• 11+ Science: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• 13+ Science: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• 13+ Physics and Chemistry Scholarship: ISEB and public school entrance exams
• GCSE Physics, Chemistry and Biology: OCR, AQA, WJEC
• IGCSE: CIE, Edexcel
• A-level Physics: OCR, AQA, Edexcel, WJEC
• Pre-U Physics
• Oxbridge and Harvard admission (PAT and application letters)
• Undergraduate Physics
I began tutoring students, young and old, throughout my undergraduate degree in Physics, my subsequent doctoral degree in Physics, and my postdoctoral research years. In 2011 I completed my teacher training in secondary education, and taught in the state sector for the next four years before taking the post of Head of Science at an independent school. Working as a physicist prior to teaching, allows me to bring a plethora of real world applications of Physics into my students’ learning, and emphasise those links between topics that really helps students to build a bigger picture of the subject.
For seven years I led a team of Science teachers in developing the key strengths of personalising learning for all students, and inspiring students to achieve higher grades than their predictions. After four years of delivering outstanding student results at GCSE and A-level in the classroom, I fully committed myself to enthusiastically engaging, supporting and promoting students’ interests and grades in one-to-one tutoring.
I have over ten years of teaching experience for the 11-18 age range, which includes successfully teaching interactive live lessons online during the UK lockdowns, face-to-face tutoring, and tutoring online for students in the UK and Far East. My experience as a teacher allows me to effectively identify any of a wide range of obstacles to learning that a student may have, and together, overcome them.
Raised in rural Oxfordshire, I gained my GCSEs at Burford School, along with A-levels in Physics, Maths and Chemistry. I was obsessed with how things work, and wanted to explore the connections between physical phenomena, so I chose to study Physics as an undergraduate. I graduated with a First Class degree from the University of Reading and won a scholarship fund for a PhD research project in Condensed Matter Physics. I continued the thread of this research in my postdoctoral work at the University of Kent, and have enjoyed performing exciting experiments in some of Europe’s largest research facilities, publishing my research in scientific journals.
Throughout my University career, alongside the research, I also worked as a mentor and tutor to undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. Teaching others, and helping them to progress academically, became the aspect of my role that I most looked forward to. I retrained as a teacher in secondary education in 2011, and quickly progressed to the role of Head of Science in 2015. I have taught thousands of children across my career, with a huge range of backgrounds, ability levels and educational needs, and I’ve found that honing in on the individual needs of each student is the key to successful progress.
Whilst teaching, I also privately tutored students in person and online, and have been able to put my experience into successfully supporting individuals in making rapid progress to achieve their goals. I found this to be the most rewarding aspect of my career, and in 2021 I joined Keystone to commit more of my time to tutoring.
I approach each new student with openness, and willingness to learn what they need from me. Each student will have a different set of needs. One might require patience, perseverance and positivity, whilst another might make better progress with fast-paced, competitive, high-challenge sessions. I look forward to finding out what works with my students, whether it be through assessments, explanations or conversations beyond the curriculum.
Generally, I will use discussion and expert questioning to help students build concepts for themselves, and solve the problems they encounter. I make the learning accessible through context, and break complex topics or ideas into smaller, more manageable chunks. Using scaffolding techniques I facilitate students, of all starting abilities, to reach for the highest achievements. Short diagnostics are used to help identify weaker areas of understanding, and these are focused on first, to boost confidence. I make sure I am continually listening to my students, and accommodating their learning needs, discovering and developing new strategies with each unique individual. I love trying out new ways to make Science interesting to a student, and set the challenge at the right level so they can master each learning step.
When a student needs to improve exam technique, we will dissect questions; considering the question type, the current understanding of the topic, and what the examiner wants to see. Using assessment scores, I track progress with both student and parent, and have honest discussions about the chances of achieving our shared goals.
What I do when I am not tutoring
When I’m not teaching or tutoring, I’m elbows-deep in any DIY, construction or landscaping projects that I can get my hands on. The making continues in the kitchen, I enjoy cooking and eating dishes from around the world, and testing them out on my family. Beyond the home, I am normally careering around the countryside after my young son.
"Richard was faultlessly patient and always persevered until I understood every topic, using different methods to explain things in order to suit my needs. He also helped me develop my confidence and ability to work at problems myself, and encouraged me to not give up when I was struggling. His teaching was engaging and his continued positive attitude and enthusiasm helped me develop a love of Physics, something I never thought possible. More widely, his support helped me to rebuild my self belief and the benefits of that have been long lasting." (GCSE & A-level Physics student)