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Mr Philip Penn

 Melbourne - Southbank

Specialist English Tutoring For VCE, Scholarship/Selective Entry Prep

Melbourne tutor in Creative Writing, English, English Literature, Essay Writing, Persuasive Writing, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning

Service areas

(41 student reviews)

Testimonial from Johnny Nguyen, recipient of VCE English Premier’s Award and perfect 50 study score in 2020: “Philip possesses a peerless approach to pedagogy and an unparalleled understanding of the intricacies of VCE English. Leading by example, he works hard to impart his love for the subject onto his tutees. Philip has assisted me tremendously to identify my weaknesses in my writing and has guided me to develop original and unique ideas which allow me to write with the flair required to maintain high A+ standards. No matter if you are a student aiming high, or if the sound of Shakespeare sends cold shivers down your spine, I am sure that you will benefit greatly from Philip's assistance.”

I graduated from Melbourne High School in 2018, achieving the highest study score in VCE English of my cohort. In 2019 and 2020, my highest scoring students received a perfect 50 study score. In 2019, 11 of my VCE English students achieved study scores above 40, with 3 achieving above 45. In 2020, 14 students achieved study scores of 40 and above.

In addition to VCE English tutoring, I have also had extensive experience and success in preparing students for scholarship and selective entrance exams, with several of my students receiving scholarships and entrance offers to top private schools and selective entry schools. I offer specialised training in persuasive/creative writing, reading comprehension, and verbal reasoning.

My lessons enable you to develop a plethora of unique insights and the ability to ‘think outside the box’ when analysing texts, which is an essential skill for any high achieving English student. You’ll immediately see the difference in being tutored by a former top scoring student who has personally written more than a hundred A+ sample essays and knows the latest VCE English study design inside out. I will help you read between the lines of your texts to generate masterful analysis that would impress any VCAA examiner, in turn helping you craft your very own A+ essays from scratch.

To complement your learning, I have an abundance of resources I could provide you with including many personally written sample essays and text notes. I also enjoy going the extra mile for my students and as such I’m more than happy to give feedback on practice essays even outside tutoring hours.

I’m highly familiar with and have tutored students in the following VCE English texts:

After Darkness
All the Light We Cannot See
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Black Diggers
Charlie’s Country
East West
I am Malala
In Cold Blood
Like a House on Fire
Much Ado About Nothing
Never Let Me Go
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
Nine Days
Photograph 51
Pride and Prejudice
Rear Window
Seven Stages of Grieving
Station Eleven
Stories We Tell
The Crucible
The Dressmaker The Lieutenant
The Golden Age
The Longest Memory
The Queen
The Women of Troy
Things Fall Apart

Currently, I offer both 1 on 1 sessions and group workshops for VCE English and scholarship/entrance exam preparation. Lessons are conducted either at my home in Southbank or online via Zoom.



11 VCE English students achieved SAC average of A+

8 students attaining 40+ study scores

3 students attaining 45+ study scores, 1 student attaining perfect 50 study score

3 students received offers Melbourne High School after attaining excellent results on the selective entry high school examination

1 student awarded 100% scholarship by Scotch College

1 student awarded 50% scholarship by Wesley College

17 VCE English students achieved SAC average of A+

14 students attaining 40+ study scores, 1 student achieving perfect 50 study score

1 student awarded 50% scholarship by Melbourne Grammar School

1 student received an offer from Melbourne High School

1 student received an offer from Nossal High School


Valid Working with Children’s Check (I'm cleared to work with children in Victoria until Dec-2023)

National Police Check


Private 1 on 1 Tutoring: $100 per hour
VCE English/Scholarship Prep Group Workshop: $40 for 1.5 hour




Joined Tutor Finder on 18-Dec-2018 (updated profile on 27-Jul-2021)
Tutoring Location
  • Online Tutoring
  • Phone Help
  • Tutor's Place in Southbank
  • Private & Group Tuition


Creative Writing (Primary, Secondary)
English (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary)
English Literature (Secondary)
Essay Writing (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary)

Other Subjects

Persuasive Writing, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning

"I was tutored by Philip for VCE English from the start of year 12 after receiving mediocre grades in year 11. Under Philip’s tutoring I received A+ for all my SACs in year 12 and achieved a final study score of raw 48. I can say without a doubt that Philip’s tutoring is extremely effective whilst also ensuring an enjoyable and fun learning environment. If you’re looking for an incredibly skilled and knowledgeable tutor who excels in just about every area of English, then Philip’s your man. Not only is he great at explaining key concepts, he has this unique ability to come up with sophisticated insights instantly which never ceased to amaze me during our classes. The essay writing insights you learn from Philip can’t be found anywhere else and my English teacher in year 12 was positively shocked when I used them in my essays. Throughout the year Philip went out of his way, going above and beyond to ensure I was learning to the best of my potential. He provided me with excellent resources such as his past essays and alternate text guides to enhance my knowledge of the current study design. He is brutally honest in giving feedback and has very high essay marking standards, which was just what I needed to push myself to the next level for year 12. As long as you put in the effort, I can attest that Philip will work just as hard if not harder to ensure that you get the best marks possible. In my mind he is THE one tutor that every VCE English student should learn from."

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