Specialist Experience and Skills
Deputy Head Teacher, I have extensive experience both teaching and leading Special Educational Needs and Learning support having managed both areas of the curriculum throughout my career. I have been responsible for teaching and learning, monitoring and assessment, conducting learning walks, observations, book scrutiny, teacher and support staff appraisal, data scrutiny and strategic decision making. I have senior management experience of line managing SENCo, Special Educational Needs, English as an Additional Language, Learning Support Units and Extra Curricular Learning. Experience as ... Read More
Deputy Head Teacher, I have extensive experience both teaching and leading Special Educational Needs and Learning support having managed both areas of the curriculum throughout my career. I have been responsible for teaching and learning, monitoring and assessment, conducting learning walks, observations, book scrutiny, teacher and support staff appraisal, data scrutiny and strategic decision making. I have senior management experience of line managing SENCo, Special Educational Needs, English as an Additional Language, Learning Support Units and Extra Curricular Learning. Experience as primary secondary transition senior member of staff with responsibility for working with primary staff to ensure student readiness for secondary (year 6/7 transition) and extensive experience with KS4 transition and preparation for GCSE, A Level and Sixth form.
My skills and experience supporting students with a range of SEN spans over 20 years alongside senior management experience as the leader and line manager of the SENCo, the Special Educational needs department, the Learning support team and the Study Skills curriculum. Responsible for ensuring that EHCPs were executed and adhered to, for a range of student needs, Dyslexia, Autism including high functioning, ADHD/ ADD, additional educational needs, anxiety, SEBD, Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs, Global delay and complex cases, liaising with parents regularly, and working through with students and parents, a variety of targets, strategies and levels of support to ensure student progress, care and support. Crucial assessment and understanding of the student’s needs is vital, once a holistic assessment has been conducted, pitching the teaching, support and guidance at a level that is appropriate for the student but also carefully and sensitively providing broad and deep learning, reach and challenge so progress is demonstrable.
My specialist experience teaching children with dyslexia spans over a decade alongside senior management experience as leader and line manager of the SENCo Special Educational needs department, the Learning support team and the Study Skills curriculum. I was responsible for ensuring that EHCPs were adhered to for a range of needs. liaising with parents at annual review and working through with students and parents targets, strategies and level of support to ensure student progress.
My experience helping students to develop confidence, self esteem, motivation and engage in learning is demonstrable having won a Times Educational Supplement National Award (TES) developing a Learning Support and Mentoring programme which has been shared nationally to develop similar systems in schools for students at various levels. I have received two DfE awards for my work with students to overcome barriers to learning particularly focused on students with complex and compound issues, low confidence, self esteem issues, social isolation, friendship issues, bullying, anger management, poor retention, SEBD and Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs. I am the recipient of a DfE Excellence in Cities award for my work with a student who had lost both parents and had elected to be mute following this tragic bereavement. I worked with her from year 9 to year 11 to address issues of her mental health, anxiety and self harm and she successfully completed her GCSE courses at KS4 with higher than expected grades given her KS2 SATs results and gained a place at a highly regarded 6th form college where she took her A levels and went on to her undergraduate psychology course.
My specialist experience teaching English, literacy, reading, handwriting, writing and spelling extends from primary literacy to teaching English Language and Literature right up to GCSE with superb grades from baseline expectations, with particular reference to the examination assessment objectives as well as ensuring that Spelling Punctuation and Grammar are at the levels expected for both chronological age and by SATs and CATs expectation. In particular I work with students in the area of SPAG by offering lesson spelling tests, games, quizzes, memory tasks by using proven interleaving and spaced learning techniques where we revisit the learning to ensure that it has become embedded and to text student recall.
My experience supporting children to engage with study skills, revision skills and executive function extends to over 20 years and I work with the student to discover what the learning blocks are and use strategies to help them to overcome these, ultimately ensuring that the work is completed and has stickability for the student over a period of time. This has been extremely impactful and successful with a number of current clients, and I have developed several units of study skills based around the latest developments in the science of learning. I develop their cognitive agility, self refection, processing speed, memory and retention and organisational skills.
My specialist experience helping students to engage in learning is award-winning, demonstrated in several awards from TES, Pearson and DfE. I have developed sustainable and workable systems to help students to engage in learning. I have several years experience as a Deputy Head Teacher responsible for whole school behaviour for learning, sanctions, rewards and attendance. My policy work with governors has always been remarked upon as being highly professional and most importantly workable in practice for students and teachers.
