Much of my teaching experience comes from my time in sport, where I spent large parts of my youth playing and coaching high-level tennis, both throughout my time at school, and while an undergraduate at Durham University. This included both individual instruction and running camps in the holidays, coaching responsibilities for the university team, and a six-month project working as a sports psychologist for a professional player, where I was responsible for all aspects of his mental preparation and performance both on and off the court.
Since leaving the world of competitive tennis and turning my focus back to academic work in preparation for my Masters degree (in Philosophy at King’s College London), I have worked as a private tutor teaching English Common Entrance, GCSE and Pre-U, RS GCSE and Philosophy Pre U. I have also helped a number of students with the writing for their UCAS Personal Statements.
Subjects I teach
Pre U/A level English, Philosophy and Theology, History
GCSE English, History, RS
Undergraduate level English and Philosophy
Personal statement editing for UCAS applications
Consultation help for essay-writing (coursework and dissertations)
9 A* at GCSE (English, Maths, Biology, Ancient Greek, Latin, French, History and RS)
4 A’s at AS (English, History, RS and Latin)
3 A’s at A level (English, History, RS)
BA in Combined Honours in Arts and Humanities from Durham University (English and Philosophy); 2:1 (69% average mark, 71% in dissertation)
Qualified PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) tennis coach; LTA tennis rating of 1.2 (second highest possible, equivalent to plus figures golf handicap)
Member of National University Championships winning tennis team while at Durham University
Qualified EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) practitioner
My Approach to Private Tuition
My approach is firmly student-led, working from the assumption that my job as their tutor is to bring out a student’s untapped potential by engaging fully with them as an individual, understanding their needs, and then coming up with the right program to help them progress, depending on what these are.
Because of this, I will always begin by establishing the context they are working in, their goals, and identifying the blocks that might be hindering them. With more mature and enthusiastic students I will then, in conversation with the student, draw up a programme to help them work towards their goals, for instance by planning the time they have until their exam or coursework deadlines, and how we are going to use our sessions to prepare them as fully as possible for these challenges. With other students (for instance, those who are either younger, less mature or more in need of inspiration), I will take a more informal approach, and instead I focus the initial time on increasing the students’ motivation to learn by connecting the subject and learning process with something they find inspiring, whether this is in the subject or for something outside it.
Once teaching has begun, the same principles apply, as I always attempt to juggle the demands of the overall context (i.e. the objectives the student is working towards) with a responsiveness to the specifics of what they are finding most challenging in the moment, as well as how their state is affecting their ability to learn. My goal with each student is always that they leave the sessions feeling both more inspired by the value of learning for its own sake, and more empowered and confident to confront the immediate challenges they are facing with their work.
I once tried to be a professional tennis player, spending a year travelling the world and competing on the international circuit.