Specialist Experience and Skills
I am a Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills, with 25 years' experience in breaking learning down for students as well as developing individual skills, study skills, personalising strategies and preparing for exams, for all students needing intervention or with varied SEN (Special Educational Needs) teaching needs, covering English Language, Literacy, Communication, Maths, Science and ICT. Preparation for exams including 11 +, termly assessments, end of year exams as well as GCSEs (across subjects). Help focuses on the individual skills your child needs to develop, and can cover personal dev... Read More
I am a Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills, with 25 years' experience in breaking learning down for students as well as developing individual skills, study skills, personalising strategies and preparing for exams, for all students needing intervention or with varied SEN (Special Educational Needs) teaching needs, covering English Language, Literacy, Communication, Maths, Science and ICT. Preparation for exams including 11 +, termly assessments, end of year exams as well as GCSEs (across subjects). Help focuses on the individual skills your child needs to develop, and can cover personal development, revision techniques, school subject catch-ups or interventions. I teach all ages from Reception / Primary level to GCSE and adults, from beginner levels in any skills and subject to GCSE and higher.
I am trained and specialised in Dyslexia, Language and Literacy; experienced in supporting students with autism, dyslexia, identifying additional or different learning or SEN needs including visual stress, fine motor skills, speech and language delay, ADHD; providing strategies to support students with SEN; and fast-track learners so that they can develop skills or acquire knowledge easily to achieve their learning goals or qualifications (all ages, but especially for 11+ to GCSEs). This includes supporting learners with identified or unidentified learning needs and advising on exam access arrangements.
I have extensive experience supporting students with additional learning needs: autism, ADHD, dyslexia, EAL/ ESL, language delay, challenging behaviour, speech and communication difficulties, autism (including high functioning), visual or hearing impairments, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, numerous other SEN/ SEND, SEMH, SEBD, PDA; devising and advising schools and professionals of individual learning needs, strategies, equipment and exam access; working in close liaison with school teachers, SENCo, heads of department, school head, specialist professionals and parents.
How my sessions work: I break sessions into sections and vary the tasks to address the different skills needing development. This ensures a productive session each time and helps maintain focus and attention. Sessions may cover quite a lot, depending on the needs and ability of the student, and if several subjects are covered. Small homework tasks are given for practice if requested, and parents advised, as well as any new observations and strategies taught. I can also liaise with schools or produce a list of ways teachers can implement strategies or support within day-to-day teaching and school life. I am very experienced in planning programmes of learning based on the needs of the young person, adapting and modifying as required. This can be for one or more subjects (English, Maths and/or Science for example) and subjects can be integrated, especially in developing language or literacy skills across most subjects KS2, 3 and 4. Sessions usually cover identifying new and better ways of working, developing the young person’s skills and personalising strategies to empower the young person to work confidently and independently. English and Maths are the most common priorities, generally, or working on particular sub-skills such as understanding the task, locating information, making links with what the child already knows or has covered, looking at how to complete tasks and form or write answers, organising ideas, writing things down, improving presentation, expression or communication skills and teaching ways to be able to work better and more easily. As a Language teacher and trained in Dyslexia, I can develop your child's Communication skills, Speech and Pronunciation, use Phonics to aid reading and writing, as well as develop wider Literacy skills, needed not just in English, but Maths and all subjects. I can also liaise with schools and produce a list of personalised strategies to help teachers and the school work more successfully with your child, with the aim that your child and their needs are better understood and feel supported.
In the last four years I have worked with young learners KS1-2 at Saturday School intervention for English and Maths, and currently work with KS1 and KS2 children with a range of learning or SEN needs to develop their Maths or English skills, including Phonics, as well as prepare for 11+. I have tutored several children at KS1 with their English Reading, Writing, Handwriting, Spelling, Phonics and Maths work. At KS2 this includes Science and History. At KS3 and KS4, I have extensive experience supporting student with their homework at across all subjects up to GCSE.
