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  • (8 reviews)
A
Andrew
« Many thanks John for your excellent tutoring for Julia. Thanks for... More »
A
Andrew
« Many thanks John for your excellent tutoring for Julia. Thanks for your commitment and care that gave a great deal of added value. It was very much appreciated. (22 Aug '13) I'm pleased to say that Julia got an A in her History GCSE - we're all very pleased. She would not have done so well without your tuition, so we're very grateful »
£30/h
Tutor profile verified
Response Time 1h
Lessons offered by John
  • Individual
The lessons will be held
  • at his home
  • at your home
  • By webcam
Taught subjects
  • Essay Writing
  • 13 Plus
  • School Entrance Exams
  • International Baccalaureate
Levels
  • Secondary
  • GCSE
  • A Level
  • Undergraduate

John - Epsom (UK) - an enthusiastic and experienced teacher in History and Politics

Methodology

I have been involved in education for over 40 years and I can truly say that I have enjoyed most of my time in schools and now in tutoring. My philosophy is based on the notion that each individual is different and therefore requires different approaches. Therefore I do not start a new student armed with a specific lesson plan, but I listen to the needs of that person and base my lesson on that information. It often happens that needs change for each lesson and this I am ready to respond to. It presents me with an intellectual challenge each time but I do enjoy it!

- Which subject(s) do you teach?

My two main subjects are History and Politics plus International Relations/Politics at 16+, A Level/Baccalaureate

- Tell me about your qualifications.

I have an Honours Degree in History from London University and I am a qualified teacher. I am also a certified Counsellor and an advanced certificate in Careers Education and Guidance

- How much do you charge?

My fee is £30 per hour

- Where do you teach?

If families prefer, I do teach at home, but in my experience, most people prefer that I visit them and I am very happy to do so. I live near Epsom in Surrey, which I find is central to most places within a 15 to 20 mile radius. However, for 3 years, I had a student in Slough which was a greater distance than that, so it is not a strict limit. I have taught students in a variety of places in London, Croydon, Richmond upon Thames, Chertsey, Walton on Thames, Barnes, Wimbledon, Hounslow, Twickenham, Sunbury on Thames, Hampton, Streatham, Morden, as well as all places local to Epsom.

- When are you available?

I am available most times - mornings, afternoons and evenings. I am also available during most holidays and weekends.

- Which ages and levels do you teach?

I teach anyone from Key Stage 3, so that in effect means from the age of 11. I teach up to A Level and IB, which includes Common Entrance and GCSE. I also teach adults who wish to improve their qualifications, or simply wish to pursue an interest in History or Politics.

- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?

I prepare students for end of year exams, Common Entrance, GCSE, A-Level and International Baccalaureate. Currently I am helping an undergraduate studying International Relations.

- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.

I have taught students on MSN and skype, both of which have been a relatively new project for me. However, I have found face to face tuition to be much more effective and that is the type of contact I prefer.

- Do you have a personal message for students?

I do like make to make a difference, whether that is improving your exam or revision technique, or improving your performance and are requiring a grade improvement, or even wishing to improve your confidence, all of which are basic to exam success. Most people I have come into contact with have been highly satisfied with the outcome, and essentially, I would like to do the same for you! Recognising that each individual has different needs and requirements and making the subject enjoyable, form a major part of my approach to tutoring. Also I feel that my experience as a former head of department, as well as 34 years of teaching, is what I bring to my tutoring. Teaching is more than simply the imparting of knowledge. It is down to practitioners such as myself to develop examination technique as well as to help in the learning process, and therefore to develop learning techniques, which are vital to exam success. It is within my capability to advance upon disappointing predicted grades as well as to achieve high pass grades for those whose chosen universities demand them. Finally, now that A levels follow a linear course means that the final exam at the end of two years study can appear to be rather daunting as the modular courses have now finished. Being able to organise yourselves over a two year period will become a key skill to acquire, and this is an area in which I have some expertise.

