English & Drama

 


Its very variety, subtlety, and utterly irrational, idiomatic complexity makes it possible to say things in English which simply cannot be said in any other language. ~Robert A. Heinlein




ENGLISH



 

Dara: Head of English

Biography

Having attended one of the top performing schools in Ireland, Mount Anville Secondary School for Girls, I achieved in the top 5% nationally at A level equivalent.  Subsequently, I followed in the footsteps of five Irish Nobel Laureates, including James Joyce to read English and French at University College Dublin.   Graduating with joint honours and a 2i in both, I then pursued a Masters degree in International Marketing, officiated by Trinity College. I later returned to University College Dublin where I completed my PGCE equivalent, achieving first class honours and an A in my teaching practice.

Experience

Teaching was a vocation I had considered from the age of sixteen and seems to be a family trait on my Mum’s side.  As a young graduate, I had the opportunity to work as a supply teacher of English and French to AS and A level students at the prestigious independent boys’ school, Belvedere College, where James Joyce himself had studied.  Encouraged by the Head Teacher who told me I was born to teach, I subsequently pursued my teaching qualification the following year once again at University College Dublin.  It would seem at the time that he was right as I attained a first class honours PGCE equivalent and a grade A in my teaching practice for English.

As a former Head of Literacy across the Curriculum, I taught English across Key Stage 3-5 as a full time secondary teacher for eight years in a range of school settings from inner city state schools to academically selective independent co-educational day schools to elite grammar schools. I also taught French from Key Stage 2-4.  Whilst teaching at Tiffin Girls’ School, I achieved the highest GCSE English Literature and Language results within the English Department and the highest GCSE results in the borough of Southwark whilst teaching at Globe Academy.   Many of my students have gone on to study English for A Level and later, at Russell Group Universities and Oxbridge. Some have even become journalists.

My passion for teaching and learning and helping children to reach their potential in English has been consistent throughout my career.  Academically, my students have always outperformed their peers, achieving far beyond their predicted grades in GCSES.   As Head of English at Exceptional Academics, I have had the same success with 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance examinations.


Other interests

As one might expect of an English teacher, I love the theatre and try to attend plays regularly in London and at home in Dublin.  I also adore travelling and have been fortunate enough to travel extensively.  Another passion is music.  Having played a range of musical instruments and performed often as a child and a semi-professional singer as an adult, I now prefer to enjoy musical performances from the comfort and safety of the audience, When I am not being a culture vulture as much as possible in London, I love retreating back to Dublin as often as possible to spend time with my parents.


 


 

Stu: English & Media Studies

Biography

I was educated in Manchester, studied English and Latin at Leeds University and worked in finance before moving into teaching in 1999, studying a PGCE in English at the Institute of Education, University of London.  I also gained an M.A. in Education from the same institution on 2009.

Experience

I have over fourteen years’ experience of English teaching, with nine years teaching in London and three spent in Auckland, New Zealand.  Since September 2014, I have been teaching in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

I have been Second-in-Charge of English, a Key Stage 3 English Co-ordinator, Head of Media studies, as well as Senior GCSE Examiner for Edexcel. I am currently in charge of Intervention Strategies for English.

My subject knowledge is one of my strengths, and this has lead me to writing educational materials for Heinemann/Pearson Publishing - the Notes and Activities for the Schools ‘ Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice.

I have extensive experience of one-to-one tuition at all levels, with specialism in moving students into A/A*grades at GCSE and A-Level.


Other interests

I love playing guitar, watching football, travelling and writing; I regularly blog.


 


 

Kathryn: English

Biography

After graduating with a 2i Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Surrey in 2003, I knew that I had to follow my vocation and immediately trained to be a secondary school English teacher. I graduated with a first class honours PGCE in Secondary English teaching from UCL Institute of Education, the world’s leading centre for education and applied social science, in 2004. Since then, I have gained a wealth of experience in teaching and secondary middle leadership both in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Experience

My passion for teaching is reflected in the success I have had in my career. I have taught across the key stages from KS3 to KS5. For six years, I was Head of Year and Second in Charge of a large English department and Head of the Media department in Notre Dame RC Girls’ School, an outstanding inner city London school, before relocating to Dubai where I began teaching the IB qualification and soon gained a promotion into a middle leadership role as a Head of Year. I was the sole teacher of the International Baccalaureate in English Language and Language and achieved outstanding results. I also teach IGCSE English Language and Literature and am an accredited examiner for Cambridge IGCSE.

