• 11+ entrance examinations (Westminster, Rugby School, Oundle, King's Canterbury, Harrow, etc)
• 13+ entrance examinations (Winchester, King's Canterbury, Westminster, etc)
• Successfully coaching students for the UKiset and the ISEB pre-test examinations.
• 16+ (St Edward's, Shrewsbury, Rugby School, Malvern College, etc)
• BA, Hons. English (taught at University of Oxford)
• AS/A2 English (AQA, OCR & Edexcel)
• IGCSE / GCSE English (Cambridge, AQA, OCR & Edexcel)
• The new reformed Eduqas GCSE curriculum of English Literature
• The long-form Level 3 'Extended Project' qualification taken by some A-Level students (EdExcel, OCR)
I have tutored students in English for the past five years at a range of levels from pre-11+ work through to postgraduate work. I work with students with widely different abilities, from foreign students looking to improve their vocabulary ahead of their 11+ exam, through to 15-year-olds struggling to pass their GCSEs, and on to some of the brightest undergraduates in the country. I particularly enjoy working with younger students preparing for their 11+, 13+, and 16+ entrance examinations as I have extensive experience of successful coaching in this area.
I have spent a year in China teaching English to students aged 15-19, and continue to work with many students from Hong Kong and Asia hoping to win places at top schools in the UK.
I have several years of experience of interviewing undergraduates looking to study English at Oxford, and am well-placed to offer tuition for students thinking about any aspect of the Oxbridge admissions process.
I was born in Brighton, and grew up on the south coast. After attending Vinehall Preparatory School in Robertsbridge I studied English Literature, History, and Maths at A-Level, and took what was then the Advanced Extension Award for English Literature - students today do something similar with the 'EPQ' award. I then took a year out to teach English to Chinese students at Yuexiu Languages School in Zhejiang province before resuming studies at university.
My undergraduate degree was in English literature at Exeter University (first class), and my masters degree (distinction) was in early modern English Literature from the University of Oxford. I finished my doctorate in English Literature, again at Oxford, in 2016.
I balance my tutoring work alongside my work as an academic teaching English at Oxford. I teach all literature written between 1550 and 1760 to both undergraduates and graduate students on the masters degree. Within this broad period I focus on Shakespeare in particular.
Personal tutoring is an important part of my life alongside academic work. I enjoy working with students on an individual basis, and find the process of helping a young person's passion for English grow to be deeply rewarding. I base my pedagogy around a deep commitment to close reading wonderful literature combined with a rigorous approach to clarity of writing. I have been doing this for several years now, am a firm believer in the way that Keystone's one-on-one format provides the time and space to get to know a student and meet their individual needs.
I begin by clearly establishing a student's goals - whether that's getting into their first choice school at 11+ or 13+, like Westminster or Harrow or Cheltenham, or, later in life, pushing an A-Level grade up from an A to an A*. From there, I develop an individual programme of study, which is revised as the student progresses. Often a student will want ongoing support (for their coursework, or to improve their critical thinking) but will also have specific goals, such as learning the conventions of letter-writing, studying a particular text, or submitting an assignment.
The most important learning tool is to kindle the student's own interest and love of their subject. I am passionate about English, and enjoy discovering that excitement in new students! Confidence is often vital for this, so I encourage students to realise the value of their own ideas by giving thoughtful feedback, and creating a supportive relationship. This helps students to discover their own questions about a text or a point of grammar, and gently guides their natural intellectual creativity and curiosity.
My best results have often come when subject-specific work is mixed with broader study-skills techniques, such as essay-writing, or exam technique, and I enjoy working on these broader, humanistic skills that help students in aspects of their study beyond English. I have a wide knowledge of the history of English Literature, as well as its appropriate critical and theoretical contexts, and use this to open up new avenues of reading and learning wherever possible.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When away from old books and manuscripts, I am a keen sportsman, playing in a local six-a-side football league and running regularly. In quieter moments I enjoy letterpress printing and bookbinding, and often make one-off projects for friends - a wedding album, or a book of poetry. Other hobbies include drawing and photography, and my resolution for 2019 is to get into a sea-kayak.