Blog, news and resources | Woolton Tutors

Business German tutoring – language skills in a changing world

We offer online business German tutoring for individuals and teams. Perhaps you are working for a German company? Or collaborating in one of Germany’s many academic or business sectors?

Germany leads in industry areas such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles, engineering and electronics, and  German is the most spoken native language within the EU. Having a functional understanding of “German for business” will help you to collaborate effectively with German partners and clients.

Our flexible online business German tutoring will help you:
  • Improve German language skills whether you are a beginner or sharpening your language skills.
  • Learn practical up-to-date phrases and vocabulary to help you communicate effectively with German partners and clients.
  • Prepare for relocation.
  • Practise German conversation in and around our taught sessions.
  • Strengthen and develop new and existing relationships.
  • Practise conversation around topics you suggest – preparing for a meeting or presentation perhaps (see below).
  • Improve your pronunciation and listening skills.
  • Increase your confidence when speaking German in person on during online meetings.
  • Learn the language in a way that is flexible to your schedule.
  • Get expert help in proof-reading important emails or reports.
Business German tutoring to prepare for a number of situations:business German
  • Important meetings
  • Job interviews
  • Professional development
  • Team building
  • Relocation
  • Advancing your career in a multinational company


Prices start from £50 per hour – please get in touch to discuss your needs.

Sessions are hosted by Sammy Ankers. I am an experienced modern foreign languages teacher, and a former Head of German with a 1st class degree in German.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Woolton Tutors

Sammy Ankers is a specialist in online modern foreign languages tutoring
Italian | French | Spanish | German at  Woolton Tutors

Woolton Village, Liverpool, UK and online.


How to revise for A-level biology (and everything else)

Students often ask for advice on how to revise. Learning is different from understanding, but we need both to get the marks in exams. We can prepare for different questions, like describe and explain, evaluate or application A-level biology questions. But sometimes there is no avoiding it – there is also a lot to learn. So how best to do it?

Here are a few tips for how to revise effectively. (I’m using “How to revise for A-level biology” as an example here, but these tips can be applied to other subjects, too): Continue reading “How to revise for A-level biology (and everything else)”

Online Italian lessons for couples

Ciao! We offer online Italian lessons for individuals and couples. These have been very popular in recent years, with Italy a well-loved travel destination, while Italian culture and food gets a warm abbraccio in the UK. Learning Italian with your partner brings a little more of Italy into your life.

Why not book an Italian taster session as the perfect Christmas gift? 🎄 🇮🇹

Couples’ sessions cost £50 per hour.

Sessions are hosted by Sammy Ankers. I am an experienced modern foreign languages teacher and I love Italy.

Our tutee couples really look forward to our sessions, where they can sit back, relax, and learn the language in a fun but practical way. Our job is help you have fun learning together – a new hobby! – and leave you prepared and confident for your next trip to Italy.

Couples’ Italian lessons are completely flexible to you, but they can involve:

  • Practical phrases and vocabulary to help you on your next trip to Italy.
  • Tools to practise Italian conversation with your partner (this can be a lot of fun!)
  • Conversation practice around your favourite topics – cookery, culture, or even your last holiday.
  • A chance to relax and slip into Italian language and culture.
  • Boosting your confidence, improving mental function and even delaying dementia.
  • While you’re having fun, you are also learning a skill that may be attractive to future employers.

Single taster sessions or blocks of sessions can be given as a gift – an ideal way to start your new hobby together!

Get in touch to book an Italian taster session as a last-minute Christmas gift and start 2024 with something new.

We wish you all a peaceful Christmas, and all the best for 2024.

Buon Natale!

Sammy, John and Woolton Tutors


Sammy Ankers is a specialist in online modern foreign languages tutoring
Italian | French | Spanish | German at  Woolton Tutors

Woolton Village, Liverpool, UK and online.


Five practical ways to help your child with exam stress

Exams, class tests and mocks can be stressful. For better or worse, they’re often a test of resilience as much as knowledge. Parents can help in a number of ways to manage their child’s exam stress.

It might not be easy – your child may “push back”. Explain that you want to help; perhaps show them this post. Hopefully you’ll find something useful here that you can work on together.

  1. Remember that they are the expert on the subject, so you don’t need to be.

Often parents ask me how they can support their children in subjects like maths or biology if they themselves didn’t take them at school (or if they did, it was a long time ago). To provide support, you don’t need to be experts – your children already are. Instead, you can be their “spotter” – like a gym buddy! Ask them what they need to work on, what list of facts they need to know and surprise them with questions out of the blue. While you aren’t providing teaching, you are motivating and encouraging your child.

  1. Help with time-keeping and list-making.

Students approaching exams often have a lot on their mind, so practicalities like organisation and time-management get pushed aside. Here, parents can help massively with their child’s exam stress.

