I have been a maths tutor for the past 11 years. The bulk of this has been one to one, but has also included a good deal of work in small groups, for example holiday study groups, and work in the classroom environment. I have been placed in charge of high-flyer groups to give them more challenges, and to give extra time to those who struggling with the subject. This has also included work with SEN students. From Key Stage 1, all the way up to second year degree students, I have tutored at every age, every syllabus' and at all levels of ability.
I was brought up in Middlesbrough and later Derby, before studying Maths at Bristol. Having graduated, I travelled around Africa and Latin America, teaching English and Maths, before moving to London, where I have been tutoring ever since.
The key advantage to personal tuition is that the lessons can be tailored precisely to the students particular needs. I spend the first lesson or so working out strengths, weaknesses, and best working practise, then tweak my approach based on what is required.
I have an informal but focused approach, finding the best way for the student to understand the theory and apply it to questions. The best way to improve is through practise, and all lessons have a heavy emphasis on exercises, with particular use of past exam papers. I believe it is important to encourage confidence through a systematic thoroughness, but also to make lessons engaging and varied.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I have two young children, so most of non-tutoring time is spent with them. When I get a spare afternoon I love drawing, writing, and playing the piano.
"The lessons were great! I think he is exactly what she needs! And she actually doesn’t moan about it as much as I expected her to, so that is a good sign! She was nervous i think initially that he would think her stupid but she seems to be over that now, and I can hear that she is concentrating for the hour, so I am pleased, thank you"
'Tom has made the lessons fun and there is always much concentration mingled with laughter even on the hard papers of C3 and C4 Maths. Thanks to Tom our son has done the best he is capable of doing.' (Mother of A level Maths student)
'We've been really pleased with Tom. My son feels he's helped enormously in the limited time they've had together, and if we were ever to need a maths tutor in the future we would definitely ask for Tom again. Delighted to have found him, so thank you very much.' (Mother of GCSE Maths student)
I have had Tom Shepherd tutor my son in Maths for the past 9 months. His grades have gone up at an extra ordinary rate, with two lessons a week. At the age of 12 our son's Maths scores have gone up from 20-28% to now a terrific 85%. Tom is very reliable and punctual and gets on very well with our son, but he instils an essence of respect and the urgency to do your best. We still have Tom tutor our son, who has been accepted into our chosen school after he took his entrance exam.
When Tom came to work for us last year our son was badly demoralised, stressed and lacking in confidence to the point where he could not motivate himself to do his school work. We are extremely grateful to Tom who was always receptive to his challenges and didn’t give up on him. Tom has made the A-Level lessons fun and we will be sad not to see him at the kitchen table in future, as out son passed with flying colours.
Tom has been fantastic. Erik seemed to click with him straight away and in fact would happily have carried on with the tutoring sessions! Tom managed to make the whole procedure interesting and more importantly as stress-free as possible for Erik. Erik not only passed his 11+ exams but was offered academic scholarships to all three schools he applied to. The tutoring improved all aspects of his maths and english, and greatly increased his confidence in his ability. I have no hesitation in recommending Tom's services. My only worry is that he'll be too busy to tutor my other children when the time comes!
(more available on request)