I have received consistent grade 1 ratings of ‘outstanding’ during Ofsted and KHDA (UAE) inspection observations, as well as in-house appraisals. I have also been nominated for three teaching awards.  

I have provided private tuition for students from the ages of 11-18 and have developed approaches for engaging individual learners in a one-to-one setting, ensuring progress across the key stages. I have a proven track record of enabling students to attain higher than predicted grades at GCSE, A Level and IB. I also have experience assisting students completing university applications.


Other interests

In my free time, I enjoy regular theatre visits and attending storytelling evenings. I am an avid reader and write my own poetry. I also enjoy keeping fit by running and attending dance classes.


 


 

Juliet: Enlgish & History of Art

Biography

I studied English, Theatre Studies and Biology for A-Level at Cranbrook School in Kent before gaining a 2.1 honours degree in History of Art from the University of Leeds. This gave me the opportunity to gain analytical skills and develop essay structure and style, resulting in an excellent grounding to assist children with analytical explorations in literature. During this time, I took several English Literature modules as electives. Following this, I gained a certificate in TESOL from Oxford TEFL in Prague, Czech Republic, and stayed in the city for two years as an English teacher. During this time I joined an English-speaking theatre company and performed in a variety of different plays.
 

Experience

I have experience teaching a wide variety of ages and levels. I am able to teach English from 7+ to 13+ and History of Art to GCSE and A-Level students.

Other Interests

When I am not teaching, I can be found dancing, acting, listening to music and reading


 


 

Rachelle: English & Mathematics

Biography

I am a former teacher with 12 years of tutoring experience.   Following my first degree at Leeds University, having achieved a 2.i in Economics, I travelled in China for three years, teaching the Key Stage 1 curriculum at an international school and setting up the curriculum model; staff training; marketing and sales for 22 tutoring centres throughout China.  I have extensive experience in adapting the National Curriculum to different learning styles and environments, which helps me enormously when planning a personalised programme for my students. On returning to the UK, I ran an international headhunting consultancy before returning to teaching in the form of tutoring.  More recently, in the role of full-time governess to a young family in London, I have been able to pursue a Masters in Education at the Institute of Education (UCL), the world leader in Education Thought and Research. I also run a company that manufactures educational, Montessori-inspired toys for the early years.  I am a mentor and ambassador for mental health charity ‘Time for Change’ and childhood intervention charity ‘Chance UK’ who provide mentors and tutors to primary school-aged children with behavioural difficulties. I am also registered with the National Tutors Association. When I am not tutoring, I am studying as I work my way to an MPhil and then hopefully, a PhD in Education.

Experience

I am passionate about education within the home and see home tuition as the ultimate opportunity for a positive and productive educational experience.  I focus on instilling the key characteristics of effective learners in order to ensure long-term benefits, building confidence and perseverance through a tailored, level-appropriate curriculum, the latest in teaching techniques, engaging resources and activities, and empowering the learner. Specialising in KS1 and KS2 English and Maths, I tutor a wide range of academic abilities. I assist children with exam preparation for top academic schools in and outside of London from 7+ through to 11+ examinations. Currently, I am undertaking specialist Dyslexia and Dyscalculia training; I therefore am very well equipped to assist those who may have special educational needs.

 

Other interests

I am a ‘Leiths’ trained chef and keen skier, hiker and climber. At home, I can often be found in the Children’s section of Waterstones, purchasing the latest children’s literature as reading is a huge passion of mine too. During holidays, I can usually be found in the Swiss Alps.


 


 

Charlotte: English Literature

Biography

I was educated at Prior Park College Bath as an Art Scholar, and Ibstock Place School for Sixth Form, achieving GCSE prizes in Further Science and Drama, and straight A*s at A-Level in English Literature, History of Art, and Psychology. At Ibstock I received £1000 from The University of London for 1st Place in a National Essay Prize on Psychology and Science. I recently graduated from The University of Cambridge with a Master of Philosophy in American Literature, and prior to this, achieved a First-Class B.A. (Hons) in English & Comparative Literature from The University of Warwick.

