I find it a privilege and a pleasure to work at motivating learners on a one-to-one basis, and love to see the confidence and even enjoyment (!) that grows out of the gaining of knowledge, skills and understanding.
Every student is different, and my lessons are tailored to address individual concerns. However there are certain features that crop up regularly. Often the problem is writing - organising thoughts into essays. I have some enjoyable strategies to address this. Often it's a disenchantment with the subject that arises from negative school experiences - frequent changes of teacher, or classes with disruption issues that make it hard for the under-pressure teacher to give individual attention or deliver a good quality of learning. This can lead to an unfair dislike of Poetry or Shakespeare simply because of the pressure to 'learn the right answers' to please the examiner. Better results are achieved by replacing fear and struggle with pleasure and confidence in the student's 'informed personal responses'. This is in fact the stated ideal of all the examining boards and the best path to higher grades.
I make sure that every lesson involves a balance of reading writing and speaking. Much of my material is self-generated , though I also work from coursebooks as suits the occasion.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
English, from GCSE to A-Level and above.
Shakespeare specialist, from both academic and performance perspectives.
Drama School Auditions.
Editing and proof-reading at undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
Open Exhibition to Trinity Hall College, Cambridge
MA (Cantab) in English
PGCE English and Media Studies, Institute of Education
Postgraduate Certificate in Acting, Webber Douglas Academy
- How much do you charge?
£35 - GCSE
£40 - A Level and above
£35 - Drama School auditions
- Where do you teach?
Now working on Zoom. The arrangement prior to the pandemic: "I offer a quiet, safe and comfortable workspace in my family home for delivering tutorials. However I can travel within reasonable distances. Travel time needs to be accounted for with a negotiable surcharge.Travel time of more than half an hour by public transport becomes a problem as this can reduce my availability for other students; but this can be offset (negotiable) if the lesson is increased to one and a half or two hours, for which I usually offer a reduced rate." I hope to return to this normality at a future date. In the meanwhile I have become very used to working on Zoom.
- When are you available?
Late afternoon and early evening, most weekdays.
Later Saturday mornings. Some Sunday afternoons.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Secondary school and older.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
English Language and Literature at GCSE, A Level, and above.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
Proof-reading can be done effectively on-line. I've always preferred the live one-to-one experience. However, as a response to Covid-19 I've been obliged, reluctantly, to work through Zoom, and have been pleasantly surprised. I've been looking at the Bitpaper programme but am yet to be convinced that it offers much benefit for teaching English at this level
- Do you have a personal message for students?
While striving to come up with whatever examiners seem to require, never forget that English is a life skill that, more than any other subject, draws on who you are as a person. Try and enjoy that - the more you talk, read and write, the more you are equipped to be a good communicator and that will not only lift your English results but will have a positive impact on all of your studies.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I was a full time teacher of English and Media Studies (with Drama) for 9 years in a Hertfordshire secondary school.
I have tutored for the past 12 years with an impressive success rate at GCSE and A Level (see testimonials).
I also work intermittently as a supply teacher, which keeps me in touch with current curriculum trends and changes.
I also have extensive experience as a freelance theatre writer/director/actor:
Founding Artistic Director of Medieval Players Theatre Company.
Published adapter/director of 5 Shakespeare plays for National Theatre (Discover).
Have worked extensively as a guest director at RADA and East 15 Acting School.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I have current Full DBS.
- Where and with whom did you train?
Further to my Cambridge degree in English, leading to my MA (Cantab.), I trained at the Institute of Education (1990-91) where I received my PGCE.
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
National Union of Teachers
British Actors Equity
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I'm currently or have recently been teaching students at GCSE English with AQA, EdExcel (incl.IGCSE) and OCR, and A-Level English. Two of my Drama School audition students gained places recently at Mountview and RADA. I have also been working with two foreign language students, editing their essays for PGCE and journalism courses. I am experiencing a growing demand for help in essay-writing at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with some impressive results.
