This is an outline of my experience and the subjects I teach:
• 11+ English ISEB and Independent school entrance exams (particular experience with Harrow; UCS; Latymer Upper; North London Collegiate; St Paul's; King's College School; Winchester)
• 13+ English: ISEB and Independent school entrance exams
• (I)GCSE English: English Lit and English Language (AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC)
• A level Psychology
I tutor full time online and face to face.
I am a qualified English teacher and have worked in both primary and secondary schools. I have been teaching and tutoring since 2006.
I prepare students for direct entry into independent schools, as well as supporting students to achieve high grades in GCSE and A level examinations.
I have particular experience working with students with dyslexia; dyspraxia; processing difficulties; emotional problems; and physical illness. I have experience homeschooling students who are unable to attend school full-time.
I also have extensive experience supporting students applying to Oxbridge.
• MSc Psychology with Distinction - University of Westminster
• PGCE in English - University of East Anglia
• BA (Hons) German and French (2:1) - Cambridge University
• A levels: English literature (A), German (A), French (A) - Nottingham Girls' High School
• Also received a distinction in S-level French and awarded the school prize for studies in English.
I grew up in Nottingham, and alongside my studies I was passionate about music, achieving grade 8 in both piano and violin, and regularly going on tour abroad with the city youth orchestra.
I went on to study German and French language and literature at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where I also spent a lot of time on sports pitches, and became the college tennis captain.
Having graduated from Cambridge in 2006 with a high 2:1, I went on to train as an English teacher at the University of East Anglia.
Thereafter I decided to focus on tutoring as I really enjoy building relationships with individual students and being able to provide the focussed support that means students can make big leaps in understanding, confidence and achievement.
I tutor full time and bring a wealth of experience to each new student.
Each student is different, so I vary the teaching methods I use and the pace of the lessons to suit each individual student.
In the first lesson I assess the student's current level, and their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss goals of the tuition with the student and their parent.
When tutoring online, I keep the lessons interactive and increase engagement by using varied activities, visual aids and time limits.
I keep lessons focussed but relaxed and lively, encouraging students to enjoy learning and think creatively, whilst also insisting on accuracy and high standards. Colleagues and former students have commented on my gentle and supportive, yet challenging teaching style.
My approach to teaching English concentrates on the importance of both structure and creativity. Firstly, I help students to improve their writing skills if necessary, using exercises to increase the accuracy and fluency of their sentence structure. I then stretch students to think critically and creatively about texts, characters, themes and language. At the same time, I help students to find ways that suit them of systematically planning and structuring essays for coursework and exams.
When teaching Maths, I have had particular success teaching students who are struggling to get to grips with mathematical concepts and calculations. I am patient and flexible when explaining concepts, and use students' strengths and interests to find explanations which they can understand. I have helped many students to overcome these challenges when they have been falling behind at school, both in primary school and when preparing for Common Entrance and GCSE.
A level and IB Psychology require a thorough knowledge and understanding of both research methods and key issues and debates within the field of Psychology. I help my students to develop this understanding and then to apply it critically to the different types of questions, which is essential to achieving higher grades. The last step is learning to structure their longer answers in a concise, logical and effective manner.
Having studied languages at university, I enjoy supporting students who are wanting to achieve more highly in French and German at GCSE and A-level, and those who are pursuing German further for university entry, or undergraduate level. I help students to master fundamental grammar points and the necessary bank of vocabulary. This allows them to develop the understanding and fluency necessary to achieve highly in writing and speaking, as well as reading and listening, exams.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I am a full time tutor, and when not working, I enjoy playing the piano and singing in a large choir in the City. I also spend time playing tennis, cycling, and exploring new places.
I make an effort to visit friends in Germany and Switzerland regularly to catch up and keep my languages from getting rusty.
You have been an invaluable help and support, I also always appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness. Thank you again! (Mother of Year 6 student)
"My son received his report card yesterday, he has scored an A grade in World Studies and is very happy. Wanted to thank you for your effort. He really enjoys your classes and believes it has helped him a lot." Student at the Singapore American School
"He seems to really enjoy the lessons. Thank you so much." Creative writing student in Singapore
My daughter is very enthusiastic about the lessons and is really enjoying working with Alex. She said that she feels they are very worthwhile and she can see how the content will help to develop her skills.
"Alex is honnestly the best we could have hoped for. She is wonderfully encouraging, attentative and has been a great support for my daughter. She really enjoys her lessons and is making leaps and bounds in Maths, as well as building her confidence across the board in approaching exams. A massive thank you to Alex for what she has done so far, and we remain excited to see what she has planned for the coming months in the run up to CE." (Mother of CE student)
"Alex was a great tutor - she made learning much more enjoyable and interesting, which made it much easier to remember things for my exams. I would really recommend her to other students." GCSE English student
"We have had a great experience with Alex. The girls are very comfortable with her. They say she explains words and grammer rules in a simple manner which makes it easy for them to remember. She is incredibly patient and enthusiastic and there is a visible improvement in the girls' work. We are happy!" (Mother of Year 9 and Year 6 students)
''Alex worked with my very shy, tongue tied 16yr old in preparation for his French aural GCSE. Stringing a sentence together in English was, at the time, almost unheard of and to do so in another language was something I thought impossible. Alex had no such doubts and not only did my son thoroughly enjoy the sessions he passed his exam with flying colours'' (Mother of 15 year old)
''Alex also worked with my daughter who was in year 9 and unable to put her thoughts and ideas into words, Alex gave her the confidence to believe in herself and the ability to put her thoughts on paper. She passed her end of year English exam with flying colours.'' (Mother of 13 year old)
''Alex took my 2 very different children and showed them the joy and fun in learning, I have no hesitation in recommending her.'' (Mother of 15 and 13 year olds)
''Alex is a very open and approachable teacher who clearly knows her subjects very well and I would not hesitate in recommending her to others.'' (German A-level and Oxbridge interview candidate)
'I didn't know English could be fun!' (Year 7 pupil)
''Alex is perceptive and intelligent about the subject and how to teach it'' (Head of English Department, Notre Dame High School)