Alexander Neal Richard – 1644


13 Plus and English

School entrance experience

Alexander has worked with children aiming to attend the following schools:

I helped a boy from South Korea successfully gain a Queen's Scholarship to Westminster School and another boy from India to pass his 13+ entrance exam to the same school. Most recently I tutored a girl to pass her 11+ exams to both Francis Holland and Godolphin and Latymer as well as a boy who passed his 13+ entrance exams to Harrow and Cranleigh. Before this, I tutored a boy who passed his exams to Dulwich College and Alleyn's School for 13+. I am currently helping a primary school student from China to prepare for her 11+ entrance exam to St Paul's school that she will sit in two years' time.

Alexander's biography:

Alexander is a highly experienced A Level and GCSE English specialist teacher, tutor and examiner who holds a Distinction at MA Shakespeare Studies, a First Class BA (hons) in English Literature, and a further First Class DipEngl in English Language Studies. He is an active Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, FRSA. His teaching career has spanned twenty-five years and he currently teaches at Mander Portman Woodward (MPW) in South Kensington.

Previously, he taught at three `Beacon Status` sixth-form colleges, all of which have been rated `outstanding` by OFSTED: Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge; The Sixth Form College, Farnborough; and Esher College, Surrey, where he was the Head of English leading a highly successful English department consisting of 11 teachers and 770 A Level English students between 2008-2012. He has examined both English Literature and English Language for the AQA and OCR boards at various points throughout his career.

Alexander has taught students following a range of exam boards such as the OCR, AQA, Pearson Edexcel and CIE (Cambridge International) specifications and tutored the International Baccalaureate (IB) as well as helping students with undergraduate work. Furthermore, he has supported many students studying for their 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance Examinations.

In addition to his formal achievements as a teacher and manager, he also an excellent track-record of success as a private tutor. Alexander has supported his tutees by increasing their engagement in lessons, enriching their understanding of set texts and motivating them to undertake independent work that embeds the knowledge learned during his tutorials. He has raised the quality of his tutees’ written work from one to three grades, thereby significantly lifting their performance in exams.

Alexander is currently writing a book for Palgrave-Macmillan aimed at Undergraduate University students about the influential writer J. G. Ballard. He wrote the York Notes on 'Frankenstein' for the GCSE series in 1999. He is a member of The London Library, The British Library, The Society of Authors and also has extensive educational resources at home.

Alexander was awarded a Distinction for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at Royal Holloway College, London where he was tutored by both Professor Kiernan Ryan, formerly of Cambridge University and Professor Ewan Fernie who is now the Director of the internationally-renowned Shakespeare Institute in Stratford. For his first BA (hons) degree, Alexander declined an unconditional offer from Warwick, a Russell Group University, in favour of accepting a place on a ground-breaking course at UEA (which consistently out-performs many Russell Group Universities), where he gained a First Class honours in English Literature. At the time, UEA was one of the few universities to offer course units on Dystopian fiction, Gothic fiction, Modern American Drama, Post-Modernism, and Women’s Writing and these subjects, interestingly, form the basis of the curricula of many of the current A level exam board curricula, such as the OCR and Edexcel. In addition to these degrees, Alexander is well-versed in modern linguistic approaches to the English language and he was also awarded a First for a Diploma in English Language Studies at the Open University, giving him a solid grounding for English Language A level teaching. He is also formally qualified as a teacher, holding a PGCE in English.

Most importantly, his students find him enthusiastic, supportive, cordial and professional. He is a responsive tutor, an attentive listener, able to make complex ideas accessible and exciting, and can balance exploratory, individualised and structured approaches to learning. He believes in drawing from a wide range of teaching methods to make a student`s experience of English varied, fresh and challenging but also identifies the particular needs of each individual to ensure that the right skills are prioritised and tackled rigorously.

Many students appreciate having a clear direction to learning and he believes in signposting different areas in a focused way - whether the skills involve close reading, constructing a debate, understanding or applying theory, researching contexts, or working on essay techniques and planning past papers.

His tutees over the last six years have valued his commitment to aiding their studies and wider cultural development, and parents have often thanked him for his willingness to 'go the extra mile' for their sons and daughters. Einstein once said of himself 'I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.' Ultimately, Alexander believes that curiosity is the key to being both successful in exams and developing a life-long love of learning.

Alexander's qualifications:

Alexander qualified to teach English in 1996, and holds a PGCE English from UEA.

University NameName of degreeYear of graduation
Royal Holloway CollegeShakespeare Studies MA2004
Open UniversityEnglish Language DipELS2001
University of East AngliaEnglish Literature 1995

Alexander's International Baccalaureate (IB) experience:

I have tutored a student for her IB (Higher) examination, helping her with her comparative essay component and preparation for the Oral Exam. The work covered drama by Oscar Wilde and Brian Friel and the poetry of Seamus Heaney. She was successful and is now studying at UCL. I have also helped a student with the Extended Essay on dystopian literature which compared '1984' with 'The Handmaid's Tale' and have also helped a student improve his essay technique with a History essay for the same component.

Recent testimonials:


We collect references for all of our tutors when they join. Not all referees agree to have their reference publically listed, but when they do we show them here.

Outstanding tutor and highly recommended.

Monday, 26th October 2020

He is an excellent teacher who displays an absolute commitment to getting his students the best results as well as the best of educational experiences. He is absolutely punctilious in his approach to teaching and a genuinely charismatic classroom practitioner. I recommend him without reservation.

Monday, 26th October 2020

Alexander is available for online tuition

Alexander is available for online tuition to students anywhere in the world. Find out more about online tuition.