I am, above all, a history of art specialist and teach no other subjects. All of my tutoring, teaching and writing is geared around this focus. Exam technique, in particular, has become one of my most sought after services and is now an established specialisation.
The three most recent academic years (ending June 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively) have been my busiest to date. New and existing clients comprise a rounded and intensive mix of AS/A level, BA and MA students. I work predominantly with the AQA syllabus but am also experienced with the Cambridge Pre-U syllabus. Typical assignments include intensive revision bursts, remote teaching on Skype, long term ongoing assistance, independent study supervision and guidance, personal statement preparation, interview practice and much more. At the busiest time of year (February - June) I generally work with a dozen or so students with my availability for this period spoken for by early March.
I've taken on a larger number of significant long term students, assisting one AS/A level student with weekly home work assignments since November 2013 (he completed his A-level with an A*, and 97/100 on one of his papers) and teaching the other AS History of Art from scratch. One of my most substantial placements has been year round tutoring of an MA student, providing greater understanding and support for assignments and essays. I recently tutored a student privately for History of Art AS and the personal statement for university entrance, covering course topics from Greek and Roman classicism through to early twentieth-century movements.
In the past I have undertaken several weekend long, 'in-house' revision sessions with a student before her A2 History of Art exams. Her History of Art grade turned out to be her highest (an A).
The Easter holiday revision periods are typically packed with up to a dozen students in need of thorough and engaged revision guidance across the period from the pre-Easter half term until the final exams. I have also continued to expand my experience of tutoring BA level students, especially when it comes to substantial written work and exam preparation. The conceptual leap between school and university is significant and I've enjoyed the greater challenge this involves, both for me and the student.
Finally, I have assisted a much increased number of students with university applications and personal statement writing, as well as work on longer pieces of writing such as dissertations.
My business partner and I also regularly run a two day 'crash course' in the history of Western art from 500 BC until the present day, the modules for which cover Ancient Greece and Rome; Byzantium, Romanesque and Gothic; Early and High Renaissance; Mannerism and the Baroque; 1750 - 1900; Modernism; and, finally, contemporary art. Additional courses have followed and now include one day course on the Birth of International Modernism, 1850 - 1960 and another on Modern and Contemporary Art, 1960 - present day.
I grew up in Warwickshire and the Cotswolds before moving to London, with significant enthusiasm, at 17.
At Winchester College I took A-Levels in English (A), Geography (A) and Art (B), and an AEA in Geography (Distinction), as well as AS-Levels in History of Art (A) and History (A). In addition, I was asked to be Sen Co Prae (Head Boy) and Head of House (Trants/Bramston's). I actively sought, produced, directed and acted in numerous theater projects throughout my time there.
During my gap year I was lucky enough to go on the John Hall Pre-University course in Venice, Florence and Rome for ten weeks, learning about art, architecture, opera and contemporary cinema. I also worked as a construction site labourer for six months, as well as a Third Assistant Director (i.e. runner) for an ITV drama production for three months.
After Winchester I read History of Art at Cambridge University (Downing College), and graduated with a first class degree, ranked third in my year. To date one of my proudest, and hardest won, accomplishments.
I then undertook a History of Art MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and specialised in Late Victorian Aestheticism.
After finishing my MA I began an 18 month role as the curator and collection manager at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Followed shortly thereafter by a 2 year post as Public Programmes Manager at the Contemporary Art Society, a hundred year old society which gifts important works of contemporary art to UK museums.
Alongside my studies and other jobs I have nurtured and developed a commercial art gallery, based in Bethnal Green, London, now entering its sixth year. One of best loved recent exhibitions combined Greco-Roman antiquities from 450 BC to the C6th AD and important international contemporary artists including Sarah Lucas, Ged Quinn, Alexandre Singh, Mary Reid Kelly, Maggi Hambling, Rachel Kneebone and many others.
My personal approach is structured around six core principles:
1) The student always comes first: their needs, outlook, level of knowledge and concerns. Each relationship is therefore totally unique, with no two students ever having identical needs. The primary benefit of private tutoring is this flexibility and one-to-one focus and it can yield substantial results. I am also always on their side.
2) Confidence is key. Without confidence students often hold back information and important analysis. Learning to 'back yourself' is an aphorism I repeat time and time again in class.
