Tutoring Scheme

We offer free tutoring in A-level Maths and Physics to ambitious pupils at state schools who feel they could benefit from additional support to their learning, but may not have the means to access it. The scheme is run by student volunteers at the University of Leeds.

To apply, simply complete the registration form and email it to Si Chen.

For any other inquiries please also email Si, or any other member of the team.

The Team

Currently all our volunteers are members of the theoretical physics group in Leeds, and studying for their PhDs. You can see pictures of all the team here.

Si Chen (organiser)
Si is the lead organiser of the scheme, inspired by being part of a similar programme during her undergraduate degree at Imperial College, London. She is supported by a Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship, which aims to to encourage greater diversity in physics by assisting students from under-represented groups.

Rhea Alexander (tutor)
Rhea is based at the University of Leeds, but she is also associated with Imperial College, London.

Matthew Girling (tutor/IT)
Matt is passionate about ensuring everyone has an opportunity to learn in the way that best suits them, and the way they think; having struggled with dyslexia and dyspraxia during his A-levels. He is supported by a Royal Society Studentship at the University of Leeds.

Jean-Yves Desaules (tutor)
After completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at EPFL in Switzerland, Jean-Yves is now a PhD student at the University of Leeds with an EPSRC studentship. Having been a teaching assistant since his undergrad, he is always motivated to help people learn in the STEM field.


Who is it for?
We are looking for pupils in Years 12 and 13 across the wider Leeds area (meaning you can regularly travel to the University of Leeds campus).

We are looking for eager pupils at state schools that typically don’t send many applicants to Russell Group universities. If you are studying for A-levels and unsure if this is for you, please email us.

Who are the tutors?
We recruit from PhD, Master’s and final-year Bachelor’s students in maths and physics at the University of Leeds.

We aim to match pupils with tutors of the same gender, if they wish. While this may seem slightly old-fashioned, we are basing this on very positive experiences previously. If a pupil prefers to learn in a mixed-gender environment, they can indicate so on their registration form.

What modules do you cover?
We provide support for A-Level Physics, Core Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics.

When and where does it happen?
There is one after-school meeting per week taking place at the University of Leeds, Department of Physics in the Bragg Building. Specific details are communicated to registered participants via email.

Is there a lesson plan?
No, our experience is that it’s more effective to run “clinic-style” sessions focussing on pupils’ individual requests as they come in. As attendants, you simply bring in what you would like to work on for a session, e.g. a practice paper in mechanics, and we would do our best to support you.

Alternatively, if you are not working on any specific assignment, but want help with a particular unit, e.g. binomial distributions, we can revise that unit with you and address any questions you have. Our aim is to help you grasp a topic at a fundamental level. In our experience, as tutors and as students ourselves, this is the most efficient way to improve your grades.

What is the pupil-to-tutor ratio?
We aim to keep a ratio of 4 pupils to each tutor.

I am studying for a module that is not covered. Is there support?
Please email us with details about your module, and we will try to accommodate.

Why only A-levels?
A-level results are decisive for many pupils’ future because universities and employers base their decisions on them. At private (or grammar) schools, this is often a time of accelerated learning and intellectual development, which unfortunately can widen the gap to pupils without access to the same resources.

In the Leeds area, there are other organisations such as The Tutor Trust that cater to GCSE level and below.

What is your safeguarding policy?
We take responsibility for the safety and well-being of all young people attending the tutoring sessions. We follow the University of Leeds Safeguarding Policy for children, young persons and adults in vulnerable circumstances.

If any incident causes concern in respect of the welfare of a young person, it must be reported. It can be reported to our designated child safeguarding officer.

Further information

For pupils
If you are interested in attending, just fill in the registration form and email it to us. You will hear back from us soon!

For teachers
If you think pupils at your school could benefit from this programme, please pass it on to them and consider advertising it in classes, assemblies, notice boards, newsletters etc. We are also happy to visit your school and talk to students directly about the scheme.

We ask teachers to let pupils register themselves and not do it on their behalf. This is to ensure that pupils participate out of their own intrinsic motivation.

For volunteers
If you are a maths or physics student at the University of Leeds in the 3rd year of Bachelor’s studies or above, we would love to hear from you!

For charities
Our tutors work on a voluntary basis. However, there is a small cost in running the programme coming from reimbursing pupils’ travel and providing a light meal for them. If you would like to support us in reaching out to as many pupils as possible, please contact us. We will provide you with a budget and practice complete transparency in reporting how we have spent your money.