Kent, Havering, Bexley, Bromley
Since qualifying as a teacher in 2014, it has been a pleasure to coordinate provision for children, from 0-8yrs, with EHC Plans and a wide range of SEN/D, including Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Down Syndrome. Many of the children have also had physical difficulties and medical needs, such as epilepsy and dysphagia to contend with.
Working with these incredible children has repeatedly reinforced my belief that there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to teaching and learning. It's given me a greater awareness of child development, how all areas of learning and development are interconnected and affect one another. I appreciate the small steps and feel more able to identify gaps in a child’s learning.
"I wouldn't hesitate to re-hire her!"
Online & Face-to-face Sessions
Everyday after 5 pm
£105 per hour
Supporting children with SEND
I have developed knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to a range of approaches, strategies, and interventions. These have included: Attention Autism, Colourful Semantics, Cued Articulation, Intensive Interaction, Lego Therapy, Makaton, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), SCERTS, See and Learn, Sensory Circuits, TACPAC, Write Dance, Zones of Regulation, etc.
I have also developed an ability to produce and use a range of resources to give children a voice and or enable them to access their learning. These have included: real objects, objects of reference, photographs, symbols, communication books/boards, PECS books, visual timetables, ‘Now and Next’ boards, choosing boards, task management boards, vocabulary boards, word banks, writing frames, etc.
Whilst this is all helpful in supporting a child with a specific need and or to develop a particular skill, it cannot replace ‘getting to know’ a child as a unique individual and planning learning experiences and opportunities, tailored specifically to them.
Early Years Experience
Much of my career has been concerned with supporting the youngest children with SEN/D, many of whom are undiagnosed. It is a huge responsibility working with these children and their families, as I am often their first experience of education. I wholeheartedly embrace it and feel honoured to be able to do so. I love child-led, play-based approaches and the freedom they give me to respond to the children ‘in the moment’ and in a developmentally appropriate way.
Working with these amazing children has also given me a greater awareness of child development, how all areas of learning and development are interconnected and affect one another. I appreciate the small steps and feel more able to identify gaps in a child’s learning. I am not afraid to respect a child’s pace and where they are in their development, as this is likely to forge a stronger foundation for future learning. I have also observed how mastering one skill can cause a significant developmental shift.
My collaborative and reflective practice
It has been my pleasure to not only establish strong relationships with children but also their parents/carers. I value their insights as they naturally know the child best and should be as involved and informed as possible. The consistency this creates also secures the greatest impact.
I enjoy liaising with other professionals as well, including therapists and Specialist Teachers for Hearing, Vision, and Multi-Sensory Impairments. I learn a lot from them and have observed the positive impact this joined up working has on the children.
I feel one of my greatest strengths is my ability to reflect. I am unrelenting in my commitment to supporting children with SEN/D and their families. I am not scared to admit when I am unsure and will seek advice, undertake research and self-fund training to ensure I do the best I can.
Supporting children’s attention
I would first seek to ensure children are offered learning experiences and opportunities which are real, relevant, open-ended, and situated in a context alternative to the voice of the adult. Ideally, even, personalised in line with what interests, motivates and engages them. For example, writing and posting letters to Father Christmas to learn about the features of lists and letters, teaching about measure through baking and creating jewellery to practise fine motor skills. If a child loves trains, using small world trains, carriages, and track to explore colour, number, and shape. If a child prefers to be outside, taking the learning to them by, for example, practising writing with chunky chalks and collecting rainfall to learn about handling data.
A child may be too anxious to attend and benefit from visual supports being used to help them understand what is expected. This might involve activities being broken down into smaller steps and represented by a task management board or the use of a ‘Now and Next’ to communicate a balance between adult directed and child-initiated activity. A child may find the open-ended nature of an activity overwhelming and prefer tasks with a clear ‘start’ and ‘finish’ or support to recognise when they will finish.
It may also be beneficial to develop an awareness of a child’s sensory differences. They may be overstimulated or in need of sensory input, requiring a space and resources which will be sensitive to their needs. They may benefit from frequent breaks and opportunities to engage in activities which meet their sensory needs. For example, jumping on a trampoline, eating a crunchy snack and or negotiating an obstacle course.
Boosting children’s self-esteem
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to boosting a child’s self-esteem. One way to do so, though, is by helping them to achieve what they set out to without doing it for them. Offering easily achievable, enjoyable tasks in amongst more challenging ones and or gradually introducing more challenge is another way. A child may benefit from specific praise and or praise for their effort not the end product. It may also be helpful for them to see an adult taking risks, making mistakes, and coping. Working from where the child is in their development, moving at their pace, making adjustments, and removing barriers can also help.