Fenella Chesterfield - Professional Teacher in London and Cambridge
Having boarded and studied at the King's School Canterbury, I then went on to graduate with a first class BA and an MPhil from St John’s College Cambridge in July 2017. I was then employed as a Philosophy and Theology teacher at Rugby school. Here I underwent teacher training for the PGCE and also functioned as a full time tutor to ten GCSE level boys, as well as choral assistant and shooting coach. Having worked closely with the head of Oxbridge, I am in a very strong position to advise on applications to leading universities worldwide. Balancing work with a competitive rifle-shooting at a semi-professional level requires huge drive and efficiency. I now work as a full time tutor, and bring this drive to each of the pupils that I work with in the hope that I can help them to realise their own passions and potential.
Subjects I Teach
My Education & Qualifications
University of Cambridge , 2016 – 2017
Philosophy and Theology (MPhil):
University of Cambridge , 2013 – 2016
Theology and Religious Studies (BA): 1st
School: King's School Canterbury
Private boarding school in Canterbury, Kent. (September 2008 to July 2013) IGCSE - 11A* AS Level - French A, Music A, EPQ A* A Levels - English A* (100%), Religious Studies A* (100%), History A
My Tutoring & Teaching Experience
I first started tutoring whilst I was at Cambridge. Here I was invited back to the King's School Canterbury to talk to prospective candidates and help them with their Oxbridge applications. Since then I have taken on voluntary teaching roles all over the world. I have taught English to students in the remote regions of Himalayan Nepal as well as rural Northern Uganda.
Whilst employed at Rugby school I taught year 9 -13 students. The expertise gathered through teaching at this prestigious boarding school undoubtedly helped me develop as a professional teacher and tutor. My lessons for year 9 students (age 13-14) are tailored towards grappling with some of the more simple philosophical, inspiring them to develop enquiring and critical minds. I also encourage my students to practice their essay writing skills, and to develop strong literacy tools which will aid them in their GCSE courses.
At GCSE level I focus on developing these skills further. Students are stretched to engage with other religious traditions, to think about religious ethics and to start to develop good exam technique.
At A level I take particular interest in helping students who are struggling with some of the more complex ideas, and helping them structure their ideas into coherent essays. I inspire my students to analyse and criticise complex concepts. These are crucial skills to develop as a student of the humanities and stand pupils in excellent stead for approaching degree level writing at the world's top class universities.
I have worked closely with the head of Oxbridge at Rugby school, helping guide pupils through the stages of the Oxbridge application process, and giving mock interviews to candidates.
My Approach to Tutoring
Having taught classes of students of wide-ranging abilities, I am aware of the importance of catering for the specific needs of individuals. This is what primarily draws me to tutoring. There is nothing more satisfying than having the time to sit and work through the challenges that a particular student is facing, one-to-one. As a teacher, I know the value that this can add to both their achievement and also their enjoyment of school work. So often seemingly overwhelming problems are born of a simple misunderstandings which can be quickly ironed out within individual tutor time.
One of my greatest skills is helping underperforming students overcome the fear of extended essay writing. I am frequently approached by students (many of whom I have not taught before) who have heard how helpful I can be in clearly breaking down topics and building clear essay plans to help them with difficult assignments. In doing this, I have worked not only with students preparing for public examinations and Extended Projects (EPQ), but also students for whom English is an additional language and dyslexic students.
When it gets towards exam season I also hold exam style essay writing classes to help my students to understand what the marking criteria are for the different essay questions that they will be examined on. So often even the best students fail to meet the marking criteria and so cannot access the highest grades. I help students develop the skills of quick planning and coherent structuring of essays under time pressured conditions.
Fun Facts About Me
I am an avid traveller. I have volunteered on community projects all over the world, and carried out research projects in Africa and Israel. I spent last summer studying Hebrew in Tel Aviv. I have also explored much of India through my passion for yoga, and am now a qualified yoga and meditation teacher.
Nevertheless, as strangely incompatible as it may sound, my two main loves are music and competitive shooting.
I have played the violin since age four. Whilst at school I performed as a member of the National Children's Orchestra, and then went on to be awarded a diploma in violin performance (DipATCL). Whilst at university I developed also as a singer. I was awarded a choral scholarship at St John's College, Cambridge as well as singing for Corpus Christi choir. I still regularly sing and have been involved in several BBC choral recordings this year.
I took up shooting whilst at Cambridge and during my time there was awarded three half blues for various shooting disciplines, including clay pigeon shooting (Women's Captain 2016). I am now training and shooting with the England match rifle team. I really value the discipline and concentration that the sport helped me to develop. As well as shooting I have also rowed competitively for Lady Margaret Boat Club (St John’s, 2013-16) as well competing for the Cambridge University Hare & Hounds (cross country) team.
My Client Testimonials
A Level RS
"Fenella is brilliant and [my daughter] has really warmed to her and has found her sessions very informative and bespoke to her needs and they have helped [my daughter] to start to focus on what she really needs to address and how in order to succeed in her A levels."
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