“Inspiring, dynamic and insightful.”
- Rugby School
My name is David Whitley, and I am a multi-disciplinary personal tutor – specialising in English – a published author and an all-round enthusiast!
I was born in Chester and attended The King’s School from 1996 to 2003, winning the school’s Westminster Medal before heading off to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, to read English Language and Literature. TV quiz fans may have spotted me on BBC2’s University Challenge where I was a member of the Corpus Christi team who became Series Champions in 2005!
I graduated from Oxford in 2006 with a Double First and a passion for learning and writing.
I am a lifelong writer of stories; at age 17 I was shortlisted for the Kathleen Fidler Award for a children’s novel, and at 20 I won the Cheshire Prize for Literature for a children’s short story. My debut novel, The Midnight Charter (Puffin) was published in over twenty countries, globally, and nominated for numerous awards including the Carnegie Medal 2010. It was followed by two sequels - The Children of the Lost and The Canticle of Whispers. If you are interested in my novels, then do visit my writing website, here.
But teaching was always my first love, and as part of my work as a children’s author, I began to give educational presentations at schools, libraries and other institutions up and down the country, including the prestigious Arvon Foundation where I taught creative writing. I found that responding to the varying needs of each school was incredibly rewarding – I loved the chance to combine together many different disciplines and areas of knowledge to illuminate subjects in a new way.
After gaining my MA from Oxford, I found I was receiving more and more local requests for personal tuition, and so I decided to focus on this career full-time – a decision which has been continuously fun, inspiring and hugely worthwhile.
For me, tutoring is all about finding the right key. One set of thought-processes may unlock how to gain marks in exams, another might allow you to see a work of literature in a new and exciting way. Whatever your knowledge, interests or confidence, I will find the tutoring style that suits you, personally.
Above all, I enjoy helping my students to see a subject in a broader context. Every student is different, and everything is connected – sometimes the best way to explore Hamlet is to take a sideways leap into fairy tales and the lives of Warwickshire glovemakers! Above all, I seek to take the things my students are already passionate about, and use them as a gateway. You might be surprised at how much the interests you thought were “useless” can be just what you need to unlock a deeper understanding of a subject, or give you a burst of confidence for that important interview.
I also firmly believe that no-one learns if they are not having fun - so expect plenty of jokes!