It takes 600 hours of supervised training just in the first year of teacher training. Qualified teachers know how to pack each lesson with relevant content which will guarantee marks.
Teachers understand differentiation. Each teacher has been exposed to a wide range of learning styles and needs. They are fully equipped to plan for each of their students.
By the end of the teaching training, each teacher would have thought at least 1000 hours, spending at least half of this time on assessed planning. Teachers with five years of experience would have taught over 4500 hours each!
Teacher training covers pedagogy, effective planning and questioning to measure students’ progress. They know how to ensure deep learning.
Each teacher is formally observed at least eight times a year while in training and three times a year throughout the rest of their career. Most tutors are only observed for 20 minutes during their interview, often by other unqualified instructors or HR.
Teaching Relevant Skills
Our teachers understand the skills necessary to produce the high level answers. Thanks to the extensive knowledge of complex exam mark schemes, they teach relevant content and skills which deliver results. Students learn how to analyse information correctly and present it in a format which delivers results.
Safeguarding is much more than the DBS vetting which now has become the norm. Qualified teachers are legally bound to participate in training on Safeguarding in Education, FGM, Preventing Radicalisation, Preventing Bullying and Heath and Safety.
Teachers mark hundreds of mock exams a year and receive extensive exam training. They understand the assessment criteria for each question and task. This helps them secure the top marks and only teach what is helpful and relevant.
Access to specialists teachers
Distance should not be a barrier to learning.
Travelling to tutorials can be time consuming, limiting, expensive and stressful – for the students, for the parents and for the teachers.
According to the BBC News, England’s schools are facing a severe shortage of specialist teachers, with a large number of children taught by unqualified cover supervisors. Most qualified teachers are unable to travel to their tutees, due to time constraints and travel costs, and most students are limited to local tutors.
Especially in London, with the class sizes of thirty students or more, it is particularly difficult to receive fully personalised learning. This means that each child in such a large class gets an average of two minutes of individual attention from a qualified teacher per lesson – not enough to achieve excellent results, even if both are gifted and talented.
This forces parents to invest in unqualified instructors who often lack the understanding of examination mark schemes and the assessment criteria. As a result, children often learn irrelevant content, or skills which they will receive no marks for.
Online tuition is the only way to connect specialist teachers with their students based on their qualification and experience, not the distance. Distance should not be a barrier to learning, and with us, it is not
Not everyone learns the same way.
Each student is different, has different learning needs and different attention span. We realise that some students would rather learn for 30 minutes once a week, focusing on narrow, specific aspects of learning or exam preparation. Others, however, prefer weekly 90 minute sessions which cover a wider range of material in one go.
As we are not limited by distance, we are much more flexible with the lesson time. Below, you can find some suggestions. However, all lessons are bespoke and can be tailored to your needs.
Revisiting specific aspects of your exam
Clarifying tricky questions
Addressing specific weaknesses
45- 75 minutes
Introducing new content
Learning new concepts
Practicing longer exam questions
Broadening your subject knowledge
Discovering alternative Interpretations
Revisiting larger portion of material
Walking-talking mock exams
Linking themes across texts
Critically Evaluating what you know
Our teachers do not stand between you and knowledge, they facilitate it.
In contrast to traditional tuition, where you spend most of the lesson focusing on application and understanding, we focus on advanced, high-order thinking skills. According to Benjamin Bloom, a renowned educator and researcher, knowledge and comprehension are basic skills placed at the bottom of the pyramid of learning. As Bloom’s theory underpins education in the UK, most academic success is measured by exams influenced by his theory of learning.
Image attribution fractus learning
For that reason, understanding the content in the AQA GCSE English Literature Exam will only get you about 50% of marks. On the other hand, critical evaluation, analysis and conceptualised response are required to achieve full marks. While understanding what a character is doing may get you one or two points in your 11+ exam, analysing how you have reached that conclusion will get you up to eight.
This is why the tuition with us begins where most tuitions end -with knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is not the end, but the beginning of your learning journey. Before each lesson, you are given resources which will allow you to understand the content and apply it. Being equipped with this knowledge will allow you to work at much more advanced level and analyse, solve problems, evaluate, assess alternative interpretation and conceptualise your responses. While other tutors will be explaining the content to their students, you will be developing thorough, exploratory responses with your teacher.
To build on what you have learnt even further, you will be asked to reflect on your learning in a form of a post-lesson assignment. This will be marked and returned to you before your next lesson. Your result will inform our planning.
One lesson with Harper Quill usually results in two additional hours of learning.
Our lesson is designed to be a comprehensive learning experience. Below you will find more information about what we include in each lesson.
Each task comes with a number of questions which grow in difficulty. The student can chose a bronze, silver or gold question depending on how confident they feel in the subject. Whether your child is confident in the topic or just starting out, we have a right level of stretch and challenge.
We check how well you child has understood the new information at many stages of the lessons. This may be through games, questions, self reflection or written task. Those mini ‘assessments’ will help us adapt the next session to the specific needs of your child.
We ask six types of questions which check the knowledge and understanding of your child. Through questioning we give them the opportunity to apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate their knowledge.
Each learner has a way in which they best learn. By incorporating various methods into our teaching, we are able to provide a variety of tasks to engage our students. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic students will find something for them in our every lesson.
We teach our students how to learn from their mistakes and set themselves SMART learning targets. As recognising strengths and weaknesses can make the difference between success and failure, we put a lot of effort to develop your child’s ability to reflect on their own learning.
To maximise the active learning time in the virtual classroom, students are introduced to additional learning material before class, or as homework, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through discussion with the teacher and problem-solving activities facilitated by teachers.
Our report includes an area of strength and a SMART target with a specific, curriculum linked task to help them reach that target. All tasks are skill-based, differentiated, open ended, and linked to the success criteria from the lesson.
Ewa Da Silveira
English Tutor, Founder
Ewa is an experienced, qualified teacher with a great passion for learning — learning something new every day makes her happy. She studied English Language and Literature at University of Warsaw and Creative Writing at University of Cambridge. Now, she is studying for her (second!) Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing at Open University in preparation for the PhD. To Ewa, however, it is not about the degree.
She truly believes in the transformative power of the teacher training, and its ability to simplify communication, elevate learning experiences, engage and inspire students.
As well as leading the curriculum at Harper Quill, Ewa teaches English and Creative writing, specialising in the GCSE. In her lessons, she combines her expertise of being a GCSE examiner with over 8 years of teaching experience. Before teaching at Harper Quill, she used to teach GCSE and A-Levels in a number of outstanding London secondary schools, including a TES nominated and Pearson-award-winning school for girls in Greenwich. In addition, she also used to be a Deputy Director of English in an all-boys school in East Dulwich, placed at the 2% of the best achieving schools in the country.
I founded Harper Quill when I realised how many students receive subpar tuition by tutors whose strength is their academic degree, not their deep understanding of the curriculum. This often hinders students’ results and progress as they acquire advanced, yet irrelevant, content which they soon forget.
When she is not teaching or writing, Ewa spends all her time planning the next trekking adventure in the Alps where she usually spends a lion’s share of her summer.
Thanks for being a really inspirational teacher and teaching me so many new things. You are my absolute favourite.May
Sorry for being the girl who writes fifteen hundred word stories for my next class but only you would teach me so many alternative interpretations! I enjoy learning from you.Markh
Since the past few weeks you have thought me English;I have been delighted to spend my time learning new contented and expanding my horizons. To be honest, some days I was agitated but you encouraged me to hold on to the string of knowledge!Dante
My daughter really enjoyed her English lessons where she could develop her passion for creative writing and her GCSE skills.Rachel,
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