Ambassador

One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualifications verified and response guaranteed. John will plan your first lesson with care.

Background

- What kind of experience do you have?

I have been in teaching, both full-time and in tutoring for almost 40 years, and during that time, I have seen a tremendous number of students which has had its challenges but also its rewards. I taught in Canada for a while, and on returning to the UK, I became the Senior Tutor in an independent school in Middlesex, but I remained very much in touch with the classroom. I have been a tutor for 5 years but this time I have enjoyed the daily variety of people I meet and assist and also I do like the travelling, which is a different aspect to the job.I enjoy what I do and I am looking forward to extending my list of contacts even further.

- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?

Yes from August 2017

- Where and with whom did you train?

Westminster College in Oxford for my teaching certificate and London University for honours degree in History

- Do you belong to any professional organisations?

No

- Tell me about some of your current students.

Every year throws up a great variety of students and this year (2013-14) has been no exception. A major advantage over full-time teaching in a school is that I am able to treat each individual according to his/her circumstances and requirements and then responding directly to those. One student suffered from anxiety and panic attacks which led to depression which led to her being absent from school for much of her first year Sixth. She decided to continue with her AS Level study in the German Reformation and the Dutch revolt from home and I was called in to be her tutor. She achieved an A grade, but not only that, she got full marks in both her papers.
Unfortunately, from time to time, there arises problems between the student and the teacher and I am called in to unblock an impasse which has developed. I had one such young man who was studying A Level international relations up to 1994 but really could not get on with his teacher. Indeed I was shown a piece of marked work which, despite what in my opinion contained something of value, attracted negative comments. He was predicted an E grade. He actually got a B grade.
Finally, a student who really wanted to go on to study History at university but was finding Year 13 essay technique on Henry VIII rather difficult and so was predicted a D grade, actually ended up with an A and IS going to do a History degree at her first choice university.

Rates

Rate for online lessons : £30/h
Rate for 5 hours of lessons : £120
Rate for 10 hours of lessons : £250
Lessons offered by John
Individual
The lessons will be held
at his home
at your home
webcam
Taught subjects
  • Essay Writing
  • 13 Plus
  • School Entrance Exams
  • International Baccalaureate
Levels
  • Secondary
  • GCSE
  • A Level
  • Undergraduate

John's CV

Bachelor of Arts Degree (London). Certificate in Education 1972. I became the Head of the History/Politics Department plus careers coordinator for the school in which I began the annual work experience programme . I was appointed the Senior Tutor in which I organised the pastoral care and the PHSE syllabus. I was also the school's counsellor helping students through their difficulties.
Following my retirement in 2006, I decided to remain in education through tutoring and since then I have tutored in excess of 80 students. My preference is to react to the needs of each individual with the emphasis on developing confidence and to encourage enthusiasm for the subject. The lessons should also be enjoyable. It is through enjoyment that the learning process is made easier

8 reviews on John
  • 5/5

All our ratings are collected by us and are given in confidence, they correspond to a real experience.

8 recommendations

A
Andrew

Many thanks John for your excellent tutoring for Julia. Thanks for your commitment and care that gave a great deal of added value. It was very much appreciated.
(22 Aug '13) I'm pleased to say that Julia got an A in her History GCSE - we're all very pleased. She would not have done so well without your tuition, so we're very grateful

M
Mandy

John helped David and James through their GCSE and A Level History/Government and Politics. In fact my eldest son changed his degree option to History as a result of his infectious enthusiasm John has for History. I would certainly recommend him.

C
Catherine

John helped Louise through her A Level History at a critical moment and the end result was an A grade in the subject achieving full marks in one paper

H
Helena

Tom has found John very supportive and knowledgeable. He has provided him with focused support and motivation. Thanks for your help. Fingers crossed for results day!

C
Clancy

John is very reliable and personable. He has created a very good rapport with Patrick who is enjoying working with him.

