Online Tuition

For more details of my tuition services and free resources, please visit Cumbria Tutor Online.

Online Tuition: How does it work?

Online lessons are currently via Skype. Skype lessons can be with or without the video link as I have found some students prefer typing an answer than having the face-to-face experience of a video call. Lessons are 30 minutes or an hour/2 hours long. Homework is given after each lesson and forms an important part of the tuition.

I tutor across the exam boards and am happy to help with re-sits and in the pre-GCSE years. All work is adjusted to suit each student and their needs and abilities. I have experience of home education (I home educated my own children) and am always happy to help students who are studying independently.

Lessons can be split between English Language and Literature/Poetry. Costs are set out below, along with details of my tuition. If you would like to know more, or to ask something in particular, please use the Contact page to get in touch.

English Literature GCSE and pre-GCSE.

English Literature can feel like carrying water in the palm of your hand - how do you get from here to there without losing it all?

One-to-one tuition offers the chance to make the most of this exam, to ensure your grade reflects the effort (and tears and early bedtimes) that you have put into it. The texts chosen - whether by school or yourself, if you are home educated - can be taken to pieces and put together again in a way you understand and can talk about. And there will be talking!

The secret to English Literature success is not about how many quotes you can memorise, or how much you know about the marking scheme: it is about diving into the books, plays and poems and then surfacing again, treasure in hand - and then talking about the treasure: what it is, what it looks like to you, how others might see it and the touch of light gleaming across it.

Perhaps this sounds fanciful, but English Literature is more than learning key facts and quotes and training to pass the test. It is understanding the worlds hidden behind the words, and knowing how to describe them. My work in English Literature focuses on what each student needs, building knowledge and appreciation as we go. Homework is flexible and we can spend as long as possible on those parts you do not understand.

Lessons for English Literature can be as short as half an hour or as long as 2 hours. Homework will help us to progress more quickly but this will be suitable to your needs and abilities. Lessons with me are not like school!

Poetry tuition for GCSE and pre-GCSE.

Poetry skills are essential for the new GCSE English Literature exam. The anthology poems and the unseen poetry section make up a substantial part of your marks and successfully answering questions in these sections will increase your overall grade and could be an exam saver.

Understanding how to understand a poem and explain your thoughts on it also helps you to write about other types of literature, meaning you give more detailed answers in the rest of your exam. Deconstructing unseen poems also helps with the English Language exam as you become used to 'picking apart' a piece of writing you have never seen before.

My lessons are for all abilities with specific, individual feedback and advice for each student. The homework is mostly based around 'unseen' poems, rather than anthology, as this is the big surprise area of the exam. The work is flexible across the exam boards.

English Language for GCSE and pre-GCSE.

English Language is a more demanding exam than it used to be and often the one thought of as most necessary for future study and employment. It has changed over the years and as well as being more complex it also offers the chance to succeed, even if you struggle with English Language.

My tuition will help you to understand unseen texts and write about them, including gathering marks where it feels like there are none, and making the most of those parts of the paper you feel you can manage.

As well as learning new, sparkling ways of creating stories, I guide you through the most interesting and mark-magnetic-methods of writing articles, letters or whatever else is thrown at you towards the end of the paper.

I have written many books on creative writing, both educational and fun, for different ages and abilities. I know the challenges people face when it comes to this tricky part of the exam.

Lessons can be as short as half an hour or as long as 2 hours, with homework in between to build on what we have worked on and discussed in the lesson.

English Language and Creative Writing can be studied together as the creative writing supports work needed for the English Language exam.

Creative Writing tuition

Creative writing can be for fun, or for school, or because you need to write, no matter what.

I have written many books to help adults and children with their creative writing and have hosted creative writing workshops and classes with both adults and children. My aim has always been for people to enjoy what they do, to write what suits them and not worry about whether it is 'correct'. Creativity comes first.

My online tuition continues this as I offer one-to-one or group sessions for beginners (and more advanced), with lots of ideas on writing about real-life, fiction, description, longer-length book projects and shorter story-starters and fun ideas.

Creative writing tuition also supports the work needed for English Language and can be offered as a combination with English Language lessons.


The free resources on this page have either been created for my own books or for my students to use. Please do not redistribute, sell or re-sell these files. They are shared in good faith to help other students, parents and teachers.

If there is a particular kind of English resource you would like to see, please get in touch as I have lots of work which has not made it onto this website or into a book!

Exam Practice for AQA English Language Paper 2. This is a PDF and includes 2 practice papers I created for my own students.

Exam Practice for AQA Unseen Poetry. This is a PDF and includes 4 sets of practice questions for unseen poetry.