Monique Van Zyl – iSENCO

iSEnCo delegateAn Interview with Monique Van Zyl – iSENCO delegate

Monique currently teaches English Literature and Studio Art at an IB International School in Beijing, China. She has a keen interest in SEND but more specifically in Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH). Completing her iSENCO qualification with us in 2021, Monique has now gone on to start our SEMH module as part of our MEd in SEND programme. iSENCo delegate Monique talks a little more about her learning experience with Real Training and why she has chosen to study further with us below.

What made you choose the Real Training course(s) over other options?

Real Training was recommended by a friend who had completed the course a few years ago. This program suited me because of the variety of options available to make up the master’s degree. The timing of the course was also very flexible and I appreciated the option of finishing modules sooner than the scheduled submission dates.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

The support during the iSENCO module was incredible. Feedback happened much faster than I expected, and genuine efforts were made throughout to assist me during the tasks. As my teaching setting does not have a SEND department, I started this course with very little knowledge or experience in this area, but my tutor carefully guided me through my initial insecurities. The platform is intuitive and easy to use, which was quite different from what I had experienced before when studying with online universities.  

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

The insight provided by the iSENCO course has been invaluable, not just for my own practice, but for my entire school setting. I have been able to share new ideas and practices that have had a direct positive impact on our learners. They have also been able to guide teaching staff to implement these strategies in their own classrooms. Although we are still a long way off from implementing the most up-to-date SEND policies in our school, with the help of Real Training’s iSENCO course, I have been able to persuade management to start improvements.

How has the course(s) helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

As an educator, I have been able to grow in my understanding of SEND structures and the accompanying whole-school implementations thereof. Before the iSENCO course, I was unaware of the intricacies involved in running a SEND department, and I have a much more in-depth knowledge and understanding regarding the lack thereof in my setting. I am now, instead of finding fault and assigning blame to various departments, able to assist department heads in finding ways to support their pupils, usually by finding alternate and creative solutions to do so.

I believe, as a future iSENCO, the creative problem-solving skills gained through this course will help me assist and support both teachers and students better than any other program I previously considered. I look forward to stepping into a new career with Real Training as my guide.