Educational mentoring for young people, private practice:
1/ subject-specific mastery & exam skills for scholarship & confidence;
2/ London ADHD Centre: educational therapist and specialist tutor;
3/ general study, motivational and organisational skills, interview practice, personal statements and applications, essay writing;
4/ appropriate pedagogies for supporting nearly all SEN, and
5/ specialist life and study skills for executive function, ADHD, Autism, etc.
I pride myself in the quality of working relationship quickly developed with students of all ages. Whether reaching for examination confidence, mastery of subject content or skills, or progress with emotional, behavioural or cognitive needs, all tutees should expect teaching that is entirely personalised and constantly adaptive to their evolving learning, including:
- guidance for pupils toward understanding and pride in all supported subject disciplines, while troubleshooting all associated challenges, from frustrations with phonics to maths anxiety, from the art of the essay to that of examination-timing and from Alternative Vote in politics to ‘alternative conceptualisations’ in chemistry;
- mentoring or life-skill teaching: identifying and fostering scholastic and general skills beyond those specific to particular academic subjects yet required for flourishing within educationally related outcomes generally;
- support for atypical educational needs. Teaching in this area is important to me, and I am currently extending my training with additional part-time postgraduate studies. Inwardly, special-needs are never what I see; what I see are special opportunities: exciting opportunities. My teaching teaches for exciting futures, not needful ones.
My aim is for each of my students to discover the tools, skills and conviction to achieve all the outcomes of their and of their parents’ hopes. I want my students to discover what they can do and to inspire themselves by what they find.
• PRIMARY THROUGH LOWER SECONDARY
· Early skills (phonics, scribing, numeracy); all subjects to Yr 9 (excl music/foreign lang).
· Caring and patient teaching of motivational, organisational & study skills, as fitting pupil age.
· Study and life skills for most SEN, acquired unselfconsciously, with discovery and fun.
• ADMISSIONS EXAM AND INTERVIEW TRAINING
· 7+/8+/11+/13+/16+/Pre-Test/CE/CASE/CAT/UKiset: CEM (indep.& grammar), ISEB, GL, UKiset.
· Familiar with many senior schools, their exams, interpreting their policies.
· Personal statements.
• UPPER SECONDARY
· Subject&exam tuition: syllabi/boards supported/experienced not restricted to those below.
· Challenging, reassuring, upbeat mentoring: motivational, organisational, essay & study skills.
· Study and life skills for most SEN, acquired in cheerfully motivated atmosphere.
• GCSE, IGCSE & IB-MYP
· Chemistry: Edex & Camb iGCSEs
· Biology: Edex & Camb iGCSEs
· Physics: Ed&Camb iGCSEs
· Eng Lit&Lng: Edx&CIE iGCSE, AQA
· Maths: Edexcel 9-1
· Geography: AQA 8035, Edx 4GE0
· Comb.Sci: OCR 9-1, A&B
· Drama: AQA 4240 (except perfm)
· Photog: OCR, Art & D. 9-1
· History: AQA, OCR, Edexcel & CIE: Germany 1815-1945; E. Asia 1839-1997; England 1568-1603; US Society, 1945-75; British Society 1931-79; International Relations since 1919, et cetera.
• A LEVEL, PRE-U, DIPLOMA IB-IBO & IB-CIE OIB)
· Gov&Pol.: Edexcel, all units (USA A2 options).
· Ancient Hist: OCR: Rome 31BC-AD96;
· Class. Civ: AQA: Iliad, Aeneid, Grk Tragedy. OCR Rome 79-43BC. Greece & Persia 499-449BC.
· Psych: AQA 7181, 7182
· Archaeology: AQA, 2010
· History: Edexcel 9HI0: British Empire; 20thC Russia & China. AQA 7042: English Civil War; Russia 1855-1864; Tudor Eng. CIE Pre-U: Britain / France & Russia 1760 / 74-1815, et cetera.
· IB subjects: History, also subject support in Geography, Biology, Philosophy & English Lang&Literature.
· Essay, study, motivational and organisational skills. Skills of exec. function, ADHD, Autism. Etc.
