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Hello there, thanks so much for taking a look at my profile.

2022 Results Day Update

  1. Just one A level result this year. A history student, who I began working with in February, then of 'C' standard, today achieved a very high 'A' grade. Brilliant news for student, family & last but not least, her tutor.

Why for her tutor? Because if the techniques I use don't produce great results I would have to stop tutoring.

Why was she so successful? Several reasons. Hard worker, for sure; but crucially she was superb in terms of listening to the large amount of advice I gave her and taking it. She was schooled by me in very precise terms how to take the papers and on the two days when everything was on the line, she went into the exam room and put the teaching into practice.

It took her a while for her to have the confidence to ditch the teaching she was receiving at her college that wasn't working and apply mine instead - in both essay writing and in source work - but she did it The result of this was constant improvement, a huge improvement in her self-belief, an upping of her effort level and finally today's wonderful news of her end-grade achievement. Off she now goes to Liverpool University!

  1. Just one GCSE result this year. A great lad who I worked with for about three months. He was very worried about his history. In August he scored a grade 6, his best equal score (alongside English Lit). The rest of his results were 4s.

He passed his interview for a college in his home city to study 3 A levels.

18/08/22 & 24/09/22

I'm Craig, living in Derbyshire but very happy to work with students who need assistance wherever you may be, I am an extremely experienced teacher, having taught in secondary schools for 23 years and having tutors on a one-to-one basis for the last 10 years. Both as a teacher and tutor I have been extremely successful in teaching, training and coaching GCSE and A-level students in history. I have also very successfully taught A-level students in government and politics (and used to be head of government politics in a Derbyshire school.

As a tutor I have worked with students from all types of British school: comprehensive schools, grammars, private and public schools. I have taught across all the well-known exam boards and have examined for two of them during my career. I have worked with many modules, from the USA and Britain to France, Germany, Russia, China,and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages in Europe. I enjoy working with new content & I get up to speed with new material very, quickly.

I have recently completed a PhD in history, but don't let that put you off! I'm happy to advise and train undergraduates, MA & PhD students in all skills and practices of the professional historian.

My prices have remained static for a number of years now. Tempting though it is to put them up, especially as my work has and remains successful and effective, there is a cost of living crisis going on in this country and I want my work to be widely accessible to people. That said, because of the rocketing price of fuel, I do charge £5 extra to travel unless students live very close to DE45BA.

When not researching, writing & teaching I'm a music nut, a reader of European crime drama, a guitar player and football fanatic.I enjoy my TV, especially crime dramas such as The Bridge & The Killing & classic comedies such as The IT Crowd, Toast of London & Limmy's Show.

A lot of my students come under my wing through recommendations. So the First Tutor site contains only a fraction of past references. I want to share three with you from "referred students."

ONE: "BILL" History A level

Hello Craig,

If you don’t remember me too well, it’s Will from "Loch Ness Monster School", we had quite a few History A level lessons a few years ago (British Empire and French Revolution). I know this email is a bit out of the blue, but one of my current university modules features the topic of colonialism and as a result it has made me think back to A level history and, in turn, our lessons.

In looking back, I realised that I never properly thanked you for your lessons, nor let you know how I did. In the end I got a B in History to go with my A in Literature and A in Business, and am currently studying Law at the University of Kent. The main positive I found looking back on my A level History was not anything that I did in the class room, nor anything from my teachers, but rather the belief and confidence that your lessons gave me, to trust in my own abilities. Without your lessons, I genuinely think I would have struggled to pass History, so for that, I thank you.

Anyway I hope you are doing well and once again, thank you.


TWO: "ANDY" A level History.

Good Evening,

I wanted to (belatedly) thank you for the help that you have given me in the past year.

I managed to achieve an A grade, with 39/40 in the coursework, 90% in the Germany paper and 17/20 in both source-related questions.

I could never have imagined that I would have received any of those marks at the start of the year. I think that the tremendous amount of assistance that you gave to me, particularly with the coursework and the sources, made a huge difference. In the week leading up to the coursework submission, I was able to have a lesson with you almost whenever I wanted one and you were contactable at all hours of the day. I really appreciate the time you spent reading through my drafts, and you even mailed me a chapter of an AJP Taylor book! Your advice regarding the sources really did help, and the technique you taught me when approaching a new source genuinely revolutionised how I went about structuring my answers. In addition to this, the positivity and optimism you exhaled, really went a long way. I still remember almost laughing when you said that I could turn my source-related essays to 13/20s to 17/20s by the exams! My school made me think that I wasn't capable of succeeding in history, but you convinced me that this thinking was all in the mind and a positive attitude would go a long way. You didn't stop believing in me, and kept saying that I was able to do really well in the subject. I am still so grateful for that.

