Specialist Experience and Skills
As a qualified and highly-skilled specialist teacher with a BA (Hons) in Primary Education, I am passionate about supporting children with additional needs including those with processing disorder, ADHD/ ADD, autism (Asperger's/ high-functioning) and dyslexia, to access the curriculum and thrive in the community. Over the last ten years, a large proportion of my practice has included developing focus, concentration and attention skills, processing skills, organisational skills and self-regulation skills. Supporting children to develop communication and interaction skills and social skills is al... Read More
As a qualified and highly-skilled specialist teacher with a BA (Hons) in Primary Education, I am passionate about supporting children with additional needs including those with processing disorder, ADHD/ ADD, autism (Asperger's/ high-functioning) and dyslexia, to access the curriculum and thrive in the community. Over the last ten years, a large proportion of my practice has included developing focus, concentration and attention skills, processing skills, organisational skills and self-regulation skills. Supporting children to develop communication and interaction skills and social skills is also something I throughly enjoy. I work extremely closely with class teams, SALT’s, EP’s and OT’s to support the child holistically and ensure I am using the most current strategies. Over the years, I have found myself working with children with various complex needs including processing difficulties, autism including high-functioning, focus, concentration and attention challenges, Down's Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Demand avoidance, SEMH, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Tourettes and Anxiety. I often gravitate to the children who are having a particularly tricky time may it be sensory, communication, emotional regulation or learning. I find myself being able to find ways of communicating and engaging children through sensory input, music, visuals and their special interests.
How I work: I pride myself on ensuring there are high, but realistic, expectations in place. I do so by implementing long term and short term targets, focusing on how we are going to get there and what progress will look like throughout. I believe that a child can only achieve by providing an engaging, safe, learning environment and most importantly, ensuring the child is ready to learn. I provide the child with a structured, well resources and appropriately pitched learning experience. The sessions will be well planned and planning will be used to inform the next steps.
My specialist experience of teaching children with Autism (including high-functioning), Sensory processing and communication and interaction difficulties: I have worked as an ASC specialist for the last six years. This includes me oversee the ASC provision in a 2-19 special school and now working as a SEN advisor for children aged 2-19 in the mainstream setting. I have spent the last ten years working directly with CAMHS, OT and SALT to support children with autism and associated difficulties. I would say this is my biggest passion and I spend a lot of my own time researching most recent practise, research and strategies. By doing so, I can implement strategies that engage the child and allow them to succeed in school and the community. I tailor my strategies and approaches according to each child's individual needs. I have a great deal of experience of implementing and using SCERTS, PECS and High Tech AAC (such as Snap and Core First) and sensory diets. I have also worked with children to develop higher level communication skills such as; body language, peer pressure, assertiveness and asking for help.
My specialist experience of teaching children with processing and comprehension difficulties: I have spent the last three years specifically, working extremely closely with EP and SALT teams to find and familiarise myself with the most appropriate and accessible processing and comprehension resources for Reception, KS1 and KS2 children. Teaching children to break down tasks and explore different ways of processing information is such an empowering and beautiful skill to watch them develop. Trying to make comprehension resources and activities fun, engaging and accessible has become a new passion that I have found. Children I have worked with and implemented different approaches with are showing progress and many are developing a new found love of reading and learning.
My specialist experience teaching children with attention, focus, organisational and concentration challenges, including ADHD: Having worked with children in specialist settings, developing attention, focus and organisational is something that is part of my everyday practise. Over the years, I have developed a bank of resources and strategies to allow the child to access learning. These strategies may have originated from SALT, OT or EP recommendations. I work hard to ensure that not only do I, as the adult, have the skills and resources to enable the child to learn but also that I teach the child the skills they need to become an independent learner. I am passionate about sharing successful strategies with all settings that the child access.
My specialist experience teaching English (handwriting, writing and reading) and Maths: I have had a lot of experience working with children with 'spikey' profiles in both maths and English. Many of these children have anxieties around maths and English, particularly when it comes to putting wonderful ideas down on paper. After finding out where the gaps are, through assessments, school feedback or other professionals feedback, I would carefully plan and deliver lessons accordingly. Assessments throughout the sessions would then inform planning for the next steps. I ensure learning is engaging through the use of concrete objects, technology, multi-sensory approaches, visuals, appropriate scaffolding and special interests. If puppets or Lego are motivating, we will be using puppets and Lego. If the child likes to sing and dance, you will find us singing and dancing. If they like to rap, we will be rapping. Being creative and child led is where it must all begin. As a result, the child achieves academically but, most importantly, with confidence and increased self-esteem. Writing becomes a positive experience and reluctancy becomes but a memory. Sharing the targets and progress is important and ensuring there are opportunities to consolidate skills in a range of contexts is something I am passionate about.
My specialist experience teaching children with behavioural needs, lacking in confidence, with low self-esteem, anxiety and emotional regulation difficulties including the use of Growth Mindset approaches: I am passionate about supporting children to become confident young people. I have worked closely with CAMHS for the last ten years supporting children with anxiety and emotional regulation difficulties. This includes developing the Zones of Regulations and implementing it accordingly, in a 2-19 school. It also includes the use of a ‘Growth Mindset’ approach. Teaching our children resilience, a love of learning and a way of thinking that will empower them moving forward. Training as a Child and Adolescence Psychotherapist has also provided me with a new skill set and approaches to supporting children who have difficulties with self-esteem and anxiety. Developing a better understanding of themselves, exploring why those worries occur and how best to manage them is something that I spend a lot of time reading further about. I have a vast range of resources, including some I have developed myself, that can be shared with the child, family and team to support the child further.
My specialist experience of preparing children for 11+ exams: Over the last two years, in my role as an SEN advisor, I have supported families to explore exam preparation particularly with 11+ exams in mind. Whilst I have not tutored a child through this process, I would endeavour to provide fun, engaging sessions to develop appropriate maths, English and reasoning skills ensuring they are ready to carry out their exam to the best of their ability.
My specialist experience of teaching children with Learning Difficulties: I have taught children with learning difficulties throughout my whole teaching career. In my early years of teaching, working directly with LD CAMHS, prepared me well and gave me a strong understanding of how best to support children with learning difficulties. A lot of my practise involves the use of visuals and a multi-sensory approach, ensuring learning is motivating and accessible.
My specialist experience teaching through an EYFS (reception) curriculum approach: In my third year of teaching, I worked in a KS2 class for children with Down syndrome, LD, ASC and many other additional needs. They accessed a classroom that was typical of a KS2 mainstream class. After a few weeks of trying to motivate and engage the children, I felt something wasn't quite right. My first few years of teaching was in a Reception/KS1 class and I loved it. The children accessed provision areas, learning through play and often, not even realising they were learning! Suddenly the fun of learning had disappeared. This is when I developed provision areas in my KS2 classroom and the impact was phenomenal. The children were ecstatic to come into the classroom and learning was no longer a battle. Learning through play is such a magical experience and one I strive to provide for children.