Teaching is my third and final career and I love it. I have over 22 years experience of helping students of all ages and abilities achieve their goals. I am a qualified teacher with 14 years in classrooms, teaching English and law, and I'm also a qualified journalist and solicitor. I found school very challenging myself, so I completely understand why many very bright students don't do as well as they could at school. The truth is, school isn't always the best place to learn. The current situation means that by September, most of the current cohort of students in year 10 are not going to know what has hit them. GCSE has become increasingly difficult since 2008 and the 2015 reform means that it is exceedingly difficult to get above grade 6. I anticipate that this year's year 11 cohort hoping to study English at A level will be similarly shellshocked. The gap between GCSE and A level is enormous and even students with a predicted grade 8 or 9 are likely to find the A level daunting to say the least. I offer one to one support online using facetime, zoom and Google docs for students able to type.
I also offer small group preparation for both next year's GCSE and A levels in both language and literature to ensure that in September they hit the ground running. These sessions are done using zoom or at my home in Ealing. Tutoring Experience:- Since 1998 I have helped literally hundreds of students to:-
* achieve grade A/A*/9 in GCSE English both literature and language;
* get into a wide range of top London schools both private and selective grammar schools including St Paul's Girls, St Paul's Boys, Henrietta Barnett, Tiffin Girls, Eton, UCS, as well as Merchant Taylor, Godolphin and Latimer, Haileybury, Hampton, John Lyons, Notting Hill and Ealing, Kew House, St James', Kings College Wimbledon, Haberdashers Askes, St Helen's Northwood, Northwood College, Royal Masonic, Habs Girls, Northbridge House and Latymer Upper * win scholarships to Harrow School, UCS Northwood College and Notting Hill and Ealing High. I also help children aged 4 and above who are struggling with English, French or maths. In 2019 I had five GCSE students who attend state private schools, and three who attend private schools including St. Pauls Boys; six 11+ primary students and four home-schooled students aged 7, 12, 14 and 16.
I am pleased to say that out of the 8 GCSE students, 7 got grade 9 for both English language and English literature. The other student got 9 for literstliterature for language As for my 11+ students, in February this year all 6 of them got places at their first choice schools which were NHE, Latymer Upper, Kew House, Tiffin Girls, Henrietta Barnett and Northwood College. I also see several adults on a regular or ad hoc basis, for example Claudette who is 58. Initially I helped her with GCSE English in 2016. I then supported her during her Access course. She's now halfway through her degree in physiotherapy at Birkbeck.
Background information:- My first teaching experience was as a volunteer, teaching Adult Literacy from 1985-1987 while working as a freelance journalist. From 1995-7 I taught at a local boys preparatory school - Durston House - while completing my vocational training part time as a solicitor. I began tutoring fulltime in 1998 when I realised that although working in the law is fascinating, it's not a lifestyle I want, and I have been tutoring ever since. From 1999 to 2012 I was teaching English fulltime in a sixth form college which specialised in English at all levels from Functional Skills and IELTS, to academic English i.e. GCSE, Access, and A Level language, literature and lang/lit. I continued to see a few private students, and in 2012 I returned to fulltime tutoring. Ad hoc help:- Apart from tutoring, I also help adult students with their theses and dissertations, teach them how to edit their work properly, how to ensure that they are not straying off topic, and how to improve their vocabulary and expression. I can do this online or face to face. Help with personal statements, applications for research grants and CVs is available face to face or via Google docs. Children- and adults- with disabilities:- In the last 22 years I have taught literally thousands of students and many of them have had disabilities including deaf students, visually impaired students and students with cerebral palsy, as well as students with learning difficulties including AS, APD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia and ADD/ADHD. I have studied the growing problem of both ESOL and native speaking English students who have difficulty in drawing inferences from what they read. My method of teaching uses a very carefully selected range of texts to focus on intensely in order to determine whether further investigation is appropriate. I am not qualified to diagnose autism but I have successfully taught many students on the spectrum. Tutoring Approach:- Alongside teaching, I have studied the psychology of learning and have many tools at my disposal to teach the skills that today's students and job seekers need. If you are struggling in school, college or university, it is not your fault. My job is to ensure that you do not need a tutor as quickly as possible while offering ongoing support if necessary. I believe that given the right atmosphere, attitude and support, anyone can succeed. A stressful environment makes learning almost impossible, so my lessons are extremely relaxing. Students are usually amazed at how fast the time passes. At the end of the session I ensure the student understands everything covered in that session, and may ask for the student to complete an appropriate length homework to bring to the next session. My motto is "self talk determines destiny" and I help students to unlearn the idea that they can't do something. My approach is first to ensure that I am the right tutor for the student. The first session is designed for the student (and their parents) to assess me, as well as for me to work out the student's current level of ability and their learning style. In subsequent sessions the most important thing is to ensure that the student has no gaps in their understanding of the subject and what is required. So I always begin at the beginning and usually students progress very quickly through the first phase. Once they are reasonably confident and have caught up with their school's expectations, I begin to stretch them, at their own pace. I believe that students want to do well but are self-conscious and dislike asking for help at school as it makes them feel stupid. Lack of basic understanding results in lack of self confidence which can easily develop into becoming withdrawn or disruptive in class, or hating the subject. It is quite easy to turn the student's attitude around once they realise that they can succeed, so I do a lot of confidence building exercises and use praise and humour to help them see what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right. As a result of this, their self esteem is enhanced and they become more willing to contribute in class and take risks, rather than sitting in the back of the classroom praying for the time to pass. I use my own resources which I have developed by studying assessment criteria and objectives of all of the boards (AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC) as well as the specifics of GCSE and IGCSE. For 11+ and CE I use a wide range of texts that are demanding and lend themselves to students learning how to explore linguisruc effects. I prefer to tutor at the student's home because I think students feel more secure and relaxed in their own home, however students can of course, come to me if this suits them better. Parents are welcome to sit in on sessions as long as the student feels comfortable with that. I am always happy to consider teaching friends at the same time to keep costs down (max group size 4 students), and am happy to negotiate an appropriate rate for group sessions. Such sessions take place in my home. Please note the following:-1. I charge a supplement of £6.50 to travel upto 5 miles as well as a residents parking ticket if necessary or reimbursement for parking costs;
2. I require a minimum of 48 hours notice of cancellation or payment in full (except for travel time) under all circumstances including sudden illness;
3. On Sundays I only teach from my home;
4. For distances beyond 3 miles radius of my home, the minimum session is an hour and a half. This can be shared between siblings, or between subjects eg maths and English, maths and French or English and French;
5. For distances beyond 5 miles radius of my home, I charge for one hour of my time, or an uber in both directions, whichever is cheaper, instead of £6.50. These sessions are also a minimum of an hour and a half, which can be shared between siblings or subjects;
6. All GCSE and A level students are welcome to send me essays of upto 1000 words to comment on between sessions. There is no charge.for this service. Finally, if you would like references from current or previous students (or their parents) please just ask.