My specialist skills and experience working with students with Autism: I have worked with a number of children on the Autistic Spectrum both in home tutoring and school settings. I teach in multi-sensory ways, in particular, visual strategies for learning and teaching concepts in English, Maths, Science or any subject needed. I can link learning to everyday concepts as well as the interests of your child. I am very calm, friendly, patient, fun and supportive and will work to get the best out of them on good days and bad days. I can work with your child to set targets; understand and follow instructions; build in a structured approach to work, learning, activities; work to times, set and do timed activities; help your child understand the task requirement, adapting instructions, and even activities to meet the needs of your child such as for visual, audio or multi-sensory needs. I can break tasks down; set challenges to help them make personal progress in whatever they find challenging; build in breaks; work on their skills of social interaction and understanding - all depending on the needs of your child.
My experience developing trusting relationships with students with SEN including autism: I work with both the students and the family (and school if required). It's important that your child is aware they will have sessions with me, and I will explain the purpose of sessions both when I meet for the first time such as on Zoom, in the first and every session as needed. I will get your child on side, establish their learning goals in collaboration with them as well as establish what they need to do in order to get there. In each session I identify where they are currently at and continue as per the learning goals. I give students strategies that they can personally use from day 1. I treat everyone as an individual and respect everyone's differences, and work with your child to maintain a positive and collaborative working relationship, where they know the expectations and agree on homework tasks they feel they can manage on their own. I can cater to the interests and individual needs of your child, can go off track, as well as reign in their ideas and refocus back on task. I am consistent and reliable, so the family and young person know where they with me. The family or young person can communicate with me between sessions for guidance or a motivational call, for example.
My English tutoring sessions: I am very experienced in teaching English from beginner levels, primary Key stages 1-2 which includes: phonics skills, learning sound and spelling patterns (start, middle and end of words; developing confidence in writing words and the high frequency CVC 100 and 200 words; then forming sentences, learning and practising the use of punctuation; reading skills - skimming, scanning, comprehension and inference. My English tutoring at Key Stages 3 -4: I am experienced working with all year groups from year 7-11, developing students' reading and writing skills, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, as well as preparing students for both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature papers for AQA and Edexcel exam boards. I have worked with students of all levels and abilities, and am quick to identify as well as support any additional language, literacy, dyslexia or other issues that affect a student's progress and writing skills, and plan and deliver appropriate interventions that develop your child's skills, confidence and achievements.
To develop better spelling, I can plan a spelling programme around the spelling difficulties your child has, using the vocabulary your child needs to learn - at KS1, 2, 3, 4 or higher, for school or any subjects; personalising strategies; as well as developing your child's general spelling skills, vocabulary and competencies. I use multi-sensory learning, according to the needs of your child, to work on the particular areas and skills that students need to develop: processing, memory, spelling, organisation, planning and writing skills, proof-reading. Students rapidly pick up new skills and their personalised spelling and learning strategies boost their self-esteem and progress in school and life.
My Maths tutoring sessions: I have been teaching Maths skills to students from KS1 and 2, preparation for 11+, and at KS3 -4 and preparation for GCSE Maths for almost ten years. I am very skilled at breaking down learning, boosting skills, plugging knowledge gaps, and covering the national curriculum from Key stages 1 to 4. I am experienced in teaching Maths to Key Stage 1 and 2 children, from the beginning, and use practical tasks as well as worksheets to support learning the different concepts that may include adding, subtracting, using number bonds, multiplication, division, fractions, taking and reading measurements, for example. I work to develop your child's understanding through practical tasks and consolidate through practice and worksheets. Nowadays different methods are used to teach Maths in school, so I will also work out the methods that suit your child so they work faster and with more success. For some students, literacy issues affect their Maths progress, so working on literacy issues, including dyslexia, in combination with Maths skills is very important. I am adept at making Maths visual or kinaesthetic and linked to a young persons' day-to day life. I can teach your child the Maths needed at Primary as well as secondary school, plug knowledge gaps, reteach concepts so your child learns how to do the Maths tasks, read Maths questions and problem solve as well as prepare for exams. Reading Maths questions can be very difficult for many students, so teaching students to read the question carefully, identify the figures, establish the task type and what operations are needed, are all skills I cover in all Maths sessions, in addition to personalising strategies to tackle questions and obtain the correct answers easily and accurately. We practise the steps, practise doing workings, showing the workings and making final answers clear.
