I graduated from Oxford University in 2005 with a 2:1 Masters Degree in Mathematics. I attended a Girl's Grammar School in Westcliff-on-Sea where I obtained an A* in my Maths GCSE and A grades in my Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Further Maths A-Levels, receiving full marks in several of my A Level papers. I also participated in the Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges obtaining Gold Awards and Top in School. I am now aged 33 and a proud mother to two young children. I am a qualified accountant and tax advisor, and until recently was working in London as a Financial Controller. I have now left my role in London, so that I can spend more time at home with my family.
I have tutored a number of children maths since graduating from University (I had a CRB check after University). Usually students are introduced to me in their final year of GCSE where parents/students would like to see an improvement in exam grades. If I tutor a student for around 4-6 months in year 11 (one hour per week), the results tend to be around an improvement of two grades. This has happened with a number of students I have taught. It depends on each child, as every child is unique, but it is surprising how little one-to-one tuition a child actually needs in order to see a marked improvement in grades. In some cases I have tutored students from year 8 through to year 11, helping to keep them in the top set and assisting them with understanding maths throughout their senior school years and achieving an A* in their exam. For children burdened with a lot of homework etc, some parents like the idea that by having the one hour per week session in maths, that is one subject their child will not fall behind on and it will remove some of their stress at school.
I have been passionate about Maths and Science from a young age and enjoy the challenge of solving problems. However, I enjoy more the "penny dropping" moment when you can teach and explain a concept to someone else. My approach is to concentrate on examples, and introduce exam paper style questions as early as possible. There is nothing worse than seeing someone's eyes glaze over as they are bored of listening to the facts.
Other things that are important to me are:
(1) Mental Arithmetic - in lessons I will often take 5 minutes out to give a mental arithmetic test. It is amazing how quickly students improve - they are so used to using a calculator that they don't know where to start and have little confidence in their ability, but it's a gentle reminder to them that they can think it through for themselves and work it out. It is a life skill that will always help them.
(2) Algebra! When I took my GCSE (admittedly a few years back now!) this was 40% of the paper and still forms a major part of the maths GCSE. I see it as the easiest part of the GCSE but many find it the hardest. Once a pupil understands the concepts, they can drastically improve grades by being good at Algebra.
(3) Exam questions - never too early to start. Schools often start in the term leading up to Easter. I start as soon as possible. Many of the questions are not beyond a pupil's knowledge but they have to learn the style of questions. Most marks in exams are for workings, so exam techniques are essential. I bring exam questions into most lessons, and if I see an opportunity, will use the question.
(4) I'm not perfect and I don't believe in pretending to know an answer immediately where in some cases it requires a little thinking time. I will not give a poor answer to a question just so as to protect my image! In the end, that will only lose the trust of a student. If I don't know a perfect answer on the spot, I WILL find out and make sure that my explanation is accurate. If this loses respect of a pupil, it shouldn't, it should gain it. Pupils need to feel confident that if I explain something, then I can back up my answer 100% and if I can't I need to go away and come back with an answer that will do just that. Some questions no matter what your ability can take an angle you are not familiar with and both myself and the pupil need confidence in all of my explanations.
5) Study notes. If a school test is coming up, I am happy to prepare some study slides in advance of a lesson, and spend the lesson testing and revising with the student. I have only done this recently with a student whose mother wanted him to be in the top set (he was in year 8). We had a 2 hour revision session the night before the test, and he got the highest mark in the class, and was moved up to the top set at the end of that term
|Availability||Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|University of Oxford||2005||Masters||Maths|
|Westcliff High School for Girls||2002||School||Further Maths & Maths A Level|
|Westcliff HIgh School for Girls||1999||School||Maths GCSE (taken a year early)|
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