RELIGIOUS STUDIES ONLINE. New specs A Level OCR / AQA REL STUD Phil, Ethics & Christianity. Testimonials from all parts of UK-- as far afield as Bahrain, achieving top grades. Experienced and empathetic teacher. Focus on critical thinking also.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
RELIGIOUS STUDIES New specifications A.Q.A. (7062, Components 1 & 2) & O.C.R.(H573 1,2 & 3) Philosophy, Ethics & Christianity
- Tell me about your qualifications.
I have an upper 2:1 BA HONS Philosophy (Q.U.B.); an M. Phil in Philosophy (Q.U.B.); a P.G.C.E. in FE Until my retirement three years ago, I lectured in Philosophy, English Literature and Critical Thinking in an FE college department.
Visiting Lecturer with the University of Sunderland's Centre for Lifelong Learning in Philosophy and Religion. I have given the yearly sixth form lecture at Durham University.
I have a TEFL qualification.
- How much do you charge?
I charge per hour £35 for A Level tuition. There is an extra small charge for essays if over and above those I set.
There are very affordable discounts for pairs / groups of students which are individually arranged, depending on number of students.
- Where do you teach?
In my own home or online but mostly online. However, on occasion I will travel to a prospective student's home. I am based in a central location in Durham City and do prefer students to travel to me.
- When are you available?
I am now retired. This happily means that I am available at any time throughout weekdays (often suitable for A Level students working independently), in the evenings weekdays, and all day Saturday. I am willing to give up some of my Sundays to accommodate, if necessary!
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Over the past years, I find that I mostly teach A Level students. I teach Critical Thinking A Level also and this is very helpful to all students, regardless of their subject, as it equips them with skills in laying out exam. responses and an overall tendency to think, and to present writing, in a rational manner.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
O.C.R. REL STUD Phil & Ethics, and Christianity (H 573, 1, 2 and 3 A Level)
A.Q.A. REL STUD Phil & Ethics, and Christianity (7062 Components 1 & 2 A Level.)
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
Initially sceptical about the benefits of online teaching, and viewing it as perhaps a shortcut or shoddy way to teach, I easily became and remain an utter convert to its advantages! It is incredibly versatile. Here is how:
1) Resources can be emailed prior to the lesson- throughout the lesson, you and I have might have five or six documents open at any time and can easily move from one to the other without having lots of distracting books and handouts on a table in front of us.
2) Some students who tend to be a little shy find that online tutoring allows them to speak more freely (I simply use Skype to connect, microphone audio headset and the screen which is the focus of the lesson. Having used a webcam initially, I found that it merely got in the way (of reading and discussing handouts which the screen space was needed for) and served no useful purpose-- so, no webcam needed. I have successfully tutored a sixth form girl who I have never ever met (she lived many miles away in a different county). She went on to win her school's philosophy prize and gained a place reading philosophy at Royal Holloway and is now doing her Master's at Cambridge. My other online students I have met perhaps only once or twice.
3) Students can make notes as we read through a piece: for example, I will emphasise important points and sum up these points, so a student can actually be making what will later serve as revision notes throughout the lesson. This is done so much more easily online, with all documents open and no time wasted on turning back a page etc.
4) Time spent travelling is cut out. The actual hour (or more) is utilized effectively.
5) You do not have to leave the comfort of your own home! Teenagers sometimes get tired (or sick), due to pressures at school and also having a social life, so there is less likelihood of their cancelling if a lesson is conducted from their own home.
However, I think that online tuition is suitable only for ages 14 upwards.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
I like operating within a relaxed and informal but highly academic approach to the subject. Results count - discipline is important. I have high expectations of you. However, the discipline I speak of is something that you must be helped gain for yourself. Only a love of learning can engender this and that is my primary task as an educator: to help build enthusiasm and self-belief in you and enthusiasm for the subject. All else follows from that i.e. success in academic terms.