I am really sorry that it has taken such a long time for me to get in touch with you.

Thanks again,


THREE: "Farah" GCSE History

a) Hi Craig,
I thought I’d let you know that "Farah" has passed 8 GCSE’s (including History)! The only subject she failed was French (she got a 3).
Needless to say we are extremely proud of her.
She is delighted with her exam results and we’d like to thank you very much for all your help and advice.
"Farah" starts her nursing apprenticeship on 10th September with no need for any resits!!
Warmest regards
"Mum" xx

b) We absolutely know that you have made a huge difference to "Farah". Given that she is Dyslexic and given no extra time we knew the exams would never reflect her ability. She believes that she would never have passed without your help and I’m convinced that your tuition influenced other subjects. She also gained confidence in herself which was so important.
Will definitely keep in touch!
Take care
Love "Mum" xx

Tutoring Experience

As stated above, I am a teacher of long experience in the job, both as schoolteacher and one-to-one tutor. I've been tutoring with great success since 2009.

I taught for 23 years in secondary schools in Bromley, Kent and Derbyshire where I now live. History was my specialism but I was head of Politics for a number of years in the last part of my school career. I also taught Geography, Economics, English and R.E.

Since starting to tutor in 2009 I have taught History, Government & Politics & AS Economics..

I have taught a wide range of topics within French, German, Russian and British history. The list includes the usual suspects: causes of World Wars 1 and 2, Hitler and the Third Reich, the French Revolution (and its causes) and Napoleon; also Tsarist Russia, the Russian revolution and Stalin as well as the European Reformation, France in the 16th century, Louis XIV and aspects of Irish and Chinese history and 19th century France, plus 20th century USA. politics (Boom and Bust, New Deal and Post-War Boom, and also the Witchcraft Persecution in Europe (1550-1680).

In terms of British history I am very much up to speed with all aspects of its 20th century political history (high politics, parties, electoral history, social history & economic history, right through to the 21st century, in fact); I have also taught most aspects of 19th history, social, economic and political. For the last decade and a half of my school-teaching career I taught the A level course in 16th and 17th century - The Tudors, James I, Charles I, Causes of the English Civil War, Charles II, James II & the Glorious Revolution, the reigns of William & Mary & Queen Anne.

I have recently added 19th century British politics (Reform Bill through Peel, Palmerston, Disraeli and Gladstone to Salisbury) and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe to my "roster" of topics.

My doctorate focused on British History of the 1840-1945 period, studying social, political and economic history, specialising on the inter-war history of the BBC in relation to social class..

Tutoring Approach

Tone, Attitude!

To teach on a one-to-one basis, a teaching/coach/trainer has to be flexible. They have to adjust to the student in front of them. They have to try to understand the person in front of them and the experience they are going through at the time. Understanding of character and personality is essential.

You students are all unique, individual people. But you share certain needs. You need good teaching, the best you can find. You all need reminding how intelligent you are, how much potential you have and however great your difficulties may be at the time, need to be told that things can improve and improve quickly. You ALL need to be given more confidence in yourselves, need someone to try to instill more self-belief in you.

This is not to say that if the student requires a firm hand, needs to be told some home truths, I won't say what is necessary.

NOTE: Prices quoted are for lessons of 90 minutes' length for A level & undergraduate students; 70 minutes for GCSE students.

A key issue with me is value for money. A lesson is far more than a money for expertise transaction. It's about making an investment in the success of the student. Tutoring contains the idea that the tutor has a duty of care to the student to do the absolute utmost to get the best from the student.


THE ESSAY has always been the bugbear, the pain in the butt for most students. A long time ago now, I cracked the code by devising a method of planning an essay which, when I taught it to my 24 A level students that year, sent our results skyrocketing upwards. We got 17 As or Bs that summer and the school had never had results like it in history before. I kept using it and we kept getting great results. I started teaching A level politics at this time and the same thing happened there. I teach all my students this method, GCSE students included. The method is simple (I even used it with Year 7 students): it organises and structures your writing very clearly and very cleanly and it enables you to answer the question very directly. Essays - and source question answers - fully meet the criteria of the mark schemes across all boards.

