Shaakirah S

Academic Qualifications:

High School: The Tiffin Girls’ School

GCSEs:

Maths (A*), Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Physics (A*), Religious Studies (A*), Islamic Studies (A*), English Literature (A*), English Language (A*), Art (A*), French (A*), Latin (A*), History (A*)

University College London: MSc Natural Sciences

 

Teaching Experience

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·      Common Entrance: English and Maths.

·      GCSE: Biology, Maths and Chemistry, English, Art and Religious Studies.

·      A-Level: Maths, Biology and Art.

 

Skills and Interests

·      Photography: portrait and scenic. I have recently set up a photography business offering £10 photoshoots to students. It has so far been a success.

·      Art: sketching realistic portraits, drawing cartoons and abstract painting – I’ve also had my abstract self-portrait exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.

·      Piano: I enjoy song writing, composing modern classical tunes, and working out songs by ear.

·      Poetry, prose and article writing: I am currently working on a novel, I have written for the Guardian Young Reporters scheme, I have a blog on which I post regularly and I’ve had poetry highly commended by English teachers in secondary school and selected for the school anthology.

·      Amateur movie making: I use iMovie to make short movies for friends’ and family members’ birthdays as well as to commemorate family holidays.

Personal Statement

It was a combination of hard work and having the right guidance that resulted me in being admitted into the secondary school I spent the majority of my teenage years at. I was lucky in that I had my mother, a teacher not only by profession but by identity, who prepped and motivated me to put in the graft that secured my place; whilst simultaneously kindling a love for learning within me at the tender age of 11. The school I was accepted into nurtured my passion for both the sciences and arts, and equipped me with vital life skills such as perseverance, discipline and determination. Our school motto sapere aude, latin for dare to be wise, is something that I carry with me to this day. Many people spend their lives holding back, but I have been taught to do the opposite, and I intend to impart this practice to as many other people as I can.

Throughout my life I have been fortunate enough to have been taught and believed in by amazingly dedicated educators. From my mother who channelled my childhood love of reading fiction into a passion for absorbing all kinds of knowledge, to my GCSE Latin tutor who turned my straight D’s into an A*, and to my sixth form Biology teachers who encouraged me to pursue the subject at university.  I believe that good teaching is often an imperative contributing factor to a child’s success, and as the late Rita Pierson said, every child deserves to have a champion. Nonetheless, not every child is going to necessarily have an innate passion for academic learning. Their skillset may lie elsewhere, perhaps in music or in making and designing things. If a child lacks the ability or desire to learn, then I will do everything it takes to instil within them an innate passion to improve. As at the end of the day it is one’s strife for improvement that defines who one is. Achieving my goals is something that got me through my high school education on paper; but striving to be better is what made me truly prosper as a person. I honestly believe that learning new things and garnering knowledge can be an incredibly gratifying experience, and that it just takes the right person with a flexible and tailored approach to learning, to help turn an uninterested child into a captivated one.

Having only recently completed secondary education, the A-level and GCSE content is still fresh in my mind. At the same time the fact that I am at university means that I have knowledge that stretches beyond the high school syllabuses. I therefore believe I am in an ideal position academically to relay my knowledge to my tutees, along with being of an age that renders me a figure of authority as well as someone who can be related to. I consider myself to be an animated and personable person, unafraid of a challenge, be that a reluctant tutee or a highly capable and inquisitive one. I truly believe that with the right approach, any child can do well, especially at a high school level. I believe that one of the worst emotions a person is capable of feeling is regret, and I would hate for any child to grow up and look back on their education and think to themselves that they could have done so much better. Therefore, as a tutor, I would strive to challenge and bring out the best in my tutees. Of course, helping getting a child into their top choice school, or securing them an A* in Maths would be fantastic. But helping to shape them into a more confident person, someone who can take risks and make them pay off no matter what the outcome is, is something that would make me far more proud.

To conclude, I believe that everybody deserves the chance to reach their full potential. I feel I am someone with a holistic approach to teaching, as well as someone who, by combining hard work with sparking people’s interest, can make students flourish. My aim is to nurture students in a way that will enable them to ultimately progress by themselves, as eventually this is what life requires of us. Teaching my tutees skills, and the ability to self-learn, as well as simply giving them knowledge, is something I will strive to do. If I can foster a genuine love for learning within my tutee, then I will be a very happy tutor.