I always use multi-sensory learning to work on the particular areas and skills that students need to develop: processing, memory, spelling, sounds, organisation, planning and writing skills, proof-reading. Ideally, my teaching links in with vocabulary or work the child needs to do for school, for any subject, so that learning is directly relevant and of use, and can be continually practised at school and at home. If possible please show me pages from your child's school work and homework ahead of a session. Most commonly, I cover vocabulary and writing skills needed in English and Maths, then at secondary, often Science, Geography and History or similar subjects.
My experience working with students with ADHD/ focus and attention challenges: I strive to ensure activities and resources are engaging and break activities down into manageable chunks which helps maintain focus, and help students realise their potential, as well as positive reinforcement and praise that build their confidence and self esteem. Also, I give students stretch or activity breaks as needed, and can advise on useful activities or online tools. Segmenting sessions and having short and focussed activities, interspersed with breaks can help train your child to achieve better focus and results.
My experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: I am extremely empathetic and sensitive to the needs of learners. I am very observant and work both with the child and parents. Students feel understood and co-operate well with me. From the outset they receive positive feedback, suggestions and new strategies to make learning and completing tasks easier for them. Initial screening are not formal tests, but observing how a student works – and I will help them as required! Out of this new strategies and better ways of working are identified and shared with the young person, who then realises they can do tasks. Further practice is given, short homework tasks and reminders, and very quickly their levels of confidence and self-esteem rise.
My skills and experience helping students to manage their stress and anxiety: young people suffer stress and anxiety for a variety of reasons. I am a very gentle, friendly and supportive person who is very open, experienced and can work with your child to help them cope with stressful situations such as changes in life, schedules or prospect of exams, and provide and practice different strategies to help your child cope better and respond more positively. Other anxieties could include over food, people, situations, worry about friends, family, the future, interviews, tests, hospital appointments, getting sick.
My experience providing fun and engaging lessons: I have a great sense of humour that I use with students to ensure lessons are kept light and fun and learning is not seen as hard work or a chore. As a trained teacher, I ensure all lessons are engaging and that sessions cover a variety of tasks, activities and skills development to maintain focus and maximise the learning opportunities. I can cover a range of topics in a session which keeps sessions pacey, and will work at the speed your child can cope with. I add in breaks when required between or during activities according to the needs of your child.
My specialist experience helping students to engage in learning: I break down topics, skills and subjects for young people to be able to access subjects, and use multi-sensory teaching techniques and resources to aid engagement. Often, teaching styles in the school classroom may not work for your child. My work involves identifying the preferred learning styles of young people and either breaking down tasks or topics to deliver the subject in a way that works for them or to give your child strategies to access the learning and do the tasks in alternative ways. Armed with new techniques and strategies to cope in the classroom and with school work enables learners to be more independent and engaged in their learning.
My skills and experience using students’ interest and hobbies to develop motivation and engagement in learning: it is always helpful to draw on students' interests and hobbies to better engage students in learning. Making learning relevant to your child helps them to make sense of the world around them. I can adapt or disguise English, Maths, Science or other subjects teaching to incorporate your child's interests and hobbies and help them make progress in life and at school.
My experience supporting children complete their homework: I have worked with young people in all year groups to both develop their skills in English and Maths, as well as complete homework tasks and prepare for tests and exams for all subjects. I can show your child quick ways to tackle their homework effectively, and help some students overcome the challenges of having to do homework. I can organise your child with their homework timetable and how to prioritise subjects to meet the teacher's deadlines.
My specialist skills and experience working with students with dyslexia: I have been teaching and supporting students with dyslexia for over twenty years. I am trained to assess and support students with dyslexia, and experienced in devising learning programmes to develop the skills of dyslexic students. It is important to know the form of dyslexia in order to personalise strategies for a learner to use in the classroom and day-to-day life. I can screen for dyslexia using online tools if your child has not previously been assessed, or can expand an existing report that may provide inadequate guidance and produce a report of the areas of concern with personalised strategies for your child to use in school and day-to-day; as well as devise and implement a personalised programme to develop your child's skills and strategies; and provide resources developed for your child's needs. This can be stand alone or integrated with school subjects, with all ages: primary to secondary as well as adults. I can develop personalised strategies with your child to help them cope and that will impact on their skills and progress in the classroom, for all subjects. The form of intervention and support strategies depends on the form of dyslexia or learning needs of your child and how it affects your child's reading, writing, listening or speaking, school and life / day-to-day activities.
