Special Needs and Disabilities

My route into teaching has been driven by my interest in Neurodiversity. I am passionate about finding ways to; connect with; to build trusting relationships with and to empower young people, so that they are able to progress their own unique learning journeys.

I have worked with people with a whole range of abilities; both Physical Abilities and Cognitive Abilities.

My journey into Special Needs teaching began in 2010 with, Working Parts, an excellent training programme for artists working in special schools and my work at Penn Hall Special School, Wolverhampton, was then featured in Black Country Touring's Arts Council England funding evaluation video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vycqP9Czimk

Since relocating to South Yorkshire in 2014 I have completed my (PGCE) Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Sheffield Hallam University and have established my specialism of teaching students with complex special needs.

While working on-supply assignments (Sept 2018 - Sept 2020) I worked both as a Teacher and as a Learning Support Assistant in a range of special schools across  South Yorkshire. 

I have a wealth of experience of working with young people with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition). This gained firstly through my two years as Textile Teacher at Brantwood Specialist School, a Steiner inspired special school. Students there have diagnoses of ASC, complex sensory profiles and heighted anxiety and some also with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance).

A very special first session while working as part of the teaching team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital 

Hand-over-hand support when needed but still very definitely the student’s own work.

I first arrived at North Ridge Community School in  Doncaster in Feb 2020. This was initally a 2 day assignment but it evolved into a permanent Teacher role. What a journey my time at North Ridge has been! 

I worked with a class of eight KS2 students. These students were all non-verbal and several also had complex sensory profiles. Working with these students reminded me of my passion to work  with people with non neuro-typical interpretations of the world. Previous experience in this area includes working with older people living with Dementia and also working with young people suffering from post operative brain trauma - Sheffield children's Hospital (2019).

CPD has always been important to me so while on Covid 19 furlough I continued my Autism training (University of Bath, Good Practice in Autism Education) and then over the four years working at North Ridge Community School I have participated in all all specialist training (plus, on ocassion, been used as an example of good practice).  

I have now built an impressive library of resources for Sensory Stories as I have found them such a fantastic resource when working with young people with complex needs. Everyone loves a story and I believe that a well resourced, planned and presented one is hard to beat!

So many ways to gain interest and increase visual and tactile stimulus into a learning experience
Clean Mud; one of my favourite calming sensory materials
communication is the key to independence