I find that the writing methods that almost all teachers use with the students who come to me either don't work very well or don't work at all, confusing the student and leaving them very frustrated. If you come to work with me I'll show you a different method that you can use at your school, with your teacher. You don't have to tell them where you got the method from (you can say you found it online!). It's very rare that the teacher frowns at the new style of essay. The usual response is no frowning and the student getting higher marks! Very often the teacher is simply delighted that their student is producing better work.

Right now, the "SOURCE QUESTIONS" (primary source & interpretations questions) have become an additional bugbear for students. If you're a student struggling with this type of work...,

...about five years ago I made a point of intensifying my thinking about how these should be approached and smashed into the far distance. I was working with "Jack" from Nottingham at the time, a lad who was right on the edge of failing the course. I sat with him in his dining room and figured out on the spot using the famous "trial and error method," you know, the one close to "Flying by the Seat of Your Pants". I tried something different to help him get to grips with this type of question, showed him what to do and did it myself with him as we worked on an exam paper question. It seemed to work for both of us. I went home and refined the structural system needed to really make producing a really good answer clear and straightforward, and I've used it to great effect ever since.

The key to really good source/interpretations work is to work extremely precisely, carefully and systematically. My teaching method here matches this requirement fully. The results have been excellent.

I am now looking to take on perhaps two or three new students for the spring and early summer. I work with all types of students and have worked with students from all types of British schools and colleges.

Why you should contact me
You should contact me if, firstly, I appear to be the type of tutor you are looking for, and secondly, if you are in a difficult situation where you feel you’re under-performing and where you feel the need to change the way you go about producing essays and source work. I have found as a tutor that the standard of A-level teaching, for various reasons, a number of which have not much to do with a lack of talent, rather than the increased stress and workload imposed on teachers, is not what it might be. I have developed over time very clear and simple method of teaching students how to write, how to produce really effective responses to essay and source questions and it is this which stands is the major reason for the successes I’ve had and continue to have.

The overwhelming majority of the students I have tutors have been successful, by which I mean achieving a higher grade than that which they expected time I started working with them. The teaching methodology which I have developed works, it is as simple as that, really.

Students have failed to progress only when they have not been prepared to accept or take advice.

I take my teaching extremely seriously and once I take on a student I am always desperate for them to do well and I put everything into the task I have. The services I offer include advice on exam taking, teaching on content, naturally, advice on how to deal with the minutiae of the writing in the exam taking process, from How to structure a piece of writing To how to walk into an examination hall. I work on psychological issues, which are very important, as well as shall we say, the more conventional issues.

The end of the teaching, of course, is for the student to exceed their expectations and finish their course with a grade which they are delighted with.

The aim is also to solve the myriad problems that present themselves to A-level students as they go, and try to havWe fun in the process.

Taking an A-level need not be torture. It need not be something to be scared of or deeply stressed over or feel terribly anxious about. Taking on a level is not an easy undertaking no matter what natural advantages a student may have. But, It is possible to prepare a student so that when they come to sit their exams, they feel confident that they are going to perform well, not least because they know they arrive fully equipped with the tools required to do an excellent job. The purpose of my teaching is to provide a set of tools for the student or perhaps to enable a student to get together an excellent set of tools. I think I’m in danger of seriously overworking the analogy, so at this point I think I’ll pause!

My teaching style
I work in an interactive way. This means that while I naturally teach students things and instruct them, I don’t talk without involving the student usually through asking them questions {“What do think the next reason is?” “Let’s look at Blair: can you start us off with the first serious problem he had during office?”) sometimes to end my sentence for me. I don’t lecture. I used diagrams and charts to show and explain things. I access the knowledge the students already have about a subject as we build together a fuller, better picture of the subject and a better understanding of it.

LanguagesEnglish (British)
AvailabilityWeekends, Weekdays (all times)
References Available On File


De Montfort University2011MastersMaster of Arts (SportsHistory & Culture)
De Montfort University2021DoctoratePhD History
Leeds University1979BachelorsBA in History
Goffs School. Cheshunt1975SchoolA levels in History, English and Politics/economics

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