About Me

I’m a qualified teacher (QTS) with 10 years SEN experience at Primary and KS3. I taught English for 5 years at a school for children with SpLD particularly: SEBD, ASD (autism), PDA, speech and language needs, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, executive function difficulties and social, emotional and behavioural challenges and I have also worked as a KS2 SENCO. I have a passion for ensuring that mental and emotional well-being falls at the heart of people's ability to learn and grow; I firmly believe that our development and sense of self grows from that foundation. I work with warmth, compassion and determination to help create supportive and nurturing environments. A story-teller at heart, I am articulate, creative and playful and encourage these skills in those I work with.

£110 Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions

Specialist Experience and Skills

My skills and experience teaching students with SEN: I have a decade of experience teaching and tutoring children with various specific learning needs in whole class, small group and 1:1 settings. I also have over two decades of experience of raising my own children who, between them, have dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD and ADHD. I understand the ways in which a SEN diagnosis, whether formal or informal, can affect the whole family and influence behaviour, emotions and education. I genuinely enjoy tutoring and getting to know students with SEN requirements because no two students and no two sessions... Read More
My skills and experience teaching students with SEN: I have a decade of experience teaching and tutoring children with various specific learning needs in whole class, small group and 1:1 settings. I also have over two decades of experience of raising my own children who, between them, have dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD and ADHD. I understand the ways in which a SEN diagnosis, whether formal or informal, can affect the whole family and influence behaviour, emotions and education. I genuinely enjoy tutoring and getting to know students with SEN requirements because no two students and no two sessions are ever the same.

My skills and experience teaching students with SEMH needs: During my years of classroom teaching, I supported many children with SEMH needs both in group settings as well as individually. I come from a place of creativity and connection and have witnessed the change in students when they are supported in this way. From explicit support through circle times in small groups, to implicit support by building dens in the woods; from using art specifically as a therapeutic play tool through Drawing and Talking, to foraging for art materials in nature and following where they lead us; from baking to sewing to walking the dogs (I was blessed to have one of my dogs in my classroom with me!) I enjoy using my own creativity alongside the passions and interests of the students I work with. In this way, not only have I forged strong connections with students but, more importantly, they have forged stronger connections with themselves.

My skills and experience teaching students with anxiety/ behavioural needs: Anxiety arises for many reasons and can have a negative and detrimental effect on learning; supporting students with their anxiety and how it manifests can be the key to unlocking their potential. Whilst it’s not always easy to articulate anxiety or understand its root causes, I am skilled at holding space for people to work through their discomfort and emerge the other side armed with information that can help in the future. When anxiety bubbles up in a session, I always take the time to address it and this often makes a huge difference. Anxiety usually has something it needs to communicate and I am skilled at helping people listen to their anxiety and begin to put that message in its right place: turning the dial back down so that their system is not flooded and they can respond from a place of regulation and composure. I create a calm , safe, non-judgemental environment where anxiety can be responded to rather than ignored. There are many techniques that can be learnt to help address anxiety and, once we’ve discovered what works, repetition is encouraged. Through repetition of techniques and skills, the mind and body develop healthier coping mechanisms when moments of stress and discomfort arise.

My specialist experience teaching children with brain injury: I have worked privately for a family whose middle child had brain damage due to undiagnosed epilepsy in the early years. The main areas of support for this particular child were with social cues, managing homework and understanding and regulating emotions. I also liaised with the school and worked very closely with the parents to ensure that the support the child received was consistent, coherent and helpful. We would review this on a regular basis, especially following medical appointments, and adapt support accordingly.

My specialist experience supporting children in the community: As Head of Year at a school for children with SEN requirements, I organised and ran many visits and events for small groups as well as for the whole year. These included bringing specialist speakers and educators into the school to support both the academic and social learning of the students, as well as taking the children out of school both locally and internationally to experience and engage in a broad range of situations and activities. I have also supported individual students privately within the community. This included accompaniment to therapy sessions and sports groups, as well as developing fun and interactive ways to work on social skills in community spaces such as shopping, bowling, taking public transport and eating out. As humans, we are social, relational creatures and I firmly believe that there is nowhere better to explore ourselves and understand each other than out in the real world. Although this can be challenging for children with SEN requirements, with support, patience, humour and fun, I have found it to be absolutely possible and very rewarding.