P
Paddy

The decision we took to bring John in as Matt's mentor after his disappointing AS results was clearly a good one. Matt really benefited from John's weekly support and guidance and the improvement in his subject knowledge and question answering technique was shown by his recent A Level results, enabling Matt to achieve the grades necessary for his first choice university and course. We don't think it would have happened without John.

H
Helen

I cannot recommend John highly enough as a tutor. We asked John to help Nathan catch up some work he had missed in his first year of A Level History. He had to cover two areas of the syllabus so John came twice a week which my son found extremely helpful and quickly got up to speed as John tailored the lessons to meet Nathan's needs. He is a very nice, kind, patient teacher and my son enjoyed his lessons which is a feat in itself! Thank you John

S
Sanjiv

We wanted to thank you for all the help and support and to say we really appreciate your kindness and understanding. You made a huge difference to Nisha's confidence and we are very grateful in helping her to achieve an A grade which has enabled her to read Politics at Sussex.

Interview with John

QUESTION 01 | 08
When did you develop an interest in your chosen field and in private tutoring?
John — I have had a fascination about history going back eons which is a bit surprising because the subject was not well taught when I was at school even though I persisted with it at A Level and beyond. It was the BBC period dramas like Poldark and the Jane Austin novels which got me first interested in how people in the past lived and thought. I suppose television is a major reason why there is a growing interest in History today as it brings the past to life and I am a frequent follower of 'Yesterday' and the History Channel as well as being a regular contributor to the BBC's 'History Today'. I think it is vital to keep up with the latest research as even interpretations about the past can radically change. Tutoring became an option after I retired from full-time education in 2006 as I wanted to retain my links with the subject matter and also with young people. I like to make a difference to people's perception of History as well as their success at examinations and it thrills me no end when some decide to pursue it at university.
QUESTION 02 | 08
Tell us more about the subject you teach, the topics you like to discuss with students (and possibly those you like a little less).
John — I cover all periods of History in my tutoring. I have not a particular preference for any period of history but whenever an older subject arises like the Tudors or even further back to the Saxons, I am able to show that the more ancient times still have a relevance for today. For instance, it was the Saxons who first developed the jury system based on 12 'men' which Henry II further developed
into a more systematic practice. Henry may have been a brutal ruler at times but he did have a sense of justice. Also we can see that Henry VIII and Elizabeth I began a public health system which survived in essence until it was finally replaced by the NHS in 1948. Britain's somewhat unfriendly relationship with Russia is not new as the Crimean War of the 1850s will demonstrate. I do like the modern periods as well and I do enjoy the Cold War topic as well as the Middle East and the development of international terrorism. If there was a subject which I have not taken a particular liking to and that is the Thirty Years War, largely because of its complexity which can be difficult to inspire interest in but I have noticed that the exam boards have dropped it.
QUESTION 03 | 08
Did you have any role models; a teacher that inspired you?
John — Although I said earlier that History was not taught well when I was at school, a teacher did inspire me to continue with the subject and he joined during my last year in the Sixth Form. He presented it in a manner which was refreshing and not text-book based, but he brought us into the realm of history by inviting us to participate in the lessons. This was quite new to me at the time and I base my methodology on what I learned from him.
QUESTION 04 | 08
What do you think are the qualities required to be a good tutor?
John — I think one of the key qualities is that of listening. In tutoring one has the freedom to prioritise the individual's needs in order to progress in the subject which is quite difficult to achieve in the school situation. When the individual becomes the focus rather than a class, then listening to what is required and to where the problems lie within the subject matter, becomes paramount. Therefore one can base the lesson on the student's wishes and we can then move forward. It means I do not have a formal lesson plan, although I have an idea in my mind on what we will do, and sometimes it requires me to think on my feet, which leads to another key skill, that of having a very secure knowledge base. That is essential if I am to inspire confidence in the student. Finally to present the subject in a way that will further inspire interest and that means presenting it in an enjoyable way, perhaps even having fun on the way. Making a subject interesting is a major boost to the learning process. I learned early in my career that humour is a huge help in inspiring others.
