I have been working as a tutor for the past twelve years and have had numerous students, encompassing a wide range of needs and ages. The exams I am particularly experienced in are as follows;
GCSE English (Edexcel, AQA)
IGCSE English (Edexcel, Cambridge)
Children I have tutored for the 11+ have gone on to schools such as Latymer Upper, St Pauls, City of London, Francis Holland and Dulwich College. For the 13+ Common Entrance exam, the schools my students have gained entrance to include Westminster and Eton. All students I have tutored for either GCSE or IGCSE English have achieved A or A*.
I also have a large amount of experience working with younger children - I worked for a year as a teaching assistant at Smithy Street Primary School in Tower Hamlets, specialising in supporting children aged 7-11 who were struggling in maths and English. I have since tutored many children in this age group - particularly working with those who need their confidence boosting.
I am 39 years old, originally from Edinburgh and now living and working as a writer and actor in London where I live with my partner Joe and our young son, Angus.
I went to St Andrews' University, and while I was there I acted and directed in numerous performances as well as working for the University's listening service; Nightline. While a student, I also travelled extensively in Brazil, Ghana, Canada, China and Mongolia where I taught English as a foreign language.
After graduating from university I worked for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, travelling around Scotland and performing in science education shows for 5-12 year olds.
I moved to London in 2006, to commence my training as an actress at LAMDA. I loved drama school and find my chosen career to be challenging, inspiring and thoroughly rewarding. As an actor, I have worked in radio, television and theatre. I am now also a writer and in 2018 I was selected from over 3000 applicants to join the BBC’s television script writing mentorship program; The Drama Room. I have written a ten part detective series for BBC Learning, which filmed in 2020 and in 2021 I had scripts optioned by Potboiler Productions and Mam Tor Productions.
I think that in education the most important thing is to be interested and enthused by whatever you are studying. So, depending on age and level of study I always try to find something within the subject to spark the pupil's imagination and fire their enthusiasm for the topic.
I most commonly teach and prepare students for their 11+ and 13+ entrance exams. These exams can be very tough for children and I try to make the experience as positive and enjoyable as possible. I try to maintain a calm, supportive environment in our lessons and for the student to feel confident and well prepared when they come to sit their exams.
When I am working with older students in English, I believe exam and essay writing technique is essential. I think often children are not taught the basic technique of logically and intelligently conveying and concluding an argument and this is the key to exam success! My study of Philosophy has given me an excellent grounding in founding logical, clear arguments.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I am a writer and an actress and I work on stage, television and radio. I have also written and produced work for the stage. I am a member of innovative theatre company The Factory and regularly appear in plays on Radio 4. I currently have two scripts under option with television production companies.
''Samara is fabulous. She is incredibly patient, practical, humourous, totally 'gets' my son, and is strategic in her planning for his needs. She explains everything clearly, intelligently, and is very sensitive to boosting his confidence in both maths and English. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her - she's an excellent tutor and a lovely person. Couldn't ask for more. She really should be a teacher... she'd be an asset to any school!'' - Parent of a student in Year 5
"Thank you for the tutoring you've offered my daughter these past weeks. She took her exams ten days ago, and at the end of last week heard back from both schools with offers. We are thrilled. So is she - walking tall. We've accepted at St Catherine's and she's really excited. The pieces are coming together!" Mother of previous student.
"A huge success. My daughter went from discouragement (after one practice paper) to a sense of elation to have discovered so much that another trial exam feels possible. She was suddenly walking tall, feeling both equipped and inspired. We could not be more grateful to Samara and I've already emailed her directly to tell her this. Samara clearly got inside her and scratched where she itches..." Mother of previous student.
''Samara was lovely and professional, they seemed to get on well, had fun, and got things done. The work is useful and challenging in the right way'' Martin, April 2018
''A huge success. Stephanie went from discouragement (after one practice paper) to a sense of elation to have discovered so much that another trial exam feels possible. She was suddenly walking tall, feeling both equipped and inspired. We could not be more grateful to Samara'' Jo, mum of Stephanie, May 2016
''I got an A for both English lit and language. I am so happy!!! Thank you for all your help, I wouldn't have gotten the two A's without you. Thank you'' Max, August 2013
''Got into my uni course, I'm so thrilled!! Thank you so much for all your help!'' Amalia, August 2013
''Pauline is very keen to see you again, she tells me, very often, that she learns more with you than at school!'' Irina (Pauline's mother) August 2013
''My daughter has enjoyed Samara's tutoring and her confidence has grown tremendously since she began. Ibtisam is now much happier reading and writing, her imagination has soared and we are very pleased with her services'' Abdull Dahir (Ibtisam Yare's father)
''Samara has been a brilliant teacher and actually made me interested in Sociology and politics! I have learnt loads and will really miss having her has my tutor, I will always remember her. Plus I got the grades I need to study law!!'' Akbarul Islam (A-Level Sociology, went from D-B grade)
''Samara has helped me move from C to A* grades in my GCSE English Literature and English Language exams. I'd definitely recommend her to anyone'' Aurora Gherson