My skills and experience providing fun and creative sessions to help students engage in learning: For me, fun falls at the heart of learning; if we are enjoying ourselves and having fun, we can’t help but be engaged in what we are learning about. When our brains are relaxed, they can take in more information and that information is likely to be more easily retained and retrieved. Getting to know the people I am working with and finding out what ‘fun’ means to them, as well as to their family, is important. Whether through cooking, art, music or being outdoors, for example, I am creative in my approach to tutoring sessions and always keen to bring an element of fun, laughter and play with me. I also love to learn new ‘fun’ things myself so am always happy to discover and share in something I may not have known about before.

My skills and experience supporting children with focus and concentration needs: Children display difficulties with focus and concentration for many different reasons, therefore the most important thing to first establish is what is at the root. My way of working with someone to support their focus and concentration needs due to ADHD will be very different from that of someone with ASD or someone with a weak working memory for example. I believe it is important to follow the flow of the individual child within each session as there is a fine line between developing stamina in focus and concentration, and causing anxiety, self-esteem issues and masking techniques. Focus and concentration is often developed through activities such as games (card games, board games, verbal games, physical games etc), conversations on special interests, short timed tasks and by using music and art.

My specialist experience supporting students with executive functioning skills: Executive functioning skills are implicitly woven throughout all my sessions but can also be taught and discussed explicitly as required. Executive functions are the cognitive processes that we can utilise to help us best manage ourselves and achieve our goals and are often more difficult for people with neurodivergent brains to access and put into practice. Whether it is practical aspects of planning, organisation, time management or task initiation that are difficult, or the inner realms of emotional regulation, flexibility of thinking, self-monitoring and self-regulation, developing a student’s executive functioning skills is about helping them get to know themselves at a metacognitive level: how does my brain work, why does it work that way and how can I help it work more effectively for me? I help students to understand that we are not our brain but that our brain is a tool we can use, grow and hone.

My specialist experience supporting students with speech/ language/ communication needs: Students may need support with the development of their speech or their language (or both) at various points throughout their development; it is not uncommon for children to dip in and out of accessing SLT or to require supplementary sessions at different stages. I have worked closely with SLTs to support children and ensure continuation of therapeutic input as well as supporting students who require language and communication development in a more implicit way such as through story, play, drama and social interaction. As an English teacher I also love to explore words and have helped many students discover a love of words, word association and word play through games - this is often a space in which misunderstandings can be addressed and new vocabulary can be practised.

My specialist experience teaching children with ASD (including high-functioning autism): I have taught and tutored many children with ASD. Diagnoses of autism really do fall on a spectrum; no two people with autism are the same. This is why I always start by meeting the person I’m working with where they’re at and finding out about their special interests, any sensory issues I should be aware of, things that may over or understimulate them, any stims or masking behaviours I should know about etc. One of the benefits of teaching English, for example, is that the key skills, concepts and techniques can be accessed through many themes and topics so special interests often hold the key to engagement in sessions.

My skills and experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: During my years as a classroom teacher and mother, I have witnessed the many ways in which young people’s confidence and self-esteem can be affected. To me, this is probably the most important part of my work with children and young people. Boosting confidence and self-esteem is not a ‘quick fix’ and it is not something you can ‘do’ for someone else, rather it is the pursuit of finding, creating and illuminating situations and experiences in which young people can feel success, pride and accomplishment for themselves; this helps them build a new story. There are many ways in which these experiences can be ‘banked’ for future reference and I have worked with children who, years later, still have the achievement books or good thing jars they made with me when they were struggling.

My skills and experience teaching social skills/communication & language skills : Whilst social skills form an implicit part of all my sessions, I can also teach and guide children through social scenarios explicitly. These sessions can be based both on concrete examples drawn from their own experiences or abstract examples taken from social stories or imagined situations. Either way, supporting children to explore and find their own ideas helps develop a sense of agency and confidence.

My specialist experience teaching students with PDA: In my experience, few students are officially diagnosed with PDA, although many display traits associated with it, and it can be extremely challenging and distressing both for those around the child as well as for the child themselves. Having worked closely with some children who display PDA traits, I have developed an interest in understanding it better and researching ways to support students through the difficult moments in their day. I’m currently finding the work of Dr. Ross Greene particularly interesting.

My skills and experience supporting students to develop their independence: Having raised my own three children into adulthood, I really believe in the importance of encouraging and fostering independence in all areas of life through co-creation rather than imposition. In my sessions, I endeavour to find many ways in which children can begin the process of thinking, speaking and acting for themselves; learnt helplessness is something I have seen in many guises. In order for people to develop their independence within my sessions, they must first feel a sense of trust in both themselves and in the tutor relationship. Developing independence is never forced but is often encouraged through patience, praise, calm boundaries and (more often than not) gentle humour.

