About Me

I am a skilled qualified academic instructor with 13+ years' experience. I specialise in supporting students with autism (including non-verbal and high functioning), language disorders, working memory challenges, dyscalculia, 11+, ADD/ADHD, organisation challenges,  cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, oppositional defiance disorder, anxiety issues, dyslexia, visual impairments, behavioural needs,  dyspraxia, dyscalculia, depression, Down's Syndrome, global developmental delay.
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£110.00 Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions READ THIS TUTOR'S REVIEWS HERE

Specialist Experience and Skills

My skills and experience teaching children with autism: I have worked with many students with autism including Asperger's. Whenever I do, I try and fit the learning to the student and understand how they learn and what does or does not motivate them. In my experience a structured environment for students with ASD is vitally important to ensure a familiar routine including consistency. Structure and consistency help to build trust and this allows students to make more progress. When working with student with autism I am calm, patient and willing to try different strategies.

My skills and expe... Read More
My skills and experience teaching children with autism: I have worked with many students with autism including Asperger's. Whenever I do, I try and fit the learning to the student and understand how they learn and what does or does not motivate them. In my experience a structured environment for students with ASD is vitally important to ensure a familiar routine including consistency. Structure and consistency help to build trust and this allows students to make more progress. When working with student with autism I am calm, patient and willing to try different strategies.

My skills and experience working with children with attachment disorder: As children with attachment disorder, especially as they get older, will often try to develop a pseudo-adult helper role, we should give them opportunities to be independent and take responsibility by presenting them with choices to give them a sense of control (one should always remember that the choices available are decided by adults). It is essential to be consistent and reliable, maintaining clear boundaries and a professional relationship. Teaching and illustrating consequences, offering the positive options first, are a useful strategy. Also, it is vital that, no matter what the child says or does, one stay in control and not lose one’s temper. Making your lesson objective and plan clear from the outset, breaking down structured activities into small steps that can be completed without too much, if any, help from adults in the room. By doing this, independence in a way that is safe for the child is fostered. Activities which require little or no imagination will be good for the child with attachment difficulties, engaging them far more than tasks which are built on imagination and empathy. Equally, providing support materials can allow a child to complete a task independently without the “threat” of not knowing something and failing. Allocating a specific role to each person, rather than simply expecting students to merge their views or findings, can also be helpful. When we praise a child we should be specific: the child should be told directly what it is one is praising them for, rather than commenting generically on how good, attentive, or helpful they have been. Praising a “neatly presented piece of work” or “a precise and accurate drawing or diagram” are examples of how this can be done. Writing, particularly free writing and self-expression based on an empathy-based task, could be very difficult for a child who has an attachment disorder. This doesn’t just apply to their academic learning in the classroom. This is their sense of failure and lack of self-esteem showing through again.  Instead, one can illustrate how to write creatively by using boxes to tick, which can then go together to build sentences and then paragraphs. We can provide sentences on a cloze basis to enable a child to understand the contextual meaning and value of pieces of written work. These can be highly structured at first, becoming less so as the child becomes more confident and able to express themselves more freely and more (self-) empathetically in writing. Lastly, one can encourage a child to describe the feelings of characters in stories, whether in books or in films.  Describing our own feelings to children we work with to help them connect words with visible signs of different emotions or feelings could be a useful strategy as well.  For instance, we can say to a child “you look happy today” or “you look a bit sad” as a way into a conversation about feelings and emotions. In response to this, the child we are working with will often ask, “how can you tell?”

My skills and experience working with children with ADHD: Having been working with students diagnosed with ADD and ADHD since 2015 (Fleet Tutors and SENsational Tutors / London), I have drawn the following conclusions: Relating to pupils as individuals rather than as ‘categories’ enhances their confidence; Impulses can be controlled by slowing down reactions and self-examination: "Ask yourself, why am I doing this?"; Enhancing positive inter-personal relations stimulates learning; Using non-confrontational approaches provides effective solutions; Adopting a more ‘therapeutic’ rather than ‘punitive’ approaches provides constructive outcomes; Careful monitoring of individual students and groups optimises individual learning success; Keeping students out of trouble and ‘on track’ allows for longstanding target achievement; Working collaboratively with others – students, families as equal partners – optimises students’ progress; Working collaboratively with other professionals (teaching assistants, speech therapists, educational psychologists) is crucial for any effective student pastoral and educational support; Managing any disruptive behaviour without disrupting the lesson - as far as possible (e.g. eye contact, diffusing situation with humour, and avoid creating confrontations) – eliminates unnecessary time / potential waste and refines learning process.