QUESTION 05 | 08
Provide a valuable anecdote related to your subject or your days at school.
John — When mobile phones first became common usage in the 1980s, an additional task was to nurture young minds away from the text speak. So I would read that Alfred the G8 was a successful king, LIV had his head chopped off, something about Burke n Hare or a whole load of words like the brits, Maggie or Gorby. On another occasion, the subject matter was the battle of el Alamein in 1942 during the Desert War. There was a boy in the class with a German-sounding name but spelt in an English way. He put his hand up and said he had two great uncles who fought on different sides in the battle; one in the British Eighth Army and other in Rommel's Afrika Korps. They both survived the war and became firm friends for a long time afterwards.
QUESTION 06 | 08
What were the difficulties or challenges you faced or still facing in your subject?
John — One difficulty is the frequent changes to GCSE and A Level courses which has become a challenge since my retirement as it means some considerable cost in updating my resources. Since I retired from teaching, there have two major changes to A Level alone in just 12 years!
Another is the retention of coursework at A Level. Most students struggle with this partly because it covers a period of 100 years which some find very challenging and partly because of the word limit. Once having written a credible answer, a lot of students are desperately going through their work with a fine tooth comb trying to delete words because they have gone way beyond the word-count.
QUESTION 07 | 08
Do you have a particular passion? Is it teaching in general or an element of the subject or something completely different?
John — I do have a passion about History and Politics as well. In history, I relish the opposing interpretations of the same event. For instance, one of the key debates in the modern period is who was to blame for the start of the Cold War. The debate often surrounds the personalities and motivations of Stalin and Truman, but there is also the question of misunderstanding of each other's actions and statements. Another key debate and one which frequently exercises students is why Henry VIII took the English Church out of papal control. Did he do it simply in pursuance of having a male heir? Or was there something more ambitious in Henry; perhaps encouraged by Thomas Cromwell?
In Politics, the current crisis over Brexit is of fundamental importance to the future of this country and will be debated long after the issue has been decided. Then there is the Trump presidency. Why did he lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes, which is a wider margin than Kennedy's victory over Nixon in 1960, and still become the president of the United States? Why did George Bush (and Tony Blair) completely mess up the outcome of 9/11 especially at the time they were riding high in the opinion polls?
Both in History and Politics there are a lot of imponderables which can dominate the mind
QUESTION 08 | 08
What makes you a Superprof (besides answering this interview questions :-P)?
John — I have always enjoyed my job and when you enjoy something you are likely to excel at it. I do particularly enjoy making a difference to the fortunes of students who find History a struggle and their predicted grades are languishing around the Ds or even the Es. Last year I was asked by the parents to help out with a brother a sister who were in this position; one doing A Level and the other studying for GCSE. In both cases, one got an A and is now at Birmingham studying History, and the other has gone on to A Level having achieved a grade 9.
However, exam success is not my only motivation. As I said earlier, I like the thought of enabling student to acquire a genuine interest in History and indeed in Politics. History can have a relevance in most aspects of life and in the curriculum it enters the realm of science and technology (how significant was Pasteur in the development of public health?), languages (I remember a French A level teacher asking me to describe the outline of the Franco-Prussian War in two minutes!), maths (who was the Scottish founder of the logarithm?) and many more.
I also hold concern for the well-being of the students as young lives often come with anxieties and complications which they are at times unable to cope with. Or they may find motivation a problem because of an external consideration like what sort of career to aim for and the relevance History may or may not have in achieving that aim. In the latter case I have found History to have a substantial part to play in careers which on the surface have nothing to do with History. One former student who gained an Honours degree in History is now perhaps the highest-paid British board member of a major US technological company. He told me later that it was the skill he learned through History to be concise and relevant in his answering of questions.The other day I was listening the president of the Royal Society expressing the importance he attaches to history.

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