I aim to provide a solid grounding in the subject while paying close attention to the needs of the individual. An initial meeting establishes the student’s needs and the direction tuition should take, usually with a parent present. Then we begin work on a programme of study which focuses on filling gaps in knowledge and addressing any areas of weakness. Often, this involves looking in detail at sentence construction and grammar or the techniques of literary analysis – the kinds of things that tend not to happen in a busy classroom. I set regular homework and writing assignments – the quantity varying with how much time the student has – and give feedback the following session. For younger students who need encouragement to read, I provide tailored reading lists. We will often spend five minutes at the beginning or end of a lesson discussing their latest book. At A-level, I encourage the wider reading essential for the deeper understanding of English literature expected by the exam boards. Tuition generally runs as an independent course running parallel to and complementing what the student is doing at school. But the programme of study can easily be put aside to prepare an assignment for school, controlled assessment or coursework. As exams approach, the focus shifts towards exam technique and looking at past papers. While I offer short-term tuition when there is availability, my students generally come for a good part of an academic year, often longer. I taught Iyana for two and a half years, until she finished her studies in English. Over time, I’ve become convinced that private tuition works not just because of the one-to-one teaching, but because of the relationship between student and tutor. Often a young person will listen more to an adult who is neither a parent nor a school teacher. My students generally see significant improvement in their work, and sometimes their results are quite spectacular! I teach from my home in Crystal Palace in the weekday afternoons and early evenings.