• Undergraduate English
• Undergraduate Philosophy
• ELAT (English Literature Admission Test)
• Philosophy Admissions Test
• A-level English (OCR, AQA, Edexcel)
• A-level Philosophy (AQA)
• A-level Religious Studies (AQA)
• Pre-U English
• Pre-U Philosophy
• International Baccalaureate English Literature
• iGCSE and GCSE English Literature (CIE, AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• iGCSE and GCSE English Language (CIE, AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• iGCSE and GCSE Religious Studies (AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
• 11+ English and Maths
I have taught undergraduates studying English at the University of Cambridge in one-to-one tutorials and small groups since 2012, and am especially experienced helping students with study skills, essay writing, and revision skills.
I was born in London and grew up in Surrey. I attended Tonbridge School in Kent, gaining ten A*-grade GCSEs, and four A-grade A-Levels in English Literature, History, Spanish and Art.
I took my first degree at Jesus College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2007, graduating with a double first in English.
I then studied for a Master's degree (pass with distinction) in Environment, Politics, and Globalisation at King's College London, which led to my first job as Communications Officer for the New Economics Foundation, an independent think-tank and research organisation, from 2008 to 2011.
In October 2011, I returned to academia to write a PhD in English at Darwin College, Cambridge, the novels of Samuel Beckett. I completed the thesis in 2014. I have taught undergraduates at Cambridge since 2012, and, in 2014, completed the year-long Teaching Associates qualification, accredited by the Higher Education Academy.
My teaching philosophy is student-centred: my aim is always to create a supportive, friendly and exciting environment for learning to thrive. I respond dynamically to the needs of each student I teach, shaping the my teaching style so that it best serves their personality and skills.
I also believe that students learn best when they're doing practical things related to their studies. This means using games, writing tasks, drawing pictures, making rhymes, student presentations, and other forms of interaction, which keeps students energised and excited about the material.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When I'm not tutoring, I am often pursuing academic research on literature, and continue to write and publish articles on Beckett and other authors. I'm a keen hiker and camper, and enjoying finding ever wilder parts of the British Isles to roam around with friends. My other great passion is mindfulness meditation: I spend several weeks a year in silent retreat at a beautiful former convent in Devon.
My recent blog posts
31/01/2017: Preparing for English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)
My son has enjoyed working this year, Andy’s obvious knowledge and considered approach fostered a relationship that was just right for my son. He ended up in the best position to achieve what he set out to do. Please pass on our thanks to Andy.
I just wanted to say thanks for all the support you've given my daughter this year. She's so enjoyed her lessons with you and you have really given her extra confidence.
Thanks for your great help with my daughter this year! I am delighted to see her growing in ability and confidence with your teaching and encouragement. I look forward of your continued support! - Mother of year 11 student.
Thank you so much for taking on the challenge of tutoring our spirited daughter through her 11+ entrance exams. This is what she said about you: 'Andy made lessons fun, and he was really good at explaining things. He was patient and kept going over things until I got them right. He gave me confidence for my exams and I don’t think I could have done so well without him.’ As you know we were amazed when she was offered a place at every school she applied to. And she’s much looking forward to starting at St Paul’s next term. We are very proud and very grateful to you. - Mother of 11+ student
Andy was amazing! My daughter found him very helpful and taught her some really useful exam techniques - including how to organize her paragraphs and other tips for getting the marks (this is where she has trouble - she can think well but doesn't always tick the boxes the examiners want her to!). Thanks so much for finding him. (Mother of A Level Student)
My daughter was very positive about your first lesson. She felt she learnt a lot and was surprised she had not been taught those things before! She said she wrote a paragraph and 'it felt good' which is fantastic to hear. (Mother of GCSE student)
“Thank you for all your help, I think my daughter is really starting to believe in her own abilities and is producing work of a much better standard.” (Mother of A2 English student)
“My children both find their English school teachers very uninspiring yet finish their lessons with you inspired again. I have got to the point of telling them to write essays/homework as though they are for you!” (Mother of AS and GCSE English students)
There was no question that with my daughter skipping a year, a lot would be needed to fill the gaps in her knowledge. She is very fortunate that she has met you and I am grateful for your committed and forthright guidance. Mother of Keystone Student
"My daughter continues to find the lessons very interesting, relevant & useful. I would happily recommend Andy (& Keystone) to anyone." Father of previous student.
27/10/2015: ''My daughter is getting so much out of her lessons with you. Her father and I are thrilled that we can assist her, through you, to obtain the marks she is after but also to discuss the texts with an expert who obviously shares that passion.'' Mother of Year 11 student (English Literature and Language iGCSE)
13/09/2015: ''I was very happy with my GCSE results: I got an A in English Literature [this student had averaged C grades prior to working with me]. I was very happy with your teaching because you explained everything really well, and gave very good examples. You were also very patient.'' Year 11 student (English Literature)
“One of the only tutors I have had who was unfalteringly attentive, and his efforts in gathering helpful resources and adapting his classes to different people’s needs were invaluable” – 3rd year university student, 2015
“Incredibly patient, invested and personable - my work with Andy never felt pressured or anything but enjoyable.” – 2nd year university student (coursework), 2014
“Andy was a very friendly and encouraging tutor - I felt that the criticism he gave was always very accurate and measured, and I therefore never felt slighted or put down by it. I also really enjoyed our group supervisions.” – 3rd year university student, 2014
“Genuine enthusiasm and the best advice I have ever been given in terms of further reading.” – 2nd year university student, 2014
“I'm dyslexic and have struggled with organising the structure of essays in the past, but Andy helped encourage my visual approach to learning and to use it to my advantage. As a result, I really enjoyed the supervisions and feel positive about the upcoming exams.” – 3rd year university student, 2014