James Hazel


I did my degree in Accountancy at Exeter University, as I have always felt comfortable with numbers. They were either right or wrong and there was always a process to follow for getting something right.

After a while, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to do something more purposeful, something which had an impact on people’s lives. I trained to become a Primary School teacher at Oxford Brookes in 2007. It was here that I found my vocation.

During my PGCE, and ever since, I have rekindled my love of learning. I found I enjoyed learning new concepts and new skills. I fell back in love with English: how one sentence can have the power to change someone’s view. I fell back in love with Science: how some things can be explained and how others still need explaining. I became fascinated with Computing: understanding how coding works and how to build a series of simple instructions into something beautifully complex. I fell further in love with Maths: making concrete learning become abstract. I spent hours researching and learning about History and its impact on the lives we live today.

I have also become fascinated by discovering how people learn. It’s interesting finding out how the same lesson can be received in completely different ways by two different students.

I have spent many hours happily reading a variety of books on emotional wellbeing, on Psychology, on growth mindset, all to work out how to have the greatest positive impact on students.

Saying all this, nothing is better than really getting to know each student. It’s the main reason I became a Tutor. I enjoy talking with students about their greatest successes and how they deal with their biggest failures. I enjoy finding out what turns them off learning, and what reignites it. I love teaching meta-cognitively: helping the student to learn about their own learning.

This love of metacognition, linked with an understanding for children to build up confidence outside of the classroom, was the reason I trained to become a Forest School leader. In my spare time I still work as a Forest School leader, and if not, I’ll probably still be outdoors, doing gardening or making up games with my children.

Online Tutor James Hazel