I have an honours degree in Comparative Literature with a minor in International Relations and a PGCE for Secondary and Further Education. I was a teacher and Head of Department in secondary schools before having my own children. I have been an examiner for several English exam boards over many years and this has enabled me to understand what examiners are looking for in candidate responses.
More important than my professional experience, however, is that fact that my own children were home-educated until they went to Further Education Colleges aged 16 and 17. During these years, I set up groups for home educating families in Bucks and Oxon and organised many workshops and large group activities. I founded in 1996, and led for several years, the first ever (as far as we knew) home education group in South Buckinghamshire.
I came to appreciate the various reasons why parents choose to educate their children outside of schools, what their hopes and expectations are and to understand how I might help home educated students to achieve their best.
I started by helping some friends’ children with their exam courses and then began tutoring groups of home educators towards the CIE English Language exam in 2009. I teach these groups in family homes in, and within reach of, Oxford, where I live.
Although I am often asked to teach online or other distance learning courses, this is not something I would enjoy, I'm afraid. My groups thrive on the kind of interaction and immediate feedback which only a personal relationship can allow. There are many subtle benefits of small, in-person group membership which students, and their parents, enjoy and appreciate, not the least significant of which is immediate access to me before and after sessions, when they can ask me a question or have a quick chat.
I teach the following subjects:
The exam groups suit home educated teenagers with good pre-existing skills who would like a year (actually it’s just over 2 terms) of weekly exam tuition alongside others, to prepare them for an exam. Students will be keen on the subject, committed to completing weekly homework assignments and should enjoy learning in a group setting.
Additionally, I teach pre-exam groups at KS3 level in these subjects:
SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)
I recently started working with FareGos, an exam centre, the only centre in the UK run by and for home-educating families, as their SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), assisting primarily with Access Arrangements for exams.
I have set up several Facebook groups to support current students and the wider home education community, which anyone is welcome to join:
Dorothy Murphy Tutoring
Home Education ~ Towards English Exams
Religious Studies for Home Educators - O, A and IGCSE
EM, GC and DS IGCSEs for Home Educators
I have also set up the following discussion/ support groups:
Oxfordshire Home Educators
South Bucks Home Educators