My skills and experience boosting students’ self-esteem and confidence: First, many years of working in an alternative provision sector taught me that pupils with low self-esteem often need a boost to their self-confidence before they can learn to overcome their difficulties.  It is therefore essential to give praise for small achievements. Second, tailoring for students’ needs and providing simple, structured instructions in a list form /  numbered steps, e.g. 1. Do this. 2. Do that, etc. saves anxiety, aids confidence, and gets things done. Third, as pupils with low self-esteem may be verbally bright but struggle to put ideas into writing, it is frequently essential to allow them more time for reading, listening and understanding. Forth, it is really helpful to discuss an activity to make sure it is understood: visualising the activity or linking it to a funny action may significantly improve pupils’ with low self-esteem learning experience. Finally, to make one’s learning experience even easier, it is essential to prepare written materials user friendly, bullet points may be more useful than blocks of text, for instance.

My skills and experience preparing children for the 11+: I have been teaching 11+ / the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) for since 2019; since September 2020, my students have been using Atom Learning (offering tailored revision courses for the ISEB Common Pre-Tests, 11+, London Consortium, school-specific assessments and KS2 preparation) to practise VR, non-VR, comprehension, inference, punctuation and 11+ maths.

My skills and experience teaching Maths First and foremost, one must consider a specific tutee’s learning style (e.g. visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) before an individual learning plan / strategy is established. Considering the fact that some of my students may occasionally find it challenging to solve word problems, I find it essential to boost their confidence by familiarising them with some of the available inference strategies such as the SOS (Simplify, Organise and Solve) technique, for instance. Optimising students’ focus and engagement, the method enables them to successfully break down the oftentimes verbose word problems into smaller - ‘more palatable’- components.  In essence, the strategy involves boxing (B), underlining (U) and circling (C) of crucial information and discarding (K for 'Knock') what is unnecessary (the so-called BUCK technique). Suffice it to say, it is vital that my students should acquire some indispensable information-discriminatory skills that would allow them to extract some crucial information and discard the surplus. Keeping in mind that concentration may vary among the individuals, it might be essential that tasks must be diversified and their length varied.

Maths teaching experience and skills: 2013 – 2014: Maths GCSE Enhancement Programme, National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, Uxbridge College, Middlesex/ 2012 – 2015: Functional Skills Maths Coordinator; Uxbridge College, Middlesex/ 2012 – 2015: Functional Skills and GCSE Maths Teacher; Uxbridge College, Middlesex/ 2015 – Present: Maths Tutor (11 +; KS2 – GCSE/KS4); Fleet Tutors / SENsational Tutors, London/ 1-to-1 tuition. I have a specialist qualification to teach mathematics (up to GCSE level incl. Higher Tier)

My clients include various individuals attending various London (mainly independent sector) schools such as Kew Home School, Kensington Park School, Riverston School, Southbank International School and Sacred Heart School. I provide (foundation and higher tier) mathematics tuition for the following exam boards: Edexcel, AQA and IGCSE; also, I have considerable experience of ISEB tests preparation using, inter alia, Atom Learning.

English teaching experience and skills: GCSE exam preparation for the following exam boards: Edexcel, AQA and IGCSE. English GCSE Enhancement Programme; Uxbridge College, Middlesex (2014 – 2015)/ Functional Skills English Coordinator; Uxbridge College, Middlesex (2012 – 2015)/ Functional Skills English Teacher; Uxbridge College, Middlesex (2012 – 2015)/ English Teacher; Fleet Tutors (Alternative Tuition), London (2015 – 2019): KS3 – KS4 (GCSE); 1-to-1/ Working with KS3 – KS4 students excluded from mainstream education for behavioural reasons (violence, ODD, etc.)/ English Teacher; Prospero Teaching (London) / various schools including PRUs; 2011 - 2018/ English Teacher; SENsational Tutors, London (2019 – Present): KS3 – KS4 (GCSE)/11 +; 1-to-1 tuition/ Individuals from various London – mainly independent sector - schools including, inter alia, Kew Home School, Kensington Park School, Riverston School, Southbank International School and Sacred Heart School.

My specialist skills and experience teaching creative writing to students: Having been teaching GCSE English Language and Literature since 2015 (and 11 + English since 2018), I developed a comprehensive methodology of teaching creative writing that comprises in an imaginative application of literary techniques, varied sentence structure (as well as punctuation), conjunctions and composition techniques to produce dazzling pieces that reflect every student’s idiosyncratic view of the situation at hand.  Using word mats featuring topic-specific vocabulary clues, synonyms or alternative ways of ‘showing not telling’ can be extremely helpful in the process of boosting confidence.Since students often infer answers without being aware they are engaged in inference, it is essential that attention should be drawn to how they arrived at their answers. Asking them how they ‘inferred’ their answer may be conducive to developing their awareness of inference mechanisms. Therefore, I tend to ask students to explain how they arrived at their answer without reference to explicit information in the text. Additionally, asking them further questions to prompt how they arrived at their answer may also be useful. Lastly, encouraging them to point to the clues and implicit information in the text that led them to their conclusion stimulates their confidence and awareness of the methods they use.

