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Catherine Paver English Tutor Teddington Richmond Twickenham Hampton

Catherine Paver GCSE English Tutor (Twickenham)

Catherine Paver Gold Member

  • Teddington (TW11) View on map
  • Last Logged In: 13 Jun 2018
  • Sex: Female
Contact Me
  • Professional Qualification BA (Oxon) English Language & Literature - Double First
  • Professional Qualification P.G.C.E.
  • Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS, formerly CRB) Check DBS Certificate (formerly CRB)
  • Professional Membership The Tutors' Association & Writer for The Times Ed (TES)
  • References References are available upon request
  • View my LinkedIn Profile I'm on LinkedIn


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Personal Message
If at first you don't succeed, get some help! To see if you'd like my teaching, listen to my mp3 and see 'Poetry Flower' in ‘My Files’. Struggling alone can knock your confidence, but overcoming problems can give your confidence a real boost.
Which subject(s) do you teach?
English Language and Literature, at Years 8 and 9 and GCSE. I am not currently teaching A Level. From the apostrophe to Shakespeare and everything in between! Poetry - how to understand and enjoy it, and then how to analyse and compare poems. Shakespeare - how to peel the words off the page and enjoy them as amazing plays. Reading - how to understand and appreciate all forms of writing, from a match report to a Gothic novel. Writing - how to get an idea in the first place, then how to nurture it, plan it, and write anything from a professional business letter to the first page of a detective novel. Exam technique - how to tackle exam questions step by step, and then give the examiners what they really, really want.
Tell me about your qualifications.
I have a Double First in English Language and Literature from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and a P.G.C.E.
What kind of experience do you have?
Over twenty years' experience of teaching secondary-school level English and English Literature. I am familiar with the new GCSEs for English Language and English Literature. I have always taught A Level in the past but am currently taking a break from it to focus on the new GCSEs.
I taught for 11 years as a full-time English teacher in both state and private secondary schools. Then I became self-employed and have taught for over ten years as a private tutor, with some supply teaching to keep my finger on the pulse.
I use cartoons to make things clear, fun and memorable in my teaching materials. These are on the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Website for teachers worldwide to download for free. The TES has given some of my resources five stars, made me a 'Recommended Author' and chose my 'Shakespeare's Hat' resource for their 'Best Shakespeare Resources' feature in April 2017. I've also made a miniature Globe Theatre to help my students to explore their set texts as play scripts written for an exciting outdoor stage, rather than just as tough old exam texts! Once you know what you will see onstage in any given scene, the meaning of the words starts to become clearer. You can also play with different staging and interpretations. It's a play - so play with it!
For nine years I wrote articles about teaching for The Times Educational Supplement (TES). This informs my teaching of the GCSE English paper: I can help students to write and analyse newspaper articles because I have written them myself.
Spending an hour with one student means that I can give clear and detailed feedback. I mark written work using three coloured pens: green for good, red for wrong and purple for next steps. This is motivating and effective because students can see at a glance what they’re doing right and how to improve.
I teach at home with all my books and papers to hand. This allows me to select from over twenty years of teaching in one hour! I can see what a student needs and would enjoy, and I can give it to them there and then. I have past papers for exam practice and books on a huge range of subjects. Encouraging reading and helping each student find their own way into it is one of the most important parts of my job. I don't just "teach to the test". Of course, exam technique is crucial to success. However, it does not dominate my teaching. I think that the more you enjoy English, the more you will improve. So I always aim to choose interesting texts for each individual student – and above all, to send them home in a good mood, ready to tackle the next step!
How much do you charge?
Each lesson costs £40.
Where do you teach?
I teach in Teddington, Middlesex, in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.
Teddington Rail Station is ten minutes’ walk from me. There are direct trains to e.g. Twickenham (7 minutes), New Malden (11 mins), Richmond (13 minutes) and Wimbledon (18 mins). The R68, 285 and 281 buses stop 5-10 minutes’ walk from me.
There is free on-street parking in my road and in nearby streets. If you are bringing your child by car and have a long journey home, you are welcome to wait in my comfy living room until the end of the lesson!
When are you available?
Weekdays after school. Weekly, fortnightly and one-off lessons are all possible.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
Years 8 and 9 and GCSE. I am not currently teaching A Level.
Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
GCSE. I am familiar with the new English Language and Literature GCSEs and aim to make these clear, rewarding and exciting for students.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
The Tutors' Association.
Where and with whom did you train?
I trained as a teacher at Kings College, University of London.
Tell me about some of your current students.
My students are interested in a huge range of things, from sport to music, science to politics, fantasy to fashion. Each student brings a world of experience that sheds a unique light on this endlessly fascinating subject. Some play an instrument; this helps them to analyse poetic rhythm. Some love football; sports journalism fires their interest in good writing. Others enjoy science: they are often quick to spot the structure of a text, and variations on the pattern. English is a chameleon subject - it can adapt itself to whoever is studying it!

My students are better at English than they realise. So they need a boost to their confidence. Many of them are struggling with exam papers at school, often years before they will sit the exams themselves. This can be counter-productive. Premature exam practice can knock confidence and also jeopardise enjoyment.

So my lessons aim to boost confidence by taking a step-by-step approach. Enjoyment and clarity are central to this process. I think my students are enjoying the work because their parents tell me so! After all, English is a subject based on things that we do for pleasure, such as reading books and watching plays. Of course, my students all receive help with rigorous attention to accuracy, answering the question, structuring an essay and much more. However, they also get enjoyment and confidence – because that's the best way to improve.

One of my students said to me, "I'm making my own connections now, instead of just learning them." That sums up what I want for each student: to be able to study independently, making their own discoveries. It's great preparation for university and beyond.
Do you have a personal message for students?
Never give up! However, if you are stuck, take a break. Give your mind a rest. Play a song; play with a dog; get some fresh air. Then try again later or the next day with a refreshed mind. If you are still stuck, get in touch. You could listen to my mp3 first, to see if you'd enjoy my lessons!
As well as being delighted with their exam results, I want all my students to enjoy some amazing books and also to relish using words themselves, in their own unique ways.
I want my students to look back on a course that they enjoyed, and to look forward to a lifetime’s pleasure in words. I don’t want them to spend two years worrying about what the examiners want. That’s my job. I can see how a pupil’s work hits the exam criteria. Your job as a student is to do your best and enjoy the journey!