About Me

Highly experienced Teacher / Tutor for 30+ years, experience working with children and young adults with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other additional needs. Previous experience working in Mainstream Schools (Primary and Secondary), Special Schools (Primary and Secondary), PRU, Hospital Schools, Higher Education Institutes and the home of the child.

£85.00 Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions

Specialist Experience and Skills

Summary:
• Qualified teacher with QTS
• Highly experienced Teacher / Tutor for 30+ years
• I have spent the last 16 years working as a SEN teacher with the Primary and Secondary age range
• I have worked as a Tutor with adults, developing personalised Reading, Writing and Spelling Programmes of Learning
• I have specialised in working with children with autism (including high functioning) and dyslexia
• I have worked in Mainstream Schools (Primary and Secondary), Special Schools (Primary and Secondary), PRU, Hospital Schools, Higher Education Institutes and the home of the chi... Read More
Summary:
• Qualified teacher with QTS
• Highly experienced Teacher / Tutor for 30+ years
• I have spent the last 16 years working as a SEN teacher with the Primary and Secondary age range
• I have worked as a Tutor with adults, developing personalised Reading, Writing and Spelling Programmes of Learning
• I have specialised in working with children with autism (including high functioning) and dyslexia
• I have worked in Mainstream Schools (Primary and Secondary), Special Schools (Primary and Secondary), PRU, Hospital Schools, Higher Education Institutes and the home of the child.
• I can teach online to any location and face to face in certain locations
• My students find me to be a friendly and patient Tutor, who can motivate and engage them on a fun and positive learning journey

Whilst completing my Teacher Training at the University of Lancaster, I enjoyed the challenge of furthering my knowledge in my two main Subject areas. However, I found myself engaged and feeling ‘a sense of belonging’ whilst completing a placement at a local Primary Special School. For one morning, each week, I worked individually with children supporting their Literacy and Numeracy Needs. This session became the highlight of my academic week. As I reflect on my Teacher Training, this placement confirmed to me that I wanted to work in the field of Special Education – there I would be fulfilled as a teacher. I remain as passionate and committed to teaching SEN today, as I did then.

A second important factor that influenced my desire to teach in a SEN setting is that both my sons, now adults, are autistic. The youngest is also dyslexic – the eldest was only recently diagnosed with high functioning autism, having gone through school and University with unidentified indicators. Whilst it was challenging and frustrating to be a parent of a child with special needs, placed in a mainstream school – it gave me a real insight and understanding from both perspectives in the learning process, from that of a parent and as a teacher.

My first teaching post was at a Secondary School in Suffolk, where I taught Religious Education and History to KS3 / KS4 level. I also taught Maths to lower sets in KS3 – teaching in smaller groups and with individuals allowed more personalised learning to meet the young person’s individual needs. As a teacher, I was able to spend more time going over mathematical subject areas that the pupil may not have understood or grasped, giving them the opportunity for more practice and over-learning.

As an Educational Practitioner, I welcomed the opportunity to extend my teaching skills working within Post 16 Education. The teaching role, based in Runcorn, involved working with young people aged 16 - 18, supporting their post education journey - we covered 'Life Skills', which included Money Management, developing Independent Living Skills, applying for Employment, Training or Voluntary Roles and Access to Appropriate Living Accommodation.

I returned to teach in Primary mainstream education, until I took an extended break to bring up my children. In 2004, I decided to return to teaching and completed a six month ‘Primary - Return to Teaching Course’ at Hope University, Liverpool, this included an extended voluntary teaching placement in a local Primary School. The completion of the course enabled me to update my knowledge, skills and practices based around the National Curriculum Key Stages. My first SEN role was working as a Home Tutor with excluded pupils in the local area, based in their own homes. This was a challenging role, as often pupils had experienced underlying social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, together with other learning difficulties. Many pupils were disengaged with learning, as a tutor I would have to work patiently to break down any potential barriers by re-engaging them as a learner. As a teacher, I would be non- judgemental towards previous negative episodes they had perhaps experienced in school and would work to build a positive relationship with the pupil and their family. The pupil’s own interests would often be a good starting point to enable them to re-engage in the learning process.