My skills and experience teaching study skills including organisation: For a number of years now I have been helping a number of high school as well as university undergraduate students (e.g. University of Westminster or University of Derby) with various tasks encompassing time management, revision techniques, essay composition and project management.  Having obtained MA in Law from Birbeck, University of London in 2018, I have recently commenced another MA in Education program at UCL: managing complex projects (exam preparation), composing lengthy, analytical essays (be it English literature, engineering or law related) is my daily bread. I have recently become a life coach and an academic mentor of a female student (Year 10) who is currently attending Surbiton High School.  Our highly interactive sessions feature a great range of topics focusing on the fine tuning of, inter alia, the specificity and clarity of written and oral expression as well as general life skills such as time management, revision techniques, interpersonal communication, to name but a few. In addition, since October 2019 I have been working with another female student (currently in Year 11) attending Sacred Heart School, London.  Considering the fact that the student did not read nor write at all between March and October 2019 (stress-related mental breakdown), her parents contacted me in October 2019, desperately seeking my help.  Following a series of intensive sessions between October 2019 and July 2019 (3 h per week) that featured all sorts of unconventional tuition techniques ranging from philosophical discussions or Origami to Higher Tier GCSE mathematics, the student was so motivated and determined to get back to school, she was finally allowed to sit her Year 11 (re-entry) exams at the beginning of September 2020, which she passed successfully.

My skills and experience teaching children with memory and processing challenges: I use the following techniques: Acronyms (words that are formed by using the first letters of information to be remembered). e.g. NBA (National Basketball Associations), SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). A common acronym for remembering the five Great Lakes—Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, and Superior—is HOME. Abbreviations (formed by using the first letters of each word of the information to be remembered). e.g. mic (microphone), ASAP (as soon as possible), approx. (approximately). Acronymic sentences (sentences that are formed from words that begin with the first letter of each word of the information to be remembered). e.g. My Dear Aunt Sally (mathematical order of operations: Multiply and Divide before you Add and Subtract). Pegwords (words that rhyme with numbers and are used to build associations with information to be remembered). e.g. The number one could be associated with a bun, two with a shoe, three with a tree, four with a door, five with a hive, six with sticks, and seven with heaven. Keywords (familiar words that sound like words to be learned; keywords can be used to create mental images that you can use to remember new words and their definitions). e.g. Why I Love My Dog. Adopting her/ Personality/ Kind (example)/ Sense of humour (example)/ How she assists us. Rhymes (poems or verses used to remember information) and songs. e.g. “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November …” “i before e, except after c” or “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Chunking (grouping individual pieces of information in a manner that makes them easier to remember i.e., relation, hierarchical importance, function, etc. e.g. The individual digits 1, 9, 6, and 1 may be easier to remember as the year 1961; the digits 6, 2, 5, 4, 3, 9, and 1 might be more readily recalled as the telephone number 625-4391; and a grocery list might be more easily remembered by food category (i.e., fruits, vegetables, and so on). Graphic organizers (visual representations that show how the information is organized). e.g. diagrams, spider diagrams, tables, graphs, flow charts, images / icons, etc. Spider diagrams (to group the ideas according to their importance; to classify the related ideas). Diagrams for remembering the structure / components of a given object / entity such as flowcharts.

My skills and experience working with children with speech, language and articulation challenges: I have been using a range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) strategies to communicate with one of my current pupils (14-years-old / Marylebone Bridge School, London), diagnosed with a series of developmental delays (covering cognitive, language, learning, attention, concentration and focus needs).  In addition to his language, sensory and physical needs (low muscle tone), the student in question is also presented with a range of ‘cognitive deficits’; it has been therefore essential to refer to some alternative communication techniques such as communication boards (e.g. story lines), word boards, flash cards, symbols, gestures, to name but a few.  Additionally, I have been using Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs) such as overlay VOCAs (that allow the pupil in question to select from a number of messages) and dynamic screen VOCAs (that display symbols / graphics on the screen).

My skills and experience working with children sensory processing disorder: Working with students with sensory processing disorder requires patience and a specialist approach.  Some of the strategies that have proved to work for my students are as follows: 1) having a daily routine that changes as little as possible; 2) using visuals with pictures of sensory input choices; 3) providing frequent breaks; 4) establishing starting and ending times for tasks; 5) giving advance warning of routine changes; 6) reducing the need for handwriting (e.g., use fill-in-the-blank questions instead of short-answer questions); 7) allowing extra time for writing to accommodate motor skills fatigue; 8) if need be, letting the student use speech-to-text software or a computer; 9) providing overlays (e.g., blank pieces of paper) for reading to reduce visual distraction; 10) providing pencil grips , slant boards, and bold or raised-line paper for writing.

