I created my own worked solutions to the weekly problem sheets, so I was able to explain clearly the process of finding the answer from the starting information, and target my teaching to the steps my tutees had difficulties with. I also supplemented the university's teaching materials with physical models I produced myself.
I enjoy spotting, and encourage my pupils to spot, real-world applications of what we are studying. I am used to sympathetically coaching young people in unfamiliar skills, having also been the principal teacher for a university folk dance club for five years.
I have three years' experience conducting tutorials in Materials Science at Cambridge University, having myself studied Natural Sciences there, including Physics and Chemistry.
I was able to introduce some pupils to useful topics from A-level Further Mathematics, which they had not studied at school. In 2018 I taught the Maths and Physics component of the International Foundation Programme (of around GCSE/A-level level) at the Star Exeter language school.
Since then I have tutored Physics, Chemistry and Maths from KS3 up to A-level and Biology to GCSE. I have taught both in person an online, where I supplement our conversation with an online whiteboard both I and my student can draw on.
I enjoy showing you real-world applications of what we are studying. In our lessons, we will draw diagrams and break problems down into bite-size steps, and I will train you to ask yourself helpful questions such as “What do I already know?”, “Is this a sensible answer?” and “Did I expect those units?”.
I am used to sympathetically coaching young people in unfamiliar skills, having also been the principal teacher for a university folk dance club for five years.
2017-18 University of Exeter, PGCE, Secondary Science
Interrupted for medical reasons
2011-7 University of Cambridge, PhD, Materials Science
Illness prevented completion
Improving the efficiency of low-cost photovoltaics, including electron microscopy analyses.
2007-11 University of Cambridge MSci, Natural Sciences
Fourth year: Materials Science, including attending, out of interest, a greater number of courses than were required for the exam
Third year: Materials Science
Second year: Physics A, Physics B (including mathematical methods), Materials Science. Also attended some lectures from the Chemistry course
First year: Physics (including a module on scientific computing), Materials and Mineral Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics
2006-7 Year in Industry, Royal Academy of Engineering
Energy Management Student at Rittal CSM, Plymouth. Included a distance learning maths course and a course on management.
1999-2006 Royal Grammar School Worcester
A levels: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics (all grade A)
AS level :Design Technology: Product Design (grade A)
GCSEs: 10, 9 of which A* including three separate sciences, Mathematics, Design Technology and English Language
2018 Small-group (2 students) foundation teaching
I taught the Maths and Physics component of the NCC International Foundation Programme at the Skola/Star Exeter Language School. My pupils intended to study Engineering in the UK, but did not have A-levels. English was not their native language, so it was especially important for me to explain the technical content in simple terms and in a range of ways. I also had to encourage them to write down their working, as this was not a habit they had acquired at school.
2017-8 Secondary school science teaching placement
As part of my PGCE, I spent half a term (before my medical interruption) working in a secondary school science department. I observed and taught episodes in a range of classes up to GCSE level, and was the principal science teacher for a Key Stage 3 class. This involved planning my own lessons, based on the syllabus and textbook provided by the school.
2011-4 Small-group (2-3 students) teaching of undergraduates
For the first three years of my PhD, I conducted tutorials (discussion of problem sheets I had marked and of the course, supporting the lectures) for first-year undergraduates on the Materials Science part of the Natural Sciences course, which I had myself previously taken. The students had a range of experience, so as well as the course material itself, I introduced some of them to concepts that were included in A Level Further Mathematics (e.g. imaginary numbers), which they had not studied at school. In addition to the course material provided by the university and my own worked solutions to the problems, I used physical models in the teaching that I had made myself.
2008-15 Teaching folk dance
During my time in Cambridge, I was involved with the running of the university folk dance societies. In my five years as President of the Scottish dancing society, I was the principal teacher and planned the programme of dances for the weekly meetings. In the first term of each year, I taught the group the steps and most common figures used in that dance style, introducing a few new figures each week and consolidating those already taught, so that my dancers would be able to cope at public dances. In the remaining terms the weekly programme was drawn from those of events run locally. I had to select the most appropriate dances to teach, based on the progress of the participants so far. I planned performances and coached members to a higher standard of dancing for them. I also taught regularly at the morris (including assisting with workshops in schools and for Guides) and English dancing groups, and organized the monthly ceilidhs, calling some of them myself. This was more challenging, as there were typically around 100 rather than 20 participants and a great number did not attend regular dance meetings, so I needed to come up with ways of explaining the figures that were concise and easy to understand with less demonstration than was possible at regular meetings.
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