If your child hasn't had a formal diagnosis, I can use online dyslexia screening tools to identify the areas that need work on. In developing personalised strategies, we use the student's strengths to help develop their weaker skills. Most commonly, spelling, organisation, writing skills and working memory are some of the key areas that I work on with students with dyslexia. I can work with different phonics /phonologies to address sound / spelling challenges; work on writing skills from reading and understanding the task carefully to obtaining ideas, organising the ideas and using examples and structures to aid writing; then helping your child with editing or proofreading their work. Personal organisation and presentation of oneself or work are other areas that I can support with. In addition, reading skills - for accuracy, fluency, memory and understanding - comprehension as well as inference. With my specialist support, a dyslexic student will take away immediate strategies and skills they can apply in school and their homework; and I can show parents how they can support their child to keep up the practice when doing homework. Student's confidence and self-esteem rise quickly as they learn new and easy ways to help them in reading or writing, or both, and they realise that they can now achieve as others do, although it may be harder for them. The impact of specialist sessions is noticeable at school and in their progress. Students can make rapid progress as they develop stronger independent learning skills and more success in school.
My skills and experience developing students’ independence: all my work is about developing a student's independent learning and coping skills - be it developing personalised strategies for school, the classroom, making progress, doing better work, socially - at school, at break and lunchtimes, or for life in general, according to the individual's needs and parents' wishes.
To work on writing organisation and presentation, I will often start from generating ideas, organising ideas, developing and expanding ideas and sentences. I can develop the skills and tasks set by your child's school, or identify their needs and follow the curriculum. I can use multi-tactile resources according to the learning needs of your child, as well as bring models, structures and frameworks to use to help improve their writing skills (from ideas planning, structuring work, writing, self-correcting, proofreading). Verbalising ideas can be helpful, talking through ideas during planning stages and while writing. I can work on your child's tasks for school, follow the curriculum, work on writing skills for any subject, not just English, develop writing skills for exams, or formal, descriptive and creative writing. I am trained to level 7 in teaching English language and literacy, from beginners to post GCSE levels, so work from word level, to simple then complex sentences, paragraphs, pages to longer texts.
My experience teaching study-skills: I work with students to identify and help them understand potential barriers to their learning, and how they can overcome such barriers so that they can study effectively and painlessly. This entails developing good study habits and techniques to use in any subjects they would like or need to focus on. I have been teaching study skills for 25 years, with 7 years being in secondary, working across all subjects and year groups. Now in secondary, for several years, teachers have started to introduce GCSE type questions in the tasks, questions and activities to challenge students from year 7 onwards to start preparing and upskilling students for their GCSEs 4-5 years later! This makes secondary even more challenging for young people with additional learning needs, especially if they are not being supported or their needs and learning styles catered for. I can work with your child across any secondary subject to develop better study skills and habits to use both in school and in doing homework. I can also address literacy and dyslexia needs in my study skills teaching. Most commonly, parents and young people want support in the child's weaker subjects or the ones their child would like to do better in.
My experience teaching revision and exam techniques: I have been teaching revision and study techniques for 25 years, across subjects. My sessions guide young people to prepare effectively using various techniques according to the learning styles of your child, and the needs of the subject being examined or assessed. Students can find it difficult to know where to start, how to develop good study skills they can use in class or at home, and revision techniques or prepare for exams, especially if they haven't engaged with a subject. Strategies may include effective note-taking and preparing revision cards; how to cover subject knowledge effectively; how to read, understand task requirements and answer questions more effectively and precisely; as well as active learning of your child's chosen subjects - anything and everything to become a better learner with better grades and outcomes. I present students with strategies to help access exam papers, become more organised, prepared and independent, so that they have ownership over their own learning. I can work with your child to develop revision techniques that they can either collate during the school year, or in the months, weeks or days before their exams. I can also work with your child to cope with taking exams, address anxieties, mindset and strategies to tackle exam papers to the best they can, according to their knowledge and timescales. Helping with challenges to read and understand questions: that is, to know exactly how to interpret questions and then answer effectively. In my sessions I can help your child to break down questions to make them more manageable, checking and working on your child's subject knowledge relevant to the topic and the questions as we go along, and action areas for revision. We can practise exam questions to ensure your child is familiar with the requirements of each paper and question type, and has experience of how to write good answers with reference to the curriculum and the marking scheme. In school I work cross curricula with students, so can cover most subjects, including English Language and Literature, Maths, languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian), Geography, History, RE, Psychology, Media Sciences - Biology, Physics, Chemistry, PE (and Anatomy), Business Studies, Economics, D&T from years 7 to 11. I also teach study skills for sixth-formers and students attending college and university.
