Preparation for 11 plus entrance
While teaching English at St Paul’s Girl’s School between 2002 and 2011, I wrote, marked and assessed the school's English comprehension and creative writing eleven plus entrance. In other words, I know about the 11+ paper; I understand the logic behind it and the kinds of things we were looking for when selecting students to attend St Paul's.
I have decided to offer a new service as of 2019. As well as my usual 11+ preparation lessons, I am now providing an 11+ Consultancy Service which draws on my previous experience. If my regular slots are all taken - and I am afraid I am now full until Sept 2023 (unless you are able to have weekday morning slots/early afternoon from September 2021) - then I can offer this service as an alternative. See below for more details.
My track record
I have spent the last eight years, as an 11+ tutor, helping students understand what they are being tested on and how to find the best way to show off their abilities in English. I will not give false promises; indeed I believe that pushing a student into a school which is too academic is not fair on the child.
I have helped my 11+ students gain places (and scholarships) at top independent and selective grammar schools including St Paul’s Girls', Hampton, Latymer Upper, Godolphin and Latymer, City of London, Royal Masonic, Haberdashers Aske's, North London Collegiate, Notting Hill and Ealing, St Helen's, Northwood College, Francis Holland (both), Putney High, Harrodian, Queen's College, Wycombe Abbey, Cheltenham, South Hampstead High, Sutton High, and Nonsuch High.
I am proud that I have been able to make my English tutorials with my younger students something to which they look forward. Many have said how much they have enjoyed discovering English as a subject, the learning platform Scribblar being a real bonus; some have carried on having lessons with me into their secondary school as both support and enrichment; I am still in touch with many of the families I worked with at the start of my online teaching career.
Who I work with
I am selective in the students (and parents) I work with and accept a maximum of five a year. I am looking for parents who are prepared to listen to my advice and for students who do not need spoon-feeding but will genuinely flourish with the kind of teaching I provide. If your child attends a prep school, I will quite probably undo a great deal of what they have been taught and you will need to be open to that. I do not prepare robots; instead I work on making space for your child to express themselves fully and to thus enable them to shine among hundreds of dull over-prepared candidates.
My New 11+ Consultancy Service
I am excited to be able to offer an entirely new service, one that as far as I know does not currently exist in this form. I have found that I have had to turn down requests as often as several times a week for 11+ tutoring and when I do so parents often ask me if I can give their children a few pointers or would like to know if I can give them advice on the kind of school they should be applying to, based on their abilities in English. At the moment it is available for students in their third term of Year 5 and in their first term of year 6. I will be offering a package for slightly younger students soon!
My new service offers the following: a one hour tutorial with your child based on two comprehension papers (either the SPGS papers I wrote and marked at the time; papers I have created; or papers from other schools, depending on the experience and ability of your child); a 30 minute follow-up conversation with you, the carer or parent; a second shorter session at a later date which will be based on two further papers. If I have spare time, particularly in the Christmas holidays before the exam, I may also be able to do some extra lessons with your child for an extra cost although this is not guaranteed.
My aim is to give you honest advice about the ability of your child and the realism of your expectations. You may not like what you hear and you need to be prepared for this. I will also give you targetted advice which you can work on with your child or advise any tutor you then decide to work with subsequently.
You will note that I focus on St Paul's Girls' School here; as such this consultancy is only available for girls since this is my expertise. I do not help with the North London Consortium papers and if you are focusing on City of London Girls' then let me know and I will adjust the papers slightly.
For more details and my prices, please contact me here.
Maths, General Comprehension, and Interview Practice
I am delighted to say that I have recruited the following former colleagues from SPGS to help with this service: the former Head of Maths at St Paul's Girls' School, Latymer Upper and Godolphin and Latymer; a former marker of the General Comprehension at St Paul's Girls'; and a former interviewer for the 11+ at St Paul's Girls'. Please see my list of Contacts in the Facts and Figures page for their details.
Because of my experience, expertise and energy, plus my track record, I am more expensive than nearly all the 11+ tutors you will find. Please bear this in mind before you contact me. Although I provide a sliding scale of charges for the rest of my tutoring, I only do so for 11+ teaching if you are applying for a full bursary or grammar school places. My new 11+ Consultancy Service is extremely expensive, although I will offer a variant of this for a reduced/waived price for anyone applying for a bursary. Please contact me here .
Applying to have regular lessons with me
I am currently full with the exception of 11+ Consultancy sessions. My next available regular slots are from Sept. 2021 in the European day-time (Central European Time 9.30 am to 4 pm) during the week. These would suit those in other time zones, sixth-formers or homeschooled students. Please contact me here for more details.
I have no slots available during weekends or after school until September 2023 and am no longer accepting anyone for the waiting list, I am afraid. I am still able to offer my 11+ Consultancy service instead, which is available on Saturday mornings or in holidays.
Before we found Sophie Breese, various experts were telling us that my daughter, although bright, had little chance of getting into St Paul's, as the competition was so fierce. Sophie, however, immediately saw my daughter's potential, took her on with great enthusiasm and guided her all the way to a place at St Paul's (and other top independent schools). And this was done with very little homework, with a great deal of fun and via Skype! After dreading her previous tutor's lessons, my daughter positively looked forward to Sophie's. It was phenomenal.
Parent of student, year 6, who was awarded places at top London schools including St Paul's Girls' School and Godolphin & Latymer, Feb 2017
Sophie was quite simply a godsend. From the word go, she started nurturing in my daughter a love of the subject through exploring fun ways to play with language, reading and discussing a particular book together over a period of a few weeks as well as setting short but very effective creative writing tasks for homework. As the weeks went on, Sophie opened my daughter's eyes to some of the quality of her composition work and to her mature interpretation in response to some of the comprehension texts. Sophie's positivity was infectious and gave my daughter faith in her ability and a determination to succeed. Several time zones could not stand in the way of Sophie's sense of humour and amazing teaching style and before long, my daughter was tackling past papers on a weekly basis and was confident enough to learn from her mistakes. My daughter had offers from all the six schools to which she applied, including two academic scholarships, one to a London day school and another to a boarding school. She will be heading to her first choice school, St Paul's Girls' School, in September. I am grateful to Sophie not only for my daughter's stellar results in the exams but because Sophie led her to discover a real love for English.
Parent of student, year 6, who was awarded places and scholarships at top schools including St Paul's Girls' School, City of London and Wycombe Abbey, Feb 2017