• 7+/8+ English & Maths: public school entrance exams
• 11+ English & Maths: ISEB/London Consortium public school entrance exams including Pre-Tests
• 13+ English & Maths: public school entrance exams
• 16+ English Public School Entrance Examinations
• UK iset preparation
• GCSE/IGCSE English: English Lit and English Language for Edexcel, Cambridge, OCR and AQA
I am have experience teaching the following texts:
- Song of Ourselves (poetry Vol. 1 and 2)
- Animal Farm
- The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- Of Mice & Men
- Romeo and Juliet
- A View From A Bridge
- Silas Marner
- The Merchant of Venice
• GCSE/IGCSE Maths and French: Cambridge, AQA, OCR
• GCSE/IGCSE English Preparation (Language Exam, Literature Exam) - Edexcel
• A-level English: English Lit for Edexcel
• AS-level French: Cambridge, Edexcel, AQA, OCR
• SSAT preparation
• UK iset preparation
I grew up in Canada, living mainly in Toronto and Montreal. With a desire to explore and expand my horizons, I spent several years in France studying theatre at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. I was subsequently drawn to the UK and I have lived here for many years. I spend my time between Toronto and London, tutoring students of all ages. I am a writer, playwright, professor and teacher and I also work as a theatre director and artist educator. I develop plays with my international theatre company, Open Heart Surgery Theatre and am part of the Young Vic Creators' Program in London. I've always worked in the creative arts (theatre, writing and storytelling), education and social justice and have worked with many different theatres and organisations internationally. I see myself as someone with an international outlook, a passion for creativity and the power of the imagination and a I have a deep passion to teach.
As a playwright and producer, I have written and produced many plays with my theatre company, including: First Draft, which was performed in Cairo, Egypt at Falaki Theater after it toured in the UK (Camden People's Theatre and The Mimetic Festival); This Is Why We Live, which toured Poland and France and New York City; VOILA!, which earned an OFFIE nomination. I have developed podcasts, films and am currently writing a new work that will be produced in 2024. I am passionate about books, poetry, music and travel. With my background in physical theatre, I am also interested in creating original theatre from a movement perspective and have taught at Universities, Colleges and Sixth forms. I have taught LAMDA to an arts school in Hampstead and support young people in their dramatic endeavours - this positions me well for interview practice as well.
I am passionate about supporting and nurturing young people's learning through engaging lessons. I believe in connecting with my students and discovering their own unique learning style, as I believe this to be the core of enabling students to excel in their learning journeys . It is essential to develop this rapport with students first, so learners feel comfortable to ask questions and engage with the material in a way that feels empowering.
I am a writer and theatre artist, originally from Canada, with a passion for education, creative writing and I have 16 years' teaching experience. I studied English Language and Literature at the University of Toronto, Theatre and Development in Montreal, Physical Theatre at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq school in Paris and earned a Masters in Creative Writing. I have been tutoring since 2007 (from adults to young children) with outstanding results and my students gaining placements into the schools of their choice in England.
Having worked in a multitude of settings in Canada, France and the UK, I have been able to test out many approaches to tutoring over the years I have been working. What works best is to always have clear communication, ask questions to make sure learners are understanding the topics and to create sessions that suit the needs of each individual student.
Enthusiasm, trust, keen listening and rigour are key principles I bring into my classes.
I have experience working with students on the 11+, 13+, 16+ and also at GCSE/IGCSE and A Level English and Maths, guiding students towards success. My main focus and experiencing is helping students prepare for their pre-test or Common Entrance at the 11+ level and helping to improve confidence in their subjects and guiding students through the curriculum. I feel my students have a positive experience as I always try to adapt my lessons to suit the needs and learning styles of my students. I have extensive experience at the higher level as well and I help students develop their study skills for their entrance exams and prepare effectively, focusing on the areas of weakness and building knowledge from there.
I have taught in Canada, France, Egypt, China and the UK. I teach English, Creative Writing, Drama, Maths, French and guide my students in Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. My experience also involves creating original workshops in Theatre and Playwriting in Canada, France and the UK. I also have experience as a supply teaching in Primary Schools and running workshops at all levels. In Paris I taught English to young learners, and businesses, taught English with C'Efficace, ICB Europe, Langue en Scene and Babylangues. I have taught Creative Writing workshops in South London with Knowledge Seekers. I have been with Keystone Tutors in London, UK for over 10 years.
