• 7+/8+ English & Maths: school entrance examinations
• 11+ English & Maths: ISEB and public school entrance exams and pre-test
• (I)GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics (AQA, CIE, OCR & Edexcel)
• A Level Chemistry (AQA, OCR & Edexcel)
• A Level Biology (AQA, OCR & Edexcel)
• A Level Physics (AQA, OCR & Edexcel)
At secondary school I took part in study club in sixth form, a system whereby older students help younger years in subjects where they are experiencing difficulties with certain subject workloads, with too many missed homework deadlines often the primary reason. This was my first taste of tutoring and I had to approach the task from multiple angles before achieving the desired result. As the majority of pupils were sent to study club as a precursor to a formal detention, learning to motivate was the primary challenge in this role as most students were academically very capable.
At my time at The University of Leeds I followed a similar path, partaking in a scheme to aid first year students while in my final year. This was a both in an academic and personal sense, helping individuals to grasp core Chemical Engineering concepts while also helping with general questions and dilemmas regarding life at University.
Since moving to London in September 2018, I have worked as a tutor in a professional sense alongside my studies. Thus far I have tutored KS2, GCSE, and Degree level (2nd year module as part of a Business degree) Mathematics, KS3 and GCSE Science and AS Level Chemistry. At present, I am currently tutoring a boy for the 8+ and 2 boys for the 11+.
I grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and attended King Edward VI Grammar school upon attaining full marks in the 11+ entrance examination. From here I excelled academically to achieve 11 GCSEs, 9 of which were A*, and 4 A-Levels at an A standard in Mathematics and Science.
After attaining a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds, I realised that a career with more of a personal element was more desirable. I believed that being able to make a positive difference to people directly rather than indirectly, while also entering a role possessing an integral practical element, would provide the job satisfaction I strove for.
With this fresh outlook I subsequently took a year to work in a residential home, primarily catering for residents with dementia. The nature of the work and the challenges it presented were something I really relished. Learning to communicate effectively using both verbal and non verbal cues was crucial in order to carry out the highest standards of care. This is a technique I will carry forward into future endeavours.
Following this period I spent a month volunteering at an animal sanctuary in South Africa before also travelling around South-East Asia. I then decided to apply to various Universities for further education, this time in a medical field. After accepting an offer from King’s College London, I am now enjoying an exciting new chapter in my life in the Capital.
Over the past few years, I have tutored many students of varying capability, ranging in age from 6 years old to adulthood. Being a strong communicator has served me well with all of these individuals and I believe it is one of the most important skills when trying to aid someone’s academic journey. Forming a strong connection with the tutee by taking appropriate interest in their life at present, providing empathy where necessary while simultaneously encouraging to self motivate are all vital to achieving the required outcome. At the onset of a tutoring position, the journey should be a joint one; tuition should be a team effort between the tutor and tutee.
With regards to my teaching style, I use different combinations of techniques depending on the student and how I feel they learn best, whether this be written/verbal learning or memory/problem-solving-based for example. I provide variety in the lessons yet still keep a consistent format, as I believe stimulating and challenging using new methods, while also maintaining a certain level of routine, often speed up the learning process. Lessons usually build from previous ones, enabling the tutee to be self-aware of their own journey. This coincides with regularly testing what has already been covered, which is essential to committing key information to long-term memory. I also introduce examination-based questions at an early stage, allowing tutees to become comfortable with the style of question they will be faced with. This is often done in a fairly relaxed manner initially, building to a level where they can tackle the problems completely independently under exam conditions.
What I do when I am not tutoring
At present I am in my third year reading Dentistry at King’s College London. Year 3 provides a real insight into life as a dentist. I am learning how to communicate effectively with patients alongside honing my practical skills in basic oral procedures. Combined with the continued academic work, the degree is proving both stimulating and highly rewarding. Second year is well known to be one of the toughest years within the degree but I feel I have been balancing my studies and tutoring work efficiently nonetheless. I am looking to continue tutoring throughout my degree (3.5 further years) and I can commit to working throughout this period and hopefully beyond!
A significant portion of my spare time currently involves sport. Besides keeping active at the gym and on the tennis court, my role in the committee as part of KCL Squash this academic year has been fantastic. I am responsible for organising all the social events within the society and also help with the logistics when travelling to and from tournaments. We venture all around London and beyond and the whole experience has enriched my University life massively thus far. Unfortunately I have recently sustained an ankle injury and so a role on the sideline is suiting me well at the moment before I hopefully return to the court in the near future!