Training and Qualifications
Attended Kingswood School in Bath
11 O levels, 3 A Levels – English, French, History
Open Exhibition to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
BA Hons in English (2.2) 1975
MA (Cantab) 1982
Postgraduate Certificate in Acting – Webber Douglas Academy 1978
PGCE from Institute of Education (English/Media Studies) 1991
Teaching (i) Full-time Secondary
After PGCE in 1990/1, took a post as teacher of English, Media Studies and Drama at Hillside Upper School, Borehamwood (1991- 2000)
Taught English and Media Studies to A-Level, and non-examination Drama.
Was a form tutor, and directed many school productions.
Teaching (ii) Supply and tutoring
In tandem with a freelance career as an actor, director and writer, I have worked, on and off since 2000, as a day-to-day supply teacher for several agencies, in dozens of London schools. I am experienced enough to be regularly mistaken by students as regular staff (!).
I have also worked for nearly 15 years as a private tutor, for various agencies and now more independently. In this time I have covered everything from Common Entrance through GCSE (AQA, EdExcel and OCR), IGCSE, and A-Level to proofreading/supporting of Masters dissertations and degree-level English for foreign students.
Theatre Work / Parallel career
Freelance theatre director and writer. Shakespeare specialist:
Adapted and directed 5 Shakespeare productions for National Theatre (Education):
Pericles, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Twelfth Night (Scripts published by NT/Oberon Books 2010).
Delivered the Hull University Annual Shakespeare Lecture, April 2011.
Co-wrote (with Tom Morris) and directed 3 Christmas shows for BAC: Ben-Hur, Jason and the Argonauts and World Cup Final 1966.
Have directed several productions at RADA and East 15 Acting School and successfully coached for auditions.
Run my own project-based theatre company – website: beggarsbelief.org.uk
Other relevant work
• Finchley Youth Theatre. Ran a weekly class for several years, and mounted a number of productions.
• Finchley Children’s Music Group. Three one-week summer schools, with classes culminating in a production.
• Ongoing productions of medieval Play of Daniel with The Clerks’ Group for music festivals with primary school children as performers.
Family and local connections
• I have 5 children, currently ranging now between the ages of 24 and 40, who have attended Stroud Green School and Coleridge School at primary level and, at secondary, Highgate Wood and Latymer, Edmonton. I also have 5 grandchildren.
• I run with London Heathside AC, and have completed 8 Marathons, with a personal best time of 2:59:43 (2002). Have run every Crouch End 10K since it was founded in 1991, and won best in age trophies 2015, 2016 and 2017.
• I have sung for twenty years with the Crouch End Festival Chorus (1st Bass)
Competent in French – A-Level and once worked in France for 6 months.
Enhanced DBS is on a rolling update – 961HEAP21053
Hi Carl. Imelda got her English Language result back and she got a B! She is very pleased. Thank you so much for accommodating her, it obviously made the difference! Also the Young Actors Theatre [National Youth Theatre] hv offered her the work shadowing in Feb, so thank you for suggesting them as well. God bless, Rebecca
Hello Carl. I have some news... I got an A for my exams!! Along with the A* from my coursework, this is fantastic news for us. Both my family and I would like to thank you so much, as it wouldn't have been possible without your help and guidance. We wish you well for the future, and may your other students benefit as much as I have from your teachings. Many thanks, Sooren
The only mistake I made in choosing Carl Heap to tutor my daughter in English was in not doing it sooner. With her dyslexia, Emily had always found English difficult and was predicted a C at GCSE from year 7. With Carl's help and in a staggeringly short space of time (3 months), she achieved A grades in her literature papers and a B overall. Carl has an incredibly natural affinity with both the English language and his students. Highly recommended.
Through his enthusiasm and knowledge Carl showed our son the power and fun of language and opened perspectives to his study of literature that went beyond what he was experiencing in the classroom at school. Our son was not naturally keen on studying English but with Carl's guidance achieved a high grade in both English GCSEs which he was delighted with. Thanks very much Carl.
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