A highly qualified and experienced private tutor, working with both mainstream and home educated children and young people across English and Scottish curriculums, from GCSE/IGCSE/Nationals to A Levels, Highers and beyond.
Born in Edinburgh, I was raised in India and then Africa, travelling to England from the age of 6 for schooling, before returning to the UK permanently in my 20s. Having lived in London and South East England since then, our family moved to the Scottish Highlands in 2012, primarily to raise our children in a less chaotic and more natural environment. We've had no regrets at all...and our various dogs and cats are similarly happy with the move!
I have always been passionate about English, from the weekly spelling tests and grammar exercises of primary school to the privilege of being taught at A Level by Tolkien's grandson. His vibrant, interactive approach shaped my ongoing learning and fired my imagination; think: 'Dead Poets Society'.
After leaving Edinburgh University with a Masters Honours Degree in English Language and English Literature, I went on to take a TEFL qualification and used this when travelling abroad in Turkey and throughout the Caribbean. I am delighted that I continue to work in the area of EAL with overseas students in British schools, and that technology has allowed me to work with individuals in their home countries, via Skype.
My love of English directed my career, working first at the Royal Shakespeare Company before becoming an independent theatre producer in London, and a theatre advertising executive on accounts such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cats' and Cameron Mackintosh's ‘Les Miserables'.
In 2008, my partner and I began the home education of our two children at primary stage. It was both challenging and inspirational and the experiences and knowledge I gained during those years - not purely academic, but also the different ways and methods of learning, the different developmental stages of children, the different learning styles of children - continue to inform my present day tutoring.
While home educating, and with my love of theatre, I founded an educational theatre group with Margo Gunn, a teacher and director at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. We worked with a wide age range of home educated and mainstream school children, providing workshops on various Shakespeare plays including 'Midsummer Night’s Dream', 'The Tempest' and 'Romeo & Juliet'. Workshops were also designed specifically in support of GCSE/IGCSE work. As passionate advocates of Shakespeare, our approach was active and energetic, lifting Shakespeare off the page and introducing his plays, his language and his theatricality in an engaging and tangible manner. I was thrilled to be able to resurrect this work in the Highlands, initially at a local primary school, conducting 4 workshops for Primary 4 - Primary 7, resulting in workshop presentations of 'The Tempest' and 'Macbeth'.
Working on Shakespeare with young children is not just because I prize his work, but because of all the researched and recognised benefits it brings across a range of skills, from literacy to physical performance, from comprehension to confidence. Moreover, young people now often don't experience Shakespeare until he is unveiled as an exam text, and then regularly viewed as boring, intimidating, non-sensical and a waste of time! I would hope that if they have encountered him at a young age, enjoyed the stories, avoided any unnecessary reverence that breeds fear and mental blocks, realised they don't need to comprehend every word in order to get a grip on the story and characters, then they can study his plays - if only at school - with greater ease, greater enjoyment, greater confidence, and ultimately, with greater exam success.
In addition to home educating my two children and running Shakespeare workshops, my personal and professional lives led me into private tutoring and I have been a private tutor in English Language and Literature since 2009, working alongside children and young people from age 5 upwards, whether on general literacy issues, EAL or focusing specifically on exam work, from SATS, Nationals and GCSEs, through to A Levels, Highers and beyond. Tutees are those in mainstream state schools, leading UK private schools and in home education, following the English and Scottish curriculums, as well as IGCSEs with providers including OOL and Edexcel.
Some of my tutees are out of school because of illness or anxiety issues; some have challenges such as Autism, ADHD, Tourette’s, Down's and dyslexia, and the combination of experience, research and support work have built my knowledge and understanding in these areas.
I am registered with two selected national tutoring agencies and one international agency, although the majority of my tutees come via personal recommendation. I was delighted that tutees I had worked with in England chose to continue working with me via Skype after our move to Scotland, and I now work extensively on Skype across the UK and abroad, in countries including the USA, Russia and Australia.
Critically, I am PVG checked, and would be happy to provide evidence of this, together with references and qualification documentation. In addition, with effect from 25th May 2018, I am fully compliant with the GDP Regulations and would be happy to provide you with a copy of my Privacy Notice on request. In the meantime, please do look at the What They Say page on my website: www.englishforall.moonfruit.com.
MAKING ENGLISH ACCESSIBLE
My approach is not one of 'dip in and out' for an hour, or 'one size fits all', but of creating a relaxed, enjoyable, constructive atmosphere and building a relationship within which the young person's potential can be maximised, against a tailored, individual approach. While texts and challenges might be shared by various tutees, learning styles, atmospheres for learning, methods for learning, will always be different.
As importantly, my approach places great value on the parents, their involvement and their right and need for clear, ongoing and comprehensive communication. As such, I am often in regular contact with both my tutees and their parents, should they require it, outside of tutorials.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited."
If you're looking for a desk-based tutor, one who does all the talking and expects your child to just sit and listen, I am not the right person for you.
If you're looking for someone to ignite a love of English, to build confidence, to be energetic, to make learning enjoyable, active, off the page, accessible, to get results, then, here I am!
MAKING ENGLISH ACCESSIBLE
For many young people with whom I work, English and everything to do with it – their texts, their homework, punctuation, close reading, writing an essay – is a minefield. Often, what holds them back is a mixture of low confidence, fear of getting it wrong, and simply not having grasped the ‘map’ of how to ‘do it’.
One of my main motivations, is to make English accessible; to take away the fear factor, to provide clear and simple structures, to grasp some key exam techniques, to demystify the exam paper, to clarify what the heck the exam paper is testing them on; to remind tutees that they have, naturally, learned one of the most difficult languages in the world and are fully capable of expressing themselves on paper, under pressure and against time.
However whimsical it may sound, as with many things in life, self-belief, confidence and understanding are powerful tools for success.
MAKING ENGLISH ACCESSIBLE
The demand for private tutoring is growing exponentially. As The Telegraph reported in 2012, “more than a quarter of parents use private tutoring to supplement their children’s education”, spending “£6bn a year in the UK.” However, this cost can often be a barrier.
I am, of course, a ‘business’, but I also firmly believe that access to tutoring should be made as wide as possible; to repeat, education is a right and not a privilege. As such, while I have a standard rate for 1-1 tutoring, I am also very happy to discuss your requirements with you and to look at options available, such as small group tutoring where the cost per head can be significantly reduced.
Please do take the opportunity of discussing your requirements with me, rather than potentially losing the opportunity of providing tutorial support for your child.
|Availability||Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|International Teacher Training Institute, London||1993||Professional||Certificate in TEFL for Adults - RSA/University of Cambridge International Exam Board|
|Edinburgh University||1986||Masters||English Language and Literature|
|Uppingham School, Rutland||1981||School||A Levels: English, French, History|
|Hunmanby Hall, Yorkshire||1979||School||O Levels: English Language, English Literature, Latin, French, German, History, Maths, Biology, Art|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|