Tutoring

I’m an Edinburgh University graduate, and since 2012 I have tutored students in my specialist subjects from university (Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies) and English and Maths. I originally chose to start tutoring after working as a TrinityTESOL qualified teacher of English as a foreign language. During my time working at a private language school in Holborn, I found that I prefer the one-to-one teaching format because I can identify learning difficulties sooner, monitor progress more easily, and focus on specific areas where attention is required. Since then I have tutored students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities for hundreds of hours. This page contains an outline of my approach as well as testimonials from clients and students and a reading list. If you’re a parent, student or tutor and would like to find out more please contact me at scampbellharris9@gmail.com.

Approach

My tutoring approach can be split into three parts.

In the short-term, I aim to help the student with their subject knowledge and exam technique. Typically, I will take the first couple sessions as an opportunity to identify current strengths and weaknesses by going over past papers. I usually set papers or questions as homework which we can then review at the start of the following session.

In the medium-term, my goal is to equip my tutees with study skills (e.g. Memory techniques, problem solving strategies, note-taking and revision skills) helpful for cementing their knowledge and applying what they’ve learnt in different contexts. Here I am trying to step outside of the role as content provider and behaving more as a coach, working towards my own redundancy as a tutor.

Finally, in the long-term I aim to cultivate the intellectual virtues conducive to life-long learning and development. These include a tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, an interest in considering alternative perspectives, a willingness to reevaluate one’s position on the basis of counter-examples, and dissatisfaction with incomplete explanations. As the philosopher Michael Sandel noted, educators should aim first and foremost to ‘awaken the restlessness of reason…and to see where it might lead.’ My main focus in both my teaching and tutoring work is to guide my students to a reasoned engagement with the world and themselves.

Services

I offer tuition in the following subjects:

  • Maths (up to GCSE level)
  • English (up to GCSE level)
  • Religious Studies (up to A level)
  • Theology (A-level, undergraduate)
  • Philosophy (any age)

In addition to subject tuition, I also offer specific support for study skills and essay writing.

Study skills course

There is a wealth of research on effective learning in the literature that has yet to trickle down into the daily practice of students. In my experience, most students are uninformed or even misinformed about the most effective ways of memorising and retaining information, taking notes, managing their time and avoiding distractions. While it is possible to address these issues on an ad hoc basis, as and when they arise, I have developed a course that covers the main areas and tackles the issues head on.

The 5 week course begins with a questionnaire for the student to fill in before the first session. The questions cover study habits and this allows me to identify areas to place particular focus on before we begin. For the following 5 weeks, I focus on a particular set of study skills on a week by week basis.

– goal setting and managing time (week 1)
– reading, research, and taking notes (week 2)
– memorising and testing (week 3)
– creativity and problem solving (week 4)
– recap and review (week 5)

By the end of the course, the student will have a range of different tools at their disposal and a better understanding of how to learn effectively.

Rates

  • Hourly rates available on request
  • The full fee will be payable unless notice of cancellation is received at least 24 hours before the lesson
  • Payment may be made in cash following each lesson or by cheque or standing order

Qualifications

  • MA Philosophy and Theology (First Class Honours) from Edinburgh University. I also received the 2012 Gunning Prize for top graduating student in the School of Divinity.
  • Maths, English Literature and Religious Studies A-levels, all at A grade
  • Italian and French AS- levels, both at A grade
  • Nine GCSEs, all at A* and A grade

DBS (or CRB) check 

I have an Enhanced Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (ref. 001499882678, dated 29th August 2015)

Testimonials

“Just thought that you may like to know that after a rather gruelling interview process Beth has been offered a place at University College, Oxford. She felt that you were an enormous help in preparing her for both the exam and the whole process. You gave her great confidence. Thank you so much”

Beth (Thinking Skills Assessment) 

“My son was very happy going into his exam after only about 2 months of being tutored by Steven. Prior to this he was very unsure of his approaches to the subject”

Theo (Philosophy A-level) 

“I think you made a big difference to Aaron over these two months so thank you again”

Aaron (Philosophy A-level) 

“Ikenna said you were such a brilliant teacher so well done.”

Ikenna (Philosophy A-level)

Hello Steven,

I hope that you have had a good summer despite the typical English weather and that all is well with you!

I have had a good summer despite being anxious about my results! Upon getting them today i found that i got an A star in my Religious Studies exam.

The rest of my results weren’t as good, however this seems to fit the national trend as top A*/A grades have gone down this year.

I would like to thank you very much for your hard work and dedication which has made my success in Religious studies possible.

King regards,
Bertie’

‘Hi Steven,

This is an update following my earlier email about my GCSE result, if you haven’t read that email yet it would be better to read that first.

I just found out that i got 128/130 for RS! I was quite surprised to find out that i did so well as i felt like i was only on the verge of an A star.

kind regards,
Bertie.’

Bertie (Religious Studies GCSE)

“Thanks for all your wonderful help with Nikolai. We notice a big difference in his ‘work ethic’ and attitude.”

Nikolai (Maths and Religious Studies 13+)

Just wanted to let you know that Teo received a generous bursary for Newton Prep on the basis of his academic performance which we accepted yesterday. We are delighted and happy for Teo and I have to say that without you this probably would not be possible. Thank you so much for giving Teo the opportunity and knowledge to learn and understand.’

(Teo, Maths and English 11+)

“Steven provided tutoring in Maths to my 14 year old daughter for one year. Apart from being reliable and punctual, Steven has a lovely patient teaching style and was able to build my daughters confidence in the subject. He was able to go over the topics that she was studying at school and explain them clearly so that she gained a much better understanding of them. I would definitely recommend Steven.”

Margaux (Maths lower secondary) 

“Dear Steven, thank you very much for the card you sent me and for all your help with what I had to learn for the 11+ and SAT tests. I am really happy about going to Hampton Court House in September and will have lots of fun there. I wouldn’t have made it without your help.”

Bruno (Maths and English 11+) 

“Thank you so much for everything you taught me. It has really helped a lot. Without you I would not have moved on from a 4C”

Jonathan (Maths and English 11+) 

Reading list 

The following is a list of personal recommendations of books for anyone interested in education.

Made to Stick– Chip and Dan Heath

The Power of Habit– Charles Duhigg

Essential motivation in the classroom– Ian Gilbert

How We Learn– Benedict Carey

The Courage to Teach– Parker J. Palmer

How to Read a Book– Mortimer J. Adler

Think Like Da Vinci– Michael J. Gelb

Mindset– Carol Dweck

The Elephant in the Classroom– Jo Boaler

Drive– Dan Pink

Make it Stick: The science of successful learning– Peter C. Brown and Henry L. Roediger

Mastermind– Maria Konnikova

Plato’s dialogues: Meno and The Republic- Plato

Flow– Mikhail Csiksentmihalyi

Thinking, Fast and Slow– Daniel Khaneman

 

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