This is how 2 referees rated Robert:
Robert offers a discount of 25% on their first / introductory lesson!
Computer Studies / I.T.
- A writer, musician, games designer and essayist currently studying for a funded PhD at Bath Spa and Bath universities, investigating the application of artificial intelligence in storytelling.
-Before this I studied at Exeter University for both a BA and an MA, achieving the highest possible grades in both cases; after my MA, my practice-based dissertation was adapted into 'The Black Crown Project', a multimedia narrative game experience by world publisher Random House; this work was considered for a gaming BAFTA and shortlisted for the Futurebook Prize.
- After this I worked with Shelter UK, the housing and homelessness charity, producing innovative interactive fiction works to support their nationwide campaigns, as well as developing fairytales and associated Key Stage learning materials for the charity's Christmas campaign for thousands of UK schools.
- I was then awarded an AHRC-funded grant to become the Writer-In-Residence at the British Library, producing innovative digital and fictional works for an award-winning exhibition on polar exploration; these ranged from musical performances to hand-bound books, videogames to lectures and school visits.
- I am also an experienced public speaker and lecturer, having spoken to large audiences on the nature of art, storytelling and the future of technology at such venues as York University, Exeter University, The Frontline Club and the 2013 Futurebook Conference.
- As well as my PhD producing a 'literary artificial intelligence', I am also writing a children's book about a greedy little campfire, to be published by Penguin Random House.
- In my spare time, I like to hike, wild-swim, code and play folk music.
- I have diverse experience through my lecturing and speechmaking in explaining difficult subjects to a wide variety of audiences, from the very old to the extremely young.
- Whilst the Writer-In-Residence at the British Library, I held many different workshops for members of the public on the history of the museum, making games, music and creative writing; these included school groups, the British Library Youth Forum of school leavers, and numerous adult groups. These proved extremely popular, with one visiting teacher telling me afterwards that my lessons and recitals were "the most inspiring thing the children had ever seen."
- Whilst writing my fairytales for Shelter UK's Christmas campaign I worked very closely with the education team, parents, children and teachers to make sure that my stories not only educated young children about housing difficulties in the UK, but that the accompanying teaching materials provided useful activities for all Key Stages and ability levels. It was important for me to make sure that the narrative potential of the stories
- This December I am taking a self-devised digital storytelling workshop to two Sussex schools, teaching the children about the future of narrative, coding and how to self-publish their work on the web. Upon the success of these workshops I look forward to taking the material to many other schools across the country, allowing children to build their own stories immediately from my example materials.
- I am knowledgeable about the different requirements for the UK exam boards (AQA, OCR, Edexcel) and can tailor my teaching to any learning objective.
- An interesting side note: I once taught had to teach English in a Chinese summer school to forty-five children with only the aid of a single wordsearch!
I understand that much of the purpose of tutoring is to prepare a student for a particular examination, test or other piece of work; this must always remain the focus of the time. However, I believe that a thorough understanding of a subject, achieved through a holistic, enthusiastic teaching, will not only improve a student's enthusiasm to learn but also improve their performance in the test or exam. With this in mind, I believe that tutoring should focus on this central spine of core learning whilst providing interesting material around the subject which the student may not have encountered before, in order to contextualise their learning and make sure that they are not just learning by rote or to a narrow remit.
For Creative Writing, I believe the tutoring session should be relied upon to critique and edit work, rather than writing itself; this should be done outside of the session by the student.
I also hope to teach the student self-sufficiency, including methods of finding new information online, other reference works on the same subject and materials that will give them an edge in the subject. With my Spanish tutoring, especially, I think it is good to use a wide range of material, from magazines to websites, films, songs and even recipes, to help the student understand the language beyond vocabulary lists or grammar tables.
A plan of an hour's tutoring session, studying a particular text for an English GCSE, is provided below. I am taking one of the 2015 texts for the Edexcel exam, 'Of Mice & Men' by John Steinbeck, as an example:
10 minutes - Reading through a prepared worksheet on one aspect of the context of the novel: history, Steinbeck's other works, literary movements etc.
20 minutes - Discussing the prepared chapters (typically 3, depending on the length o**Contact Detail Removed**) in terms of theme, language and character.
10 minutes - Relating these chapters to other examples of theme, language and character in the rest of the book.
5 minutes - Free writing on the subjects discussed, by student, to simulate exam conditions.
15 minutes - Feedback on writing, goals for next time, a quick test on subjects not written about in free writing exercise.
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