• (I)GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics (AQA, CIE, OCR & Edexcel)
• 13+ Science and Maths: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• 11+ Science and Maths: ISEB and public school entrance exams
I have been a Private tutor overall for 15 years, teaching Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Key stage 2, 11+, Key stage 3, GSCE, I-GCSE level and A level. I am familiar with Edexcel, AQA and OCR exam boards.
I was born in London but spent most of my childhood in Athens, Greece.
I returned to the UK with my family when I was 14 and immediately started studying for my GCSEs.
My A level choices of Mathematics and Statistics, Biology, Computer science and Greek language and literature, led me to King’s College London to study an Environmental Science degree.
I graduated in 1991 and went abroad to work for two years- teaching English as a foreign language. When I returned to London I worked in various administrative positions for 5 years as a Manager. Following this I decided to go back to University (Metropolitan, ex Guildhall) to study Silversmithing and jewellery design, gaining a BTEC National and Higher National diploma over a 4 year period. In order to support myself during this time I joined a tutoring agency and became a private tutor in Maths and Science.
I was self-employed for 12 years as a jewellery maker specialising in enamelling, but I had to give up my business in 2008 following the birth of my second child and the economic conditions at the time. I re-joined the tutoring agency and have been a self-employed tutor in Maths and Science ever since.
I enjoy teaching children and helping them become the best students they can be.
Having the experience of two educational systems has been a big benefit to me and I feel that it has modified my approach to teaching. There is always more than one, two, three ways to explain something better so it's understood. There is never a question that is too 'silly' or 'pointless'.
I like to address student's individual learning needs and reverse a 'fixed' into a 'growth' mind set. I aim to develop their confidence and get them to recognise that 'getting it wrong' is just part of the learning process. I encourage them to develop their meta-cognitive and problem-solving skills which will enable them to become more reflective and active learners for the future.
At the core of my teaching are the principles of the Bloom's taxonomy model which are: Remembering-Understanding-Applying-Analysing-Evaluating and Creating.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I have been a full-time tutor for more than ten years now, and before that for over four years whilst still studying. In my free time I enjoy going to the gym and I am also half way through writing my fourth novel.
S---- (year 11, Finchley Catholic): ‘Maria has tutored me in Maths for nearly two years. I wasn’t very confident when answering maths questions and I didn’t write down the answers even when I knew them. Maria put me at ease straight away with her friendly and patient manner and helped me to get over my fears so that now I don’t only participate in my maths classes but actually enjoy them.’
K---- (year 10, Mill Hill International school): ‘Maria is a great tutor. You can really tell she knows her stuff!’
J---- (year 13, Ashmole Academy): ‘I started getting science tuition half-way through year 9. I was a high achiever in all my other subjects but somehow in the sciences I couldn’t get a grade higher than a C. Even though my teachers at school did their best to help me improve, it wasn’t until after I began having one-to-one lessons that results started to show. Maria helped me by telling me exactly what I had to work on harder and gave me lots of extra practice week in week out until I got it. In the end I achieved two A*s and an A in triple science. She also tutored me in Maths for a few months before my exams and helped me achieve a grade 9.’
V---- (year 12 at Woodhouse College, previously Sylvia Young Theatre school): ‘I had tried a couple of other tutors first, but I found that they were not right for me. When I started lessons with Maria in year 9, I admit I acted up a bit because my previous tutors were a bit too serious and maths and science were not such important subjects to me. My aspirations were mostly in music and drama, so I didn’t spend as much time on maths and science even though they were core subjects. Lessons with Maria were much more enjoyable because she seemed to understand where I was coming from and broke things down in a way that was much easier for me to understand. It was important that she wasn’t just telling me ‘facts’ I needed to know but she was explaining things for better all-round knowledge. That made the subjects more interesting. I got a grade 5 in GCSE Maths and 5,6,6 in the sciences which I am very happy with.’
S------ (Graduate, initially at Queen Elizabeth school for girls, Henrietta Barnet and LSE): ‘I can’t say enough good things about Maria. She has been like a mentor to me ever since we started tuition in year 8. I was a fair student, but with her tutoring help I became an excellent one. I got all A*s in my GCSEs, so I decided to go to Henrietta Barnett school for sixth form. Maria carried on tutoring me for Maths A level. I achieved an A* grade for this subject, as well as A’s and A*s in my other A levels and went on to study Economics at LSE University.’
A----- (year 12, Broomfield school): ‘Thank you for helping me get A’s and A*’s in GCSE maths and science so that I could join Ashmole Academy in year 12.’
M----- (year 12, Woodhouse College): ‘I needed to achieve at least a grade 5 in Maths and Science at GCSE so that I could do my A levels at Woodhouse College, but I failed all in my year 11 mocks. With Maria’s help I got the grades I needed and more, so now I’m studying Music, Drama and English in year 12 and thoroughly enjoying my new college. Thank you!’
B----- (year 11, Ashmole Academy): Maria’s tutoring is built specifically to suit each individual and not for a group of students, which is helpful for me because I can understand maths, but I have a problem with forgetting very quickly for most things. When she tutors me in Maths, though, the things she teaches me stick in my mind and I can easily remember and apply this to my work. P.S. The previous statement may sound biased, but these are my honest thoughts.’
Y---- (year 11, Ashmole Academy): Mrs O'Neill is a kind but strict tutor. She makes topics which are difficult, easy to understand. Her lessons are engaging and thought-provoking, that help with school and tests. She is non-judgemental and patient if it takes longer than usual to understand the material. Mrs O'Neill shows how to answer questions step-by-step and knows exactly what sort of questions can be asked on a topic. She is a tutor that goes further than she needs to teach.'