• AS/A-Level English Literature (all exam boards)
• GCSE/IGCSE English Literature and Language (all exam boards)
• ELAT (English Literature Admissions Test)
• 13+ English: ISEB and public school exams
• 11+ English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning: ISEB and public school exams, including pre-tests
• English as a Foreign Language (beginner to proficiency)
I have been teaching, both as a private tutor and in a classroom setting, since 2010. I have tutored GCSE and AS/A Level English for all the major exam boards, and have also successfully prepared students for the ELAT (Oxbridge English admissions test) and Oxbridge interviews. I enjoy working with a broad-range of students – from Science-minded teenagers, struggling with their GCSE English exam, to the most competent and passionate university applicants, who want to be challenged to think beyond the A Level syllabus.
I have also successfully helped students towards exams for all the main entry points (7+, 11+, 13+, 16+) to a wide-range of public schools in the UK, including Bute House, Cheltenham Ladies College, Wycombe Abbey and Winchester.
As a classroom teacher, I most recently worked in a Swiss secondary school in Zürich (Kantonsschule Rychenberg), teaching English to groups ranging between eight and twenty-five students, with students aged between twelve and twenty-one. I taught general English (as a foreign language), Cambridge exams, and English Literature, as well as doing one-to-one work with higher level literature students.
I hold a Pass B in CELTA from International House London and have taught at International House London and at Wimbledon School of English, working with classes of mixed ages and abilities (A1-C1 level).
I grew up in Richmond, and went to Wimbledon High School, where I achieved A Levels in English Literature (A), German (A), Latin (A) and Religious Studies (A), as well as 11 GCSEs (10 A*s and 1 A). I won my school’s leaving prizes for English, German and Music, as well as their prize for all-round outstanding academic achievement.
In 2010, I completed my BA in English Literature at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where I was also a choral scholar. During my time at Cambridge, I wrote three first-class dissertations, and was awarded the Corpus-Taylor Prize for outstanding dissertation work.
After Cambridge, I briefly dabbled in opera, studying postgraduate singing at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. While this was a brilliant experience, I found that I hugely missed my literary studies and, having also concurrently started to write creatively, I found myself drawn away from the singing world and back towards literature! I decided to refocus my mind on English and, in 2016, I received a Distinction in the contemporary literature MA at UCL, in which I specialised in female modernist writers, including Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and Rosamond Lehmann.
Alongside my studies and creative endeavours, I have worked as both a private tutor and a teacher since 2010. I am hugely passionate about my subject, and find the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for literature with my students endlessly rewarding.
I combine a rigorous academic approach with a motivating and supportive attitude, aiming to deliver lessons that are engaging and confidence-building, as well as instructive. I enjoy the freedom one-to-one tuition gives me to adapt my lessons to the pace, needs and interests of the individual student, and I always take time in a first lesson to talk to a new student about their goals and perceived difficulties with the subject. In my experience, this is time really well spent, as understanding a student’s motivation and learning style is key to success. I take great pleasure in watching my students grow in confidence, as well as reach (and often exceed) their academic goals.
As an English tutor, I often find that students have a good understanding of concepts – themes, characters, ideas in texts – but they find it difficult to use this knowledge in an exam setting. Understanding texts and even coming up with brilliantly original ideas about them is one skill, but getting these ideas across in writing in a way that is coherent is quite another! I aim to “demystify” the study of English, teaching my students efficient and clear methods for structuring essays, geared towards the assessment objectives for their particular exam board.
However, as well as teaching exam skills, I think a hugely important part of my job is to make studied texts (which can often seem outdated or inaccessible to teenagers!) interesting and relevant. Students can only excel at subjects which inspire them and, in my work, I hope to foster in my students a lifelong love of literature.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When I’m not tutoring, I spend a lot of my time writing; I’m currently working on my first novel, and hope to finish my first draft very soon! I love all things arts related – reading, particularly contemporary fiction, and going to the theatre and the cinema. I also studied singing and violin to a high level, and still really enjoy all sorts of musical activities.
Having always been the least sporty person at school, I relatively recently got into ballet and running, so I also spend a lot of my free time going to ballet classes, and wondering if I’ll ever be fit enough to run the marathon!
''The student was delighted with your first session and has asked her mum in no uncertain terms if you can be her tutor for everything!'' (Feedback for 11+ student)
''I am super happy to share with you that we just got a letter from Bute saying my daughter is invited to attend an interview next Friday! :) […] Her attitude towards learning has changed, becoming a real passion or hobby. I feel she is much more confident and eager to learn.'' (Mother of 7+ student)
''Thank you so much for your patience and incredibly helpful input, Imogen - you are such a star. She said how useful your last session was and that she felt very confident in the plan you'd worked out for the essay.'' (Mother of A Level student)
''Imogen has been a great help with my son and I cannot recommend enough her skills and kind disposition.'' (Mother of 13+ student)
''I am pleased to say that I achieved A*s in both my literature and language exam. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me!! I am so happy with my results.'' (GCSE student)
''You are fantastic with her and make the lessons really enjoyable, which inspires and motivates my daughter heaps!'' (Mother of 7+ student)