• Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Preparation for Pre-Tests and entrance exams
• 11+ English and Maths: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• 13+ English, Latin and History: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• Entrance exams to leading UK day & boarding schools including: Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Wellington, Wycombe Abbey, Downe House, Marlborough, St Paul's Boys & Girls, Latymer Upper, City of London, Godolphin & Latymer, Westminster, Westminster Cathedral Choir School, Francis Holland, Putney High, St Mary's Ascot, Thomas's, The Harrodian, Kings Canterbury, North London Collegiate, Sevenoaks, Dulwich, Oundle, Benenden, Emanuel, Stowe, Sherborne, Haileybury, among others.
• (I)GCSE English (all exam boards)
• (I)GCSE German (all exam boards)
• (I)GCSE History (all exam boards)
• (I) GCSE Latin (CIE, OCR)
• A-Level German (all exam boards)
• A-Level History (all exam boards)
• IB German (HL and SL)
• MLAT - German & Language Aptitude Test
I often find that students have the bulk of the knowledge they need, but struggle to verbalise or articulate what they know. Much of my tutoring work has involved working with students on structuring their answers and writing coherent and complete essays as well as reinforcing or helping on the content side.
I was born and spent my childhood in Zimbabwe and attended one of the leading private schools in Harare. I then spent my high school years in Norfolk, where I sat my GCSEs and A Levels, achieving A and A* grades across the board.
I went on to read German & Translation at the University of Surrey in Guildford, where I was awarded a First Class Honours Degree and won the University's award for the highest attainment in German. During this time, I spent a year living and working in Frankfurt as a translator for one of the Big Four auditing firms.
Whilst I achieved high grades in all my examinations, I did not do so by simply turning up and writing my name at the top of the paper. There were times when I also struggled to understand certain concepts or was not sure how to structure my answers and sought the help of professional tutors to help me get to where I wanted to be. Therefore, I am well acquainted with the frustration and anxiety that can sometimes come along with needing extra support.
The personal relationship with my students is something I value greatly and spend some time in the first lesson establishing areas of common interest, as well as trying to get to know what interests them and what particular hurdles they face. It is this relationship that is vital to ensuring that I am able to tailor my lessons according to a specific child's abilities and interests.
I am extremely passionate about the subjects I teach and try to extend this passion and enthusiasm to my students to help them gain the confidence they want and need to tackle their exams successfully. I hope to challenge and stimulate them in a way that gets them to think critically about the subject and thereby learn transferrable skills that are not merely limited to an exam or test, but which will also be applicable in other areas of their lives.
Whilst I am someone who generally thinks best 'the old fashioned way' with a pen and paper, my lessons profit greatly from the various multimedia resources that technology allows us to access. I have found students really engage well with the 'new' resources available and these can really help to bring some subjects to life, or allow them to be viewed from a new or unique perspective.
The interactive whiteboard used for online lessons allows me to engage closely with what the students are up to during lessons, whether they are in Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia or even closer to home in Switzerland or the UK and makes it seem as though we are in the same room, despite the distance. I often incorporate the whiteboard in my face to face lessons as well, as it is such a versatile resource, and it allows us to build up a bank of revision resources that children can access in between sessions, wherever they are, in the run up to exams.
What I do when I am not tutoring
Outside of tutoring I work on various translation projects of academic papers and books from German into English. Most recently, I translated a thesis on a Chinese educator called Ma Xiangbo, about whom very little has been written in English. This was then used as the basis of an academic paper looking at the pedagogical developments proposed by Ma Xiangbo and John Henry Newman.
The ability to travel is a very important part of my life and I relish the opportunity to go to new places, experience new foods or activities and interact with people who may have very different views on the world to my own. That being said, I'm not a huge fan of the cold, so if there is an excuse to head to somewhere hot and sunny, I'd sooner go there than end up knee-deep in snow! Malta, Italy, Mauritius and my native Zimbabwe are particular favourites.
"My daughter is thoroughly enjoying her lessons with Alex. She thinks he is so funny and makes the lessons and German so enjoyable. He is also on the ball with the curriculum and what is needed for the MLAT exam. We both really didn’t think the Skype lesson would work so well - it’s brilliant." (Mother of Year 12 Student)
"My children really enjoy their lessons with Alex. He is fun, engaging and clearly has them in the palm of his hand. He treats them as individuals, gaining trust and respect from them.
They have learnt a lot with Alex. His lessons have helped them significantly in their school work.