My skills and experience supporting students to develop their independence is evidenced by the student ultimately making progress within their learning by using the strategies taught within sessions and by ensuring that they are confident with these and are able to flourish within their newly found independence, as has been the case with one particular student that I have recently worked with who was always silent in the classroom, refusing to make contributions to lessons and would not turn in homework. I worked with him after school to build his confidence, with a range of activities where he would practice his spelling using the mini white board without fear of "getting things wrong". Slowly he was able to write in his book with certainty and without fear and began to accept feedback in a positive way. He was able, after a term, to read in class and is improving.
My skills and experience providing fun sessions to help students engage in learning & hone their executive function skills is evidenced by the student ultimately making progress within their learning by using the strategies taught within sessions and by ensuring that they are confident with these, having practised and I use Mastery Learning techniques so that students are able to flourish within their newly found independence. This has been the case with one particular student that I have recently worked with who was unstable in the large group classroom setting who has multiple SEND including sensory impairment, anxiety, medical concerns, friendship conflicts and challenges who refused to make contributions to lessons in a way that was workable in a larger group for her and her teachers and when she did, was considered disruptive to others, challenging, erratic and would not engage in any classroom work or homework, despite being extremely anxious about it, which led to increased anxiety.
I worked with her outside of school to build her confidence, in a tri-fold way to address the challenging behaviours with a range of activities where she would practice her literature paragraphs using the mini white board without fear of "getting things wrong" in a low stakes way. Slowly she was able to write in her book with certainty and without fear and began to accept feedback in a positive way and articulate her wishes, concerns and desires to me within the bounds of our trusting relationship. She was able after a term to read aloud in the classroom and made sustained progress by writing in a coherent way with supported ideas and appropriate literary techniques and structure. In tandem I worked with her parents to address the medical issues and input that was needed from medical professionals and specialist outreach teams. Lastly she was able to make herself understood without regular outbursts or alienating others but more importantly was able to feel that her contributions to lessons were meaningful and valid. Her social interactions were productive and she was able to manage her anxiety more effectively having mastered techniques to do so.
My skills and experience supporting students' anxiety and mental health needs is substantial with expertise achieved over the past 20 years having been the lead staff member responsible for making provision for students who are home-schooled, hospital schooled, LAC, have Mental Health Needs, school refusers and those referred to safeguarding and/or mentoring. I have taught students with complex needs who need time and support in order to engage effectively and meaningfully. I have done this by using a range of pastoral and pedagogical approaches to teach and coach young people by developing rapport, solution focused therapy, CBT, generating dialogue with critical thinking skills, offering choices, creating space for decision making, looking at consequences and using a range of activities from the Activities for Mentoring Young People which I developed and authored and is used widely by teachers and mentors in the UK successfully with primary and secondary. I have been able to successfully work with students in terms of Guidance Practice (Egan, Kolb, Zunker, Maslow) having gained an MA Educational Guidance and Psychology.
My skills and experience developing trusting relationships with students with ADD ADHD and autism (including high-functioning) and neuro-diversity includes having sole responsibility for the progress of students on the autistic spectrum who I have taught with sustained success from ages 7 to 18. This includes ensuring that tasks are broken down into to manageable units, creating activities that are accessible for my students and ensuring that teaching is engaging and planned by using a range of strategies particularly the use of dual coding which is vital with students with autism as well as ADD and ADHD concrete examples and elaborative approaches that to help my students to generate successful outcomes gain confidence, complete tasks, assignments and develop trust within themselves, others and make progress. I work with students to discover what the learning blocks are and use strategies to help them to overcome and/or manage these in ways that work for them, ultimately ensuring that the sessions fulfil the shared learning objective, tasks, activities and exercises within the session is completed and have stick-ability for the student which over a period of time becomes long lasting and acts as a foundation for their future learning and development allowing them to function with automaticity particularly around high mark GCSE questions in terms of examination.
My specialist experience teaching children with complex special educational needs and neuro diversity is extensive, as a teaching and learning practitioner I had sole responsibility for the progress of students with this particular Special Educational Needs who I have taught up from KS2, KS3 and up to GCSE Level with success. This included ensuring that tasks were broken down into to manageable units, creating activities that were accessible for my students and ensuring that teaching was accessible by using a range of strategies particularly for students with complex needs the use of dual coding is extremely effective with my students and led to successful outcomes where students were able to gain confidence, complete tasks and make progress as well as extensive partnership working with the occupational therapists, speech and language teams and educational psychologists. I have extensive experience working at senior level with the local authority teams responsible and leading training for SEND teams to ensure that student needs are met. Courses have been developed and delivered by me nationally for teachers and SENCos.
Consultancy Specialist experience in providing training for SEND Staff, Learning Mentors, Heads of Year, pastoral staff, teachers and schools and developing courses, and providing consultancy as requested.