My initial post as a Home Tutor developed into the role of Behaviour Support Teacher for 8 years at a Short Stay School, again working with excluded pupils. I was able to adopt the same teaching strategies I had deployed in my one to one role but extend them to small group work. I demonstrated that I could be flexible and adaptable in my planning skills, often thinking ‘on my feet’, devising emergency lessons with little planning and few resources. I also regularly made my own teaching resources, ensuring that each subject and task was differentiated to meet the needs of the pupil. Although the pupil had often displayed unacceptable behaviour at their own school, this often-masked other underlying learning difficulties.

Whilst working in this post, I supported pupils with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and Mental Health Difficulties, in a teaching and mentoring role. As the pupils often presented with challenging behaviour during lessons, I demonstrated strong behaviour management in calming the situation and distracting the pupil/s involved. I received training in Conflict Resolution, whilst in this teaching post, this enabled me to respond in a non judgemental manner. This process may involve talking quietly to those involved, possibly outside the classroom and making sure that the other remaining pupils were safe and no further threat was presented. The pupil involved was often taken to a quiet room to calm down and a more senior staff member would talk to them about their behaviour - what had triggered it, how they felt and any possible consequences. I was also trained in Team Teach this enabled me to support a pupil and remove them to a more appropriate place. This practice was often supported by a teaching colleague, also trained in Team Teach. An important part of this teaching role centred on developing strategies to enable the young person to understand their emotions  and reactions (this was particularly relevant to a pupil diagnosed with ADHD). This may result in the pupil displaying exaggerated emotional reactions, including bouts of anger, distress, over reactions and accusations. Acting in a Mentor role, I would try to act in a calm manner, suggesting strategies that would enable the pupil to handle any conflict situation by considering possible triggers and building more tolerant reactions. Although this was often a challenging teaching role, it was also hugely rewarding when the pupil returned to mainstream education positively or went on to complete further training or enrolled on a College Course.

Whilst working as a Medical Needs Teacher for 9 years in two Hospital Schools based in Birkenhead and Bolton, I was able to extend my teaching skills working on a one to one basis with pupils who were too ill to attend mainstream school. Often the pupils were seriously affected by their condition and this would impact on their ability to learn, they may be too tired, withdrawn, show little focus or motivation or be affected by the treatment they were receiving, including experiencing nausea. This often necessitated a flexible and understanding approach to teaching. This role involved me teaching the full Primary and Secondary Curriculum, including the Core Subjects up to GCSE Level.

I have an extended experience of teaching children with complex and high functioning autism. As part of my continuing CPD and a desire to extend and develop my awareness of possible difficulties that autistic young learners may experience, I have completed the National Autistic Society’s 5 Essential Core Training Modules. I regularly seek to update my training and awareness of new and improved education strategies to support learning for children with autism. I recently taught a Year 7 pupil in a one to one alternate setting – he had been excluded from mainstream education, was autistic and dyslexic. He had experienced great difficulties in transitioning from a close- knit Primary School to a Secondary School, where he became overwhelmed. He felt isolated, choosing not to interact with other pupils in lessons, sports or break times. His behaviour became unpredictable and erratic as he became increasingly withdrawn. Following an incident of unacceptable behaviour, he was excluded and referred for alternate tuition from the Local Authority. My first teaching strategy was to try and build a positive relationship with him, re-engaging him in learning. I started by talking to him about his own interests and built a curriculum around those. We were still able to cover the 3 Core Subjects, but the content was more personalised, differentiated and appropriate to his needs. The pupil struggled with social interaction with children and adults, unaware of any inappropriate verbal exchanges or behaviour. To overcome these difficulties, I used Social Stories to explain a situation in a more visual format, with the use of more age appropriate vocabulary. He also struggled with social anxiety, not wanting to be involved in any situation where he did not know others or fearing something unexpected might happen. As the pupil became more settled into a routine and a positive relationship began to build, I built in one to one sports session at a local Sports Centre, where we would play Badminton together. The pupil did not have to mix directly with other people but did have the chance to observe social interaction between others – he eventually became confident enough to order his own drink in the café and pay for it. The pupil responded well to a consistent learning timetable within the classroom but found it hard to cope with any last- minute changes to his routine. Where possible, I would inform him of any changes ahead of time, explaining them clearly and ensuring that he felt comfortable with them. I presented his personalised timetable in a visual format, using pictures to match the activity – I also had a larger, visual timetable displayed on the wall. When we had completed one activity, we would remove the picture from the Velcro picture timetable – this way he knew that we had finished that task and were moving on to another learning task.

