Specialist Experience and Skills
As a mainstream teacher and special needs teacher, having worked both in state and private schools, I have taught all UK and IPC (PYP) curriculum subjects since graduating as a mainstream teacher with SEN as my specialisms. I also teach study skills and exam techniques. For infants and primary level, I can teach all curriculum subjects to an exceptionally high standard. For secondary level, I can teach English, Maths, Art, History, Morals, Citizenship and Geography. I believe I am able to support the continued emotional, academic and mental development of children and adult students so that th... Read More
As a mainstream teacher and special needs teacher, having worked both in state and private schools, I have taught all UK and IPC (PYP) curriculum subjects since graduating as a mainstream teacher with SEN as my specialisms. I also teach study skills and exam techniques. For infants and primary level, I can teach all curriculum subjects to an exceptionally high standard. For secondary level, I can teach English, Maths, Art, History, Morals, Citizenship and Geography. I believe I am able to support the continued emotional, academic and mental development of children and adult students so that they may be challenged and supported to achieve success.
I have worked as a SENCo and trained special needs teams, as well as having worked with children, as well as adults, with anxiety, planning and organisation difficulties, speech and language delay, Down's Syndrome, working memory challenges, Autism, PDA, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, ADHD, Autism and those with cerebral palsy including quadriplegia, CF, HI, VI, ADHD, ODD, OCD, PMLD, Factor X, Down Syndrome and children with dwarfism. Working with children who receive EOTAS, I have completed PECs and Makaton training, worked alongside Speech and Language Therapists, made and followed SLT plans and incorporated suggested strategies to support the individual student. I use strategies for students with articulation/expressive disorders, fluency disorders, autism and a range of language disorders including receptive disorders in students who have difficulty understanding or processing language.
My experience and skills working with students to boost their confidence and self-esteem (including those with anxiety): I always start where the children feel most comfortable and tailor make a curriculum for each student based on their interests, strengths and learning styles. Working with the student at their starting point and using a wide range of activities and resources enables students to see progression in every lesson. Lessons are also very visual and each question / activity supported and marked (with feedback or consolidation / challenge) so students’ confidence grows within each part of each session. Students are consistently praised for attempting or achieving. Clear simple explanations with fun learning activities supports quick growth in learning, which in turn immediately develops self-esteem. Students’ ‘can-do’ attitude shows marked increase within a short time.
My skills and experience helping children to engage in learning and providing fun and engaging sessions: I do my utmost to ensure learning occurs in an environment of trust and acceptance. I get to know each student and make lessons to suit their personality, skills, life experiences as well as learning goals. I use a wide range of resources to make lessons fun, challenging and useful.
My skills and experience developing meaningful and trusting relationship with children with SEN; listening, caring, understanding and being flexible. through my years as a Teacher, SENCo, Headteacher, mother and grandmother, I have developed multitudes of strategies to ensure children are able to have a meaningful and trusting relationship with me. A common comment from students is they like the fact that I am honest - this then allows them to be the same and much progress is made based on this. Students can trust me with their strengths and their weaknesses; they feel safe to make mistakes. I have very good relationships with all my students and this is based on a foundation of genuine care.
My skills and experience teaching children with speech and language delay/ disorder; As a UK Fast-Track teacher, I implemented a whole school literacy intervention programme aimed at students facing difficulties with speech, language and communication. The main focii was phonics, blending and grammar, designed to address gaps in students learning which are holding them back or affecting their confidence and engagement in the classroom. I have also worked with bilingual students and students with EAL - mapping the student’s individual needs against Educational Health and Care Plans and specialist reports to ensure that these needs are met Additionally, I have worked with Education Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists as well as Social Workers as part of an EHCP to support students with speech and language needs.
My skills and experience teaching children with Down’s Syndrome; most importantly, I ascertain the proper teaching aides needed to achieve positive results on a case by case basis - each child is different and therefore how, what and why I teach each student varies. I strive to make our learning environment a place where each student, regardless of age or level of intellectual disability, feels comfortable interacting and learning. I encourage them to talk and interact positively as teaching them to feel comfortable in their environment helps to boost their confidence. Due to the facial differences that children with Down Syndrome have, I ensure they feel attractive and proud of their appearance as a part of who they are as a whole person. Teaching them to feel good about themselves allows them to have a better attitude and feel special and I always make positive comments about their skills and appearance. I am aware that students with Down Syndrome generally suffer from a short attention span. In order to engage their learning capabilities it is important to break the lesson into chunks and throughout my profile you will see that I use a wide range of resources and activities throughout each lesson - there is no time to get bored in my lessons. They may be taught slowly and get frequent breaks in order to keep them focused - as appropriate. I have great flexibility and do whatever is necessary to ensure children enjoy their lesson and learn.
My skills and experiences of supporting children and adults on the Autistic spectrum: I have many years of experience working with students on the Autism spectrum, initially as a class teacher within a specialist unit for pupils with language and communication difficulties, as an inclusive teacher in a range of mainstream schools as well as extensively as a 1:1 tutor. I have worked with a number of students with ADHD, those on the autistic spectrum and students with Asperger’s syndrome. I use many approaches that have been devised for teaching children with Autism, including TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories and am familiar with Applied Behaviour Analysis. I have a wealth of strategies to help students manage PDA. I like to be organised and create a friendly but structured environment which helps decrease negative behaviours, lessen student anxiety, and increase independence. I am extremely empathetic and sensitive to the needs of learners. I am positive, friendly, personable, patient and approachable which enables students to feel comfortable with me. A student with Autism, (often known for their honesty and directness) once came into my office at the end of the school day to inform me that, "If more people in the world were like me then the world would be a better place for everyone." I seek to make this a true experience for every student I tutor.
