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Alicia Tutors - English tutor in Milton Keynes and Northampton - also private tutoring in French and Italian

Alicia Tutors - English tutor in Milton Keynes and Northampton - also private tutoring in French and Italian

ONLINE or face to face tuition with Crofton Brierley

in the Northampton, Milton Keynes, Banbury and Rugby areas


Biology, Chemistry and Physics Tuition at AS and A2 levels and Science and Maths at GCSE


Crofton Brierley - Private tutor for Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Northampton, Banbury and Rugby areas

Call Crofton now on

01327 830770 or

07966 541611

My name is Crofton Brierley I am an experienced tutor in Physics, Chemistry and Biology both at GCSE and A level. I also teach Maths at GCSE.  I am a graduate of University College, Oxford where I read Biochemistry in 1975.  I have A levels in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Maths and am familiar with all the major syllabuses in these subjects. Having worked for over 15 years as a private tutor, I am able to tailor my lessons to the individual needs of the learner.  My wide knowledge of all the sciences enables me to explain the processes behind complex concepts, thereby helping the student to grasp the more advanced areas of their particular syllabus.  Exam success has resulted for many students through intensive one-to-one sessions, especially through coaching in exam technique by systematically doing past papers followed by intensive analysis of answers with the mark scheme.  It goes without saying that the learner's commitment to self-study and thorough revision is a key factor in achieving good results. For this reason the student should be prepared to commit to at least one hours home work each week. 


Online tuition (recommended)

The impact of Covid-19 on all sectors of the economy has been remarkable and not least in the impact it had of making private tutors change to online tuition.  This was an exciting development for me and using the Zoom videoconferencing platform, I have found online tuition very successful.  It will never be quite the same as face to face one to one tuition but the differences are, I believe, relatively small and more than compensated by the advantages which include:


  1. Parents do not have to deliver students for tuition
  2. Distance of tutor from tutee is not an issue
  3. Tuition times can be much more flexible especially during the day
  4. Regular tuition slots are hardly ever missed
  5. Students can email their homework in advance
  6. Illnesses especially flu and colds are less likely to be passed on


The disadvantages are:


  1. Free style writing during the session is slower
  2. Video links are occasionally poor where broad band coverage is poor
  3. Students may feel less engaged with the tutor
  4. Non verbal signals and body language between student and tutor may be harder to decipher


I would anticipate that more tuition will go online in future as technology improves and tutors and tutees become more comfortable with the technology.
The minimum requirement for a student to start on line tuition is a PC with a keyboard (tablets are feasible but much less convenient). Smart phones are really not adequate.  In addition a separate mouse and printer are essential.  A lot of tuition in science involves the student and tutor having access to the equivalent of pencil and paper so that drawings, equations (chemical and mathematical) and diagrams can be freely expressed.  This is hard to do (but not impossible) with a mouse but can be very successful if a small stylus and tablet are purchased.  These are little more expensive or difficult to install than a mouse and should be considered essential if more than ten online sessions are envisaged (I can give advice and guidance on this once tuition has started).  The Zoom software allows both the student and tutor access to an interactive white board where pages can be saved and recovered for revision later.  In terms of resources and homework, I will provide for download all the resources the student needs to revise and complete homework.  Usually this will involve the student printing out a set of questions on the topic they are covering.  They can complete these questions by hand with pen and ink and then scan /photograph the pages, to be emailed to the tutor in advance or if necessary during the next lesson.  Modern smartphones make this procedure remarkably straightforward.  The tutor is then able to mark the work and to interactively use the images to discuss, correct and critique the answers with the student.


Face to face Tuition (available)
I teach three one hour sessions every weekday evening and for two hours most Saturday mornings.  I teach during the day where possible, for instance where students have free periods.  Due to limited after school hours I do not travel any more.  Also teaching from my home means that I have all the resources I need readily to hand, especially a large screen computer and fast printer so that exam questions and homework can be quickly printed relevant to the work covered during each session.


Teaching style
While structured teaching of the syllabus is essential, online and face to face tuition allows great flexibility in the way topics covered at each session and lessons can thus be structured according to the student’s needs.  After many years of experience I have found this to be the most beneficial technique for tuition as it means the student is free to guide the lesson without feeling constrained by a rigid lesson plan prepared in advance. In general the topic being taught will already have been introduced to the student at school (although this is certainly not necessary) but where this is the case this allows the student to discuss freely the areas that have not been fully understood and for the tutor to present problems (usually in the form of exam questions) that the student can work through interactively with the tutor.   Answers can then be compared with a mark scheme greatly increasing the student’s confidence in examinations.
I have helped many students to achieve the grade they need for admission to their chosen University course, including helping many students into Medical and Veterinary College where A grades in Chemistry are mandatory. I have been a tutor to students at most local schools including Campion, Sponne, NSB, Northampton School for Girls, Northampton High School, Daventry Tertiary College and Wellingborough School as well as schools in Milton Keynes, Buckingham and Rugby,  I am experienced in the syllabus of all the major exam boards including OCR, Edexcel and AQA.  Many A level students start lessons with a private tutor after having been disappointed with their first year results and stay on through to their A level exams, often improving their grades by two or three places.  This works well on the basis of one hour's tuition a week and at least one hour homework.
Before becoming a self employed tutor and technical consultant I worked as an industrial research scientist in Electronic materials and Bioelectronics at the Plessey Research centre and then as a Department head (Nanotechnology Sensors) with GEC Marconi in Materials Technology until 2001.  I am the lead author on many scientific papers and patents. I also work as a consultant to the DTI and EU in Medical/physics research.  I am passionate about helping students to understand the importance of science in the modern world and how a degree in science can lead to the most rewarding of careers.
Crofton lives in Pattishall near Towcester, Northampton. He can be contacted at 01327 830770 or 07966541611 or by email using the contact form.