David is a scholar of literature, a published writer, a semi-professional musician, and a passionate teacher at both university and school level. After three happy years reading English at Cambridge, and after a successful spell in the publishing industry in the early 2010s, he has spent most of his adult life pursuing academic enquiry at UCL, from whom he received his PhD in 2020, and where he continues to teach. He loves communicating his subject to younger students: his pedagogy works to empower and inspire, to foster confidence, curiosity and enthusiasm, rather than to provide ready-made answers.
David has experience, success and expertise teaching from 11+ onwards. Working as an examiner each year for the ELAT exam – the standardised Oxbridge English Literature entrance exam, run by Cambridge Assessment – he has a thorough understanding of what the top universities are looking for in new students. He has a first-hand understanding, too, of how school assessment works, how exam boards function, and what they look for in a good paper. He knows how to use exam criteria as the basis of creative and organic work, rather than simply as a list of boxes to be checked. From his schooldays at St Paul’s School – and from his close relatives who teach at both Eton and Harrow – he also knows the top schools extremely well, and has an excellent track record with school entrance.
As well as teaching, he has a full and active creative life. He is currently working with Oxford University Press on turning his thesis – about modern and contemporary literature – into a book; his academic work has been published in leading journals Textual Practice, The White Review and by Bloomsbury books. He writes and publishes short fiction, has been shortlisted for The White Review’s prestigious short story prize for four years in a row, and is completing his first novel. He has worked part-time as a touring musician, a session musician, a composer and a concert promoter. As a one-time member of the Cambridge Footlights, he has also performed comedy in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London, and still occasionally script-edits and contributes to professional comedy. He likes to relax by cooking elaborate vegetarian meals, going for extremely long walks in the countryside, or meditating in his garden.
David is passionate about bringing ideas into the world, about facilitating deep thought and understanding, and using art and education to creation moments of contemplation and growth.