• 11+ English, ISEB, Common Entrance
• I/GCSE English Literature & Language for AQA, OCR and CIE
• AS/A2 English Literature for Edexcel and OCR
• Qualified English as Second Language teacher (CELTA)
• 4 years’ experience teaching Academic English at Navitas English, Australia - teaching grammar, essay writing technique, critical thinking and exam skills - helping hundreds of students pass their exams to enter university
I have successfully prepared students for both the 11+ exams including the ISEB, Buckinghamshire 11+, St. Paul’s Girls, Godolphin, and Haberdashers’ Aske’s exams. I am particularly strong at building comprehension and writing skills. I have found my formal training in English as a second language incredibly useful in teaching grammar and punctuation to this age group.
At GCSE, I have helped several students achieve better than expected results. I am familiar with most of the set texts for the OCR, AQA and CIE exam boards. I am also very confident with the English language exams and can help students build confidence in their writing, through close analysis of texts in different genres and producing mini-genre texts in our sessions.
For AS and A-Level, I am familiar with most set texts but have specifically taught: King Lear, Hamlet, ‘Tis Pity, The Tempest, Translations, The White Devil, The Rivals, Paradise Lost, The Great Gatsby, Mrs. Dalloway, The Wife of Bath, Feminine Gospels, Streetcar Named Desire and the poems of Yeats. I use model essays, and my own resources to help students understand the jump from GCSE to A-Level, focusing on cultural context and comparative analysis.
I have been teaching and tutoring since 2008.
I really enjoyed school. I attended Wycombe High Grammar School in Bucks and took part in every music, dance and drama performance I could. I achieved straight As and A*s at GCSE, and three As at A Level in English, Spanish and French. I went on to study English and Hispanic Studies at the University of Nottingham, graduating with a 2:1 in 2008.
After university, I moved to Australia, where I qualified as an English language teacher and taught and tutored Academic English for five years. When, I moved back to England in 2013, I began tutoring for the 11+, GCSE and A-Level, starting off working with families in Buckinghamshire, and then moving to London in early 2014. I also worked, until recently, with an educational charity in East London. This was a fantastic opportunity to work in both primary and secondary schools, delivering workshops designed to raise students’ confidence and aspirations, and prepare them for life after school.
I had a French tutor for A-Level and she had a profound effect, not only on my final grade, but also on my confidence and general attitude to my studies. Consequently, I am very much a believer in the benefits of one-to-one tuition.
As a teacher, I soon recognised the danger of students getting ‘left behind’ in the classroom and so I started lunchtime clinics for my students where they could come to me and go through things they hadn’t understood properly in class.
These experiences have shaped my approach as a tutor. I understand that all students are different, and respond to things in different ways. I also believe the onus is on the tutor and if a student doesn't understand something, then it is my job to explain it better or find another ‘route in’. I really enjoy this creative aspect of tutoring and encourage my students to ask a lot of questions!
What I do when I am not tutoring
My passions are writing and music. When not tutoring, I can normally be found writing or hosting creative workshops, or writing and rehearsing new songs. I have been singing with my band for almost 3 years and keep myself busy in the summer months, playing in London and around the UK. In 2014, we were lucky enough to go to Malawi to play the Lake of Stars Festival.
''Fiona helped me so much and her support pushed me to go further and overcome all the barriers'' - English language student
''Fiona has an ability to inspire, and to instil focus in her student. She always looked forward to their time together'' - parent of GCSE student - (A grade)