Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Zoë Sophie

English Specialist


As you are working with children, do you have a police check?


Yes – this is called an enhanced DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check). I have mine from my teaching role; it is automatically, annually renewed.

I can show you my enhanced DBS if you would like to verify it online.


May I verify your degree and teaching qualifications?


Absolutely! I have all my qualifications which I’m happy to show to parents/ tutees online.


As you are to work with my child – may I meet you first?


For the first FREE online initial assessment I meet both the parent(s) and their child so we may discuss educational requirements.

During this session I also present the ‘tutoring agreement’ which explains how tutoring works and what is required of both tutor, student and parents for success.

Parents are welcome to be present for all subsequent sessions (if they wish) – however the wonders of online tuition means all sessions are recorded with a copy of the recording sent to both adult and student. This means parents do not need to be present for subsequent sessions as they may benefit from watching the recording later on when it suits.

All lessons are now online!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to engage in track and trace I migrated all tutees online to Zoom to ensure safety.

It has been so successful that all sessions are now conducted this way – please read on to discover the extra benefits of learning online.


How does online tutoring work? Surely it’s not as good as face to face?


You would be surprised. Online tutoring is easy, convenient and secure.

All sessions are recorded on Zoom where parents may keep a watchful eye.

Unlike face to face tutoring, there’s no reason not to learn – bad weather, car problems, parental double-bookings – nothing stands in the way as long as tutor and student are willing and available.

And if you’re still not sure whether it’ll work – try booking in for the online initial assessment FREE.


There are a lot of ‘online’ tutors out there? What makes you different?


If you wish to find out more about my experience and credentials please feel free to read about me and to see what makes me different to other online tutors.

I’ve spent years in education, perfecting my knowledge and teaching and the results speak for themselves.

As an online tutor – you’re getting the same quality of service as face to face tutoring, except without the need to drive to get to me.


What does a ‘first’ online tutoring session look like?


For the first FREE online initial assessment student (and if the student is under 18) and their parent(s) will converse with me online using Zoom, whilst I make notes on educational need.

I may demonstrate some shared documents, possibly some exemplar answers and discuss how I may help the student.

If everyone is happy to proceed a follow-up will occur once a ‘tutoring agreement’ has been signed. As an experienced tutor, agreements ensure that student, (parents) and tutor may take steps to ensure the best outcomes for learners.


Should tutees bring anything for the first / subsequent session(s)?


For the FREE initial assessment it would help if either student or parent could email a copy of the student’s writing, preferably with teacher feedback attached. This helps to provide a baseline of current attainment and informs future goals.

It is advisible for tutees to have their English exercise books, copies of set texts, revision books/ text guides and any work to date to help inform current progress 

Students may bring work to sessions, but we usually work on a separate online document to keep our workings separate to that of the classroom teacher.


If students are having to write in their exams, how can online tutoring (where they type) help them?


Just because students may need* to write in their exams doesn’t mean they cannot benefit from:

  • sharing documents online
  • observing annotations written using the graphics tablet
  • co-editing documents, simultaneously 
  • communicating online
  • sharing educational video content
  • walking ‘talking’ mock preparation
  • teacher marking of exemplar responses
  • SPaG focused exercises

Students are already learning online via YouTube and similar platforms. Whilst this may seem new, online learning has been around for some time with many schools now beginning to embrace the possibilities.

Regardless of whether students have been *granted the use of a computer in the exam or not – they must understand their set texts, how to de-code texts and the nature of the exam questions.

This can all be taught online – very easily.

For handwriting queries we may use the scanner / photos attached to emails to ascertain whether the writing is legible. 


What information ought to be known to aid tutoring?


There are various useful facts I need to know about my tutees. These include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Exam board
  • GCSE subjects (English Language only or both?)
  • Class set
  • Mock grades (if mocks sat)
  • Class set (if classes are streamed by ability)

It is helpful to liaise with the classroom teacher and (sometimes) the Head of English before embarking on tutoring to get an idea of a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

I am happy to stay in touch with classroom teachers to work with them on getting the best outcome for students.


How often are tutoring sessions? Must they be weekly?


I recommend weekly sessions as this keeps the learning fresh and enables maximum progress.

Some students see me twice a week for intensive learning, whilst others have fortnightly sessions to balance tutoring with a heavy schedule.


1-2-1 tutoring is expensive. Are there other options for those on a tight budget?


Whilst the weekly costs of tutoring aren’t cheap, it is worth thinking about the alternatives.

You could try to find a cheaper tutor (of course that’s an option) – but do they come with the relevant experience, credentials and testimonials?

What are the costs of weekly tutoring sessions versus the costs of missing the grade on the GCSE or A Level? Or, worse still – failing and having to spend much time and money on resits?

Obviously that is a decision you need to weigh up when looking for the right tutor for you or your child.

As well as offering tutoring, I am currently creating a GCSE English Language course, amongst many others. This will be a cost-effective solution for those happy to learn online.

I also have the capacity to teach two students at once for half the price (each) of my 1-2-1 rate. However, this relies on mutual need, abilities, time slot and on parent coordination. Feel free to contact me directly to enquire about this possibility which has worked well for many families.


How may I pay you for tutoring?


Payment for tuition is made half termly in advance by either cash payments or online.

For sessions to proceed as planned, fees must be paid at least 24 hours before a scheduled sessions is to begin as per the agreement between myself and clients.


Do you get fully booked? What happens if you are fully booked?


I am now booked up for 1-2-1 tutees for this coming academic year (2022-2023) and am full for after school tuition. 

If you’re set on 1-2-1 English tuition my best advice would be to reach out early by either contacting me – noting student availability, class size and exam board.

However, even if I am full, I am working on a programme to help parents and students. My aim is to help as many students and their parents navigate the demands of the English GCSE/ A Levels as possible!


Do you tutor at the weekends?


Weekend availability is very popular and therefore quite scarce. However, I do tutor students some weekends on an ad hoc basis. This is particularly useful for those who need a boost.

If you require weekend tuition you can check my weekend availability by booking in here.

Still have a question? Ask me.

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