Graduating as a middle school teacher in 1989 (BEd Hons), I am now reaching nearly 30 years in education, the majority of these within mainstream settings.
As well as classroom teaching (key stages 1-3) until 2004, I have tutored many children who, for one reason or another, have lost confidence as a learner. By listening and responding to these amazing young people I discover and harness their strengths and interests and thread these creatively into learning schemes. These learning schemes are tailored to the young person’s aspirations as part of preparation for adulthood. For some this might be a mini-business theme or a topic of interest gradually working in the links to the relevant curriculum so that they can develop and sustain their independent learning skills.
Completing an MA in Education – Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education (2000-2005) followed by fifteen years of working as a Specialist Teacher with a local authority SEND service has provided many opportunities to extend understanding of the unique strengths and needs of a child through action research and classroom practice.
These personalised learning techniques become closer attuned to the needs of the young person through the use of specialist assessments that can indicate what might be missing in the understanding of the young person, their family and school.
These techniques are particularly relevant for children and young people who have anxiety to bring about improved self esteem and confidence as a learner.
For young people who have become disengaged from mainstream school the use of expressive arts alongside a personalised learning scheme can support emotional growth and social relationships. Certified in the evidence-based trauma and mental health approach (Trauma Informed Schools UK/ University of East London) I explore the issues with the young person indirectly through arts, other creative activities and psycho-education. Impact of this approach is measured using Motional among a range of person centred tools that capture progress in young people’s well-being.
In the last five years, working closely with children and young people with Selective Mutism I have felt compelled to combine my knowledge and skills of communication needs and social and emotional health to provide support for these young people who are often misunderstood.
From within the local authority I developed a multi-agency interest group to provide support to such young people and their families and schools. This service has been recognised by the local authority as making a difference and moving on from this group I can now provide the intensive support many of these young people need.
Other training and qualifications:
- Post Graduate Certificate in Speech and Language Difficulties
- Neuro-linguistic Programming in SEN Education
- Drawing and Talking therapy
- Core and Extension training in Selective Mutism by Maggie Johnson & Alison Wintgens
- Youth Mental Health First Aider (MHFA England)
- Paediatric First Aid
- Registered with The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service. Checks can then be made upon request.
- Trained as a Designated Safeguarding Lead.