About Me

I am a caring, passionate SEN teacher and fully qualified SENCO, with more than 25 years' experience in teaching and Special Needs (including Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Anxiety, Memory, Attention and Processing difficulties),  and I am accredited by the Dyslexia Guild. I provide bespoke intervention programme in accordance with the National Curriculum,  and specialise in Year 5/6 tuition and transition into Secondary School. I build programmes to help students access the curriculum whilst developing strengths and megacognitive awareness.

Coming from a musical background, I have a passion for all things musical and frequently use musical rhymes, chants, and songs in my sessions to help with memory recall. This enables pupils to access their learning in more creative ways. I blend this with my love for Literacy and Maths, so that learning is holistic.

I have great interaction skills with children and I always strive to create a calm, and safe environment because I strongly believe children need to feel secure and relaxed to fully engage in learning. My natural creativity inspires me to make my lessons fun and engaging, and I always try to link learning objectives to the child's interests.

 
1 Review

£100+ depending on requirements Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions READ THIS TUTOR'S REVIEWS HERE

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 extensively with whole classes, as well as individuals with SEN across KS1 to KS3. My SEN experience includes supporting Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism, 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 inv... 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 extensively with whole classes, as well as individuals with SEN across KS1 to KS3. My SEN experience includes supporting Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism, 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, bespoke 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 Experience supporting learners with Autism:

I have worked closely with external professionals in order to support learners with Autism and have been able to advise Class teachers and Teaching Assistants on how to support children with Autism to develop their verbal and non-verbal communication, social skills, as well as how to manage their sensory needs. Through the use of Social stories, students can be supported to manage situations in which they may become anxious. I have considerable experience in supporting my students to develop a growth mindset: I aim to develop their resilience as learners to grow both academically and socially. I support my students by scaffolding activities and using a wide variety of teaching strategies to help them access the curriculum. I use technology, visual aids, and graphic organisers to support learning, and always break down concepts into small, manageable tasks in order to ensure that the curriculum is accessible to my students.

My experience and skills when working with young students with focus and concentration challenges:

I have extensive experience as a tutor, and as a specialist SEN teacher. Teaching whole classes always presents a challenge for the teacher in terms of keeping students focused whilst working at a level that challenges, yet nurtures them. 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 a wide range of strategies and interventions to support students to engage with their work in a meaningful way that makes the lesson more memorable. Many of my students need repetition to consolidate new information. I find fun and creative ways to re-visit ideas whilst continuing to keep my pupils highly engaged.

My experience in boosting self-esteem:  

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, as well as 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 confidence and resilience are key to my teaching. We work together to recognise our strengths and start from there!

My experience of providing fun sessions to help students engage in learning:

Making learning fun is at the heart of my teaching! This is important for both student and the teacher, as we all like. to have fun when learning. In this way, my pupils become motivated to learn and look forward to their 1-on=1 sessions. I employ a range of teaching styles (explicit teaching, discovery, quizzes and games), in order to approach learning tasks in different ways. I have also found that varying the teaching style and delivery of instruction can be particularly helpful in keeping students engaged.

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 supporting students to develop their independence:

Working with young people who struggle with organisation and study skills means that my role is to facilitate independent learning. This involves developing strategies to support organisation of school and homework tasks. 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 home 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 and organise their own workload.

My specific experience working with students with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia and processing difficulties:

I have Postgraduate specialisms 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 specialist skills and experience teaching students with writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation challenges (SPAG): 

I have extensive experience of teaching grammar, spelling and punctuation (SPAG) with a proven track record of students achieving excellent results in SATS. This is my beloved area of teaching that I particularly thrive in! I just love the English language and exploring words (derivatives, origins etc.). I have helped numerous children to improve their writing skills by inspiring them with initial stimuli and ideas. Many students with SEN find writing very challenging and have already become reluctant writers. To help my students overcome fear of writing I experiment with different strategies and follow a step-by-step approach. By finding out what interests and excites them, we create authentic writing experiences. The key is to break down the task of writing into achievable parts, so we would start by jotting down ideas using stimuli such as pictures, books, articles, and video clips. Then we would choose areas to develop and identify key ideas for each paragraph. When it comes to writing a first draft, we would then have a wealth of ideas, stimuli relevant vocabulary and information to hand, so that ideas are flowing. Using technology such as Dictation APPS allows the student to focus on the actual writing process and develop their ideas even further. Once we have the first draft, we can then focus on spelling and more advanced vocabulary to enhance their writing.

My experience working with students with maths and 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 of number concepts. Underpinning the difficulty for all of these children is an understanding of number, and the number system. Children with dyscalculia often have difficulty recognising patterns, as well as misconceptions relating to the four operations. Therefore, we work on a blend of concrete materials to aid conceptual learning, and explicit teaching of strategies.

Following an initial assessment to identify areas of strength and need, we follow the principles of Specialist teaching that I have fully absorbed into my teaching: multisensory, cumulative, targeted, with many opportunities for repetition and ‘overlearning’ to consolidate understanding. By approaching tasks in numerous ways, we can work together to find meaningful connections. Often high levels of anxiety accompany a young person with dyscalculia, therefore my aim is to reduce anxiety and focus on encouragement and confidence-building.  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. Depending on the age and interests of each student, I employ fun activities such as using concrete and visual materials such as Numicon, Diennes, flashcards, maths games and rhymes. 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 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 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 (National Curiruclum, PYP, Australian). 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, and am studying for my Master in SEND.

