Specialist Experience and Skills
My general SEN experience: (dyscalculia, anxiety, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Autism, auditory/ sensory processing disorder, and other Special Educational Needs): I have worked with whole classes, as well as individuals with SEN across KS1 to KS3. My SEN experience includes supporting Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Speech and communication delay, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, ADD, and ADHD. In my full-time SEN role as a specialist G3-5 teacher in Beijing, I worked with a small disciplinary team to implement and develop an Inclusive Learning Support program. This involved monitoring studen... Read More
My general SEN experience: (dyscalculia, anxiety, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Autism, auditory/ sensory processing disorder, and other Special Educational Needs): I have worked with whole classes, as well as individuals with SEN across KS1 to KS3. My SEN experience includes supporting Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Speech and communication delay, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, ADD, and ADHD. In my full-time SEN role as a specialist G3-5 teacher in Beijing, I worked with a small disciplinary team to implement and develop an Inclusive Learning Support program. This involved monitoring student progress through ILPs (Individual Learning Plans), conducting student assessments in order to identify student learning profiles (YARC, WIAT-III-T, PHABB-2, CTOPP-2, GRST, GORT-5, DASH); and implementing a range of Literacy and Numeracy intervention programs (Nessy Reading and Spelling, Numicon, Dyslexia Toolkit, Toe-by-Toe, Paired Reading, Units of Sound, Catch-Up Literacy. My knowledge and experience of a wealth of resources and assessments have enabled me to plan and implement successful intervention programs appropriate to the age and needs of a student with SEN. In order to maintain my professional status, I am a member of the Dyslexia Guild, and I regularly keep abreast of current research in order to continue my studies for my Masters in SEN (Dyslexia and Dyscalculia).
My specific experience working with students with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia and processing difficulties: I have a specialism in Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties, as this is an area that I am particularly interested in, with more than 25 years' experience in teaching students with Dyslexia. Developing a remedial programme involves looking at the student as a whole and supporting them in other areas as well as literacy, such as fine and gross motor skills, organisational skills, Assistive Technology (eg Typing and speech to text software), and memory skills. We work on skills to help develop their processing of information, through breaking down tasks into manageable steps, and providing a clearly structured approach, with regular reinforcement of learning.
My experience working with students with dyscalculia: I have worked with many students who are experiencing Maths difficulties, both with a diagnosis of Dyscalculia, as well as students who are struggling with general maths fluency and understanding number concepts. I often find that Maths is an area in which students often experience high levels of anxiety, therefore I aim to approach intervention by building confidence levels. Visual apparatus and games are a key component of my teaching, as this help engage a student and make learning practical and fun. To reduce the load on memory, I aim to introduce strategies to help with number bonds and maths fluency, particularly when recalling number facts. I have used a range of assessments and teaching programmes to support Numeracy difficulties, including KeyMaths 3, Power of 2, Catch-up Literacy, RISE Maths programme and Numicon.
My experience, skills and strategies of working with young students with focus and concentration challenges: I have extensive experience in the classroom, in a group setting, and as a 1-to-1 teacher. Teaching whole classes always present a challenge for the teacher in terms of keeping their students motivated and focused. Focus and concentration are directly related to motivation levels, and I strive to make my lessons as interesting and motivating as possible. This is achieved by creating a safe, learning space where a child feels challenged yet motivated. I also aim to provide short breaks in learning, through a change of activities, movement, or short quiz or game. I have also found that varying the teaching style and delivery of instruction can be particularly helpful in keeping engagement levels high.
My experience of working with students who lack confidence, anxiety; who require support with future planning and self-esteem boosting to engage in learning: I have worked in a range of settings and supported children with low self-esteem and anxiety. As a tutor and class teacher, building a child’s self-esteem, a strong rapport between pupil / teacher, and creating a safe space for learning, are all paramount to a successful learning experience. Throughout my teaching, I have enjoyed a pastoral role in all subjects I have supported, both as a general and specialist SEN teacher. Often low self-esteem and anxiety go hand-in-hand with students with SEN, as well as a feeling of inadequacy in comparison to their peers, and that is why building rapport, confidence and resilience are key to my teaching. We work together to recognise our strengths and start from there!
