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Laura Pasternack A-level English Tutor (West London)

Laura Pasternack Gold Member

  • Ealing Common (W3) View on map
  • Last Logged In: 30 Sep 2015
  • Sex: Female
  • Can Travel To: Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond upon Thames
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Personal Message
Teaching is my third and final career and I love it. I get on extremely well with students of all ages and abilities and enjoy watching their confidence and competence develop quickly as they begin to achieve more than they thought possible.
Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
Online tutoring is available by arrangement via Skype but generally I find that face to face tutoring is more effective, quicker and cheaper in the long run. As for proofreading essays and coursework, theses, applications and cvs, I am happy for students to email me their work, which I can then comment on before they complete their final draft. I charge £35 per hour if students wish me to comment in detail. For ongoing students I do not charge for reading over essays of upto 1,000 words and briefly commenting on the stucture, suggesting small changes eg in vocabulary.
Which subject(s) do you teach?
My main subjects are English at all levels (including ESOL and Functional Skills up to level 4);
Law from GCSE to Postgraduate Graduate Diploma in Law - formerly Common Professional Examination - and the Legal Practice Course. Because of my legal training, I am extremely aware of how essential it is to express oneself concisely and with precision, and students tend to improve not only their ability to write accurate meaningful English but also to improve their ability to think clearly about, analyse and interpret what they have written as well as what they are reading.This also helps students to understand how to write creatively in a way that engages the reader,
I also teach Maths up to year 8. I help students to get over their terror of maths and ensure that there are no gaps in their understanding.

I am also very experienced in marking and checking coursework, controlled assessments and internal examinations and I show students exactly how this is done so that they can see their work from an examiner's point of view.This involves helping students to work out how to structure essays, helping them to understand why proofreading is essential, and becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their use of language.

Apart from teaching, I am happy to check essays for accuracy and proofreading in most Humanities subjects, up to GCSE,and all English essays and dissertations. Also, I am happy to help students with their personal statements for UCAS and American Ivy League applications, and job applications, so that the application is most likely to succeed.
Tell me about your qualifications.
I have a BA (Hons) in American Studies (Literature) (University of Kent 1977); a Postgrad Diploma in Journalism from City University (1978); CPE (1993); LPC (1994) and Cert Ed (University of Westminster 2006). I also have extensive professional and vocational experience in journalism, law and teaching. I have also studied the psychology of learning by myself, as a result of which my students are encouraged to achieve their full potential in a relaxed and enjoyable way.
What kind of experience do you have?
I began tutoring in 1987, teaching adult literacy through the Fulham Adult Literacy voluntary programme, as a volunteer for two years, and helping my friends' children with their English and maths homework.
From 1994-1996 I ran the day-boarding homework club at Durston House, where I helped the boys aged 4 to 12 with homework in any subject including Latin.
I began tutoring law students in 1998, when I gave up my legal career.
From 1999 to 2001, I taught at the Plymouth Brethren study centre in Perivale, teaching GCSE English, while also teaching GCSE and A level English at Harrow College, a further education college in Greater London from 1999 until 2012. I also taught Adult Literacy and Access at the College, so I am happy teaching adults as well as children and teenagers. I teach or have taught students with many different types of disability including deaf students, dyslexic, autistic, ADHD and gifted students, as well as students with cerebral palsy.
The students I am currently tutoring in English range from a gifted 10 year old applying to Eton; and an 11 year old applicant to Harrow School, to two adult GCSE English language students. Universities. I am also tutoring one student doing the GDL (formerly known as CPE), and one LPC student, I have helped a 12 year old win the Harrow School English Scholarship, and taught a 63 year old how to read in five weeks.
How much do you charge?
One to one tuition costs £30 per hour for primary school age children, which rises to
£35 per hour from year 6 upto and including GCSE.
11 plus and Common Entrance after the 11 plus exam costs £40 per hour.
AS and A2 costs £45 per hour.
For under- and postgraduate law students I charge £45 per hour.
I charge £75 per hour for helping to draft applications for American universities, which includes checking the essay, and doing any extra research necessary to ensure that the application has the best chance of success.
If I am travelling within 5 miles of my home to the student's home, I charge £5 for travel time and petrol. For journeys over 5 miles I charge 50p per mile. I expect a resident's parking voucher or parking costs if free parking is not available.

For small groups (upto 4 students) of similar aged friends or siblings who would like to share sessions, I charge a slightly reduced rate per student. If you would like this option, please contact me for more information.

I always ensure that students understand the content of the lesson before I leave their home, and sometimes this results in lessons being slightly longer. If the lesson goes on for less than 15 minutes extra then I will not charge more. Longer sessions are negotiable depending on length and frequency (and location if I am travelling to the student's home).

All ongoing students are welcome to email me in between lessons, for me to check (proofread and comment briefly on) their essays and assignments of up to 1,000 words and this service is free.
Where do you teach?
I prefer to teach at the student's own home in case of traffic problems, so they are not inconvenienced if I am stuck in a traffic jam, but students are welcome to come to my home if they prefer. I live near Ealing Common tube station. I am willing to travel as far west as Hounslow and Uxbridge and as far east as Marble Arch, as well as to Harrow, Brent and the Richmond/Barnes/Mortlake/East Sheen area. I have students in Kensington and Chelsea as well as Stanmore and Pinner.