Above all, I believe in a creative approach to learning: engaging lessons, with clear opportunities for application of learning. I create bespoke sessions that suit my students needs, through mapping out goals and assessing our goals every week.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I love hiking, yoga, travel and reading and try to do this as much as possible! I love writing and engaging in community-based projects that uplift people within their communities. I run a theatre company that is devoted to developing original work that is movement-based and speaks about relevant themes of our time. I am working on a new play and recently toured by work to New York City's Experimental Theatre La MaMa in 2019. I have taught Playwriting at the University level, I run workshops on playwriting internationally and also for adults, helping shape scripts and develop new work.
"We are delighted to inform you that our son has a place at Harrow for September 2019. As you may imagine, this was the best Christmas present we could have asked for!"
"My son is enjoying his lessons with Coleen and improving on his writing skills. Thanks for recommendation. I like Coleen's patience and perseverance." Tonbridge pre-test applicant from Singapore
"My son had a good first lesson. He was very engaged and the hour on the online platofrm was very interactive". Pre-test student sitting for Harrow from Singapore.
"We have found Coleen to be an inspiring tutor. My daughter responded well to her and was taken up with Coleen's enthusiasm and encouragement. Her initial assessment of my daughter's needs was concise and accurate. During the lessons she was patient, enthusiastic and went beyond her remit to inspire and encourage, especially with developing creative writing skills." (Father of 11+ student)
13+ and 11+ Tutor:
''Coleen worked very hard with both of our daughters and I have no doubt that our eldest would not have done as well in the King’s Canterbury exam if it wasn't for the tuition and support she received from Coleen. She has helped both of our daughters to get to the best version of what they are capable of rather than coaching them above their expectations.
Coleen has been very flexible and responsive throughout the process and has been great at giving us extra feedback after marking the girls' work offline outside of the monthly reports we receive.'' (Parent, 13+ and 11+ students)
ISEB Pre-Test preparation:
“I really enjoyed Coleen’s tuition. Coleen taught me for English, Maths and French. I felt fully prepared for my entrance exams and ISEB Pretests and was accepted into the schools of my choice (Charterhouse and Cheltenham). Coleen kept my attention in all my sessions and she broke challenging concepts into understandable pieces.” (Pretest Year 6 student)
''Coleen was extremely helpful in working with my son at getting him comfortable with the ISEB Common Pre-Test - focused on his areas of relative weakness and building his confidence. She subsequently prepared him for the Harrow Test, afterwhich he was offered a place! He found her easy to work with, knowledgeable and engaging. She provided him with tools / skills that should help him beyond the admissions process.''
(Parent of 11+ student)
English Language/Literacy Tutoring:
''To any prospective parent; employing Coleen as a English tutor, is a must!
Coleen is not just excellent in English, but knows how to engage children and translate the syllabus into edible parts! Coleen has never let us down and worked meticulously in the pre and post lesson preparation.
Above all, Coleen has bought out the hidden author in our 12 year old son. We (including our son) never knew his creative writing could be so brilliant. It's given our son immense confidence and love of the subject, and he scored straight A's in his recent external exams, and got into his preferred school.
We would 100% recommend Coleen, worth every penny! Thank you once again Coleen!''
(Parent of 13+ student)
''Coleen has made a great initial impression with us all. She is personable and warm, thoughtful and thorough.
She listens very actively both to me and to my daughter. She immediately engaged my daughter's interest, not a given, and my daughter has left each lesson filled with energy.
Coleen strikes a good balance between enthusiastic praise and encouraging my daughter to stretch. My daughter has been raving about the lessons to her friends, and they now want in, which is why I asked about the possibility of shared workshops in the future.
I like the way Coleen gives me an update in front of my daughter, and also by email afterwards - I feel I know far more about her one hour learning each Saturday than her 35 hours learning in the week!!
My daughter enjoys the workshops, is enthusiastically anticipating them and bouncy afterwards, she is producing work that is better than the work I've seen her produce for school and she seems to be taking more pride in her work. So far, very impressed'' (Parent of Year 3 Student)
''I loved how we all got a chance to give our ideas and to perform. I had fun!'' student at Indian Crescent Public School, Toronto
''I am more confident now because of the workshop'' (Oakwood Public School, Port Colborne Canada)