5 Qualities Your Tutor Should Have

1. Patience

If you are going to a tutor chances are that the explainations that you have heard from you teacher or read in a book just haven't clicked for you. One of the most common things my students' tell me drives them crazy about their teachers is that when they go to them for help they simply repeat what they already said - they are at a stalemate!

A good tutor will find new ways to explain a topic to you until they find a way that works for you - I firmly believe there is an explanation out there for everyone and it is the teacher/tutors job to find it.

2. Knowledge

It should go without saying really that your tutor should know the subject! However, it should be much more than that. Make sure that your tutor knows and understands your exam board and is fully familiar with it. Your tutor should also know where to find lots of great resources tailored for your level and exam board. 

3. Passion

Is there anything less inspiring than a tutor or teacher that you can see would rather be anywhere than here teaching you? That feeling that makes feel like you are imposing on them? 

Unfortunately, with school teachers who lack that passion, aside from complaining to the school you are often stuck with then, but remember with tutors you are in control! If they don't have a passion for their subject and for getting you to excel in your exams find a new tutor!

A good tutor will not only have the knowledge but they will also know how to motivate you, inspire you and build your confidence. Tuition is so much more than a home teacher in my opinion, they have the ability to help you overcome any self-doubt and achieve your dreams.

4. Empathy

Preparing for exams can be an emotional and stressful time. The best tutors will be able to support you and advise you in a way that will minimise your stress. I always aim to build a strong rapport with my students from day one and always keep an eye out for times when it is all getting too much. 

I think the one-on-one nature of tuition is what really makes the difference, the hours spent together go much further than just teaching. There have been times when a students has come to me after a bad day and a cup of tea, slice of cake and a box of tissues have been the best remedy. 

What I am saying is that learning can't happen if you are not in the right frame of mind. A good tutor will know when to push you and when to slow down, support you and make sure you leave tuition back on the right track.

5. Time for you

I have heard of tutors going off on holiday in the month before a student's A-levels and tutors who have dropped their students during exam periods because they also have their own exams coming up which they want to prioritise. Absolutely crazy in my opinion and I am always gobsmacked when I hear it! Thankfully, these cases are rare but they do happen.

Make sure you avoid this by confirming when you first book your tutor that they are indeed available right up to exams and will be able to support you right up to exams. The right tutor will do this without a second thought and will see it as their role to get you through to exam day as smoothly as possible.

Differentiated Homeworks for AQA Biology 2 and Chemistry 1

The next set of homework sheets for the AQA Differentiated Homeworks range is out now with ZigZag Education. They were great fun to write and are perfect for teachers to provide structured homeworks to their students, whether they are working at Higher or Foundation level.

You can get all the homework collections in the Differentiated Homework range here at the ZigZag Education website.

Here is some more information from ZigZag Education:

Differentiated Homeworks for GCSE AQA Science

Imaginative and varied homework sheets covering every topic in GCSE AQA Biology 1, Biology 2 and Chemistry 1.

  • Each standalone homework provides carefully structured support to reinforce learning.
  • Full answers included for easy marking.
  • Differentiated into Higher and Foundation tier.
  • Extension activities throughout to stretch and challenge - great for Gifted and Talented students.
  • Ready to use - perfect for easy-to-set homeworks or cover lessons.
  • Interesting activities include exam-style questions, complete the table, gap fill, prose answers, graphs, definitions, match-up, complete the diagram and more...

   What do teachers have to say about this resource?

"A well thought out resource that would be a time saver for teachers to set meaningful and well differentiated homework for GCSE Biologists."- L Marsh, Teacher and Independent Reviewer

"A very useful ‘excellent’ revision workbook". - A Shaw, Teacher & Independent Reviewer

"Contains a detailed revision of the important concepts the students are expected to understand by the end of the course. I would use this material to prepare my students for their exams." R Vaz, Tutor & Independent Reviewer

Salisbury Revision Courses - Coming Soon in 2016!

Exciting news - in 2016 I will be launching Salisbury Revision Courses, intensive revision courses for GCSE and A-level Maths and Sciences.

