I have worked with various pupils aged between 11 and 15, supporting their general reading and writing skills and identifying and remedying any gaps in knowledge. I have also tutored pupils who needed urgent help with GCSE English. One boy, with whom I worked in a deprived school in East London, moved from a predicted D grade to a predicted B grade as a result of our sessions.
I have tutored and taught German at a range of levels. I currently have three German pupils, an adult beginner, a Y7 improver and a GCSE student. Shikha, who is in Year 7, is a real success story - she initially said she hated German but now counts it among her favourite subjects and we hold all of our weekly hour-long classes in German, with her happily chatting away!
I also teach German language and literature classes at the University of Nottingham to undergraduates. I lived in Germany for about a year and half, so I am fluent to a level more or less on a par with a native speaker.
I'm happy to help students prepare for exams with any exam board, including AQA, Edexcel and OCR.
I am a lecturer in German at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and an academic specialising in German and English literature. I hold a double first in English Literature and German at with distinction in oral German from the University of Edinburgh, and a MA with distinction from Nottingham University. I have recently completed a PhD in Comparative Literature (English and German) at the University of Nottingham.
I worked for three years in the Private Office of the Chief Inspector of Ofsted. This role gave me an insight into education policy and a passion for raising standards for children and young people. My responsibilities included speech-writing, research, drafting briefings and accompanying the Chief Inspector to visits and events.
In August 2012, I returned to full-time education, studying first for an MA, then for a PhD in Comparative Literature, with a particular interest in comparing British and German post-war lyric poetry.
I now work as College Lecturer in German at St Hilda's College, where I teach German literature, language and translation skills to undergraduates at all levels.
I consider it crucial to take advantage of the format of 1-1 tuition by tailoring lessons as specifically as possible to pupils' needs and interests. All assignments therefore start with an assessment of your child's knowledge, strengths and weaknesses and learning preferences. I always aim to make my lessons interactive, engaging and clearly structured - and, above all, to communicate my passion for language and literature to my pupils!
What I do when I am not tutoring
Although based in London, I also work as a lecturer in German (language and literature) at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and conduct academic research into twentieth-century and contemporary English and German poetry.
When not tutoring or studying, I enjoy reading for pleasure, cooking and travelling. I sit on the governing body of a local primary school and am also an enthusiastic open-water swimmer.
We continue to be very happy with how things are going. Tom's ability to use sophisticated language and analyse text has improved beyond all recognition since Nicola has been tutoring him. She is really well organised and thorough and her help in English has enabled Tom to raise his game substantially in all essay- writing and analytical subjects.
"Nicola has made a tremendous difference to my son's ability to write in different styles. I am confident that his creative writing controlled assessment mark will reflect all the hard work and good teaching." (Mother of GCSE English tutor)
"We are very pleased with how things are going. Nicola is very knowledgeable and has a real gift for encouraging and inspiring - My son's work and confidence have already improved significantly." (Mother of GCSE English student)
''Alex's confidence and his output have both improved and he is really grateful for your help [...] We feel very lucky to have your assistance. The combination of themed lesson planning and constant attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling are spot on.'' (Barbara, mother of a 14 year old)
''I was most impressed with how quickly you grasped where Peter needed some guidance. I was very impressed with your approach to poetry; it being fun rather than a chore and I hope some of this has rubbed off on Peter! He said how useful the sessions have been, so many thanks!'' (Louise, mother of a 13 year old)
''Just a note to say that Nicola Thomas is an exceptionally able tutor and has got [my son] highly motivated in German. He really likes the way that Nicola teaches as she makes the lessons very interesting. [We] are very impressed with her too as she is highly organised, plans lessons ahead of time and ensures that Chetan's potential is stretched to the maximum. We will be booking her right up to Chetan's GCSEs. I should say that she is a great addition to Keystone Tutors.'' (Andrew, father of a 16 year old)