I received funding from Cambridge to undertake part of my dissertation research at Vassar College, New York; I hope to publish this research on Elizabeth Bishop in the future, and am especially keen to teach poetry to my tutees. My Master’s gave me greater exposure to public-speaking: I received a prize from The Apprentice’s Margaret Mountford for a presentation on The Arts & Humanities, and have since lectured both at Cambridge and The Royal Academy of Arts.

I am currently working for a Global TV Production Company in the Medical and Technology sector, and am considering a career as a Civil and Human Rights Barrister.

Experience

In my role as President and co-founder of The University of Warwick Literature Society, I began mentoring Undergraduate students. Up until this point, I had experience mainly with younger children with learning difficulties. I began freelancing as a tutor in 2013, and have worked with students from KS3 through to degree level; my strongest experience is with A-Level students. Having worked as an Account Manager in digital recruitment, I have extensive experience editing CVs and portfolios for those looking to break into the technology sector. I am particularly interested in assisting students with essay structure, critical theory, and close reading.

 

Other interests

In my spare time I enjoy ballet, painting, and Hip Hop. I am currently learning Arabic, and have an active involvement in MENA Arts and Cultural affairs. I recently volunteered with Nour Festival at a range of Human Rights initiatives led by The Iraqi Women’s League and The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation.


 


 

Tasnia: English & Mathematics

Biography

I have been tutoring English since I was 16 years old to students ranging from 7-19 in KS1, KS2, KS3, GCSE and A-Level. Having achieved 11 A*s at GCSE and A*AAA in English, Biology, Maths and Chemistry at A-Level, I found that understanding and explaining complex concepts was almost second nature to me.

I am currently a second year student reading Medicine at King’s College London. I believe myself to be an innovative, self-motivated and articulate student who is able to work hard and diligently and takes on responsibility well. I am known for my enthusiasm and creativity when faced with a problem. As a student, I organise my time to allow for studying and working; I have found a good balance which has permitted me to continue my passion for tutoring- something I have done for the past four years. Although I love Medicine, I have always loved English and were it not for my career path, I would have loved to pursue English in addition to Medicine at University. By teaching English, it allows me to share my passion for language and literature with my students.

Teaching Experience

Since 2009, I have been tutoring English; I teach English from Key Stage 2 to 5. My proudest achievement was when I taught English Language and Literature to a group of 20 students at GCSE, all of whom achieved A* under my tutorship.

I have been working as a tutor with Exceptional Academics since last year. It is a pleasure to work with Dara, as Head of English. Her creative and highly rigorous approach to teaching and learning is very admirable and is clearly the reason Exceptional English has had such success right across the key stages. We liaise very closely regarding all of my students to ensure each individual student is taught in a way which suits them best and meets the needs of exams they take. Our philosophy, which I really love, is to teach English beyond the exam so that a love of the subject is fostered in each of our students as it was for me.


 


 

Michael: English, Classics, Latin & French

Biography

I was born in Dublin and lived in Bonn and Brussels between the ages of three and thirteen before completing my secondary school education back in Dublin. My BA studies in Greek and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin resulted in first-class honours and a gold medal for exceptional merit, and after completing a Master’s in Ancient Philosophy at Oxford I moved to Cambridge for a PhD in Classics. I submitted my thesis on metaphor in the tragedies of Aeschylus in September 2014 and was awarded the PhD in May 2015.
Since submitting I have been living in South London and working as a tutor and (from February 2015 to January 2016) part-time editorial assistant in the dictionaries department of Oxford University Press. Apart from tutoring, my focus in recent months has been on turning my PhD thesis into a book. Cambridge University Press expect to publish it, and the revised version will be ready to send off by the end of the summer.

