Meet the Tutor: James Duckworth

Meet James, an A Levels tutor at Oaklands College since 2014.


Meet James, an A Levels tutor at Oaklands College since 2014. 

James specialises in teaching Government and Politics, History and Religious Studies. We sat down with James to give prospective A Level students joining the college this September the opportunity to learn more about him. 

So, James – Tell us about yourself.

“I’ve been teaching A Levels at Oaklands College since 2014, and specialise in Government and Politics, History, and Religious Studies. I bring academic expertise, plenty of experience, and a passion for my subjects to the classroom. I want my lessons to be engaging and enjoyable for the students, so like to encourage plenty of lively discussion and debate, particularly around topical and moral issues.” 

What are your lessons like?

“My lessons tend to be varied and – hopefully! – stimulating. We may start with recap quizzes and starter questions, and use technologies such as Spiral, Padlet, Quizlet and Kahoot. There is also a lot of active learning; for example, in Politics we do a ‘mock Parliament’ in which the students write and pass their own laws, or hold mock referendums on big issues. On top of this, when lockdown is finally over, I’m looking forward to our annual trips to Parliament and the Supreme Court again. One time we watched a rowdy debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn – that was an experience to remember.” 

What can Government and Politics students expect to learn?

“In Politics, we discuss everything from Trump to Anarchism and Capital Punishment, and in History we reflect on current issues such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ or the ‘MeToo’ movement in the context of historic civil rights and feminism in Britain and America. I want students to feel that they are being challenged, and are also welcome to challenge me and others, in a respectable and open classroom environment. All conventional thinking is open to debate; in Religious Studies, for example, both atheists and religious believers can expect to put their views to the test, engaging in real, rigorous philosophy.”

What do you like about teaching? 

“What I love about teaching A Levels is that there is always something new to be learned from my students. Teaching should not be a one-way street – we all have something to teach one another. That is what you can hope to get from A Levels at Oaklands College – a subject expert teaching you, but also one who is open-minded and ready to listen and learn from you as well.” 

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