My experience working with students who require specialist support with Maths and English: One of my key passions is to help students overcome barriers to learning in Maths and English, improving a child’s self-esteem. My teaching is tailored to a student’s interests, strengths and areas of need. Once these are identified, we can work together to build a targeted, structured programme of support. This often involves building on phonic skills and reading fluency with dyslexic students. Building on a student’s phonic skills is often a key to unlocking their understanding of reading and spelling. In Maths, my experience has provided me with insight on the importance of fluency skills, and an understanding of the number system, as this ‘unlocks’ the path of learning for students with Dyscalculia.
My experience of teaching the KS1 and KS2 curriculum: I have extensive experience in teaching the KS1 and KS 2 curriculum and have taught across the Key Stages 1-2 for 25 years, both in special needs’ schools and non-specialist schools in London and Sussex. My current role involves supporting Year 5/6 students in a local school, teaching the National Tutoring Programme which is aimed at supporting students in Maths and Literacy using the RISE teaching programme. This involves reinforcing the previous year’s learning, as well as pre-teaching the next year’s curriculum. In addition to this, I support KS2 pupils who have a variety of SEN with strategies to boost their confidence and succeed in the classroom setting. I believe that working cooperatively with external agencies (Speech and Language, Occupational, Psychologists) and parents is invaluable to developing a rounded program of support for a student.
My experience of helping individual students transition to the UK curriculum: I have taught both in the UK and abroad. Therefore I have taught in many schools with a high percentage of international students, and part of my role has been to support them in the smooth transition of the UK curriculum. This includes embracing their current learning strengths and knowledge and supporting them in areas that may show as gaps in understanding. My experience as an international teacher means that I am competent in understanding concept-based learning, and therefore facilitating the transition between curricula.
My experience of supporting children and young people with mental health needs: In addition to working with students with SEN, I have consistently worked in a Pastoral role as a class teacher. This has involved getting to know my students and building a strong rapport through regular one-to-one interaction. This is key to supporting children and young people with mental health needs, as a mutual level of trust needs to be built. I often find that anxiety acts as a barrier to learning. Getting to know a student’s background and interests helps to establish a good rapport with both the student and parent.
My experience working with young people who struggle with organisation, independence, presentation and study skills: My experience of supporting students with SEN such as ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Dyscalculia has often involved the need for additional support in other areas, such as organisation, and planning. In class, this is often a cause of anxiety when following instructions and in the presentation of writing tasks. I aim to support students by helping them to break down tasks into smaller chunks, Strategies that I have worked with students to implement and increase independence in their learning include: providing copies of texts, graphic organiser templates, visual timetables, prompt sheets, and homework diary management. Metacognition skills (ie an understanding of how they learn) are vital to develop a student’s independence so that they can begin to take responsibility for their learning and organise their own workload.
My experience working with students with comprehension and reasoning challenges: For students that struggle with comprehension and reasoning skills, I have aimed to provide alternative ways of expressing their responses – these have included using technology to record verbal responses, and visual diagrams to plan their thoughts. This helps to ensure that they are not limiting their writing to words they can spell and helps students to continually enrich their vocabulary.
My experience working with EAL students: Having lived and worked abroad in China and the Middle East, I had have had the opportunity to work directly with a large population of EAL students. This required certification and I have an EAL qualification in Teaching English as an Additional Language. This rich environment enabled my family and I to directly experience the culture and also support students with both SEN and EAL.
My experience designing and implementing intervention programmes and curriculums: Adaptable and resourceful, I have been actively involved in programme design and development and I have taught a range of curriculums both in the UK and abroad. Expertise includes designing and implementing intervention programmes in Maths and Literacy; assessment and test administration. I am a highly dedicated and self-motivated individual who is passionate about Continuing Professional Development.