Experience

As part of my PhD studies at Cambridge I had the opportunity to teach undergraduates both as a college supervisor and Graduate Teaching Assistant, and I quickly discovered that I have a passion for teaching. I was also fortunate enough to be asked to serve as an undergraduate admissions interviewer for four years. In my final two years at Cambridge I gained experience of second-level teaching for the first time by giving weekly extra-curricular classes in Latin, Ancient Greek and philosophy at a local school.
As a tutor, I have taught Latin and Ancient to students at all stages from 11+ to A Level. I have also taught 11+ and 13+ English, 13+ Maths, and 11+, 13+ and GCSE French. What I find so rewarding about tutoring is having the opportunity to tailor my teaching to the needs and interests of each individual student – it is amazing how quickly even the most reluctant student can develop a passion for Latin noun tables! In 2014-15 I also served as the Latin teacher for a GCSE student at Croydon Metropolitan College, and in Spring 2015 I devised and delivered the course ‘The hidden power of metaphor in everyday life’ to 12 students at a school in East Ham on behalf of the Brilliant Club educational charity.

 

Other interests

I love reading, playing music (clarinet and saxophone), listening to music (mainly classical), and walking in the countryside.


 


 

Holly: English & History

Biography

I am a reliable, engaging and innovative qualified History teacher who is dedicated to getting the best results from her students. I combine a passion for teaching with a strong academic background.
I grew up in the UAE and, upon returning, was educated at King Edward's School, Witley, where I studied the International Baccalaureate. Later, I read English Literature and History at Durham University and was awarded a First Class Joint Honours degree.
Upon leaving university, I worked for Inghams ski specialists as a Sales Consultant before spending five months travelling across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia.
I am a qualified Dinghy Instructor and, as such, I have taught on numerous International Competitive Sailing courses during holidays over the years.

Experience

In 2014, I trained as a Secondary History teacher at the University of Cambridge where I completed a Masters in Education. I now work as a History teacher at St Thomas More Language College in Chelsea. My interest in working within education was sparked when, during my time abroad, I worked as a Behaviour Mentor for a year at Sion-Manning Roman Catholic Girls School, improving students’ confidence in academic subjects as well as helping to improve their organisation and revision skills This role involved working with subjects across the curriculum, namely: Mathematics, English, French, History, Science and Religious Studies. As a result, I am particularly experienced at developing students' organisation and revision skills.
As a tutor, I tailor my approach for individual students, taking time to understand their particular strengths and weaknesses. I believe that it is the tutor's role to break down complicated concepts into manageable and simplified steps and, in doing so, to increase the student's understanding of a subject and their confidence in their own abilities. I am valued for my fun and logical approach to teaching and for observing and monitoring the academic improvements my students make.

Other interests

I am a keen sportswoman who enjoys running, skiing, sailing and playing Netball. In my spare time, I love going to the theatre, reading, visiting museums and walking in the countryside.


 

  DRAMA



 

Pascale: Drama & English

Biography

Educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School, I later read English Literature at Bristol University where I acquired a 2.1. Following this, I decided to embark on further studies and trained for three years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama again achieving a 2.i. I subsequently trained to be a full-time primary teacher at Middlesex University, where I was awarded Qualified Teacher Status with Ofsted Grade 1 (outstanding).
 

As an actor, I have worked at the National Theatre, performing in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man in 2014, and previously, for 18 months in War Horse in the West End. I have also worked as an actor and director at various other theatres, including the Royal Court Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Lyric Hammersmith, and the Young Vic.

Experience

As a teacher, I have gained a breadth of experience having taught English and Drama at various primary schools across London, most recently at Thomas’s London Day School in Battersea, where I taught children from Reception to Year 8. In addition, I worked for five years with Close Encounters, the English Chamber Orchestra’s Educational Outreach Programme, designing and directing educational projects for children aged between four and eighteen in schools, children’s hospitals and concert halls. I found this work to be incredibly inspiring, and it ultimately led me to train to become a teacher.

I also tutor children and young adults in Drama and find my skills and knowledge as a professional actor complements my work as an English Tutor.  Most recently, I was invited to lead a summer school at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, which involved teaching teenagers from all over the world, working intensively on both Shakespeare and contemporary plays. I also regularly provide individual coaching for Trinity Guildhall Drama exams (all grades), which benefits the work I do in preparing students for school interviews.

 

Other interests

I am a passionate reader, and go to the theatre regularly. I love yoga, meditation, dancing and swimming.


 
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