Looking to the future I have a strong desire to return to caring and helping for the more elderly members of our population. I hope to achieve this in a dental setting where, from my experience and talking to fellow professionals, the dental care and needs for a substantial portion of the frail elderly in the UK is either absent or lacking. Poor oral health can significantly hamper anybody's quality of life and I would love to be able to make an impact in this demographic at some point in my career.
Recent successful Magdalen 11+ entry - ''We engaged James to help our son prepare for his 11 plus exam. James is an excellent tutor with clear communication at each stage of the process. The tutoring sessions were well-structured and ensured that our son went into the exam feeling confident and well-prepared. James covered not only the curriculum and content of the exam, but also exam techniques. He also tried to make the tutoring sessions enjoyable, which was important. James was always very engaging, he explained difficult concepts with ease and he helped my son believe in himself. I’d highly recommend him, we are very pleased with the whole process and our son secured a place in his number 1 choice of school.'' - W
Current Year 4 maths student - ''James is a brilliant fit for us - just what I was looking for in terms of being bright and enthusiastic about maths, and **** was really pleased to have a tutor. She very much wants to succeed in maths and I could see she was really trying her best. James dealt with her speech / hearing brilliantly - asking her to speak up when he couldn’t hear her and asking her to repeat things when she was unclear, but in a very calm and not a problem sort of way. I liked his approach to both her and the lesson and can see this is going to be a great help to us.
Thanks for the match!'' - C
11+ Student - ''Hi James. **** got a place at BOTH Magdalen College School and Abingdon!!! We are delighted and thrilled and super over excited. Thank you SO VERY much for all your brilliant help and support. He couldn't have done it without you!! Please send me a postal address as **** would like to write to you personally. Thank you!!'' - J & A
8+ Student - accepted into St. Paul’s, Sussex House, Wetherby and Caldicott - “Very relieved at this stage. Feedback from St. Paul's was that his comprehension was outstanding - so thank you!” “James tutored my son for the 8+ exams and I could not recommend him more highly. He is a great role model and was able to build a strong working rapport with my football mad 7 year old son.
Despite initial reluctance to focus on additional learning after school hours, James was able to win my son's respect and succeed in making the additional learning interesting enough to motivate him, at least most of the time. This was a noteworthy achievement, as my son is very headstrong and struggles with authority. The sessions with James were so appreciated that they are now missed.
James is very professional and thorough, spending time researching the specific requirements for each school that my son was applying to, enabling him to structure his sessions toward specific targets.
This proved a successful strategy and my son had offers from both St Pauls and Sussex House after sitting his exams, his top two choices, in addition to Wetherby and Caldicott.” - C.
GCSE Science - ''The girls are feeling the benefit of your tutoring already. Thank you.''
''Hi James, I thought you'd like to know that Jessie got 9 in biology, 8 in Chemistry and 8 in Physics. Thanks for all your help Xx.'' - J.
Mathematics module for Business student - “After coming out of my exam I felt all my hard work had paid off. It went really well and I feel like I got 100%! Thanks for everything!” - M.
GCSE Science and Mathematics- “I just wanted to say what a great tutor James was for ****. She really enjoyed the sessions - well as much as a 15 year old who doesn't enjoy science and maths can! He made it easy to understand and methodically got through the syllabus in a concise, calm and timely way in the limited timeframe. I would highly recommend him to any pupils looking for support in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and/or Maths, Many thanks for sourcing him for us.” - L.
Current Year 7 student - ''Thank you very much for sending James. He has been great and our son is really benefiting from the accelerated sessions.''
''Dear James, **** was very pleased with the session this week, he said 'James might be better than my maths teacher'.''
''James **** won the quick fire maths round today beating the boy who is top in class so a big thank you for getting his times tables to sink in.''
''Mid Jan **** exams will be over, I would love it if you would consider teaching him year 7 curriculum afterwards. This would help kick his first year off with confidence.'' - B.
Current Year 9 Maths student - “ **** was delighted with her lesson and even said she felt she did better the next day in her maths lesson. She said she now looks forward to going to maths lessons!” - B.