This is how 2 referees rated Christopher:
History Of Art
I grew up in south-west London, in Twickenham, before attending Tiffin School (Kingston-Upon-Thames) and Cambridge University, where I was awarded my BA (Hons) degree in History of Art. My main passion has been acting - as well as performing at school, I have performed many times at university, and I am in a few short films now in post-production. Performance has allowed me to meet and get to know a huge range of different people, but more than anything it is a chance to be passionate and excited without fear of embarrassment. As well as acting, I love watching theatre and film, and found myself wittering away endless hours discussing them whilst at university! Music is another of my great passions, and I listen to all genres in my spare time (in particular, I am a fan of Jazz/Classical/70s rock/funk/disco/film soundtracks). I am an enthusiastic (though incompetent) cook as well, and have recently developed a taste for vegetarian dishes. I played rugby union for 14 years, up to and including university level, and used to play the french horn in the school orchestra.
Year 1: 7+
- 7+ preparation for UCS - Alice enjoys both comprehension work and maths, but often forgets to check and once she doubts herself can become very reserved. I have used a conversational style with her to help build up confidence and to help her make relaxed associations with the kind of questions she will face in the exam.
Year 5: 11+
- Student preparing for their 11+ entrance exam (Latymer School), who struggles with his extended writing skills. James is very adept at non-verbal reasoning, but struggles with written verbal skills and expressing himself creatively. He has some traits of dyslexia. We worked from his extra-curricular interests and hobbies (sport, drama and reading comic books) to give him confidence when approaching tasks and built up his confidence in specific areas of written/vocal skills.
- Student preparing for their 11+ exam (City of London School)
- Student preparing for their 11+ exam (Tiffin School). Arun is strong with his non-verbal reasoning, though he can often get confused by less clear-cut verbal questions and he is occasionally quick to panic when this happens. I have helped him to understand that his enjoyment of non-verbal reasoning and its predictability is something that can be applied to the verbal elements of the exam. As this was my secondary school, I could also give personalised advice about the school's qualities.
Year 6 Creative Writing and English Literature
- Year 6 student requiring help with creative writing and English literature. Fynn is incredibly advanced for his age, but found his school's English work completely unstimulating. I devised activities to look at books in different styles, and work out what the author is attempting to make the reader feel, and how. He has since become enthusiastic about writing his own stories, something which we have worked on together.
Year 9 Maths, English and Science
- Theo has a relatively severe neurological condition which makes concentration very difficult for him. This has demanded an incredible level of patience and perseverance on both our parts, especially considering his extreme difficulty when writing and typing by hand. I have engaged him by presenting the techniques and information in a way which doesn't provoke fear, often by disguising them as a more entertaining task. Using vocal, rather than written, approaches has also been an exciting challenge to work with.
GCSE English Language
- Jaime has retaken his GCSE exams following two previous attempts. He suffered from a brain bleed following an accident when he was younger and has struggled to remember information and perform in exams. By practising a system for the exam in which we devised checklists for each particular question and then checked them off as we proceeded, we helped to put his mind more at ease with the exam. This methodical approach appealed to Jaime’s learning strategy, but also helped him cope with the extreme pressure of exam conditions.
- Year 11 Eton student requiring GCSE English Language exam preparation.
GCSE English Literature and Language
- Year 11 student requiring help with GCSE English Literature and English Language. Due to help with the subjects History and Religious Studies. Both Ryu and Jasper (the student immediately below) were achieving highly in all subjects except English, as they couldn't find a way to make the subject interesting or important. By underlining how approachable English can be through using texts such as speeches or even photos and videos, they were able to engage with the subject, and their predicted grades have both improved. As well as this, I used entertaining activities (such as walking in the manner of each character and comparing them to animals) which helped them retain information about their texts very efficiently.
- Year 11 student requiring help with GCSE English Literature and English Language.
- Year 11 student requiring help with English Literature.
GCSE English Literature, English Language, and History
- Year 11 student requiring help with English Literature, English Language and History ahead of their exams. We focussed on specific topics and question technique.
- Year 10 student taking his exams independently of secondary school, to whom I have devised lessons and engaging activities around the prescribed History exam board (OCR). Tom's intellect and breadth of knowledge is extraordinarily developed, and in this respect he is working at a much higher level than many of his peers. However, he struggles with expressing this in written form, often remaining unable to complete essays. By setting him alternate tasks involving a wide range of source material (including paintings, poetry, court testimonies, letters and field trips) he has engaged with the subject matter and embarked upon independent research of his own. I have taught him in a free, conversational style which gives him liberty to expand on areas he is interested in and which gives me a chance to treat him with maturity.
iGCSE English Literature, English Language, Religious Studies and History
- Alex had considerable difficulties in dealing with authority and found himself easily distracted during lessons. By being firm with him and refusing to respond to his attempts to derail the lesson, whilst listening respectfully, he gradually came to respect me as a teacher and a marker of his work. I found that by being transparent with him and explaining the aims of each task I set him, he was encouraged to take ownership of his own work and it gave him a greater drive to succeed. We worked together for 7 months.