Many of the teaching resources used were visual in format, as the pupil was a visual learner – I also used card games for both English and Maths tasks. Whilst teaching I deployed short and clear instructions, giving the pupil extra time to process the task audibly / visually and respond. The opportunity to over-learn was an important teaching strategy, allowing the pupil a chance to practice the new concept until he felt confident in the application. The pupil enjoyed using technology in his learning and as a result I incorporated the use of fun Maths Games on a KS2 / KS3 Maths learning platform. As a teacher, I was also aware of the pupil’s possible sensory overload and the reaction it may cause. His parents had informed me that their son was hypersensitive to loud noises and if overwhelmed he may become extremely anxious and frightened. I was aware of this possible reaction and together with his parents, we developed strategies to calm him and reduce any anxieties. I made the classroom environment as quiet as possible.

I continued to work as a teacher with children and young people affected by complex needs, including autism and epilepsy at Special Needs Schools in the Liverpool / Cheshire areas. At Millstead School and Princes School in Liverpool (Primary Schools), the role centred on working directly with non-verbal children and those with communication difficulties. During these roles, I developed proficiency in using PECS and Makaton communication systems. I also demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively with other professional colleagues within the school, including Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists. I also worked as a Special Needs Supply Teacher at Fox Wood School (Warrington) and The Russett School (Northwich) - both Schools had facilities for students to complete their Sixth Form education. Whilst working at Fox Wood School, my role involved teaching a Year 11 class - this combined learning with more practical based skills, including helping in the school garden or helping at a local farm. My current role at the University of Liverpool, involves me working with Higher Education students as a Specialist Tutor and Mentor for those on the Autistic Spectrum.

Whilst teaching at Millstead School in Liverpool, my role involved working with a KS2 pupil diagnosed with severe epilepsy. As the Class Teacher, I had direct responsibility for monitoring his medical needs, with the support of Teaching Assistants. His seizures were unpredictable and frequent, resulting in him wearing a helmet for safety. I received appropriate first aid training in managing any seizures that occurred in the classroom, prior to the School Medical Staff intervention. I became aware of possible triggers that may set off a seizure, including tiredness or a high temperature caused by another illness. It was important that the staff supporting the child remained calm - we placed the child on a mat or cushions, on  his side, removing any sharp objects that he may have hurt himself on. We also ensured that nothing was placed in his mouth and that we did not restrain any of his movements.

I also specialise in teaching children and adults with dyslexia. I have worked as a Dyslexia Support Teacher in two local Primary schools based in Cheshire West. I planned and delivered personalised, multi-sensory, literacy interventions for individual pupils. In liaison with the school SENCO and class teacher, I identified areas of difficulty that the child was experiencing – related to reading, writing (including hand- writing) and spelling. I also considered the child’s learning style whilst planning the lesson as this affected my delivery. Within the hour- long lesson, the topics covered were in shorter blocks of 15 minutes, to allow the child to maintain their focus for a shorter period and allow extra processing time. Throughout the lesson, many opportunities for over-learning were provided. I also included the use of technology within the lesson, utilising online dyslexia word building platforms. An important element of the lesson planning was to make the tasks interactive and engaging - I also encouraged the child to consider their own progress and identify areas for further development. Regular feedback relating to the child’s progress was given to the class teacher, SENCO and the parents. The class teacher performed regular in-class baseline assessments to monitor the child’s literacy progress, in line with the support given in my lessons.

I have also worked as a Dyslexia Tutor at a Further Education College in Cheshire. I provided academic support for Undergraduate dyslexic students, studying courses at the University of Chester. My role included supporting the student in identifying strategies for research, planning and structuring academic essays, proof-reading, reading and note taking skills. I also supported the student in developing other skills that may have been identified during their initial assessment, usually completed by an Educational Psychologist – for example memory and processing skills.

