• University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall: English Language & Literature 1st Class Degree

  • The Godolphin & Latymer School: IB 42/45 - Higher Level English, History, French; Standard Level Physics, Maths, Art

Biography & Interests

I have always loved both writing and reading stories, so it is perhaps not surprising that I would end up going into journalism. I now work freelance for a range of outlets, including the BBC and The New York Times. At Oxford I set up a production company and I still enjoy watching as many films and plays as I can, particularly as I have an eclectic taste that stretches from King Lear to Mamma Mia 2. My family are from an island off the west coast of Scotland, so I love going for long walks with my German Pointer (followed by a long bath and lots of chocolate). Despite only having one sister who is much younger than me, I come from a big, bustling family with plenty of cousins and far flung relations who emerge at Christmas, so I am no stranger to a rather hectic way of doing things at home.

Experience & Approach

The range of mentoring experience I have, which encompasses numerous age groups and abilities, has demonstrated to me that it is vital for children to find someone who they feel a personal affinity with and who they feel comfortable expressing any doubts or uncertainties to. I have successfully mentored three students during their Oxbridge application process, but also have worked with numerous mentees at A Level, GCSE, 13+, 11+ or earlier. Some of the students have required intensive sessions over a short period, such as just prior to exams or when I have travelled abroad with families who are on holiday, but in my opinion often the most enjoyable jobs as a mentor enable progress to be developed over a year or longer.

One particular example was a 7-year-old Chinese girl I worked with over an extended period, who had very limited English and was initially reluctant to even engage in conversation, as she had recently moved to London from Beijing. By the time we finished our time together, she was confident writing full paragraphs in English and was able to enjoy her time at school. At any age, I do my best to engage and enthuse students, to help them grow in confidence and to see the benefit to our work together. My favourite areas to mentor in include creative writing, textual analysis (whether historical or literary) and interview preparation.