Q&A with Community Member, Hazel Barnett

We speak to Hazel Barnett, Community Member and one of the most experienced tutors we’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.

This is the fifth in our series of Q&As with Community Members to explore our community and what skills, advice and support it can bring you. 

To join our free community, click here.

We can’t wait to see you here.


1) What is your academic background?

I studied Chemistry from 1976- 1980 at Jesus College Oxford and gained a second class honour’s degree. My Master of Education degree was from 2005-2010 part time. I also qualified as an exam access arrangements assessor (CPT3A course, Real Training).

2) What subjects do you specialise in?

GCSE Maths and Chemistry. Literacy support (Key Stage 3). I studied dyslexia as part of my M.Ed. and this has been helpful in all my teaching/tutoring.

3) What is your favourite thing about tutoring these subjects?

I have tutored far more Maths than Chemistry, even though Chemistry is my degree subject. I love explaining Maths to students who feel very anxious or have other barriers to learning. A colleague and I ran Literacy Support groups in school and this was very rewarding.

4) What skills have you learnt in your tutoring experience?

So many! I am picking up new skills all the time!

When I started tutoring in 1991, my approach was quite traditional: studying a topic, doing some examples, doing past papers. I still include these aspects, but I feel I have more in my toolkit now: starters, multi-sensory tasks, games. I’m just getting to grips with online tutoring.

I’m starting to use Bramble more and more, but still getting to grips with it …

5) Why do you believe tutoring to be so effective?

Tutoring provides a safe environment where a student can learn. An anxious brain doesn’t learn very well and some students feel very anxious in a classroom situation.

They are afraid to ask questions in case they look foolish in front of their peers.

6) Name one game that you like to play in your tutoring sessions.

Countdown! I used this a lot in school and would like to introduce it into my tutorials soon.

7) What one word would you use to describe your tutoring?


8) Lastly, if you could interview one famous person, who would it be?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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