of English – here in Singapore she is influenced by the creole ‘Singlish’ of the other students and the environment and this creeps into her written work. She has become much more able to distinguish between Singlish and formal English under your guidance.
Thanks to supervision her critical thinking and intellectual maturity are much improved.'
1/12/2011 'Leo has helped her acquire a much greater vocabulary and has ensured that she is able to say, read and write the words accurately...We have noticed a tremendous difference in our daughter's confidence levels and she has begun to enjoy the subject at school.'