Throughout my teaching career I have worked as a Private Tutor in the local area. I have taught pupils from all Key Stages, KS1 – KS4. As a Private Tutor, I offer Primary Literacy and Numeracy, together with preparation for the KS1 and KS2 SAT Tests. For KS3 / KS4 I offer English to GCSE level, together with KS3 Maths and Science. I also offer SEN Tutoring for a wide range of additional needs. I have demonstrated the ability to develop fruitful relationships with the child and their family by listening to them and identifying the individual needs of the child, together with their learning style. I also give regular feedback to the parents regarding their child’s progress and liaise with the child’s school to identify areas of concern.

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy centres around meeting the individual needs of the child – following an initial discussion with the parents, their child and relevant information from the child’s school. Based on this information, my teaching style will be flexible and adaptable to meet those needs. I will also consider the learning style of the child, adapting my teaching style to support an auditory, visual or kinaesthetic learner. The content and delivery of the lesson, together with any differentiated learning materials will also be carefully considered to ensure the most beneficial approach in supporting the child’s learning. Based on the child’s needs, I will plan and deliver a personalised, multi-sensory intervention, in close consultation with the parents. My lessons aim to engage, motivate and encourage the child to learn, with a fun and interactive approach. As a Tutor, I will adopt a friendly, calm and encouraging approach with the child, initially working on developing a positive relationship with them and their family. I will ensure regular and effective communication with the parents, both in terms of progress updates and feedback. If the parents have any concerns or questions regarding their child, they are encouraged to contact me directly, where I will respond to any issues as soon as possible. I will also encourage the child to consider their own progress, in terms of identifying positive examples, together with areas that they would like to improve on. A strong emphasis is placed on celebrating the positive steps that the child has made on their learning journey.

Something Sensational About Me

I abseiled over the edge of a quarry in Yorkshire feeling petrified! Worse was yet to come - as I lowered myself down, the sides of the quarry turned into the opening of a large cave. Instead of having ground beneath me, I was left dangling in a empty, dark void. What an experience - I did make it to the quarry base successfully but I am not sure if I would like to try it again.

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    Availability

    • Monday 09.00 - 20.00
    • Tuesday 09.00 - 20.00
    • Wednesday 09.00 - 20.00
    • Thursday 09.00 - 20.00
    • Friday 09.00 - 20.00
    • Saturday 09.00 - 12.00
    • Sunday 09.00 - 12.00

    Qualifications and Training

    • Certificate of Education - Teacher Training University of Lancaster 1976 Main Subjects - Theology / History and Special Education;
    • Primary Return to Teaching Hope University 2004;
    • Autism - National Autistic Society 5 Core Training Modules, 2017, including- Autism and Communication, Autism and Sensory Experience, Autism and Supporting Families, Autism and Anxiety and Understanding Autism;
    • Advanced Safeguarding, Child Protection and Prevent Training - Connex Training 2020; - Prevent
    ... Read More
    • Certificate of Education - Teacher Training University of Lancaster 1976 Main Subjects - Theology / History and Special Education;
    • Primary Return to Teaching Hope University 2004;
    • Autism - National Autistic Society 5 Core Training Modules, 2017, including- Autism and Communication, Autism and Sensory Experience, Autism and Supporting Families, Autism and Anxiety and Understanding Autism;
    • Advanced Safeguarding, Child Protection and Prevent Training - Connex Training 2020; - Prevent for Practitioners - Education and Training Foundation 2018; ADHD Awareness Workshop - Barry Bennett 2018;
    • Trinity Cert TESOL - Liverpool School of English 2017;
    • Specialist Student Mentor Training (Higher Education) - Royal Holloway University, London 2017;
    • Professional Membership of UMHAN - University Mental Health Advisers Network.

    Choose me if…

    • as a parent, you are looking for a teaching style that centres on the needs of your child
    • as a parent, you are seeking a personalised, multisensory intervention for your child
    • as a parent, you are looking for a Tutor who is friendly, calm and encouraging
    • as a parent, you are looking for a Tutor that can engage and motivate your child
    • as a parent, you are seeking a Tutor who has extended teaching experience in SEN

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