My specialist experience teaching children with ADHD: The children with ADHD who I have taught and tutored over the years have all been very different in terms of their levels of attainment, progress and required support. One similarity they have all shared though is a feeling that they are ‘different’ and that this is ‘wrong or bad’. Anxiety, low self-esteem and disciplinary issues from school all seem to go hand-in-hand with an ADHD diagnosis. Therefore, one of the first things I do when working with people with ADHD is to address their concept of themselves as a learner. What does that mean to them currently and how would they like it to change moving forwards? It can be difficult for people with ADHD to see the incredible powers that their brains have, especially when they have come through an educational system that is not designed for them, but once we are able to start tapping into that potential, the sky really is the limit.

My skills and experience teaching students with processing and memory needs: There are many reasons why a student might struggle with processing and memory issues and is it important to first understand where the difficulty is coming from before then developing strategies for improvement. Repetition is often is key as this works with the neuroplasticity of the brain to form stronger, more long-lasting connections and pathways. I have high levels of patience and work from a place of non-judgement. Just because a concept or skill was grasped and understood one week, does not mean it will be readily available again the following week - in fact, sometimes, it’s completely gone and needs to be reintroduced afresh. This is always okay and I will work with the student’s individual needs to ensure I am accessing the right style of learning for them to aid processing and retention.

My specialist experience teaching English: I have spent 5 years teaching English to children in Y7 and Y8 for whom learning English in the traditional way is a real challenge. I love English - both literature and language - and truly enjoy finding a way in to help people access and uncover their own love for it as well. English is fundamentally about communication and I firmly believe in the importance of encouraging and developing a person’s own ‘voice’. Everyone has something to say and everyone has a preferred way of expressing themselves; finding comfort in this is essential. I have found that real progress and attainment can be achieved across all areas of English once that foundation is in place. I have a creative approach to teaching English ensuring there is warmth, humour and safety in all my sessions.

My skills and experience teaching writing: Teaching writing is one of my favourite things to do. During my years as a SEN English teacher, it was the writing lessons that brought me the most joy as I watched my pupils go from a fear of the blank page and a conviction that they couldn’t write anything to being extremely successful writers. For me, the way into writing happens best through conversation, collaboration and fun. Some students believe that they can’t write because they have nothing to say; I’m yet to teach a student who had nothing to say! By conversing and encouraging people to use their voice, I can begin to show them how these words can then be transcribed onto a page; this is where collaboration comes in. I also firmly believe in the importance of having fun with writing and so I often approach writing tasks with games, activities and humour. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly writing blocks can be removed when a student knows they are utterly safe to get it ‘wrong’ or write something ‘rubbish’. I teach students that we can always delete words we don’t like, that we usually learn the most from how it went ‘wrong’ or why we think it was ‘rubbish’ and that nothing bad happens when we just have a go and see what comes out. Regardless of the genre of writing required or the level the student is working at, I am skilled at helping people improve their vocabulary, grammar, technique, output and personal writing style. I have also found that most students discover a love of writing that they never knew existed; witnessing the moment in a student’s eyes when they read back a piece of writing that they are proud of, never ceases to make me smile.

My skills and experience teaching reading: I have helped a great many children learn to read through some extremely challenging blocks and difficulties. I bring patience, non-judgement, perseverance and light-heartedness to my reading sessions and always endeavour to find reading material that holds some interest. Teaching reading is truly individualised: where one child needs short bursts, another needs longer sessions; where one needs to learn phonics and sounds, another needs to understand the root and meaning and yet a third needs to learn each word by sight. I work with children initially to discover their reading learning style and then build an individualised programme from there.

My skills and experience teaching drama: Following a love of drama and dance that I had throughout my own educational career, I have been fortunate to be able to teach both dance and drama lessons throughout my teaching career. From developing class assemblies with my KS2 Primary classes, to staging Y7 and 8 productions involving film, music, lighting and costumes, to teaching both drama and dance lessons across a range of ages, I have always remained involved in the performing arts. I love everything about what the stage can offer people and have enjoyed helping students discover parts of themselves they were previously unaware of as they explore the subtleties and dynamics of all that is involved in bringing a story to life.

My skills and experience teaching maths: Teaching foundational maths skills to children who struggle with maths is particularly rewarding to me because I remember being that child to whom number and maths was a mystery. I definitely find that using concrete resources (anything from building blocks to coins, flowers to flour, Pokemon cards to cuddly toys) and examples from real-life situations helps to make maths mean something and feel less scary. Getting the basics in place is often a repetitive process and I enjoy creating and playing games that help to solidify this foundation. To me, teaching maths is all about helping children play with numbers in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them whilst awakening their own curiosity and problem solving skills.