3) At AS and A level, technique is king. With the right essay structure and techniques students can be equipped for every situation. This avoids exam panic and helps generate the all important state of calm clarity required.
4) Nothing will come without hard work and structure. Technique and knowledge can only get you so far: hard work is the only way to increase the chances of a top grade. In preparing for longer pieces of writing (such as BA dissertations) or for the summer exams, a clear timetable with benchmarks and revision goals is absolutely vital, if only to allow time for clear 'no revision' breaks at weekends following productive weeks.
5) Lessons need to be engaging, lively and treated with a sense of humour. I'm not here to lecture, I enjoy being proved wrong (occasionally) and I'm not (yet) an old fart.
6) Guided museum and gallery visits accomplish far more than sitting at a desk looking at a laptop screen ever will. London is blessed with the best museums in the world and they are invaluable teaching resources.
What I do when I am not tutoring
Director, Breese Little, a commercial contemporary art gallery based in Bethnal Green, London. www.breeselittle.com.
We also estalished Art & Culture, an itinerant non-profit educational organisation which offers a biannual £1,000 art criticism prize and biannual lectures.
Freelance writer for online and hard copy publications, including Phaidon/Vitamin P3, Apollo, The White Review and This is Tomorrow. Recent articles include an inquiry into the need for greater art market regulation (Apollo Magazine, July/August issue, 2015) and an extensive cultural history of the moon (White Review, September 2013).
Every other spare minute is spent in galleries around London and the UK, or travelling abroad to art fairs, biennales and other important work related trips.
Major film fan (specifically science fiction) and avid cook (noodles, roasts, anything with cheese...)
"My son found Henry very constructive and helpful. He was always so organised and helped him structure his revision and he feels that he has a better understanding and his reasoning has improved." (Mother of A Level History of Art student)
"Thank you again for all of your help and teaching - it has been an incredibly enjoyable experience"
P, self-taught AS level HoA student, May 2016
"Thank you for your email this morning. All thanks to you both for delivering such a interesting, erudite and insightful course. The feedback we have had has exceeded our expectations and we were quietly delighted by how engaged and how positive everyone who attended has been...Once again many thanks for being so engaging and inspirational."
(Vanessa, art history course attendee)
''Just a quick note to let you know that my first exam was excellent! Thank you so much for all your help, I wouldn't have been able to do it without you!''
(F, A-level student)
"A big thank you from all of us for helping F. As you can see, the work you and F did paid off. We cannot thank you enough, and please know that we will always remember what you have done for F."
Tom, father of A-level student
''Exams all done and I think they went well. Honestly couldn't have gone into that exam feeling as confident as I did with out having the extra support and lessons from you so thank you so much.''
(E, AS-level student)
Just a quick note to thank you for all your efforts with P over Easter (& before). I know her time with you has given her a lot more confidence. She's been beavering away since last week, hopefully implementing all that you have taught her - at least she enjoys the subject and I know very much enjoyed her lessons with you.
Many many thanks once again.''
(Lucy, mother of A-level student)
''The lessons were a real success and most helpful.
K really enjoyed them and managed to gain a lot through them.
We will be working more with you in the near future.''
(K, AS-level student)
''Hi Henry - Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the help!''
(J, BA final year student)
''Thank you for teaching me! It was a pleasure!''
(S, A-level student)
''Thank you for all your help this year: I was extremely pleased with my A grade in the AS.''
(L, AS-level student)
''Thanks for all you doing for F, I have never seen him so inspired.''
(Tom, father of AS level student)
''Thank you so much for all your efforts with K! I know she has really enjoyed being tutored by you and says she has learned so much from you.''
(Fenella, mother of A level student)
''I'd just like to thank you for all the help you gave me... I learnt a lot from you, and you inspired me greatly. Thank you very much.''
(K, A level student)
''L tells me you did SO much to help him''
(Jenny, mother of A level student)
''L very much appreciates your help, I think we've got the levels right now, and she is so impressed by your knowledge and teaching skills.
L was also very pleased with her essay result as was I!''
(Hayley, mother of university level student)
''Thank you very much for your lesson today, it was extremely helpful. I feel very satisfied going into the application process.''
(A, mature fine art student)
''He went to school yesterday, and one of the admins told him that he surprised them, that his scores were way better than they has estimated.
I know F fully plans on working with Henry Little again. Thank you Keystone, and thank you Henry!''
(Tom, father of AS Level student)