I hated science at school but my job led me to develop an interest which took me right through to a Masters degree. I've never forgotten what it feels like to struggle or, more importantly, what it takes to improve.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I am a specialist AS and A-Level tutor with 8 years of experience. I tutor AS/A-Level Chemistry and AS/A Level Biology.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
I left school with Cs in GCSE double science, and no intention of ever doing anything even remotely scientific ever again. I had the impression that science was only for the 'smart' people and that didn't include me, so it didn't even occur to me to try to do well.
That changed when working for an electronics company a couple of years later led me to develop an interest in science and I left my job to college to study A-Levels in Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and French.
College was a completely different experience to school and I left with straight As. I didn't become any more 'smart', I just quickly realised that to do well, it's not just about learning the content. It's more about developing the skills that allow you to actually use the content to answer the exam questions. It's these skills that are the difference between the low grades and the high grades and are what I now teach my students.
After getting straight As at A-level as an adult learner I began studying with The Open University (where I now teach) so that I could carry on working and fit my studies around my family. I graduated with a first class BSc (hons) in Life sciences. I carried on with my studies at postgraduate level achieved a postgraduate certificate in science education and an MSc in science, with modules in science education and Medicinal Chemistry.
- How much do you charge?
For online tuition, I charge £25 per hour for individual students. For in-person tuition in Bradford I charge £30 per hour.
If you are interested in having tuition with a group of friends please contact me to discuss fees.
- Where do you teach?
The majority of my lessons are online and take place in my online classroom.
I also travel to students in Bradford, but I have a very limited number of in-person sessions available.
- When are you available?
I offer sessions between 9.30 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.
For up-to-date availability, please get in touch.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I work with A-Level Chemistry and Biology students of all ages and I specialise in working with students who are really struggling to get the grades they need.
Over the years, some of my students have been able to make massive improvements to their grades and chase careers that they thought were out of their reach. Here's some examples:
A student who started tuition for A-Level Biology only 2 months before the exams after getting a D in her mock exam. She worked really hard on her exam technique and achieved a B in the 'real' exams, allowing her to gain admission to her first choice degree course.
A Chemistry and Biology student who had a difficult first year and had lost her confidence. She was predicted 2 Cs but was hoping for 2 Bs. She ended up with an A in Biology and a B in Chemistry. She's now at University studying Medicine.
A Chemistry and Biology student who was entered for the AS exams and achieved a D and a C. She had almost given up on her dream of studying Dentistry, but after achieving a B and an A in the final exams she realised she was still in with a chance. She took a gap year to apply for Dentistry and now has a place for September.
A Biology student who got an A* in style by scoring 100%. She also achieved an A in Chemistry and is now studying Dentistry.
A Chemistry and Biology student who got a D and a B at AS. She was awarded As in both Chemistry and Biology, giving her the grades she needed to apply to study Medicine. She's now about to start her second year.
A student who had received a U in Chemistry at AS and needed a C for University. She resat both AS exams alongside the A2 exams and achieved a C, despite being told by her school teachers that she had no chance of passing.
A Biology student who got a D in her year 1 mock. She went on to achieve a B in the final exams and gained a place at on the Royal Veterinary College gateway programme.
A Biology student who had scored an E at AS level and resat to get a B.
A chemistry student who needed an A to be accepted onto a Veterinary Medicine but had been given a U grade in a mock exam in December. She achieved her A in the final exams and is now studying to be a Vet.
An AS Biology resit student who went from U to an A in only 5 months.
An A Level Chemistry and Biology student who had been awarded Es at AS but increased her grades to be awarded a B in Chemistry and C in Biology.
An A-Level Chemistry and Biology student who had been predicted Cs but was awarded a B in Biology and an A in Chemistry.
An A-Level Chemistry student who had missed her offer to study Veterinary Medicine after achieving a B. She took a year out to resit as a private candidate and achieved an A which gained her a place to study at the Royal Veterinary College, despite applying as a candidate who had 3 years of A-Level study (she also took the opportunity to get some amazing work experience, which is a good tip to make your application looked upon more favourably if you're applying with 3 years of study.)