My skills and experience teaching study skills: Study skills are often intangible and overwhelming. I use a broad range of ideas and approaches in my study skills sessions in order to help uncover the way in which the child I’m working with best stores, retrieves and applies the facts and skills they have learnt. Study skills is partly a process of understanding and working with memory so it is important for us to work together to figure this part out first. Another essential factor in study skills is organisation (including of time, space, brain and body) and this is a challenge in differing ways for people with SEN. I work to help support time-management as well as helping people understand that their study space, their inner emotional state and their levels of energy and hunger all have an impact on their ability to study effectively. If a child is preparing or working towards exams, then it’s important that we cover note taking, revision techniques and exam techniques, finding the methods that work best and how to utilise them along the way. This helps ease anxiety in the run up to mocks and final exams. For me, study skills needs a very rounded and flexible approach in order for the student to reach their full potential.

My specialist experience teaching students with dyslexia: My personal experiences with dyslexia is what started me on my journey of teaching and supporting people with SEN requirements. I have been supporting people with dyslexia throughout my entire life as there is dyslexia across my family: from parents, siblings and cousins through to my own three children. I am a firm believer in early intervention and support for dyslexic issues because, once these barriers to learning begin to be dismantled, the gifts of dyslexia can truly begin to shine through. Although it is absolutely never too late to start this process, the sooner a child with dyslexia can be supported, the less their self-esteem is likely to be affected. There are many, many ways to help a person with dyslexia overcome their fear of the written word and I will always work closely with the person I’m supporting to find the right way in for them. Once this fear has been removed, incredible success can be achieved. From high grades in school and university exams through to publishing books (something I have supported a dyslexic friend through), I truly believe anything is possible for people with dyslexia.

My specialist experience teaching students with dyspraxia: One of the key difficulties that people with dyspraxia experience is issues surrounding organisation. This affects all areas of life including organisation of their body in space, internal thoughts, emotional state, personal belongings and words or calculations on the page. I have taught many students with dyspraxia, two of my daughters also have dyspraxia, and I enjoy working together with students to help them discover approaches and techniques that can be used practically to help support the issues that dyspraxia is negatively affecting in their daily life and their educational journey.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that we are all inherent learners with an in-built curiosity and desire to explore the world around us. My aim is to provide people with a warm, supportive space in which they can find their way back to a love of learning and discovery.

Something Sensational About Me

I’m an Advanced Drawing and Talking practitioner, a Reiki Master and a Shamanic healer. I love nature and animals and enjoy helping people of all ages reconnect to themselves through creativity and the natural world around them. 

I have a friendly, ginger dog who has spent several years coming into my classroom at school with me and who helps me create a cosy, safe atmosphere for learning. I know that not everyone is a fan of dogs but, if you think he’d be a good buddy to bring along, he’s always more than happy to come to sessions with me.

I used to live in Switzerland, I have a passion for writing rhyming children’s stories which I one day hope to publish and I once had to tell Stephen Fry off at The Royal Albert Hall!

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    Availability

    • Monday 9am - 6pm
    • Tuesday 9am - 6pm
    • Wednesday 9am - 6pm
    • Thursday 9am - 6pm
    • Friday 9am - 4pm
    • Saturday 10am - 2pm

    Qualifications and Training

    • MEd Leadership
    • Graduate Teacher Programme with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)
    • BA (Hons) Open
    • Advanced Drawing and Talking independent practitioner
    • Child protection and safeguarding training
    • e-Safety training
    • Mental Health First Aid training
    • School-based SEN training
    • ... Read More
    • MEd Leadership
    • Graduate Teacher Programme with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)
    • BA (Hons) Open
    • Advanced Drawing and Talking independent practitioner
    • Child protection and safeguarding training
    • e-Safety training
    • Mental Health First Aid training
    • School-based SEN training

    Choose me if…

    • …you believe in your child’s unique potential
    • …you think learning should be a fun and enjoyable experience
    • …you’d like your child to be supported and encouraged to achieve
    • …you value creativity, honesty and compassion
    • …you feel that your child needs a foundation of trust in the adults around them before they can truly begin to shine academically

    SPECIFIC AREAS COVERED

    I'm based on the Oxon/Bucks border but am happy to travel. Some expenses may be necessary depending on distance but I'm open to discussion around this.

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