My experience supporting students in multi-subjects: I have worked for numerous years with students who are behind or have missed chunks of their education, the curriculum, sometimes significant knowledge gaps arising out of school absence, illness, changing schools, changing curriculum or moving countries. I am adept at fast-tracking students to acquire the essential knowledge and skills to catch up as well as prepare for GCSE, across most subjects. I can also cover missed classwork and coursework. I am particularly experienced in teaching the skills for GCSE English Language and Literature and Maths. Whilst in school, I liaise with the subject teachers. For tutoring I would need to know the exam boards for the subjects your son or daughter is taking, and ideally be given an idea of the curriculum covered so far in order to recap, catch up and move on.
My experience developing and preparation students for 11+: I am very experienced in preparing young people for the 11+ entry tests required by some state and most independent schools in central London and Hertfordshire, for both GL and CEM Tests, and all papers: English Reading, Cloze, Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Maths and Spatial Tests.
My skills and experience supporting students with low processing skills: your child might have low processing skills manifesting in slow literacy development and maths skills. I can work with your child to develop personalised strategies to develop their processing skills in the areas they need as well as their literacy and maths. It is helpful to identify the area of low processing, for example on the input, storage or retrieval and output of information or production, and I can work with your child to pinpoint this, sometimes using online tools, as well as identify strategies to be used in learning or day-to-day.
My experience preparing for the ‘Back-to-school’ after lockdown: Most students will feel anxious about returning to school or starting a new school after 5-6 months at home during lockdown. I can work with your child to mentally and physically prepare them for returning to school, interacting with others, adapting to new schedules, being prepared to have new teachers, and feeling more confident in class – with classmates, teachers or support staff, doing tasks. I can also work with your child to develop their communication, interaction, organisation, English and Maths or other skills that would help them feel more ready to return to school and going into the next school year, as well as catch up in the skills or subjects you require.
Visual Stress: We all see colour differently and 1 in 10 people suffer visual stress which can affect a person's learning, behaviours and ultimate progress and success in school. Whilst screening for reading skills, I may use colour overlays to check for changes in reading fluency and decoding skills and to find out what colours help your child reading and processing information. Sometimes I may ask you to take your child for an eye test, and if there is a concern about visual stress, to be assessed for suitable tint to use when reading - either use of specific coloured overlay or tinted glasses. When a person suffers visual stress, the use of colour can drastically change the absorption and processing of information and your child can begin to make significant progress. I can advise the school of your child's needs in relation to teaching and learning resources, classroom seating and advise on teaching and learning needs when there are co-occurring difficulties such as dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Screening and assessing for Maths or English: In my initial session or two, I can do brief screening tasks that reflect the educational needs of the young person and the support needs identified by parents, the school or professionals. All observations are discussed with parents and the child, identifying useful strategies that will help and be incorporated into a plan for learning negotiated with you. Even from session one, strategies, tasks, and homework tasks will be given for your child to start practising working in new ways. Sometimes I may recommend referral to an optician or a specialist. I am very experienced in teaching English and Maths to diverse learners from starter level (Primary) to GCSE. I am trained in teaching language, communications and literacy to higher levels, also in assessing and supporting dyslexia. Please see other sections for particular support needs, or ask!
My experience scaffolding and developing skills: To help students make progress and achieve higher levels, skills and tasks sometimes need to be broken down and built up by scaffolding learning. That is, learning needs to be structured in order to build on existing skills whilst acquiring new skills, that need to be practised. Further practice is achieved through set homework tasks, giving strategies or goals for the child to implement during the week, in tasks, school work, in school, as well as checked or tested, revisited and added to in subsequent sessions.
My experience supporting children with demand avoidance behaviour and other behavioural needs. I have worked with a number of young people with demand avoidance, including communication, appropriate response, activity avoidance including eating issues. I work sensitively and co-operatively with children according to their needs, to develop their self-confidence, ensuring they remain in control and make good progress in subject or areas of need.