My specialist skills and experience supporting students with Functional Skills (Maths, English and Life Skills):

While functional skills will work on Literacy and Maths, my work with most learners also includes helping them with their homework. This enables me to help the learner across the whole curriculum, where necessary. I am very able to offer constructive support and guidance with planning, organising and writing assignments at Secondary level.  I like to think that I have a warm personality that helps us build a lovely rapport together. With these foundations, we can address any gaps in learning, as well as nurture student strengths. As with all students, I like Secondary students to realise that they can also always teach me things, and this is especially true when we are working on individual projects where they may have extensive knowledge themselves! My job is to support their learning through planning and organisation of ideas; giving feedback and encouragement along the way.

 

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is to encourage lifelong, independent learners by recognizing and developing a pupil’s strengths and targeting skills in areas they find challenging. I am passionate about building a child’s self-confidence and resilience as I believe these elements are pivotal to their progress in their learning journey. I aim to make learning as fun, multisensory, creative and engaging as possible by using practical resources and games in my teaching. It is so rewarding when students show enjoyment in their learning and look forward to their lessons. They never cease to make me smile, with their daily feedback and funny stories! I really enjoy the 1-to-1 interaction with tutoring where my teaching can be specifically tailored to the individual, at their own pace. Ongoing encouragement and an understanding that ‘mistakes' are part of the learning process, are crucial to my teaching.

I am a warm, approachable person and aim to create a relaxed, friendly rapport when teaching. A key element is getting to know a student and incorporating their interests into their lessons. Above all, learning should be fun and engaging. I am always on a learning journey myself, and I hope to develop a love of learning for life. As an International teacher, my family and I have experienced the PYP Learner Profiles, and I strive to embed these personal attributes in my teaching (e.g. caring, risk-taker, communicator, inquirer).

Something Sensational About Me

I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel and live overseas (in Saudi Arabia, Beijing and Australia) with my husband and two children. We have many exciting memories, including day-to-day life driving our own tuk-tuk, climbing the Great Wall of China, camping in the Middle Eastern desert, and excursions on the Great Ocean Road. I love to play the piano, having come from a large, musical family, and I held a music scholarship to Roedean school before pursuing a music degree and teaching career.

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    Availability

    • Monday 9 - 4
    • Tuesday 9 - 4
    • Wednesday 9 - 4
    • Thursday 9 - 4
    • Friday 9 - 4
    • Monday 6 - 8
    • Thursday 6 - 8
    • Saturday 1 - 6
    • Tuesday 5 - 8
    • Wednesday 6 - 8
    • Sunday 9 - 12

    Qualifications and Training

    • Postgraduate Diploma of SEND: Postgraduate Certificate of Dyslexia and Literacy; National Award for SEN Co-Ordination (SENCo) - Middlesex UniversityJune 2015
    • Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms – Dec 2007
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy, University of York – June 2006
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Primary 7-11 (Music), Reading University – July 1995
    • Bachelor of Music, Hons (BMus : Music Performance), University of Wales, Cardif
    ... Read More
    • Postgraduate Diploma of SEND: Postgraduate Certificate of Dyslexia and Literacy; National Award for SEN Co-Ordination (SENCo) - Middlesex UniversityJune 2015
    • Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms – Dec 2007
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy, University of York – June 2006
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Primary 7-11 (Music), Reading University – July 1995
    • Bachelor of Music, Hons (BMus : Music Performance), University of Wales, Cardiff – July 1992
    • 3 A’Levels and 8 O’Levels, Roedean School, Brighton - Music Scholarship 1981-1988
      • Tutor Toolkit Training / NTP – (March - May 2021)
      • The Prevent Duty – Level 2 – Educare – 20th April 2021
      • Safeguarding Children – Be-a-Education Ltd – 16th April 2021
      • Health & Safety in Education, Staff Awareness – Level 2 – Educare - 21st April 2021
      • Child Protection in Education – Level 2 – Educare – 21st April 2021
      • Word Essential Training (Office 365), Excel (2019), Learning PowerPoint – Linkedin (Feb 2021)
      • Ninja Writing – The 4 Levels of Writing Mastery – Linkedin (Jan 2021)
      • Dyslexia: Developing Effective Learning Gavin Reid: Institute of Child Ed & Psychology (2018)
      • Fully DBS checked
    • Implemented whole school Intervention programs in Literacy addressing reading, comprehension, phonics, spelling and handwriting
    • Literacy Coordinator
    • Experience of working in Independent, Private schools as well as State sector

    Choose me if…

    • You would like someone who has more than 25 years' experience in Education and a thorough knowledge of curriculum KS2
    • You would like a fully qualified SENCo and SpLD tutor (10+ years) in SEN (Dyslexia and Dyscalculia) who strives to help overcome barriers to learning
    • You would like someone who is committed to helping children become confident leaners with high self-esteem
    • You are looking for someone who can inspire your child to fulfil their potential
    • You would like someone who believes that learning should be engaging and fun!

    SPECIFIC AREAS COVERED

    My general SEN experience: (dyscalculia, 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 Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia,, Speech and communication delay, dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, 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).

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    ID Checked

    Contact us to book this tutor

      Your contact details will be sent to SENsational Tutors Ltd and will NOT be used for any marketing purposes.




      Catherine D

      Sarah was brilliant with my 10 year old daughter bringing enthusiasm to each lesson and getting her to engage with the lesson. Literally transformed my daughter giving her confidence

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