"Dear Rupert, I just wanted to let you know I got the job!!! Thank you again for all your amazing help ... I asked a lot from you to cover in those sessions and you delivered amazingly." – Postgraduate Student (King’s College London) and professional CBT therapist, aged 28 (study and interview skills)
CASE STUDY 5: 19-year-old,A-Level re-takes (History Edexcel, Government & Politics Edexcel, mentoring, study, motivational and organisational skills) Having aborted his first re-sit, Hamlet was working toward an intimidating deadline, requiring a B and a C in History and in Government and Politics A-Level. Hamlet experienced fear and doubt which he frequently felt to the point of conspicuous physical trembling. Required reading had never happened, his notes were in great disarray, and he did not understand essay writing. Much of this stemmed from some undiagnosed expressive language difficulty, in addition to excessive problems with spontaneous motivation and self-organisational. Hamlet awoke each morning to self-doubt and anxiety, to address which, I supplemented in-person tuition with frequent 10 minute, 0630 telephone lessons and a few afternoon aerobic workouts. He learned to re-imagine getting organised and started as exercises in analysis and problem solving, not self-rejection. Exercises in relaxation, thinking, reacting and grammar eased self-expression. An enquiry into what essayists actually do, culminated in accessible but honest, practical requirements. I could now take hard evidence of his aptitude for high-scoring responses and present them back to Hamlet, proving to him his own sophisticated capacities. Inspired by these successes, he was now ready systematically to classify and situate topical content into mental images of increasing size, ordered by argument, while disciplining his thought into ever more evaluative processes. Tuition, having begun in November, escalated through to a peak in April, with Hamlet demonstrating increasing autonomy from May. Though now routinely producing A/A* essays, Hamlet wasn’t, without extra exam time for his expressive language difficulty, going fully to reproduce such results under timed exam conditions; however, in the event, he did considerably improve upon his original ‘D’ results, earning two B’s, going on to enrol at his university option of choice.
CASE STUDY 4: Young man, aged 16(History iGCSE CIE, exam technique, mentoring) 16-year-old ‘Horatio’ was predicted a C grade in History iGCSE by Merchant Taylors’. His main difficulty concerned the interpretation of source materials, for example, period satirical newspaper cartoons. Doing so requires more than curriculum facts. It requires stepping into adult, historical shoes. Horatio’s ability to see through other people’s eyes, assuming them to belong to his own context, was age-appropriate; he just couldn’t do it for worldviews external to his own. Horatio needed immersion into the character of the Britain, America, Germany and France of 75 to 150 years ago, identifying assumptions, cultural norms, worries and opportunities as components of the tapestries they form. I gave him original BBC (and other mainstream) footage to soak up, old issues of Punch Magazine to read and history documentaries to watch and discuss. Engaging with materials belonging to apparently defunct or alien philosophically schema, such as the popular and everyday culture of mid-twentieth century UK, felt existentially wrong to Horatio, ‘creepy’, as though connecting with it might affect and subvert his emerging, adolescent identity. So, I took time, allowing him first to come to identify personally with the historiographical process itself. After this, he built very rich flow charts of factual information on extremely large expanses of paper, imprinting them into his memory not as isolated facts but as essential features that defined and gave personality to the whole. Finally, we were able to make progress practicing past papers. After about a term and a half of two hours tuition a week, Horatio sat his exams and received an A in his History iGCSE.
CASE STUDY 3: Boy, aged 12(maths 13+, exam technique, mentoring) Otherwise-confident eleven-year-old Laertes suffered from classic maths anxietywhich was affecting every aspect of maths attainment. As Laertes worked through his arithmetic, his cheeks would flush, instinctually ashamed to be someone who could not avoid mistakes, the origins of which seemed ever inexplicable to him. The problem is, working memory and emotional excitement ne’er play well together. The most routine scenario would go like this. Laertes would eye up a problem, his sense of concern turning to confusion and upset upon sensing the problem to be multi-stage. His working memory now drowned in stress, he cannot see that he has selected merely the first simple solution to suggest itself, rather than the first valid one. Moreover, at this, his emotional state ricochets from dread to glee, extending Laertes’ state of distraction, further blinding him to existing and impending mistakes. Simple breathing and awareness techniques proved essential for desensitising Laertes to these situations. Looking at the maths, we started by taking several steps backward, building his awareness of how maths problems break into so many automated pre-skills and micro-tasks. We would identify and write down these normally hidden automatic steps, practising a relaxed but measured rhythm, everything neat and very orderly, keeping the atmosphere mildly jocular, moderately energised and crisp, but never hastened. Over a couple of terms, Laertes became calm, confident and regularly methodical in his maths, his consequent score at 13+ leading him to obtain his preferred choice of upper school options.
CASE STUDY 2: Girl, aged 10, individual tuition (English 11+, interview training, mentoring) ‘Titania’ is a prodigy, and across all subjects too, achieving startling attainment in music, biology, chemistry and so on, already by age 9. It is in fact unexceptional for prodigies to be emotionally abstruse and unsettled in childhood, and Titania, relaxed, happy and razor sharp in the main, was indeed prone also to debilitating anxiety with erratic self-presentation and performance. Nevertheless, when it came to 11+, it was reasonably assumed she’d be encouraged at least to apply for scholarship by all targeted schools. However, when she was not asked back following her exam and interview, not even to be considered for admission at all, Titania’s mother became worried. I needed to find a key for enabling Titania to achieve some regularity of performance. In a calm, genial and supportive manner, I wove into my tuition continual opportunities for her to identify and simulate a maturer person’s empathetic abilities and assumptions, filling in specific missing ingredients for comprehension, composition, interview tasks and observed group work. I also gave her training in self-regulatory techniques, such as awareness of breathing and surroundings, and in interactive skills from understanding eye contact to expatiating with more method and less hurry. I had less than a term for working with Titania, so when her second round of admissions came, I had to wonder if she was ready. She very promptly received offers of full scholarship from all three schools—Cheltenham Ladies College, City of London School and James Allen's Girls' School—followed up by phone calls from two of the headmistresses, keen to sell Titania’s mother on their school as the best place for her daughter!
