My name is Ms Syed, I am the current Head of KS3 Science at a West London Secondary school and with a Masters in Chemistry, I specialise in KS3-GCSE Science as well as A Level Chemistry.
Why do I love what I do?
Teaching has always been something that has come very naturally to me. I put this skill to the test when I embarked on my very first tuition role over 10 years ago.
From there I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life and I didn't stop until I achieved my PGSE and QTS and qualified as a secondary school science teacher. I have never looked back since!
Best moment teaching?
There are far too many to choose from but if I had to choose one it would be when I first taught a flame test practical lesson and had the pleasure of witnessing the magic of science captivate my students.
What is your highlight from being a Secondary school Science teacher?
Thankfully I have been lucky to teach such wonderfully committed students and I attribute my most recent success stories to their hard work. I received two letters from our Headteacher congratulating me for the progress my two GCSE science classes made. Both my GCSE Combined Science and Triple Chemistry classes achieved the greatest progress across the entire year group.
What is your tutoring style?
During my time studying for my GCSE's and in higher education I spent a lot of time attempting to figure out my own learning style. I therefore have a very good understanding of how difficult that process can be and how it can be exasperated when faced with an educator who lacks that awareness.
As a tutor, one of my primary goals is to provide my students with a well-rounded and effective learning experience. To achieve this aim, I strive to promote a highly collaborative tutoring style that emphasizes the importance of exposing students to a variety of methods for learning. In order to maximize the effectiveness of my teaching method, I strive to make my classes interesting, fun and dynamic.
Students learn in different ways, so I ensure that my classroom environment promotes exploration and curiosity. I encourage students to think critically and scientifically about the topics we cover, and to ask questions and challenge assumptions when necessary. By doing this, I am providing my students with an opportunity to develop their problem-solving skills and enhance their ability to learn from their own experiences.
Additionally, I ensure that my classes are engaging and creative. I leverage visual aids, online multimedia resources, and hands-on activities to keep students engaged and help them understand complex topics. I also provide ample opportunities for practice, allowing students to gain mastery over the material. My teaching style focuses on building student’s confidence and increasing their enjoyment of the subject.
I am committed to helping my students succeed in their learning endeavours. My collaborative tutoring style places emphasis on exposing students to a range of learning methods, thus giving them the tools they need to draw upon when faced with new information. By focusing on these strategies, I have been able to help many of my students achieve their academic goals.
One top tip for GCSE Science students?
Always review topics. Even if you thought it was easy whilst you were learning the content in lesson, make sure when you leave that lesson, you don't leave the knowledge behind too. When revising, focus most of your time and effort on practicing exam style questions.
There is a plethora of resources available where exam questions can be found, so use them to your advantage. Remember a footballer would never play a football match without training beforehand, so why would you sit an exam without practicing?
One top tip for A Level Chem students?
With a Masters in Chemistry, I know first hand that any aspiring A Level Chemistry student will require dedication and hard work that go beyond what's taught at school
One key tip for success is to not rely solely on what is taught in lessons – you must put in the extra effort during independent study in order to expand and improve your knowledge.
It is vital that you keep up-to-date with the content as most A Level Chemistry exams are cumulative. This means that concepts from earlier topics are often revisited at a later stage, helping to reinforce your understanding. The best way to ensure that you remember and understand this content is to regularly review and refresh topics throughout the course, not just when they occur in the syllabus.
It is also essential to practice the types of questions asked in the exams. You will find it helpful to solve end of topic questions or past exam papers, both of which can be found online or provided by your teachers. This method of questions and answers should be used alongside attending class and taking notes in order to make sure that you are adequately prepared before sitting your exams.
A common mistake you see kids make?
Not revising early enough. It sounds simple and perhaps repetitive, but procrastination is a student's worst enemy. Top students who achieve excellent grades will always begin revising months before a set of exams. This is to ensure they are not cramming and gives them enough time to cover everything. As a science teacher I always remind my students they have to revise three years worth of content before their exams in the summer of year 11, and not to assume they can do that in 1 month - if this was possible, it wouldn't have taken us THREE years to teach it to you!
Top tip for parents supporting their child?
No child can ever pass their GCSE's on their own. A support system can be the make or break for a student. Parents, please remember to check in with your child, provide them with a safe space to revise, ask them if they have access to the resources they need and check the revision they are doing. Most importantly avoid putting your own pressure on your child. They are already under so much pressure from themselves and their peers, they'll be looking to you to alleviate that stress.
Fun fact about yourself?
I could eat the icing on cakes all day everyday! Nom nom!