Gently help them to create a working routine – ask which topics they feel they need to prioritise and help them to make a list. Keep referring back to this list (even if you don’t know anything about the topics yourself – this doesn’t matter!). If they are frustrated with a topic ask them if the issue is knowledge (“making it stick”) or understanding (do they “get it”?). Breaking topics down in this way helps your child to prioritise and manage issues. Sharing these lists is also a great way to work alongside teachers and tutors – it gives us something to focus on in the next tutoring session. Continue reading “Five practical ways to help your child with exam stress”

How to prepare for mock exams in Liverpool Schools

While we’re helping students nationally and internationally, we’re also working with local Woolton and Liverpool-based GCSE and A-level students facing mock exams just before or just after the Christmas break.

Students attending schools like Calderstones School, The Liverpool Bluecoat School, St Edwards, Belvedere and Life Sciences UTC might be wondering what the mocks are, how to prepare, and what the point of them is? Well, ok – let’s answer those questions:

Mock exams – what are they?

Both GCSE and A-level courses have mock exams designed to mimic the experience of the formal exams at the end of your course. The difference is they are not assessed nationally, but by your school. The school can choose their own dates, and also to set the content for the test.

Mock exams – how do I prepare?

Your teachers will give you a list of topics that may come up in the mock exams. If you’re in the first year of your course, this list may be pretty short. During revision, make sure you understand the topics on the list, then: practise, practise, practise! Find past papers on the exam board’s website (here is AQA and Edexcel). If you’re in the first year, stick to “paper 1” and skip any questions on topics that aren’t on your revision list.

Mock exams – what’s the point?

Mock exams give you valuable experience of the exam setting – questions against the clock in a room with your classmates. Take advantage of the chance to test yourself. Yes, your teacher will record your marks and follow you progress but that’s only to help you. Don’t be put off by the idea of the exam – treat it with curiosity – how well do you actually know the subject?

Good luck to all of our students, from home here in Liverpool or abroad and around the world. Hope your mocks go well.

Of course if you’d like some help preparing we can help with GCSE maths and sciences and A-level biology tutoring.

Dr John Ankers
Woolton Tutors

John grew up in Liverpool, went to Bishop Martin Primary School, The Liverpool Blue Coat School, The University of Liverpool for an undergraduate degree, and back again for a PhD. He set up Woolton Tutors in 2014. He is also a parent governor at Woolton Primary School.

How to answer A-level biology “describe” and “explain” questions

The wording of A-level biology “describe” and “explain” questions is  important.  Often when people lose marks in exams, it’s not due to being completely wrong, but slightly wrong – the answer might make perfect sense, but miss the point of the question. Very frustrating!

I’ve written about how to answer A-level biology evaluate questions, and application questions, but what about “Describe” and “explain” questions? What’s the difference? What does each question want from you?

Answering A level biology Describe Questions

“Describe” questions want to know what is happening in front of you – perhaps in a graph, a scientific diagram or a picture. You need to describe what you can see!

Describe and explain questions in A-level biology
A typical A-level Biology graph. Describe – What can you see? Explain – Why does it look like this?

Imagine the examiner doesn’t know any biology and can’t see the paper – your job is to tell them what’s going on. What is the line in the graph doing? What is the plant in the picture above doing in response to sunlight?

The line may show a relationship between two variables – look for their names on the axes of a graph. Can you see a correlation between temperature and enzyme activity? Or, for the plant picture, the bend of a plant and the light levels around it?

Steer clear of using “it” in your descriptions – use scientific names instead. “The gradient of the line is…” or “the line representing enzyme activity flattens after…

Keep an eye on the number of marks the question is worth – these will tell you how many details you need to mention.

Answering A level biology Explain Questions

Explain questions want to know why something is happening. You may still have a graph in front of you, but why does it look like that?

Focus on scientific explanation – what is going on “behind the scenes”? If the graph is of enzyme activity, we might talk about how the enzyme meets the substrate and the effect of temperature on how often this happens – explaining why the graph points upwards.

Use clear language here, too. Instead of “it” use the correct names for whatever you are writing about. Clear language doesn’t have to involve lots of scientific words. The idea is that your points logically follow each other. This happens, then this happens… so in the graph this happens.

Use the word “because” in your answer – it’s a good way to focus yourself on the explanation rather than the description.

Answering A level biology “describe and explain” Questions

Some exam questions ask you to both “describe and explain”. Here you can be methodical – look at the number of marks for the question and divide it in half. This is the number of points you need to mention, including a description and explanation for each.

Remember for each pair of marks – first describeWhat does this look like?” then explainWhy does it look like that?”

Answering A level biology Suggest questions

Some questions may ask you to “suggest an explanation” for a graph or an event in the text. This is slightly different to an “explain” question as it gives you a little more freedom.