We hope to provide students in Salisbury an alternative, focused way to revise  and I am really excited to be able to reach out to more students and help them get the grades they need while minimising the stress and pressure they so often feel at this time in their lives. We hope to run our courses during the February half term, Easter break and May half term periods.

It there any particular subjects you would be interesting in us holding revision courses for please let me know on Any input will be very much appreciated so that we can meet the demands of our students and get it right in our first year.

Check out the new website at

I look forward to keeping you all updated and hearing from some of you soon.


Differentiated Homeworks for GCSE AQA Biology 1 - Published Now!

 A new resource that I have written providing homework worksheets for the AQA GCSE Biology 1 course has now been published by ZigZag Education. It was great fun to write and it provides varied homeworks covering the content of the Foundation and HIgher level course.

You can order them from the ZigZag Education website now.

Here are the details:

  • 34 imaginative and varied homework sheets covering every topic in GCSE AQA Biology 1.
  • Each standalone homework provides carefully structured support to reinforce learning.
  • Full answers included for easy marking. Differentiated into Higher and Foundation tier
  • Extension activities throughout to stretch and challenge - great for Gifted and Talented students
  • Ready to use - perfect for easy-to-set homeworks or cover lessons
  • Interesting activities include exam-style questions, complete the table, gap fill, prose answers, graphs, definitions, match-up, complete the diagram and more...

Good Luck!

Just a quick message to say good luck to everyone who has exams at the moment.

 This is a stressful time for everyone, but remember that f you have put in the work, even if the exam seems hard you will have the knowledge to succeed.

 Not long until they are all over and the summer begins - much deserved after all the hard work!

 Good luck!


The Importance of Definitions

Definitions are your knowledge base, they ensure that you actually know what these words that you keep using mean. 

Without learning definitions can you ever really understand a topic?

Dependent on how you like to learn, the process of learning these definitions may be a welcome break or a slog but it as to be done! All of the sciences have many definitions and unfortunately in the vast majority of cases your wording is critical; miss out a key word and you lose the mark even if the jist of what you have said is identical!

In most cases, learning these definitions will involve simply memorising them. Every year I have students who seem to think memorising is a cop out and not proper learning but as the definitions are the basis of the subjects you have to start by learning these foundations inside out.

Here are my tips:

Use mark schemes - as the definitions so often have to be word perfect, look through past papers and mark schemes and base your definitions on those given by the mark schemes. Far too often I have seen text book definitions be rejected by mark schemes - even those very textbooks endorsed by the exam boards.

Make a list - You don't want to be flipping back and forth between your notes to find your definitions - this is a massive waste of your value time. Dedicate an hour or so to writing up all of your definitions onto a sheet or too of paper and keep it at the front of the folder so that it is easy to find.

Make it interactive - Memorising can be dull and you may find that you quickly switch from the task at hand. Try to involve a friend or a family member. Give them your definition sheet and get them to ask you for the definition of each word - turning the task into a quiz. As your definitions list will have all of the answers you don't need to find someone that know the topic - anyone can help! You could even set prizes for getting them all correct!

Revisit them often - Once you can recite all of the defintions in one sitting flawlessly you may think that you are done. However, I cannot emphasise enough - don't stop here! Just because it is in your short term memory does not mean it is in your long term memory and you don't want all of your hard work to be worthless. Revisit the definitions weekly, even just for one quick quiz; this will ensure that you don't forget them.

Visit the resources pages - I aim to eventually get all of the definitions sheets on the resources pages. Keep checking for your subject and exam board!

Good luck!

Launched at last!

This website has been a dream of mine over the last few years and I am thrilled to finally launch it.

Welcome to my tuition website where you can find out how I can help you with personalised support, but in addition to this I have filled this website with an abundance of useful resources which will only grow and grow.

I want this to be your number stop for science and maths revision and for this website to become one of the most comprehensive resources on the internet.

Here you will find specifications, past papers, practice papers, questions by topics, worked solutions and study guides and plenty more besides. 

If there is anything not on this website yet then get in touch and let me know and I will see what I can do.

Whatever exams you are studying towards I hope that this website will be able to help you get the grades of your dreams.

Finally, a big thank you to Ross for inspiring me.