Perhaps one of my my best strengths is that I am a sensitive and empathetic human being, concerned not only with bringing to life the potential inherent in each individual but in ensuring that this is academically orientated and driven. Pivotal to this process is the nourishing of the student's belief in him or herself as someone capable of reaching and achieving those desired further goals. I also have a sense of humour!
The actual session is structured: after an initial diagnostic, I lesson-plan the time we have over a period or weeks and months, breaking down into elements the various sections of the curriculum needing studied. We work with past papers/with examiners' recommendations, with building on general thinking and specific critical skills, and ultimately tailor the course to the individual's needs. Some degree of homework is expected, as assessment and feedback procedures largely rely on this. However, this should never interfere with school / college work so it is entirely up to you to inform me of what is 'too much'.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I am currently (and have been for ten years) an examiner and reviewer / re-marker with an A Level Philosophy national examining board. I have been a private tutor for 22 years and have been teaching in mainstream Further and Higher Education for thirteen years. I have secondary school teaching experience. 22 years of individual tuition in A Levels / 11-plus in N.I.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I do not have an up to date DBS Certificate. I will apply for one, though, if necessary.
- Where and with whom did you train?
I undertook both my degrees at Queen's University, Belfast (1991 and 2001). My initial degree included English and Classical Civilization in first year, moving solely into Scholastic Philosophy for the remaining two years. My lecturers / tutors included the current Chair of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Dallas (Professor Philipp. Rosemann). A joint examiner of my M. Phil. (viva voce) was Professor David Burrell of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, U.S.A. I achieved my P.G.C.E. here in the Northeast, at the University of Sunderland.I also trained at L'Institut superieur de philosophie at the University of Louvain, Belgium, for 4 months' postgraduate work (1991).
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Yes. I belong to SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders). I also belong to U.C.U. (University and Colleges Union)
- Tell me about some of your current students.
Some of my recent students say that I made what they found to be a not very accessible subject (philosophy / religious studies) and, also, in one's words, a 'boring' subject, come alive for them. I was delighted at this because, if a student is actually enthusiastic about the subject, then he or she will perform better academically. That particular student went from a U the previous year to the required B for entrance to his university of choice (Newcastle) where he has now embarked on a degree in Agri Business. His own words: â€œI started undertaking tutorials in March 2014 with an overall D grade in my AQA religious studies a level (a U at A2). Whilst on my gap year and having not learnt any of the course content for well over a year I planned to re sit 2 of my poor performing modules in June 2014 in order to improve my overall grade for university entry. When I first met Louise I had little background knowledge, questionable exam technique and was also lacking in the depth needed to successfully achieve the top grades. After 4 months of 4 hour weekly sessions I managed to gain a real interest into a subject I previously thought I had little interest in. Louise provided me with the structure, skills and state of mind needed to turn my D grade into a B grade within such a short period of time.
I could not recommend or praise her enough, she is an outstanding tutor Thank you so pleased a U to a B still can't believe that A2 resultâ€ Freddie McBain, Darlington
And another: â€œThank you so so much for the tutoring, I definitely wouldn't have passed without your help! I think Gina told you I got a B but I actually got a high A instead, so I am absolutely thrilled!. Here is my testimonial
Louise is a very friendly tutor with great subject knowledge and makes learning Philosophy much easier as I found it difficult without her. She teaches the course very thoroughly and makes sure we fully understand before moving on to another topic. Definitely could not have gotten an A without her! Thanks again!â€ Melissa Holmes, Durham. Melissa is one of two AS Level students who came to me twice-weekly for six weeks only (a last minute panic) and whose grades initially sitting at B and C went to As. Also, I have a little boy in Year Six who has been with me for maths tuition for about five months now, once a week. He has been moved into the top set in school just at the beginning of Yr 6- he went from almost bottom to this. A hearing defect combined with shyness had prevented him from speaking out in class when he did not hear or understand something and so he fell behind. Now, with individual attention, his confidence boost is amazing and he is flying ahead!
• BA Hons Philosophy (with English)
• M. Phil. Philosophy; P.G.C.E.
• Member of UCU (Univ. & Colleges Union) and SfEP (proofreaders)
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