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Work in education and with young people

Index of Contents:

1. Team Leader for 16 – 25 year old’s:

2: HLTA experience over the past 12 months:

Specific experience with SEN, EAL and SEBD:

3: Support within Residential Childcare:

4: Mentoring and Therapy Experience:

5: Specialist PPA cover and PE / games experience:

6: Additional 17 years full time experience in schools:

7: Children and family support work and management experience:


1. Team Leader for 16 – 25 year old’s:

Since January 2018 I have been a Team Leader for Groundwork based in Wardle, Rochdale, Lancashire. I deliver the Prince’s Trust Team Programme for approx 12 young people aged 16 – 25. I manage three x 12 week programmes per year – more details from the video below:

Being a team leader on this programme allows me to help young people thrive and enables me to fulfill my personal goals of supporting people. I continure with holistic support as a lifestyle choice by running superfoods4u.

2: HLTA experience over the past 12 months (Upto Jan 2018):

During the past 12 months, as a HLTA at Dixons Academy Bradford, I have worked closely with the Classroom Teachers, Year Managers, Inclusion Manager, the school nurse and the SENCO co-ordinator to support new and existing pupils with a wide variety of special needs; I also supported pupils that were transient between main stream classes to inclusion and back again.

My work complemented the professional work of teachers as I took responsibility for agreed learning activities.  The work involved planning, preparing and delivering learning programmes and support to individual pupils, small groups and on a short term basis to whole classes.

The school served a diverse community, including many international arrivals that did not have English as their first language. Many of the children were on managed moves, often with gaps in their education and with complex issues and I was been chosen to deal with them on a short term and unstructured basis because senior staff felt I had the experience and skills to manage and nurture them.

Specific experience with SEN, EAL and SEBD:

  • One of my key roles at Dixons was the writing and maintaining of a medical, care and education plan for a Year 7 student with severe epilepsy and subsequent delivery. I undertaken specific medical training to provide personal care for this pupil and I actively worked alongside his TRACKS tutor ensuring his learning environment was calm and secure and the layout was supportive for his needs. I also developed his resilience and this led to him attending from just two days x two hours per week to attending 4 days by 3 hours per week, to attending full time.
  • Over this past 12 months I also had responsibility for the educational, social and emotional control and development of a group of 15 pupils in Year 10 and Year 11. These children had mainly behavioural and learning difficulties and needed high levels of support around GCSE exam preparation for Maths, Science and English, and whilst these are not subjects I have a degree in, I am very knowledgeable and I was able to provide a high level of learning support. I also provided 1:1 mentoring support for many of these pupils because they had a range of social, emotional and behavioural problems that were a barrier for their learning.
  • I also had responsibility for the educational, social and emotional development of 6 pupils in Year 7 and Year 8. These pupils had a learning age of ‘five’ and a range of special needs, predominantly high-level autism, epilepsy, dyspraxia and cerebral palsy. I gained experience of running suitable nurturing sessions and following ‘special routines’ so as not to disrupt their more delicate nature.
  • I had responsibility for the social and emotional control and development of 3 pupils in Year 7 with severe behavioural problems. This involved small group therapy work. For this I used ‘Distraction / Action Therapy’ which focused their attention away from what they should not have been doing. Once I had gained their focus and trust I then moved to a more ‘Solution Focused Therapy’ by discussing positive experiences. I used a scale of 1 – 10 to allow them to express their feelings and also for monitoring any changes in their feelings about more current and relevant aspects of their life such as learning Maths or English – this proved very successful and I was praised for being able to handle these pupils that other staff had to ‘move to isolation’ on a regular basis.
  • I had responsibility for 5 EAL (English as an Additional Language) pupils. The EAL students varied in age from Year 7 up to Year 11. They were from Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Spain and I taught English, Maths and Science. The resources and activities I used varied due to their learning ability and understanding of English.

3: Support within Residential Childcare:

From March 2011 – January 2016 I worked for 2 x 24 hour shifts as a Residential Childcare Worker and this gave me more intense experience of supporting children with severe emotional and social problems.

Within these care homes I specialised in providing residential care for children aged 8 – 16. Most of these children had been physically and emotionally abused and were anxious all the time. I was involved with a “no physical restraint policy” (but was also made aware of ‘Team Teach’) and I became proficient at using our ‘Non Physical Crisis Intervention Training’ to good effect.