My skills and experiences writing and working on policies, personalised plans, IEP's, EHCP's and Schemes of work include: Creating whole school policies to ensure children with SEN were fully integrated and that their learning was monitored carefully to ensure success for each child, liaising with departments to create (and monitor) inclusive and challenging IEP's per child, contributing to EHCP's for a variety of County Councils ensuring adequate funding for children with SEND, creating personalised schemes of work for home schooled children (including my own at one point) which are aligned to the British Curriculum as well as co-creating a County Council's Scheme of Work for a Foundation subject (now used in schools countywide).
My skills and experiences working with students in English and Mathematics as well as those with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia include: intervention activities and lessons enabling them to reach their next goals so that they can continue to excel against their own progress. supporting age 10-15 year olds prepping for and passing exams in English and Maths using signposting and helping them develop English and Maths comprehension skills and essay /problem solving strategies alongside pre-learning of key concepts. I’ve taught these skills for both mainstream and non- mainstream children as well as those experiencing EOTAS. I use a wide range of online systems, apps and resources per session To ensure children access the depth and breadth of the maths and english curriculums and that they find it fun, challenging and interesting. I have been included in a blog. (See links on the profile) on how this approach boosts self-esteem and confidence. I use a variety of activities with children (including those with Dyscalculia and Dyslexia) to develop skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organisation, regulation, and problem solving - these are particularly useful for children with Dyscalculia/Dyslexia cognitive disorders. I use multi-sensory methods: sight, touch and hearing to teach students as it creates a higher retention rate for learning new material. Students with Dyscalculia and Dyslexia develop better reading skills, for both subjects, when teachers use whole language strategies so I use these in all sessions under one systematic theme. A wide range of mathematical and reading materials are used and diagnostic assessments are used to evaluate what students reading and maths scores are at the beginning and end of the terms. Lastly and most importantly, my lessons in these subjects are fun and engaging. I use a plethora of resources which involve challenge & support and all actively engage the students. My lessons are highly interactive.
My experience teaching study skills and exam techniques to students: I have spent a few years helping children through entry tests and providing them with the study skills, time management understanding and how to specifically get good grades in the 11+ exams and other examinations. The techniques I use include supporting students to self-assess and self-edit their own work, check their own work, reading the question out loud; breaking down the question; underline the key words and digits; how to check answers; breaking down the question; how to use evidence from the text; underling the text (e.g. using colour-coding it); how to use your evidence in your answer; PEE (L) technique and more. I am experienced with working with children who have executive dysfunctions and support them by holding them accountable, thereby bolstering executive functions.
My skills and experience preparing students for their GCSEs and English functional skills tests include helping children comprehend and analyse the questions, structure answers and essays as well as developing time management skills enabling children to achieve the correct level for the UK curriculum. My skills and experiences preparing students for functional skills/ GCSEs include bridging learning gaps, supporting children in their understanding of expectations, methods of identifying what is required and how to answer questions in English, Maths, Science, History and Geography at GCSE.
My skills and experience teaching students with ADHD; patience - knowing them and supporting them at their level and finding strategies that work with each child (student accommodations), multiple interactive teaching resources to help with their short attention span, timed activities with timers to help them stay focussed. I'm also careful with instructions and break problem solving activities down to manageable pieces. I give instructions one at a time, work on the most difficult task early in the day, use visual aids such as charts, pictures as well as colour coding and create outlines to make note-taking easy for them.
My skills and experience helping international students transition to the UK curriculum include teaching a range of curriculums and understanding the bridge needed between both. I’ve run British schools internationally and fully understand the range of issues parents and children face when transitioning and am able to apply a range of Skills / strategies as well as support children emotionally, academically and intellectually.
My other specialism is Early Years and I’ve worked in both mainstream and SEN settings with Early Years children or older children accessing the Early Years curriculum. I’ve been an Early Years manager and have worked with children with all kinds of special needs within these settings including non-verbal (using PECS, Clicker, Makaton online), hearing and sight impaired as well as children with global delay.
I am SEN trained and my degree specialism was SEN. I have spent years training staff in inclusion, policies, best practice, understanding the child with different needs. I’ve worked with a wide range of children with emotional needs over my many years of teaching. The ranges include abuse/neglect/ sexual assault issues/ death of parents/ children coping with their SEN as well as emotional needs stemming from mental illness. Throughout my career I have had to deal with children in the care system and am familiar with the attachment-related behaviours, which of course are different with each child. As a trained SENCo and Safeguarding officer, I have had direct contact and had to manage children and staff related to any outcomes of the needs. I’ve also worked in schools that solely specialise in educating children with EBD (emotional behavioural difficulties).
My skills and experience working with students who are visually impaired include: Providing contrast on any visual materials used: black and white, avoiding italic or ornate script and making text more visually distinctive, supplementing visual material with clear verbal explanation, using concrete material and hands-on experience.