Testimonials and Successes
A Few Testimonials
All teachers get great pleasure from the successes enjoyed by their students. Additionally there are bonus moments when we get feedback and thanks for what we have achieved. Here are some testimonials that, I hope, you will find moving and inspiring.
From a mother(Names of students altered to preserve anonymity)
I hope you are well. Please find enclosed the books you lent my son … , at our visit to your workshop many months ago.Please accept my apologies for keeping them for so long. …
Your conversation with James had a big impact. He lacks confidence, so didn’t necessarily articulate his thoughts very well at that time, but is a deep thinker and the conversation served to clarify where his interests lay. To that end he has been working on film making and editing and producing animations. Therefore, these two beautiful books remained firmly on the shelf. I hesitated to return them in case James picked them up, but that has not happened.
Thank you for trusting us to borrow and return the books, I think the fact that you were prepared to do that made as much of an impression on James as anything you said to him. It made him feel valued and he has mentioned our visit to you often in the months since ...
Distinction in Masters Viva
I came to Andrew to help with my Master’s project viva as I was feeling anxious about what kind of questions could come up. Andrew read through my thesis before our hour “mock viva” session. I found him to be experienced and knowledgeable in my subject area and was able to accurately predict some of the questions that came up in my real viva. Where I was unsure about specific concepts, he explained the theory behind them in a clear and concise manner, clarifying any doubts that I may have had. I can’t thank him enough for the help that he gave me as I achieved a distinction in my viva.
Note: The viva was for a project involving synthesis and characterisation of a novel anti-cancer drug. The mock-viva explored areas in which those coming from a medical sciences background are not particularly strong in. In this case some aspects of the physical chemistry underlying characterisation of particle sizes using light scattering, interpretation of NMR spectra, use of protective groups in organic synthesis and such.
Some success stories
Alan, studying at a South London comprehensive needed some tutoring and help to obtain a good A Level grade so that he could gain a place to study Chemistry at Oxford. He did very well in his A levels, got a good degree and went on to complete a DPhil in Chemistry and also gained a "Blue" playing Football for Oxford.
Bill was a mature student who had dropped out of a chemistry degree course, was living with his mother and was earning a living as a coach driver. He decided to complete his final year exams and needed help in certain subject areas such as Physical Chemistry and Organic Synthesis. He obtained his degree, something that gave his tutor immense satisfaction.
Joanna a physiotherapy assistant, a mother with a teenage son, and studying an OU foundation year course that she needed to pass in order to obtain a place on a Physiotherapy Degree Course, which she really wanted to do, as Physiotherapy was her "great vocation", came to us because she was finding the "data interpretation" questions difficult. Several two hour sessions covering the "games that examiners play" when setting such questions, and brushing up on the essential physiology and endocrinology facts and concepts underlying the kinds of questions that were being set gave her the confidence she needed to do well, She did do well and did obtain a place on the degree course she had set her heart on. The final revision session before her exams was an intensive revision session which covered a variety of data interpretation scenarios as well as revising essential areas of Physiology that would most likely turn up in her exam paper. It proved to be very useful in "steadying exam nerves".
Christopher was a very talented practical engineer studying for his A Levels at a well known public school. He and his father had a passion for restoring old Alvis cars, and this sometimes involved making new parts from scratch. Christopher found the kind of academic questions that crop up in A Level Physics papers quite difficult. In his case a couple of weeks of intensive revision over the Easter break was all that was needed to get him over "this particular hurdle".
Miles was a very gifted young man who wanted to read maths at Cambridge. He was studying for his A Levels at a South London comprehensive. Although his mother had written to Cambridge asking them if they might take into account the fact that he was a student at an inner London comprehensive, such is the "status" of the Cambridge Maths Tripos that only the highest grades would do. Tutoring began, starting some time into his fourth term in the sixth form. We covered Maths in the first two weeks (straight A* predicted), further maths in the next four weeks (another straight A* predicted). I started on parts of the Cambridge first year course by way of providing some interesting things to talk about at that "all important" Cambridge interview, and then suggested that there was little else I could teach as he new it all, but was there if the "odd topup tutorial" was required. Unsurprisingly he obtained outstanding A Level grades and came in the to 20 of the Maths Tripos in his year.
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