GCSE Theatre Studies
- Year 11 Tiffin student requiring help with Theatre Studies GCSE, both practical and exam-based.
AS level English Literature
- I worked with a student retaking her exams. She is retaking her AS levels after not passing last year; her confidence and belief in her own ideas has improved supremely, along with her predicted grade (now a B). We have been developing foolproof strategies for exams, as well as ways of condensing and memorising notes.
A-Level Theatre Studies
- Year 13 student requiring help with Theatre Studies A-level, particularly exam technique and essay writing. Mitch was not predicted a pass grade, due to his difficulties with formal writing and organisation of knowledge. I used alternative memory techniques (including asking him to draw characters and set designs for me) to make him feel more secure when going into the exam. I also asked him to write work on subjects which interested him and developed his writing style with specific advice. I have also assisted him with the preparation for his Film Studies exam.
A-Level English Literature
- I worked for 5 months with a Year 13 A-level English literature student.
A-Level History of Art
- Year 12 student requiring help with History of Art A-level. I have also been assisting her with her Extended Project Qualification – a lengthy piece of writing on a subject of her choosing. Recently earned an A* grade and 96% UMS points in one part of the exam. Florence is a very bright student who doubted herself massively in analysing artworks when we first started working together. She didn't trust her own interpretations, something which is crucial for the Visual Analysis part of the exam. However, by breaking down artworks into understandable, manageable pieces, she feels more able to verify her own analyses and come up with her opinions. Fundamentally, I have been teaching her to draw together many elements of what she has to say about a particular artwork, something which is very easy to see from the outside but which can be difficult to observe form her perspective.
English as a Foreign Language
- Mature student originally from Estonia, to whom I taught English as a foreign language.
English as a Foreign Language
- I worked with a mature student originally from South Korea, to whom I was teaching English as a foreign language.
Other relevant experience
- January-March 2012: Teaching primary school students (age 4-6) to read; voluntary programme at secondary school. 1 on 1 supervision, working with 7 different children over the course of each session (1h30m).
- February 2015: CUSU Shadowing programme; voluntary scheme guiding a student from an 'unprivileged' background (age 16) through aspects of university life, including academic, social and a general demystifying of the University of Cambridge. Essential experience for Oxbridge and university admissions.
- April 2015: Cambridge talk with secondary school students (age 16-18), Tiffin School; discussing aspects of university life, including information about many aspects (both social and academic) and a general demystification of it.
- September-October 2015: international theatre tour including performances and English educational workshops at various schools and universities throughout Japan (age 10-22). Huge variation in age and English language ability from class to class, requiring quick adaptability; each tour member, myself included, lead multiple workshops and organised basic schedule to fit each group of students. Intensive English language exercises as well as drama-based activities.
My specialist subjects are history of art and english literature and I also teach history, French and Oxbridge preparation. I believe that tutoring can lay the essential groundwork for academic success at every level - by providing a tailored approach to each student, the sessions can be more concise, more efficient and, ultimately, more enjoyable. This was the type of education I was lucky enough to receive, at secondary school and especially at Cambridge, and it underlines my aims with tutoring. At the core of my tutoring relationships has been a firm long-term goal, one which is communicated clearly to both student and parents throughout. So much of the benefits of tutoring are nurtured by the encouragement and involvement of the parents, whether that be testing the student on facts or participating in homework tasks.
Within this overall set of aims, I set creative tasks which challenge each student to think about their subject matter from an unfamiliar and (for them) surprisingly effective angle. One example is a student with a neurological condition who is incredibly unconfident about his handwriting. By asking him to write a story from his own life (and then tell that same story from a different perspective), I am trying to present writing as a fun activity whilst employing the key English Language objective of writing for different audiences. I have found that, with all my students, disguising the aims of the syllabus with unusual tasks can be very effective ways of engaging students.
Another key feature of my teaching approach has been the careful relationships which I have established. Whilst acknowledging its advantages as a private approach to education, and therefore that it is an opportunity for more informal aspects, I have been careful to ensure that authority must be maintained. One of my students has difficulties in dealing with authority and is very informal and easily distracted. By remaining unswayed by distractions he presents, whilst listening and remaining positive, I have earned his trust as a teacher and as a marker of his work. In addition I have found that by being transparent with him and explaining the aims of each task I have sent him, this also encourages a sense of ownership of his own work and a greater drive to succeed.
|Date Last Logged In:||24/10/2016|
|Tutees Providing Feedback:||4|
|Tutees Providing Positive Feedback:||3 Av. 4.50/5.00|
|Unpublished feedback: (usually negative)||1|
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