My main aim was to support the young people back into education and society. I have completed training and also managed units of work that required an understanding and working knowledge of the principles of child development, learning styles and independent learning. I worked with specialist teaching staff and also undertook 1:1 education with those children that had been excluded from schools or refused to attend. I gained considerable experience of differentiating activities and selecting and developing resources to meet the individual’s learning needs and group learning programmes. For more than 2 years I supported children aged between 8 and 10 years of age with their education.

For two years I also supported various young people in their attendance at Redwood School, Rochdale.

I supported the teachers with: Individualised tasks and presentation, small step targets within group programmes, individual workstations, phonics, pictorial cues, use of symbols, visual timetables and use of IT.

Due to my various roles I became conscious of the support strategies needed to be implemented within both the care homes and the mainstream family homes of the children. Many of our children were on the autistic spectrum and I received specialist autism training to help support their needs. I became very good at recognising trigger points for future ‘more anxious moments’ and worked well within a team to discuss risk assessments and to devise strategies to try and avoid or minimise potential problems.

As a qualified ASDAN trainer I also supported some of the young children with academic work via life skill programs – these proved very effective, especially as the young people did not realise what they were doing was educational.

I also had to deal with family relationship problems and I arranged and supported many young people and their parents with organised contacts. These had to be undertaken with stringent risk assessments, as indeed everything we did involving the young people. I have also supported young people with severe emotional problems relating to child abuse and this involved a high degree of planning and close working with CAMHS.

I also supported children and young people with organised trips out and even short holidays (up to 5 days).

The most significant aspect of this work was the attention to detail we had to give to documentation, and as a result I became very proficient in providing clerical/administrative support. Every day we had a 30 min handover involving written documentation and verbal discussion. As a keyworker for various children I was responsible for preparing monthly reports for the manager and social worker. I was also responsible for attending all school meetings and PDP meetings with the IRO and any virtual heads etc. I had a daily journal to maintain and recorded all interaction and moods of the children and staff. I had to maintain incident and accident books and had to contact the police and emergency social workers on a frequent basis to report on assaults from the young people. I was also responsible for the up keep of the young person’s main file that contained details of all social worker correspondence; and the young person’s medical, health, educational, and daily targets. Discussion with the young people was essential in agreeing the daily targets we applied to motivate them and provide a basis for positive re-enforcement of rewards, praise and ‘super praise’.

4: Mentoring and Therapy Experience:

Projection and Visualization Therapy:

I have experience of using projection and visualization therapy using puppets and toys to children aged 8 – 10 over a 12 week period within a safe creative space in Rochdale. These were used as intervention and communication techniques and were successful at breaking down certain barriers the children had, particularly with regard to challenging behavior.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

I used CBT alongside distraction / action therapy with a group of 10 boys aged 15. They came from a diverse range of ‘minority and excluded groups’, including travellers, asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees.

Solution Focused Therapy:

This was used with the boys as a follow up to their distraction therapy. It was also used successfully with girls due to their greater desire to talk about their emotions and explore their feelings before committing to them.

Group Session Therapy:

I have experience of working with groups of children to help them explore the ‘group and individual benefits of inclusion’ rather than exclusion.

5: Specialist PPA cover and PE / games experience:

September 2004 – August 2006: Spotland Primary School, Rochdale.

I was ‘contracted in’ on a full time basis to co-ordinate and manage the PE and games lessons for the whole school whilst teachers had their PPA time.

During a two year full time period I gained extensive experience of planning, delivering and evaluating teaching and learning practices at this double intake multi racial school. I managed and ran all the PE and Games lessons for the school. I wrote the scheme of work and lesson plans for every class for the whole year. I gained experience of working effectively within a team environment and building effective working relationships with pupils and colleagues. I physically ran the lessons for every class in the school from Reception through to Year 6 for 2 years; this was co-ordinated to allow the teachers to manage their PPA time and I worked effectively within the school’s ethos and supported the aims of the school, which were underpinned by inclusion. To further this aim, I also ran an additional session once per week for children with emotional and behavioural needs – this was initiated by myself as a way of providing specific inclusion time to cater for the additional learning needs of these children. I gained an understanding and working knowledge of national curriculum and other learning programmes, within specified age range/subject areas, in particular Reading Writing and Maths.

I also ran a specialist IT class for Year 6 pupils for 12 months using the schools specialist IT facilities, including use of the photocopier and interactive whiteboard. I wrote the lesson plans and the whole scheme of work.