For students living further than a three mile radius from my home, sessions are charged at a minimum of one and a half hours, which can be split between two siblings, plus £5 travel/petrol and parking voucher or money for a meter if necessary. For students living further than 10 miles away, the minimum charge is for two hours, which may be split between siblings. For students living more than five miles away, I also charge 50p per mile for travel.
When are you available?
During term time, I am available to teach every weekday after school, and from 11am onwards for homeschooled students, university students and other clients who require lessons earlier during the day, and on Saturdays. For adult students with school age children I also have various times during the week before school finishes.I prefer to see younger children earlier, after they have had a short break after school but before they get too tired! However, I will always do my best to fit in with the parent's requirements. I teach on Sundays by special arrangement at a higher rate, which is 25 per cent over my basic rate.

During school holidays I am available from 10 am to 7pm.

For GCSE students, I am happy whenever possible to meet with the student a day or two before the controlled assessment to help organise structuring and to check their plan.

After the initial assessment, I require 48 hours cancellation no matter what the circumtances, otherwise the time booked is payable, however, I will always try to accommodate changes within the week where possible. At certain times, for example before exams, I am often booked up and unable to move lessons.

For assessment prior to commencement of tuition, I find that weekends are the best time for the student. Assessment takes a minimum of an hour and a half for one subject, or two hours for English and maths.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
All ages and all levels in English and Law; up to 11+ in maths, science and other primary school subjects. Currently my youngest student is 8 and my oldest student is 70.
Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
I prepare students for all qualifications in English from basic literacy including alphabet, and Functional Skills entry level one up to AS and A2, in both Language and Literature, and all qualifications in law including GDL, LPC and LSAT. Preparation is also available for all aspects of grammar school entry exams, including verbal and non verbal reasoning, and maths, common entrance exams and interviews.

I teach exam technique at all ages and in all Humanities subjects and I am very experienced in helping job applicants with their cv's and job applications, as well as UCAS personal statements. Over the years I have got to know many people through tutoring and I love networking, so I can often help with finding internships and work experience. Recently I have helped several students to obtain university places at American Ivy League universities, including Brown, Penn, and Chicago, and I have helped organize internships at a national Sunday magazine and local law firms.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
My most recent DBS was carried out in July 2012. Any parent who would like an upto date DBS is very welcome to apply for one in my name at their own expense.
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
The Law Society, IfL (Institute for Learning) UCL
Where and with whom did you train?
I initially trained to teach adult literacy as a volunteer (in 1987) with the Fulham Adult Literacy Volunteer scheme.After completing a career in journalism and then in law, I did my teacher training at the University of Westminster, over two years as I was teaching fulltime at a further education college. While teaching at the college, I had ongoing CPD. In addition I have attended external training at Edexcel and AQA for both GCSE and A level English, and I am familiar with all of the examination boards including Edexcel, AQA, OCR, SEG and WJEC, as well as IGCSE. I love studying and am very interested in the psychology of learning.
Tell me about some of your current students.
Savannah is 9 and has been statemented dyslexic. Her reading has progressed beyond all recognition since we started working together last October. Tom, 7, was having problems with his handwriting because of the awkward way he held his pen. He is beginning to understand why it is worth holding the pen properly and is very proud of his new, cursive handwriting. Ryo is an 8 year old Japanese boy who goes to the Japanese School, where he hated English! I make the sessions fun and he is quickly beginning to change his attitude towards speaking and reading English. Johnny and Luke are both dyslexic and in year 8. We are focussing on how to write essays about poetry and Much Ado About Nothing. Arman is one of my common entrance students. He is dysgraphic. We have been concentrating on comprehension and handwriting. Last year I had six 11 plus students, including children from prep and state primary schools and I am delighted to say that all of my 11plus students obtained places at their first choice of school, including Aldenham, John Lyons, St Benedicts, St James, Kew House and grammar schools outside London.

Marie is 22 and has just completed Cilex after graduating with a 2:1 in her LLB. I have been tutoring her on and off since she was seven. She was born with physical disabilities which impaired her comprehension. I see Alex on an ad hoc basis when she needs extra help with her English. She is a Rumanian student doing a Masters in Criminology. Alice is studying English Literature at A2, and we work on essay structuring as well as wider reading.Lucy and Peter are at the French Lycee. Lucy is finishing GCSE English and Peter is eleven. Kieran is studying A2 English language.. Simone is in her mid thirties, studying the GDL. I help her with essay structuring. Frank is 48 and missed out on school. He is now learning how to read.

This year I currently have three primary school students, three 11 plus students, two CE students, and five GCSE students every week, and I also see several adult students from time to time when they need help. One of my fantasies is to rent the London Eye and invite all the students I have ever taught so they can meet each other and help each other.
Do you have a personal message for students?
If you are struggling with any of your subjects, it is not your fault. Classrooms are not always the best places to learn things. I believe people can only learn new information when they are relaxed and feel happy, and this the atmosphere I strive to create with all my students no matter how old or young they are.