When I'm not working, my passions lie in art, and computers. These two merge in my own digital art, which I've been dabbling in for some years now, and I really, really enjoy. I think it's really important for everyone, no matter what stage of their life they are at, to remember that it's not only okay, but vital for people to remain in touch with the things they love, and are passionate about, beyond their job, or their schooling.
As an undergraduate myself I studied archaeology, and that remains a deep passion of mine. My academic career has grown from and moved away from that in recent years, but it remains an area of study which means a great deal to me, and it's something which I try to engage with on a volunteer basis as much as possible. That shift from a science based degree to a far more humanities oriented degree was a sharp one, and it has really helped me gain a perspective on the scale of change which people can feel, going from GCSE to A-Level, and from there on to university, and that's reflected in my approach to teaching. I've always felt that learning should not be daunting, or intimidating, but fun, and I try my best to show my students that. This brings me on to, arguably, my greatest passion which is to teach. From running outreach classes when I was 16 all the way up to the present day, I love working with people, and helping them find their own way around new concepts, and equally, learning from my students, which is part of what makes the one-to-one level of tutoring so fun.
I've worked successfully as a tutor for GCSE and A-Level students for a number of years now, helping them drastically improve their grades. I've also done considerable work as a university supervisor and mentor for undergraduate, master's, and first-year doctoral students at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and other institutions. My expertise is in university admissions, and I have recently written a bestselling book on History admissions for Oxford, the Ultimate History Aptitude Test Guide.
My approach is mainly trust based, my students are often amazed by just how much they can do for themselves if they're in a learning environment that isn't adversarial, oppressive, or plain dull. Beyond A-Level, I also have teaching experience at the University of Oxford as a tutor and seminar leader for undergraduate history and sociology students, and I have degrees in both Archaeology and History. My background of experience is technological, and I work as a civilian consultant to the NASA Ames Human Factors laboratory in that capacity. Central to my approach is an understanding that my students are people, with their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, which need to be nurtured and supported in order to get the best possible results.
In this way, learning can, and should be of a reciprocal exchange of ideas, and by embracing this in a more relaxed and curiosity-driven approach, it becomes far easier for many to explore, absorb, and abstract their understanding of both the surface learning of school qualifications, and the deep learning of the concepts behind them crucial to getting the very highest grades.
University level humanities writing
A Level history exam and coursework preparation
Doctoral level history writing, research design, grant applications, and resource management
Archaeological fieldwork and planning
Toby was a brilliant tutor for my final year of A levels. He made it fun and challenging and was instrumental in helping me get an A grade. I would highly recommend his tutoring to anyone. Izzy - A level History Student
'Toby is by far the best teacher/tutor I have ever had. Toby is not only extremely knowledgeable but he is also very friendly and is able to present new information in a pedagogical, easy to understand manner. Toby's approach to our tutoring sessions provided me with everything I expected and more from a history tutor. Toby clearly loves both history and tutoring, and Toby's genuine interest in the subjects he tutors was extremely helpful to me as this then further motivated me to learn more. Many of my previous teachers did not have Toby's ability to break down topics or explain what I should do to improve, in a way that I could easily understand. I feel very lucky to have had Toby as a tutor for my A level history and I will definitely miss our detailed discussions of Stalin and his entourage!' - Matthew, History Student
"Hi I just want to reiterate again just how amazingly professional and supportive Toby has been . I really hope he’s well looked after. A great asset to Spires. Thank you" - Joshua, History student
The class was very informative!
Toby is such great help!
Thank you for being such an amazing tutor! Hope to see you again sometime in the future :)
Useful in going through extract questions and how to answer them
Very useful lesson in going through extract questions and ways to improve them
As usual Toby was very helpful in breaking down the requirements of the mark scheme and pointing out where I could improve in the way I apply my knowledge to answering the question. Toby has massively helped me restructuring my essay writing and is an amazing help to my exam preparation!
Very helpful clearing up the final sections of my diss
Really helpful advice on how to restructure my final two chapters
Doctor of Philosophy (Oxon) - 2018
University of Oxford Preparation for Learning and Teaching - 2016.
Master of Science (Oxon, Distinction) - 2015
Bachelor of Science (UCL, Hons) - 2012