Within this lesson I also entered the class / school into a national poetry competition. The class I taught had over 20 different nationalities and we decided to embrace this opportunity. We wrote a poem that used ryhming words from each individual national language. We wrote this alongside the English version so it could be understood. All the children learned something about the other countries, including various words. This was a very positive experience for everyone involved and helped create more unity amongst the children and enhanced their own self-esteem and peer recognition.

I also set up and ran multiple after-school sessions and ran the school’s sports teams which involved working closely with other Rochdale schools.

This combined work helped me nurture and develop very good interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with children, young people and colleagues.

6: Additional 17 years experience in schools:

In addition to Spotland school I also have 17 years additional experience in schools, namely:

  • For 6 years I managed an inter-school athletics league and then took the more talented children to represent Rochdale in the UK Sportshall Athletic Championships, where as a qualified dance and exercise to music instructor, I led a mass warm up for 2,500 children.
  • I also became qualified to teach the ‘Pacesetter Athletic Program’ to teachers within primary and high schools. This qualification used the spectrum of athletics – running, jumping and throwing, to motivate pupils to learn and to improve their social interactions. It supported the teachers in using a range of athletic equipment and resources so they could deliver the program themselves and with assistance from other teaching assistants or high school aged children, perhaps undertaking the JSLA or CSLA.
  • I am also a tutor for the CSLA and JSLA courses and have delivered many courses to teachers, support staff, pupils and other community volunteers.
  • 12 months teaching of games, sport and life skills to nursery aged children at a nursery in Oldham (2 x 2 hours per week term time only). I managed sessions for 25 – 30 infants with support from teaching assistants.
  • 3 consecutive years running a pre-school aged parent and infant ‘Play & Interaction Program’. This was run for two mornings every week, term time only. Regular attendance was 10 parents and children.
  • 9 consecutive years experience running both in school and out of school sports activities at St.Michael’s CE Primary, Bamford. Plus the annual school sports day. I was Ofsted inspected almost every year and always received outstanding.
  • I have run in school and after school sessions for boys and for girls and for mixed groups, I have also run programs for children of mixed races and mixed abilities. I have extensive experience of running sessions for children that have previously not been included due to social, emotional and behavioural problems – I have also run programs for looked after children and been successful in integrating all of these together.

7: Children and family support work and management experience:

  • One of my main strengths is my ability to build and maintain positive relationships with pupils, based on mutual respect. My interpersonal skills are very highly developed and I have been a role model for children for over 20 years as a sports coach and mentor, and I have a Diploma is sports psychology, a level 4 diploma in Child care and a level 3 diploma in youth mentoring
  • I have also used these skills to communicate effectively and sensitively with children, their parents/carers and colleagues. I have over 10 years specific experience in working within a supportive family / caring environment and 4 years specific experience of working in residential child care homes.
  • Throughout the last 20 years I have spent most of my time working collaboratively and co-operatively with colleagues. I set up and ran one of the largest sports and mentoring programs in the UK, and for almost 17 years had 1000 children taking part in sessions every week that were run by myself and my colleagues that included sports coaches, mentors and teachers.
  • The scale of this venture and the time frame demonstrates my ability to organise and manage learning activities in ways which keep children safe. Moreover, I was the lead child welfare officer for a football club with over 24 teams.
  • I am an ASDAN tutor and also a tutor for various leadership courses. This has helped me to promote a positive ethos, and actively encourage and motivate children to advance their learning. This can also be evidenced from the role I undertook as the CEO of a Youth Mentoring Charity, specifically set up with this aim in mind.
  • Pals Mentoring Ltd, in conjunction with a Community Interest Company I managed, ran a wide variety of sports, music, and drama based initiatives that demonstrate my creative skills and resourcefulness to develop and adapt learning activities to meet different objectives.
  • From 1994 – 1996 I was the Director of Mini-Soccer for Manchester County FA and helped launch the new ‘mini-soccer’ program into the UK. I was responsible for 23 qualified coaches and worked with schools all over Greater Manchester.
  • I also took the FA Games Assistant qualification that allowed me to write schemes of work, units of work and lesson plans to support the teachers. We used football and sport to deliver core subjects such as English, Maths, Geography and Science.
  • I was appointed by Leeds United as their North West Academy Manager for 18 months and linked this in with my own coaching programs in Rochdale, Oldham and Bury.