I have been a maths tutor for the past 14 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, and those struggling with dyslexia and dysgraphia. 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 a friendly 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 spare time is spent with them. When I get a spare afternoon I love drawing, writing, playing the piano, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
"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 (13+ Maths)
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 (A-Level Maths).
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! (13+ Maths and English)
Our son decided not to attend A Level maths classes at school so we ended up asking Tom to teach him the entire syllabus. The remit was to help him achieve a top grade and that’s exactly what he did. Tom’s style was to explain, demonstrate and then quietly watch to see what happened. He gently pushed our son to think for himself (and to only use a calculator when absolutely necessary!) which enabled him to understand which method to use when faced with a challenging question (and to be quick and competent at mental maths!). This not only gave our son confidence but he regained his enjoyment of maths and looked forward to the lessons. Tom set a high standard but, combined with humour and understanding, it proved to be a winning formula (A-Level Maths).
Tom worked with me throughout my final year of the IB diploma to learn and solidify HL maths content. The lessons were upbeat and well organised with all concepts explained clearly and tested with relevant IB practice questions. Tom ensured a concept was completely understood before moving on and was able to explain ideas in a different manner when necessary. My lessons with Tom enabled me to understand novel content as well as strengthen my understanding of fundamentals (IB HL Maths).
Tom has been an absolute life-saver throughout my IB. He helped me grow into the top student in my class through his bottom-up approach. His teaching style of explaining concepts from first principles allows me to grasp them, allowing me to answer even the more difficult questions in the maths HL applications syllabus. Apart from being a great teacher he is also such a great person to work with! (IB HL Maths)
Tom is a great maths teacher and helped my daughter really understand maths, not just remember it. She achieved great success in her sixth form IB maths exams, attaining the highest grade. He really understands the demands of the IB course and supported her throughout the 2 years (IB SL AA Maths).