As a teacher, tutor, trainer and examiner with many years’ experience working in the UK, Europe and Central and South America, I have worked with learners of all ages from a range of backgrounds and cultures and with diverse specific learning needs. Specialising in language, literacy, learning and skills development, I have supported students preparing for numerous different national and international qualifications including GCSE, A level, BTEC and HE qualifications in the UK, and Cambridge, Trinity and other recognised qualifications around the world.
Trained initially at International House, London, in teaching English as Foreign Language (EFL), I developed classroom management skills and teaching techniques and strategies based on a communicative approach to language learning. This training led to EFL teaching, teacher training and centre management posts in Europe and Central and South America. I worked in this area from 1986 – 1996.
More recently, I have worked in a UK 16 – 19 college developing programmes to support learners and subject teachers to address literacy issues across the college curriculum. At the same time I worked extensively with groups preparing for GCSE English, Skills for Life and Functional Skills qualifications. I was also a personal tutor at this college.
These roles involved working closely with diverse groups with a range of SEN as well as general language, learning and literacy needs to support the development of strategies to minimise the stresses caused by the requirements of institutional or qualification led education. This involved working with students to overcome issues relating to, for example, punctuality and / or attendance, motivation and confidence as well as supporting students to develop speaking, listening, communicating and understanding, reading and writing skills and to access and deliver in terms of external qualifications from entry level to level 3.
I have supported learners with a range of recognised and unrecognised issues relating to diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions that affect their learning experiences and have many years’ experience supporting learners with dyslexia, hyperlexia, dyspraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other learning difficulties as well as, and including, a range of different types of gifted and talented learners.
My practice has always focused on creating learner-centred and learner-empowering environments and on using communication and collaboration to support the acquisition and development of personal qualities, skills and knowledge whilst maintaining appropriate focus on recognized outcomes such as external qualifications.
This ethos has been the driving force behind the setting up of This IS The Safe House, a learning project with a mission to create and deliver innovative programmes for learners, in particular those who may struggle sometimes within the constraints of the conventional learning environment.
Through This IS The Safe House , I have planned and delivered bespoke programmes for individual learners and small groups at Key Stages 3 and 4 (years 9 – 10 and at levels 2, 3 and 4 in the post-16 sector), focusing on the needs of the learners and the facilitation of individualised paths to achieving their full potential, whether in terms of personal development and progress or in the attainment of recognised qualifications. These programmes have been delivered both face-to-face individually or with small groups or online using a range of interfaces such as text messaging, Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, WordPress and e-mail.
In my practice, I am self-sufficient, organized and reliable in everything that I do. These qualities have proven to be valuable in my work as an International ESOL Panel Member for Trinity College, London. I also work on a freelance basis for Kickstarting C.I.C. on a Lottery Funded programme for separated parents and in this role my abilities as a good communicator and listener mean I am able to put people at ease with a calm and friendly but professional manner in circumstances that are not always familiar or comfortable for the ‘client’. In summary, I am an experienced practitioner who is well-presented and professional in his approach, flexible and, I think, able to deal with all circumstances with intelligence and imagination.
This IS The Safe House – I look forward to learning with you ..