There may be multiple reasons why something behaves as it does, or why a line flattens on a graph. Your job here is to pick a theory than makes sense, then argue how and why it explains what’s going on. The mark scheme will likely have lots of flexibility to allow for whichever explanation you choose.

Good luck!

If you’d like to work through some A-level biology describe and explain questions, from exam boards like AQA, please get in touch with me at Woolton Tutors, and we can set up some online biology tutoring sessions.

Best wishes,


Dr John Ankers

Specialist online A-level biology tutor and academic wellbeing coach

How to move from GCSE to A-level – tips for students and parents

A-levels can be a big step up from GCSE. There are more details, more depth and often some satisfying answers to questions left over from earlier lessons. For this reason, A-level subjects can feel like they make more sense than GCSE courses, while being more challenging.

Students sometimes wonder how to prepare for this leap. Parents often ask how they can best support their child in moving from GCSE to A-level, especially in subjects they themselves didn’t study at school. Don’t worry!

The transition to A-level doesn’t need to be scary, and what happens at home can be a big help – you may even have fun doing it.

Keep the end in sight when moving from GCSE to A-level

The good news is that, like GCSE, each A-level exam course has a clear path – its specification. Often, students are aware each exam board (AQA, Edexcel, OCR etc.) provides a course specification but often they don’t make use of it. It’s there for you to download. Treat it like a reference guide – it might not be bedtime reading, but it shows you where you are and what’s coming up. It also has some tips for what the exam questions will look like.
(As an example, here is a link to the AQA A-level biology specification) Continue reading “How to move from GCSE to A-level – tips for students and parents”

Online GCSE maths revision sessions

We’d like to welcome you to our online GCSE maths revision sessions for small groups (complimenting our one-to-one tutoring). You can connect however you want – with camera, voice chat, or just watching the session – from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you want to support your maths learning with a weekly session, or practice towards a test, mock exam or resit, these sessions are designed to help.

Continue reading “Online GCSE maths revision sessions”

Online tutoring for expat children – is it right for you?

For expat students, online tutoring offers flexibility and the  comfort of learning from your own home. With a recent increase in popularity, online education allows expat students to take their pick from a huge choice of international qualifications (such as British/ UK International GCSE and International A-levels).

Expat families often hire online tutors to complement school learning with one-to-one support, wherever they are in the world.

Here we look at the pros and cons of hiring an online tutor for your children, and how to find the right tutor for you. I hope to give you the benefit of my experience as an online tutor and consultant specialising in science and maths tutoring for expats. Continue reading “Online tutoring for expat children – is it right for you?”

A-level biology summer school – get a head start on next year

We’re running our online A-level biology summer school to help you get a head start on the new school year.

Whether you’re making the transition from GCSE to A-levels (and we have a blog that may help), or heading towards your exam year and the more detailed topics in Year 13, I can help!

Our online A-level biology summer school offers you:
  • Friendly, one-to-one daytime sessions available between June to August at a reduced price compared to term-time sessions. (£55 compared to £75)
  • Alternatively, our weekly masterclass sessions with a small, friendly group will also be running throughout the summer. (£30 compared t0 £35)
  • Help and Q&A available in-between sessions as always for my students.
  • Sessions are flexible around you and your summer holiday plans 🙂
For A-level Biology students about to start Y12 (AS):
  • Get a head start on biological molecules, cells, DNA and other topics you’ll meet in the first year of A-level biology.
  • Gently make the transition from GCSE to A-level, seeing where the course builds on what you already know.
  • Get answers to any questions you might have about the course, or the science itself.
  • Top up your maths skills ready for the “maths for biologists” aspect of the A-level course.
  • Explore the different types of questions that come up in mocks, class tests and the A-level exams themselves.
  • Put A-level biology topics into context, reflecting on the latest research, career ideas, and university prospects.
For A-level biology students entering Year 13 (A2):
  • Recap your Year 12/ AS biology learning, with “troubleshooting” on any topics you find challenging.
  • Get a head start on Year 13 topics that delve deeper into DNA, genetics and the nervous system.
  • Work on skills you need for the A-level biology exams –
    Learning (approaching and remembering biological “facts”)
    Understanding (feeling comfortable and confident with the processes of life)
    Presenting (putting your knowledge on paper in a way that gets you the marks you deserve)
  • Focussing on the assessment outcomes (AO) of the major exam boards.
  • Work on specific aspects of the exam, such as “evaluate” questions, “application” questions and exam technique.
  • Practice and receive feedback on answers to longer questions (or essays for AQA paper 3).
  • Boost your confidence ahead of the new term.

If this sounds useful, get in touch for a chat about your needs and we’ll take it from there.

All the best,


Dr John Ankers is a specialist online A-level biology tutor, coach and writer