From the mother of an online student now in Year 11 - I taught her daughter for the 11+ and in 2019 I started teaching her again: last minute GCSE prep! Later in 2019, I worked with her son for the 11+.
I would call Sophie many things but inspirational must be top of the list. She came into our lives at a tricky time when my daughter was unwell, unable to attend school with an 11+ lurking.
To say that she uses carrot rather than stick is an under exaggeration. Sophie is so positive and enthusiastic about teaching and literature that my child really thrived with her as a tutor. She not only got her through exams in tough times, she also inspired her to read challenging works and get into poetry in a serious way. You don’t find many 10 year olds enjoying Sylvia Plath.
We were very sceptical about teaching and learning using Skype but it is very straightforward and, if circumstances require, your child can do it from bed, on holiday, at their grandparents…. - it is so flexible. It also saves you time driving your child to a tutor. If you are worried about Skype and how it will work and whether a screen between your child and their teacher will impede learning, I would emphatically recommend that you give it a go; it has certainly worked for our child.
We are in the independent sector and I can say without hesitation that Sophie is the best teacher my child has ever had. My child’s confidence is sky high because Sophie saw something in her as she does, I imagine, in all the children she teaches. She makes them feel special and clever and this is a magical thing when your child has sometimes felt the opposite in a school system that prefers the stick to the carrot. She also made me feel good as a parent. She was brilliant in preparing our child for the 11 plus, in very difficult circumstances, and she got into her ‘highly competitive’ first choice school. I know for a fact that we could have not done so without Sophie. She knows the system and what they are looking for. My daughter in a year when she missed more than half her lessons went from getting under 50 per cent in her school examinations mid-year 5 to nearly 80 per cent at the end of year 6 and we had no other input apart from Sophie.
To say that I would recommend Sophie is an understatement. She is simply an inspiration and to be taught by her is an opportunity for your child, however able. Whether for enrichment, for further stimulation for a very creative child or for examination preparation (which she manages to do without sacrificing the joy in reading and discussing literature), I feel that any child’s confidence, self-belief and appreciation of the subject will improve and with that so will their performance.