A student studying both Biology and Chemistry A level who had achieved a C and D respectively at AS and had been advised by school that he was at the limit of his capabilities. He resat AS alongside A2 and after achieved As in both subjects.
A Biology student who had taken AS twice before starting tuition and had only been able to achieve D grade but has now passed with a B at A2 and gone on to study Physiotherapy at University.
A Biology and Chemistry student achieved Us at AS before starting tuition and gained A and B grades at A2 after retaking her AS exams alongside A2. She gained a place to study pharmacy at University
What all these students have in common is that they worked extremely committed to our lessons and devoted the majority of their time to strengthening the skills needed for A-Level standard exam technique
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I use a multimedia classroom software program specifically designed for online tuition, which allows us to do everything we can do in a 'normal' face-to-face lesson but also allows us to make really good use of a range of resources available on the internet. Some of my current online students live close to me but prefer to have online tuition as they enjoy using the software and find it more convenient.
To have online tuition you don't need to purchase any software yourself or install anything. It is very easy to get going with and before the first lesson, I'll send you a booklet which explains how online tuition works in more depth. Ideally, you will have a headset but this is not essential.
I offer all online students a free introductory session. This gives you the opportunity to get everything set up and to try it out to make sure it's the right option for you. It also gives us the opportunity to have a chat to work out what's causing you problems and make a plan of action for future lessons so that we can get started straight away in your first 'proper' lesson.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
If you are struggling to get the grades you need for University of just bored with science, I know how you feel - nobody hated science more than me! But, with the right help, science needn't be a nightmare. Get in touch and we can discuss your situation, the chances are I can help.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have been a professional private tutor for 8 years and I tutor full time.
During this time, I have tutored over a hundred students, from those who are really struggling, to those who just need support to get the top grades. I specialise in A-Level tuition and I have had great success in helping students make huge changes to their grades.
I have tutored students studying with the following exam boards: AQA , EDEXCEL, OCR, OCR Salter's Chemistry, WJEC Biology A level and CIE.
I also work for The Open University as an Associate Lecturer, where I teach Undergraduate Health Sciences and science investigation skills. As part of this, I deliver online tutorials and in-person group tutorials. I also mark and provide feedback on assignments. My teaching is regularly monitored and I am consistently graded as excellent.
My approach is to teach students how to stop thinking like a student and start thinking like a scientist. This allows them to develop the thought process to make sense of exam questions, apply their knowledge and construct the kind of answers that get the top grades. We spend A LOT of time focusing on understanding the topic, rather than rote learning the content. Teaching exam technique and study skills is also a very important part of my approach, as is undoing the bad habits from GCSE that just don't work for A Level.
My experience of teaching at undergraduate level is invaluable for helping my students develop the higher-level skills they need to deal with the most challenging parts of the A-Level specifications and the scariest application-based questions.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I have a valid DBS check which can be viewed on request.
- Tell me about some of your current students.
The majority of my students have chosen to have tuition after struggling with exam technique, learning the required content or both. I am also tutoring two A-Level students who are studying by distance learning and are entering as private candidates.
• MSc Science (medicinal Chemistry and science education studies)
• BSc (hons) Life Sciences (First class); Post Graduate Certificate in Professional studies in Education (Science education)
• I have a valid CRB check which can be viewed on request
Gemma is a fantastic tutor who has helped me go from grade Ds to grade As and Bs. She has great methods to help me understand all the aspects of Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and at A Level. I genuinely do not know how I’d have passed either of these two subjects without her and even with online tuition she displays the best of methods to help me understand. I have been taught by many and even had another tutor but none of them have helped and encouraged me the way Gemma has.
My daughter was predicted a C in Chemistry and Biology. She got her A level results and we are so pleased to say that she got an A in Biology and a B in Chemistry. Thank you Gemma!!
Gemma is a reliable and enthusiatic tutor and manages to tailor the lessons to individual students' needs. She gives clear and concise feedback in lessons and on homework tasks which aids progress. Also, her in depth knowledge of the sciences improved my understanding of the subject which gave me lots of confidence and helped me achieve my desired grades. Overall, Gemma is a brilliant tutor and I would definitely recommend her.
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