Specialist Experience and Skills
CURRENTLY FULLY-BOOKED UNTIL JULY 2022
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... Read More
CURRENTLY FULLY-BOOKED UNTIL JULY 2022
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 teaching children 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 general specialist experience of teaching children with Learning Difficulties, complex needs and Special Educational Needs (SEN) including autism, language delay and Down syndrome: I am a qualified and highly-skilled specialist SEN teacher and autism advisor with over 10 years' experience and a BA (Hons) in Primary Education. In addition, I am currently working to become a child psychologist. I am passionate about supporting children with additional and complex needs to access the curriculum and thrive in the community. Over the last ten years, I have found myself working with children with various needs including autism, 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 play, sensory input, music, visuals and their special interests. A large proportion of my practice has included boosting motivation and self-esteem, developing engagement and focus, and enhancing 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 and have previously managed class teams, SALT’s, EP’s and OT’s to support the child holistically in accordance with the student's individual interests, and ensure I am using the most current strategies. A lot of my practise involves the use of visuals and a multi-sensory approach, ensuring learning is motivating and accessible.
My specialist experience of developing life skills and independence (including travel training, keeping safe in the community and emotional regulation): Throughout my career, teaching children to become safe, confident and independent young people has been my biggest priority. This work has taken place in a range of contexts, may it be looking after animals, assessing risk in the outdoors or safely getting to our local super market. Road safety, travel training and money management have also been key lessons for my students. Part of the work involved in being safe is around relationships, who is a safe adult and what to do if we are finding things tricky. This may be out in the community or with peers at school and, at this time, we also do a lot of work to support emotional regulation.
My specialist experience supporting with key transitions in life: Life is full of transitions. We have hundreds of transitions everyday that many of us would not even realise. We transition from our bed to the bathroom, maybe back to the bedroom then the kitchen and that is all before breakfast time. On a good day, these transitions may be manageable and, if things don't go to plan, we can cope. On a tricky day, this transitions may be impossible. Giving children skills to manage at these times is essential. In addition to these daily transitions we have out bigger transitions such as going from nursery to reception class, moving house or even moving country. For all children these transitions are filled with an array of emotion but for children who struggle to ask questions or process the information shared, these transitions can be very scary! A lot of my work involves supporting children with these big transitions through books, controlled exposure, planning and problem solving.
My specialist experience teaching children with attention, focus, resilience, 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 work as a specialist autism consultant/ coordinator: For the last three years I have worked as an autism advisor in London. This role has seen me advise mainstream schools as to how best support their children with additional needs, autism in particular. My role sees me advising on curriculum, assessment, schedules, strategies and sensory needs. This may be delivered as staff training, modelling, intervention work or through planning and reports. My work is always based on the ‘Plan, Do, Access, Review’ model. I have a very hands on approach and believe strongly in seeing projects as a journey. As the child’s needs change, we change.
My specialist experience writing lesson plans, creating educational learning plans and bespoke timetables in accordance with the UK National Curriculum; Over the last 10 years, I have worked with a range of ages and abilities. As a result, I have had to developed many individualised curriculums, learning plans and timetables for the the students. In more recent years, I have been supporting mainstream schools to do this work for their more complex students. This may involved differentiating the curriculum or developing bespoke curriculums.
My specialist experience of teaching children with communication, language and interaction difficulties, and/or sensory processing needs: 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, EP's, OT's and SALT to support children with communication, processing, sensory and physical needs. 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 Tobii Dynavox; Snap and Core First) and sensory diets. I find the most recent advances in High Tech AAC, extremely exciting and a life line for the students I teach. 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 teaching English (handwriting, writing, phoncics 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 through a play-based and early years (EYFS) 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. Whilst learning through play, children learn to problem solve, develop their resilience, manage conflict and work as part of a team. The discrete learning opportunities that takes place at these times are invaluable.
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 of supporting students with cerebral palsy: Whilst working as a teacher, I have supported several students with cerebral palsy in an educational and respite setting. I have supported students with a vary range of need and appreciate that every child's needs are different. I am passionate about ensuring my students are able to access an appropriate, exciting and engaging curriculum that often involves a multi-sensory approach. I am also passionate about taking the time to develop independence and life skills.