Meet Kelsey – a GCSE maths tutor for Explore

March 30, 2022

Hey! I’m Kelsey and I’m going to be giving you a little glimpse of what my life is like as both a GCSE maths tutor with Explore Learning and a mathematics enthusiast! 

Mathematics is integrated and deeply rooted in my life, so much so that I take it as a degree at Durham University! I honestly struggle to think of a better way to spend my time other than learning more about a subject I love whilst simultaneously sharing my passion with other aspiring fearless learners, here at Explore Learning. So here we go!

Female tutor Kelsey completing university work in the library


What’s the difference between a mug and a doughnut?

I wake up in the mornings, for my lectures, ready to be amazed by some crazy abstract concepts. Some of my most favourite modules include: Algebra, Special Relativity & Electromagnetism, Complex Analysis… My absolute favourite has got to be Topology, however – the study of mathematical spaces and continuous deformation. I spend a lot of time outside my course doing further research in this field! The running ‘joke’ is that a topologist can’t tell the difference between a mug and a doughnut (under the laws of topology, they’re the same)! Make of that what you will. I usually have around 5 hours a day (on average) of in-person learning, these do vary of course depending on timetabling. 


Between my lectures and other activities, I like to spend my time in the library studying – ironic for a mathematician, I know. However, being the social bee I like to think I am, it’s a great space for like-minded students to pursue their journeys through academia as one! In addition to my love for mathematics, I also love music! In fact, I play the oboe, piano and organ – currently working on diplomas for each instrument. When I’m not with pen and paper in the library, you can find me on the piano! I’m really proud of my progress in musicianship – only a few years ago I performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London on the organ, a life experience I will forever cherish. Another chunk of my time is spent on languages! I love learning about other cultures and their languages (and food)! To date, I am learning: Mandarin, Japanese, Hindi, French and  BSL.

Female tutor Kelsey stood outside the University library


What is a mathematics enthusiast’s favourite dessert? Pi!

Recently, in the world of mathematics we celebrated Pi day (this occurs on March 14th as it is written as 3/14 which are the first 3 digits of Pi, 3.14). I took part in a recording with the famous mathematician and comedian, Matt Parker. We attempted to calculate pi the same way William Shanks did all by hand using division of numbers with 100+ digits! I won’t spoil the outcome, you should go see the video if you want to find out how it went! Taking part in public mathematics events like this is really important to me because I am presented with the opportunity to share my passion for the discipline to all corners of the world. Sharing my love of learning is one of things I love most about being a maths tutor

You may also be interested in: Maths resources for children

2 female mathematicians standing on either side of male mathematician


Always asking questions

Even when I was younger, mathematics had always played a big part in my life. Always asking further questions and showing lots of interest, I guess you could say my big appetite for food extends to that for knowledge as well! In particular, whilst studying for my GCSEs, I wanted to learn more and more… Until eventually, I wanted to explore topics outside of the syllabus. At the time, I couldn’t quite understand why I was one of very few who enjoyed learning mathematics;  it seemed that mathematics was always the notoriously difficult subject with no reason for being difficult! However, I always saw the joy in mathematics, and fell in love with its challenging antics.

From there, I had a burning desire to show my fellow peers that maths really can be fun. Fortunately for me, my teachers would often give me opportunities to lead examples on the board and explain topics in front of the class. These are experiences that I still cherish and motivate me to carry on sharing my passion. So that my younger peers can find the same level of enjoyment and achievement as I have in mathematics.


My journey with Explore

This leads to my involvement with Explore Learning, an opportunity I would be silly to not take! I first started my journey in 2018 working in the Burnley centre, I was really enthusiastic about Explore’s nurturing environment and making learning not only useful but fun! I had an amazing time there with all my wonderful tutor colleagues keeping me in check! Not long after joining, I started teaching specialist courses like the 11+ Tuition Course for examination preparation and mathematics workshops for all ages! Sadly, I had to say goodbye to the centre in Burnley when I moved to Durham to pursue my journey in academia at University… However, fortunately for me, the Newcastle centre wasn’t too far of a journey away! You won’t guess what I did from here!


I joined the Newcastle team, and from the very start, I got my hands stuck in! Taking up every opportunity thrown at me, eventually starting with the Mathematics GCSE tuition course. I could not wait to start, it was the perfect position for me to join! So after all the craziness that university has to offer, my afternoons and evenings are spent either in Newcastle or tutoring online all the fearless learners at Explore.

Most of my online tutoring consists of one-hour sessions via Microsoft Teams, in particular, the GCSE and 11 Plus courses whilst others are through Explore’s own learning programme, Compass. During my GCSE sessions, the students are very much in control of what they want to go through in each session. We can cover whatever they think will be most useful at the time – whether it’s a topic they’re particularly struggling with; a topic they want pushing in to reach full potential; going through homework from school; working on current topics at school… 

Tutor Kelsey smiling in her Explore Learning uniform


Let’s make learning fun

Making mathematics fun and enjoyable is the best way for one to make it more memorable, I believe. You may be asking: “How on Earth can mathematics be made fun?” Well, it’s the small things. For example, a small rhyme for 78, that is ‘7 times 8 is 56, oh no I dropped my sticks!’ very silly, but I still remember it after all these years. One of my most favourites to set as homework is to listen to The Circle Song! This song, quite surprisingly, sings about circles. Aiming to make the equations such as A=r2& C=d, and the parts of a circle easier to remember! When there’s a specific topic to go through, I will often check for the fundamental understandings via these fun mediums and then write my own questions to really hone on the specifics. Additionally, we use our Senior Curriculum Tool, a really great tool for practising and developing skills, whether they be old or new!


I always look forward to my sessions, as I get to see the phenomenal progress my students make over short periods of time. Not only do I get to see their progress but I see a new light inside of them whilst studying mathematics, showing enjoyment and pure ambition to study the discipline even further! One of my students said she really wanted to take further maths following a few sessions with me – something she said she would not have considered before her sessions with Explore. I was delighted to hear the news! 


You may also be interested in: GCSE maths revision resources and guides


Help your child get the GCSE results they deserve

I’m just one of the many maths tutors here at Explore who are all committed to helping children thrive in their education and beyond.  If you’re thinking about supporting your child ahead of their GCSE maths exam I highly recommend you get in touch and have a free trial with us!


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