I am a rare element, with a positively charged formula - a full-time expert chemistry, maths & UKCAT tutor, dedicated to budding white coats & collars: medics, dentists, vets, pharmacists, scientists, finance, & tecchies needing grade A*, A or B.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I specialise in teaching chemistry, maths and UKCAT/BMAT medical/dental/veterinary sciences entrance examinations at: GCSE, IGCSE, AS-level, A-level, IB (International Bacclaureate). And also the 11+/13+ common entrance ISEB examinations for maths and science for entrance to grammar, private and international schools. Over the years I have been asked to teach other science subjects to my students. Due to my workload, I recruited and trained a number of graduates in my methods, whom work with me exclusively (I am not a tuition agency) and who team tutor my students for the other science subjects - with equally good results.Several members of my team are also ex-students of mine whom succeeded in turning around their grades and achieving success, and after further training, teach my younger students.This allows me to focus on the very challenging subject of chemistry. I and all my team teach using my examination strategies, methods and past papers of the examination boards that the students will sit. Students are set weekly homework which forms the basis of the next lesson. Topic reinforcementis given where needed. Our goal is to align students brains with examiners brains.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
PhD. Chemistry (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2000) BSc. Chemistry (2.1 with honours University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1996) A-level Chemistry & GCSE science subjects - all grades A/B (we didn't have A* in those days!). I also attend courses, expert panels, debates and events relating to educational science policy on a yearly basis to both contribute and enhance my expertise.
- How much do you charge?
I charge for lessons in classes of 6 upfront, and provide a weekly lesson of one hour per class, over a 6 week period. This enables me to accept students whom are most serious about studying and improving ther grades, as an individual lesson here or there is unlilely to achieve any grade improvement. After the 6 lessons, we continue classes on a 6 week rota basis providing the student has attended the lessons on a regular basis. This is to enable the place to be offered to another student who needs the help, if a student is unable to committ for whatever reason. Classes are therefore charged hourly at the rates indicated according to the level. No discounts are offered, everyone pays the same rate, but neither do I force families to committ beyond 6 lessons as is often the case with tuition agencies. This is because I average a grade improvement in my students in 4-6 hours of tuition. And most students also find my encouragement and self-confidence building even more rewarding than the improved grades themselvs. I personally view that committment to study and improve is more valuable than the hourly cost, as most of my students excel in their subjects and achieve their personal goals, which I often keep moving until they realise they can have what they never thought they could .Education is an investment that reaps much greater financial rewards later in life. Parents should keep in mind that the cost of my lessons is marginal compared to the fees that attending academia involves: ca £35-50K for a 3 year degree, and between £75-100K for medicine/dentistry/vet science courses, when you also factor in living costs.
- Where do you teach?
I tutor at my dedicated science and maths themed classroom in Farnborough (for extra inspiration). But most of my tuition is now given on Skype which enables students to be tutored throughout holidays when visiting relatives or on vacation, as well a to my International clients located across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
- When are you available?
I am a rarity in that I am a dedicated full-time tutor. I tutor Monday - Thursdays 7am (first tutorial) - 7pm (last tutorial). I don't tutor Saturdays and Sunday mornings as this is reserved as my family time. I offer some slots on certain Sunday afternoons, when available. I tutor throughout the half-term, Christmas and Easter and Summer holidays, year-round. Both to UK and international holidays. Due to the lengthy holidays offered by private and international schools, there are not that many term-time weeks where I am forced to fit students in after or before school hours. AS- and A-level students usually prefer to be tutored in their free periods of afternoons/days off - if they are lucky enough. I and my co-tutors like the student to have a regular session - either weekly or fortnightly as I have found it maintains momentum. There is some flexibility to change slots occasionally - but please see details in the enrolment form provided regarding this. I won't overtutor a student as it only encourages the student to become dependent, and the job of a tutor is to develop a student to do it for themselves. This information should also bring to your attention that exam season is not the best time to wait till to start working on your weaknesses! I make far better gains with my students the earlier they start with me, not giving extra tuition later.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Most of my students are AS/A-level, GCSE/IGCSE aged 14-19. I occasionally agree to tutor students of a lower age, where I feel I can benefit them with my expertise, e.g 11+/13+. As well as studnets needing extra support, e.g dyslexia and dyscalculia. I have helped several mature students to resit or study examinations for maths and science. I prefer to discuss first whether I feel the student is likely to succeed before accepting them. This is due to their own work/family life committments which can sometimes get in the way of momentum. With regard to studying medicine and dentistry, it is imperative that graduates of non-science subjects carefully evaluate their chances before embarkation. I also support students for medical/science academic entrance with personal statements and mock interviews. I will become a registered UCAS centre to process academic entrance applications in 2016/2017.
- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
Mostly AS- and A-level, GCSE/IGCSE, IB students,11+/13+ entrance exams (ISEB and private school examinations), UKCAT and BMAT medical/academic entrance examinations.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
It's easy and free to install Skype and WhiteBoardMeeting for my students! WhiteBoard does exactly what it says: students can see me write and vice versa. I have to pay for WhiteBoardMeeting as I'm using it commercially - but you don't! You simply go to Skype first (concealed information) and download it. It takes about 10 minutes. You send me your skype name and I'll invite you (or vice versa). You then download WhiteBoardMeeting (concealed information) and then it should be straightforward to commence the tuition. We set it up well before the tutorial to make sure it works!). I can load up documents directly on it, but also pre-send them via pdf or email in advance.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
Put the extra work in now, will pay dividends later! You don't need extra stress of trying to understand things last minute before exams, or figuring out how to answer exam questions when you should be revising. Do it as you go along - and develop some independent study techniques throughout the year, such as reading before you attend classes, so you can keep up with your teachers. There is an easy way to a top grade.
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have 6 years experience of tutoring full-time to students. Most of my students are AS-level and A-level, GCSE and IGCSE. My team members have all tutored for me for at least several years, some as long as 4-5 years. I have good staff retention.Due to less demand, I have a small number of students that I tutor the 11+/13+ common entrance to, IB chemistry and occassionally I also help degree level students follow chemistry components of their courses (nedicine, pharmacology etc).
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Yes, my latest CRB check was conducted in the Summer of 2011 and I am happy to show my certification to pupils and parents alike.
- Where and with whom did you train?
I academically trained at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne for my BSc. and PhD. in Chemistry (1996;2000 respectively).
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
I am involved in a network of private full time tutors. I am a member of the British Dyslexa Association to support dyslexic and dyscalculia students.
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I only have students who really care about their studies - that is the most enjoyable bit about my job. It;s simple: if they are not bothered they never contact me! A common scenario is a top performing A*/A/B grade GCSE student starts to get C/D grades on their Chemistry A-level or other science subject - there is a massive gap between the two. There is no limit on grades for acceptance for tutoring: I have students starting with grade U up to grade A with me from across state, private and international schools. All of them develop, bit by bit. I have yet to have a student who hasn't increased their marks and grades. The lower a students grade, the more determined I am to get it up! :) Science A-levels in particular are very hard and it can take several resits to get those A/B grades. However, start earlier with me before exam season begins, and we should see greater improvements quicker - especially if you are planning to study medicine as some of these courses will no longer permit or favour resits at entrance. Latest results 2012: all my 2nd yr students got grade A/B, with one exception. All my frst year A-level students got at least a grade B in one of their units - all improved by at least 1-2 units in subsequent units. All my GCSE students got a min of 70% or above (grade A). = happy student + happy parents + happy tutor!
• BSc. Chemistry (2.1 with honours, 1996)
• PhD. Chemistry (2000)
• CRB checked - latest certificate Summer 2011
• British Dyslexia Association/British Science Association
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