I am an English teacher, creative writing tutor and novelist from Teesside. Although I was (and still am) deeply passionate about teaching, particularly in relation to the impact it enabled me to make on the lives of young people, after over ten years working in the education sector as a secondary/sixth form teacher of English literature and language I decided to leave the profession to focus on my creative work. In doing so I was able to complete a creative writing PhD at Northumbria University. For this course I was awarded a full scholarship and my research was completed and doctorate awarded in 2017.
In addition to developing my research, 2017 also saw the publication of my second novel, 'Herself Alone in Orange Rain' the follow-up to my debut novel, 'Green Dawn at St Enda's'. These books are parts 1 and 2 of my Celtic Colours trilogy, publishedby Cinnamon Press. The final installment will be released in 2019 and plans for a fourth novel (already written) to be published by Cinamon in 2020 and two more novels, currently in the planning/development stage, under conract for 2022 and 2023. Prior to securing a long term publication deal with Cinnamon I have extensively published short stories and articles in a range of magazines, literary journals and anthologies. My work has also won or been highly commended in several notable writing competitions.
I have been teaching since 2002, working across the secondary and sixth form education sector from key stages 3-5 as well as running courses for adult learners and, more recently, lecturing at undergraduate level. I have also worked in the primary sector, at a local primary school, tutoring small groups of year 6 pupils in preparation for their English SATs.
My main specialism is English and I have taught both literature and language at GCSE and A Level and also the combined lang/lit A Level English courses. My experience spans a range of exam boards, including OCR, AQA, Edexel and WJEC and, as well as the traditional GCSE syllabus I have considerable experience in teaching resit candidates and in delivering the IGCSE English course. During two of my education postings my duties included working students on an individual or small group basis, specifically targeting attainment and helping students prepare for GCSE English examinations and, additionally, I privately tutored students from key stage three to A level in English and literature. I have taught at both AS and A2 level for literature and language, covering a wide variety of texts (poetry, prose and drama) as well as topics such as language and gender, language acquisition and textual analysis. I am also very familiar with the AQA creative writing A Level syllabus, and with my writing background, am an experienced creative writing tutor able to help students attain strong results in the creative writing elements of the key stage 2 SATS, GCSE English and A level language examination syllabuses. More recently I have been working in the primary sector and am very familiar with the requirements for expected standard and great depth in reading and writing at key stage two (year 6 SATs) offer tuition in this area also.
As part of my recent PhD in creative writing I have gained experience of undergraduate teaching in both English literature and creative writing, delivering modules on historical fiction, creative non-fiction, novel writing and critical approaches to creative writing to candidates at all stages of undergraduate study. I have worked closely with undergraduates, helping them improve essays ready for submission and develop creative pieces for both submission and publication and am confident at tutoring at HE level.
Since leaving formal teaching to focus on my writing career I have also developed, designed and delivered several courses for adults within the creative writing sector, specifically on writing novels, short stories, flash fiction, scripts, historical fiction and creative non-fiction. Working both independently and in conjunction with Cinnamon Press I have mentored novelists on their works in progress, helping to edit and develop the texts with a view to publication. This experience allows me to offer tuition in the fields of English and/or creative writing to adult learners, both those returning to education and those wishing to pursue a personal study course, improve their command of written English and redraft specific pieces of writing for professional purposes.
Having worked for many years in secondary education, teaching to classes of thirty or more students, I came to understand just how important it is to be able to meet the needs of every individual student if they are to achieve their potential. Unfortunately this is not always possible in large classes but it is something that is absolutely possible with one-to-one tuition and it is my main focus when working with a tutee. I strive to put the needs of the student at the centre of the tutoring process, ensuring that sessions are structured in ways that best meet the learning needs of each individual. All students learn differently both in terms of their pace of learning and the methods that suit their learning style and I aim to always assess each student as an individual and, through co-operative strategies, provide the kind of tuition that is most likely to help them achieve their goals. Some students will have specific, practical objectives, like gaining a particular exam result or refining an assignment, while others may have broader objectives such as developing analytical skills applicable to other subject areas or acquiring a degree literary appreciation. Whatever the goal of tuition I ensure my sessions are designed to attain that goal as efficiently (and enjoyably) as possible by working with students, discussing their needs and listening to them at all stages of the tuition process.
I also place a great deal of importance on boosting the confidence of students. Many learners, both young and older, have, unfortunately, had negative experiences of formal education which has left them feeling uncertain about their own abilities and competences, particularly with regard to producing written work. My approach focuses on reversing any self-doubt by providing and developing, with the student's input, practical strategies that enable them to make progress, improve any aspects of written communication that learners may lack confidence in and gain the ability to produce work of a high standard and of which they can be assured. While I acknowledge that, naturally, not everyone I tutor will come to share my passion for literature, I seek to ensure that all students will acquire those skills within the areas of English/creative writing that they need to move forward in their own ambitions whether those ambitions relate to further study, career opportunities or personal attainment.
|Availability||Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Graduate Teacher Programme||2003||QTS||N/A|
|Oxford Brookes University||2000||Bachelors||First Class with Honours|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|