My skills and experience helping children to engage in learning: Involving students in the process of teaching and optimising their learning can be attained by means of methodical self-assessment.  Helping students understand their own learning by means of (short and long term) target setting and review, and develop appropriate strategies for “learning to learn” (can a pupil explain in his own words what he / she has just learnt?) allows them to self-evaluate and actively (consciously) experience their educational attainment.

My Teaching Philosophy

"Per ardua ad astra" = Through hardship / hard work to the stars

In order to effectively support my pupils’ specific learning disabilities by raising their academic standards and performance in literacy and numeracy, amongst other things, I incorporate their specific learning styles (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) in addressing their social, emotional, academic, and behavioural needs.

Considering I myself have spent over 20 years in higher education so far, some (experience-based) effective time management and study skills that I teach are as follows

  • Organisation (time management, essay composition)

  • Planning

  • Text analysis techniques

  • Study and note taking (selection of relevant facts) skills

  • Other revision strategies (workload division)

  • Exam techniques: structure and composition of answers, using suitable academic vocabulary, fronted adverbials and advanced grammar

  • Succinctness and clarity of expression


Most children with learning disabilities need skills in these areas. It is often their lack of these skills that makes learning overwhelming, challenging and builds a gradual aversion towards school and learning.

Something Sensational About Me

I am an illustrator and a member of Allied Artists.

I have volunteered in a number of national parks, including Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado) and Aspramonte National Park (Calabria, Italy).

While in 2018 I obtained a postgraduate degree, Master of Laws in Human Rights (2.1), from the University of London, in September 2020 I commenced Masters in Special and Inclusive Education at UCL.

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    Availability

    • Monday 9:00 - 16:00
    • Tuesday 9:00 - 16:00
    • Wednesday 9:00 - 16:00
    • Thursday 9:00 - 16:00
    • Friday 9:00 - 16:00
    • Saturday please contact directly -
    • Sunday please contact directly -

    Qualifications and Training

    • MEd (Special and Inclusive Education) {Cand}
    • Level 5 Diploma in Applied Financial Trading
    • LLM (Human Rights); 2.1
    • PGCE with QTS (ICT)
    • BSc (Hons) Politics / Sociolinguistics; 2.1
    • BSc (Hons) in Computing; 2.1
    • CELTA Cambridge
    ... Read More
    • MEd (Special and Inclusive Education) {Cand}
    • Level 5 Diploma in Applied Financial Trading
    • LLM (Human Rights); 2.1
    • PGCE with QTS (ICT)
    • BSc (Hons) Politics / Sociolinguistics; 2.1
    • BSc (Hons) in Computing; 2.1
    • CELTA Cambridge

    Choose me if…

    • You require a passionate, nurturing tutor who boosts confidence and self-esteem;
    • You require an excellent, highly experienced and fun English and Maths tutor;
    • You require a tutor who uses a variety of creative strategies to develop independence, memory (short-term and long term) and organisation skills;
    • You require a phenomenal academic and essay writing tutor;
    • You require a teacher that delivers results.

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    All of London

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    Contact us to book this tutor

      Your contact details will be sent to SENsational Tutors Ltd and will NOT be used for any marketing purposes.




      Sandra

      I would highly recommend Dora as a tutor. She goes out of her way to engage and identify strengths, targeting the needs of the individual. She has such a positive and enthusiastic manner. My daughter has complex needs and Dora has adapted the curriculum and teaching methodology to adapt to her needs.

      Janet

      Dora has been working with our son for 4 hours a week since the end of February 2020 teaching English and Maths Functional Skills. Our son has many SEN and can be tricky to motivate. Dora is incredibly positive and flexible and well prepared. Our son (aged 16) is engaged and progressing. We are so grateful to Dora. Very happy with her tutoring.

      Susan

      Dora prepared my son for his 11 + exams to Ilford County Grammar School for Boys. I am most satisfied with her ongoing support as my son is currently in the highest set in maths and English (Master Level). Dora has managed to develop such a unique and positive working relationship with my children that they cannot imagine any other tutoring scenario. They truly look forward to their sessions and consider them genuine fun.

      Sini

      Dora has been tutoring our two older children (a boy and a girl) for a bit over three months now and during this time we have noted a great improvement in not only the children's maths and literature work but also in their confidence levels. Dora makes the lessons fun and both the children are very fond of Dora. We can highly recommend Dora as a tutor.

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