Reviews from previous students:-
From First Tutors.com (2010 to present)
• Anh Le: 07/02/2020 - Primary (Up to 11 years) English tuition
Comments: She is punctual and nice tutor but her teaching method is not suitable for us. Thank you for spending time with us.
• Catherine Burden: 16/11/2019
Comments: We have found Laura to be excellent. Our son really looks forward to his lessons with her. Catherine, mother of Freddie aged 9. Maths tuition for 10+ entrance exams.
• Emma Newton: 16/11/2019
Comments: Laura is a fabulous tutor, who has reawakened my sons love of literature and is doing an excellent job of preparing him for his GCSE English exams. She is also extremely reliable and a pleasure to communicate with. Highly recommended.
Emma, mother of Jude aged 16. GCSE English language and literature. Predicted grades 8+ literature and 7+ language. Jude was entirely home schooled for the last 15 months of GCSE. His grades at his school were borderline 3/4 for both literature and language. We are using the summer holidays to get a head start on A level Literature as he will start college in September 2020
• Tomoko Taketsume: 16/10/2019 - Secondary (11 to 14 years) Entrance Exams tuition
Comments: Thank you so much for fulfilling saturday morning for my sun!
Tomoko, mother of Taichi aged 11, taking 12+ exam to move from the Japanese system to a selective English school. Taichi succeeded in the entrance exam for St Benedicts. Taichi took the exam 3 months after moving to London from Japan.
• Genet Mengisut: 30/10/2019 - Primary (Up to 11 years) Entrance Exams tuition
Comments: Laura has made my child independent and extraordinary. She has developed his skills in comprehension and creative writing.I would reccomend Laura.
Genet, mother of Yafet (achieved 10+ full 100% UCS scholarship) Creative writing tuition.
Reviews from The Tutor Pages.com (now known as Superprof) 2011-2018
Thank you so much Laura. 1. for the lessons obviously! 2. the support & companionship you've shown to Louis and 3. moral support for us. He got A+ for English!
Rita, mother of Louis, successful 13+ candidate for Harrow School
Rob got his A+ thank you. He absolutely loved his stint at the Sunday Times over the summer holidays. Thank you so much for organising that, it's given him a new lease on life and really helped to motivate him for starting his AS course.
Rob, 16 I helped with GCSE French and English literature. He got A* for both 2016
Hi Laura, just to let you know. I got my uni results and I got a 2:1!!! Thank you soo much for helping me and guiding me. Seriously I don't know what I would have done without you! Xxxx
Marie, 21, I helped her with English and Mdfua studies A level and throughout her Llb degree. She's now a qualified solicitor. 2014
•Sidney's mum, Julie:
Sidney came top in the whole year for English and has his place at St Paul's. Thank you. Can you help Elliot?!
Sidney, 12+ successful candidate for St Pauls Boys, 2016
• Amy's mum,Trish:
You have made a big difference to Amy's work and confidence, for which I am eternally grateful. She now has her grade and can do A levels!Xx
Amy, English language and literature 2015
• Emma, mother of Peter (2012) and Alex(2014) and Michael (2016):
Peter and Alexandra do not think they would have got the grades they did without your help and guidance. Alex commented that you really helped her with how to answer the questions to time more effectively and how to interpret the poetry in particular. Peter really benefited from you teaching him how to look at things in a different way, You gave him the confidence to write which he didn't have before.
Thank you so much for your help at the last minute. Michael got A for Literature and A for language.
•Shivam C, December 2013 successful applicant to Princeton:
Laura helped me with all the essays over whole weekends perfecting the essays. We were working in a very short time-frame. She was always very patient. Her calm demeanour and attention-to-detail was a huge aid for me to get into Dartmouth College (best undergraduate teaching in America). I would recommend anyone to get Laura to help them with any essays they have. She would be equally splendid as a teacher in English writing skills or grammar, and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to work with her.