CASE STUDY 1: Two girls, aged 4 and 5, individual tuition (scribing, phonics, maths, reading, spoken English, self-regulation). Five-year-old ‘Hermia’, was progressing slowly with reading, writing as well as cooperative interaction with others. Younger sister, four-year-old ‘Helena’ wouldn’t sit still, study or interact quietly, spoke too excitedly to form words and was not taking to Early Years pre-maths. Their mother, herself dyslexic, wondered about dyslexia and ADHD. Tuition assuaged these concerns, all behavioural and learning goals being quickly met for both girls. Splitting two weekly hours between them, I used short breaks (with productive activities) as useful tools from the start. By swopping between the girls, I added longer breaks too, giving most of the session to the elder. During shorter breaks, I got them up and out of their seats, whereas during seated learning, I made a game of sitting properly in their chairs, which they took to very readily. Having used timing and variety to establish engagement and regulation, I progressively lengthened activities and reduced breaks. Within a few weeks Helena’s effective attention span had increased six-fold, her spoken language had become perfectly easy to understand, with the habit of speaking over me on its way to negligibility. Foundational arithmetic and other pre-skills were also established. As for Hermia, I found her to be overwhelmed by the complex feel of decoding words and scribing them. The main thing was to help her to approach each page in a more paced and regular manner, breaking down overwhelming tasks into easy steps. She soon discovered that she could in fact decode/read far more effectively than she had thought, and that she enjoyed the cooperative nature of the work in preference to boundary testing and procrastination.
[Rupert] has made learning fun for [the children] and made them more confident ... he is very good at making the lessons fun. They both really look forward to seeing him. … Overall he makes my life so much easier and I would strongly recommend him. - Parent to girls, aged 4 and 5, individual tuition (scribing, phonics, maths, reading, spoken English, mentoring). English, mentoring).
I would like to thank you for the immense effort and commitment you have put in to help my son ... In a short period of time my son has developed renewed motivation for English and a large part of this has been your approach in helping him understand key building blocks and language techniques. - Parent of boy, aged 6 (English 7+).
Rupert did a truly wonderful job helping our daughter ... for secondary school exams [, turning around] her difficulty with exam time management [, and helping her] take her thinking to a deeper level [, having] tuned in brilliantly and very quickly to her learning styles and needs and that helped us make important changes to what we were doing too. Her scholarship callbacks may well not have happened without his help. - Parent of girl, aged 10 (English 11+, interview training, exam technique, mentoring; tuition requested following a disappointing admission result: she went on to receive scholarship offers from all remaining three target schools)
It has been a pleasure to work with Rupert as my student’s 13+ tutor. Rupert not only works on exam technique but also the long-term benefit to my student. He spends considerable time understanding my student’s background and my aims for her and then plans the lessons accordingly. He is very patient and has in depth knowledge of the subjects. - Overseas guardian to a girl, aged 12 (maths, English, interview training, exam technique).
I am very grateful to you for all your hard work, the personal interest and dedication with which you are teaching my boys. I cannot thank you enough and consider myself extremely fortunate to have you as a teacher. - Parent to two boys, one aged 12 (interview training, exam technique, mentoring. Tuition in physics with some chemistry and history. His best Eton scholarship results eventuated in science and history) and the other, aged 15/16 (Geography GCSE AQA, studying with dyspraxia, exam technique, mentoring, predicted B/C, received A*).
I would definitely give this essay an A grade. … This is definitely a vast improvement from anything which I have ever seen [this student] produce so you really must be working well with him.- remarks from routine benchmarking by former teacher to a 19-year-old studying with me for A-Level re-takes (History Edexcel, Government and Politics Edexcel, mentoring, general study, motivational and organisational skills). So thank you for all your help, he quite simply could not have done this without your help, and also your extra-curricular support regularly outside the hours that many would not have been willing to offer. We are both very happy with the result, to say the least, if not massively relieved. – Parents of the same student. Having, before tuition, received a D in both subjects, he was awarded a B upon both of his resits.
Archaeology, BA Hons, Durham University, 1994
Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Keele University, 2016
European Mentoring and Coaching Council, 2020
Edexcel training courses: Marking A-Level History examination scripts; Marking A-Level History assessed coursework.
ATL training courses: Memory and School Attainment; Coaching & Mentoring; Adolescent Transition and Health.
On-going part-time postgraduate studies in neurodevelopmental disorders.