How does my tuition work?

English Literature is more than stories.

I specialise in helping my students see things from different angles, in showing them how to present themselves within their ideas, to bring out the individuality of the reader when they are writing about Literature.

I have split my information on this page between younger students and older ones as the majority of students who come to me are either preparing for their GCSEs or their 11+. Please contact me if you have any questions about my approach which would help inform your decision.

Younger Students

When it comes to younger students,  a relaxed atmosphere is the one essential ingredient of our lessons. Enjoyment, fun, exploration, development, enrichment and knowledge are all important too, but children thrive most in a no-pressure environment.

No-pressure is the key here. I do my best to help children improve their writing without it feeling like school. We are here to develop skills which last a lifetime, not just until the next test is done, or the exam after that, or even in those big exams waiting years ahead.

However, I do alo believe in challenging children, and this can be done without it feeling like extra stress or anything to do with homework.

I love helping children explore a wide variety of texts, including poems and plays. We have fun and talk about lots of different ideas and themes, but alongside all this children are learning to pick out themes and ideas and to work out their own way of answering questions so that they will not feel pressure in tests and exams.

I often combine my English Literature lessons with creative writing as understanding why something is written and what it means also helps children to use that knowledge in their own writing. It becomes common-place for them to use methods which create a stronger story, for instance, and to be able to edit their own work.

Working towards the 11+

For children who are working towards their 11+, a mix of fun and discovery is the key to their enjoyment of the subject and their success as students. Knowledge comes first, then the test. I do not train them to pass the test, I show them how to work independently, to bring out their creative potential and to understand their own individuality is what makes them special. I do not tell them exactly how to do their work, we find out together, and that's what makes the difference.

(Please note: I cannot promise your child will pass a test or exam, but I will guide them to find their best place creatively and academically, and will always keep you informed of their progress as we go).


Exploring and understanding the books, plays and poems in the English Literature exams - and then being able to explain your understanding - lies at the heart of English study. It is not enough to say what a word means, you should be able to explain why that word was chosen and what it might mean to other readers. Stepping back, you also need to identify much bigger ideas and concepts presented by the writers chosen for your exam.

My English Literature tuition is a journey in itself. Keeping an eye on the set texts, we journey through landscapes untouched by GCSE or A Level, making our entrance by the gothic gateways of Victorian fiction, fighting a path through the riotous, overgrown shrubbery in Edwardian times, we emerge gasping from the terrors of wartime poetry to bask in timeless moments which live forever in poetry and prose before finding ourselves suddenly back on the front lawn of the modern world. And somewhere, right over there by the gargoyles and the deep lake, is a piece of Shakespeare's prose, snoozing as it waits for the audience to arrive.

My tuition is challenging and accessible. I thoroughly enjoy helping students discover the deeper meanings of a subject they might have struggled with for a long time, even if that means working on texts they have never seen before. We cover texts needed in the exams, but we also widen our focus to take in other types of writing, to expand the knowledge and ability which is essential to the learning process.

I have a simple and effective method for showing students how to plan and format their essays which is especially helpful for anyone who finds it tricky to remember all the aspects needed for each paragraph of their longer essays. Learning how to write about many different types of prose and poetry means students have an advantage in the English Language exams too, both in the understanding of unseen texts and the original writing, which requires a depth and tone not always easy to grasp, especially on exam day.

Creative Writing tuition

I have a separate  website for my Creative Writing tuition, but please do get in touch if you would like to know more about this side of my work. I am always happy to discuss how creative writing lessons can help your child to build confidence and succeed in their exams.