They never complain when they have their hour with him, which speaks volumes to me!" (Mother of A Level students)
''My son had a good first session and really likes Alex. He looks forward to continuing with him. I really appreciate that Alex took the time to contact me prior to their first session to find out about our son. He also spent time getting to know my son on the first session which is so important in building a tutor-student relationship.'' (Mother of student sitting Harrow pre-tests from Singapore)
"My son LOVES Alex. He said three days ago, “there’s no-one at his level”! From my point of view, Alex is very thorough and gives good positive and negative feedback." (Mother of Year 8 Student)
‘’You have made this whole 11+ process such fun for all of us and my son has improved his English an enjoyment of English beyond belief! Thank you for your positive attitude, great energy and calming effect.’’ (Mother of 11+ Student)
''We had our second lesson with Alex this morning and find him excellent. He is very connected and professional with our son, who tells us that he is enjoying the way he teaches him and the practical advice he offers. From aside, we could notice the very tangible connection he has with Alex as a tutor, which clearly makes the lessons enjoyable and memorable experiences for our son.'' (Mother of pre-test student.)
''After just 2 lessons with Alex the children seem to be motivated and back on track. They like Alex very much and I am already impressed with his rapport with them. His manner is motivating and stimulating. I often hear them laugh. His report shows he has a keen eye himself of what they are like already!!'' (Mother of GCSE students)
''The kids are absolutely loving their lessons with Alex. He is fun, engaging, has a good way with them - maintaining discipline through Skype must be so difficult!! They never complain about their tutoring times and we are delighted that they are making great progress!'' (Mother of Year 10 online English students)
''Nothing short of miraculous... you've turned my son into someone who enjoys English and believes he can do it. In addition, we all enjoy it when you have lessons.'' (Mother of Keystone student)
"Thank you for your hard work, expertise, patience and kindness" - Mother of GCSE students
''He seemed very motivated and he hates Latin so testament to your teaching! Thanks so much for your help.'' - Mother of 13+ Latin student
''Thanks...(for) the teaching part, and for the interest and support - nice to have someone to go through it with you.'' - Mother of 11+ student
''Both the children love your lessons and feel much more comfortable about sitting the exams now. Thank you for building up their confidence!'' - Mother of online students from Singapore
''X passed her entrance exams! I have to thank you as I know you’ve stretched her - even in the short time you’ve been seeing her. Working on remembering to add the value/units after a sum - fx cm or ml - and working on word problems the last session before the test, really helped her.'' - Parent of 10+ student after 5 lessons.
Thank you so much Alex for guiding him through all this and being a rock! He is very lucky to have you and your wise words! - Parent of Common Entrance student
Thank you for being such a fabulous tutor to XX over the Summer holidays. He didn’t complain once about any of his sessions so you must’ve been doing an excellent job - Parent of a boy needing extra support in Primary English & Maths
We really wanted to let you know, your tutoring was really really appreciated. XXX loves your style of teaching and benefited a lot from it. - Father of 11+ student
The feeling that he can make sense of everything ‘getting stuff’’ is paramount which he has with you. He wishes he had you for all his lessons! - Parent of student needing extra support as they moved both schools and countries.
You are the best teacher I have, but you need to get better at football. You're only 4 and a half stars at the moment, but you could be 5 stars if you know more about football. - 10 year old boy preparing for 11+
XX has made it to SPGS interview stage next week! Go team! Thank you for ALL your help and encouragement. You have been a rock for her and she will be so happy about this after you all worked so hard. No matter what happens we are proud! Thanks again and we’ll keep you posted. - Mum of 11+ student
I wanted to let you know that XX was accepted to Downe House last week! We are all thrilled, XX especially. - Parent
Alex and XXX seem to working well and making progress. Alex has been great at listening and quickly figuring out what works or doesn't work with XXX. The main thing beyond the ISEB/13+ preparation is building up his confidence so that he can believe in himself and recognise his own ability as a strength which I believe will happen over time. XXX often finishes feeling enthusiastic and has fun during the session. Many thanks for your continuous help and support. - Mum of 11 year old boy preparing for 13+, having had a rocky time at primary school.
Alex has been really wonderful to work with and XXX has enjoyed their weekly lessons. Alex has always been very responsive to any concerns and issues we had. He has been diligent about keeping in touch and updating me regularly on XXX's progress. Even with the short time frame we had to work with, he was able to help XXX prepare for the ISEB, going over the material and test strategies thoroughly and XXX felt prepared going into his exams. We have been very pleased with how things are going with the lessons so far, and XXX seems to enjoy working with Alex as well. Now that XXX has taken the ISEB, Alex has started working with him on the entrance exams and that seems to be going well too. - Parent of long-term 13+ student.