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Andrew

Secondary Tutor (Science)

Knebworth, Hertfordshire

I have 15 years of teaching experience, with 10 years in the SEN sector, including pupil referral units, autism-specific schools, and schools for students with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties. (SEMH).

I believe that everything begins with a solid, well-planned lesson. We cannot adapt lessons to suit learners with SEN without solid foundations around teaching and learning. When students feel safe, supported, and listened to, they are far more likely to engage and ultimately have better educational outcomes. I aim to forge a solid relationship from the outset which sets the tone for future progress both academically and holistically.

“Shows a firm commitment to the principles of education. He makes a positive difference to the lives of his students.”

Geoff

Availability 

Online & Face-to-face Sessions

9am - 4pm Mon-Fri
Some evenings, please request if needed

£105 per hour

How I provide for children and young people with social emotional and mental health difficulties

As listed above, I have extensive experience in the field of social-emotional and mental health education. I have encountered and supported students with a range of difficulties and disorders including:
Anxiety
Depression
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
Oppositional Defiance Disorder
Attachment Disorder
Eating Disorders
Aggression and self-harming
Serious mental health conditions such as psychosis and bipolar
As a classroom teacher in SEMH schools, I dealt with students with a range of difficulties on an ongoing daily basis. Using the assess, plan, do, review cycle (or graduated approach) we, as staff, were able to continually monitor and adapt our approach to supporting the young people in our care.

How I provide for children and young people with special educational needs

During my five years in one of London’s PRUs, I held several positions including teacher, tutor, head of KS3, attendance officer, and SENDCO. The most pertinent SEN experience was of course my time as the SENDCO, where I liaised with outside agencies such as CAMHS, speech and language, occupational health, and the educational psychology service to support all pupils with SEN. The role also involved making applications for student education, health, and care plans (EHCPs) and chairing review meetings with all professionals involved with the young person. To date, I have made five successful applications for education health and care plans which will now support those students until the age of 25.

How I provide for children and young people on the autistic spectrum

For the last 18 months, I have been working 3 hours per day with a young man with autism and moderate to severe associated learning difficulties. I have become an integral part of the young person’s life and have a close working relationship with all the family. His anxiety levels were once so high that he couldn’t make eye contact with strangers or leave the house without his parents. By exposing him gradually to the things that make him anxious, (exposure therapy) he now comfortably orders food and drink from shops and restaurants and is happy to go shopping nearby his home.

Having worked with dozens of autistic children over the years, I have learned to never judge anyone on their perceived difficulties. ASD is such a complex developmental condition on such a broad spectrum, that you really shouldn’t make any assumptions about their strengths or limitations until you get to know them as the unique individual that they are.

How I provide for children and young people who have pathological demand avoidance (PDA)

Research suggests that many of the tactics employed by the young person to avoid daily demands stem from anxiety and/or sensory overload. As home tutors, we are in a stronger position to support the student with PDA as specific approaches and timetabling can be tailored to the student’s needs.

When structuring lessons, we must take into account the students' issues around processing and executive functioning skills and consider how anxiety levels may impact these on a given day. For example, what worked well one day may not the following, as anxiety levels tend to fluctuate. As tutors, we must show patience and understanding and be prepared to re-visit parts of lessons as required.

The use of non-subject-specific activities may also be helpful, as students won’t have any preconceived ideas about whether or not they will like the topic or activity.

How I provide for children and young people who have Global Developmental Delay

A previous student, whom I worked with from early in year 7, had on his EHCP a diagnosis of “global developmental delay.” Despite this moderate learning difficulty, he made such great progress that he caught up with many of his peers and found himself meeting age-related expectations for almost half of his academic subjects by year 8. This fact is in stark contrast to the literature which suggests that quite the opposite will occur and that the gap between the late developer and their peers will widen over time. I found that motivating him was key to success as he hated reading and writing. By tapping into his interests (Pokémon, dinosaurs, and farming simulator games) I was able to tailor my lessons to help him truly engage in learning for the first time.

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