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Interview with Christine Dehnel – NPQSL

 An Interview with Christine Dehnel – NPQSL

Christine is currently the Progress Lead in an alternative secondary education provision for students with SEMH needs, she is based in Milton Keynes. Christine says in her school all of the students have an EHCP for SEMH needs as their primary need however 70% of our population also have ASD as a secondary need. She says her “passion lies in allowing ASD students greater access to the curriculum with minor classroom modifications.” 

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

My Deputy Head recommended me to do it, and I chose to do so based on the online flexibility in learning the modules, and the research-based assessment to drive forward attainment at our provision was a perfect fit.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

I found Real Training really supportive throughout the course. I had reminders and check-ins if I hadn’t logged in for a few weeks. I found the modules informative and easy to access and my tutor really available to offer help and guidance throughout the course. As a professional qualification gaining my NPQSL was a really rewarding process

How has the course helped make an impact at school? 

My course project has made all staff more aware of how to approach their subject to allow ASD students greater confidence in accessing the curriculum. We have also increased communication with parents at home by releasing a school app, this allows everyone to keep up to date on school events. Not only has my project made an impact over the duration of my course but these are changes we will continue to support moving forward.  

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

This course has allowed me to understand the minor classroom modifications that we as educators can make, to allow ASD students greater accessibility to our lessons. I plan to move forward in applying to study my Educational Doctorate and develop our school as leading experts in this field.

An Interview with Bronwen Brauteseth

 

An Interview with Bronwen Brauteseth – iSENCO

Bronwen is currently an Inclusion Support Teacher working in Dubai. Her special interest in SEND include; Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Learning Difficulties. She completed the iSENCO qualification with us in January 2020 and has since then enrolled on our Social Emotional and Mental Health module. This means Bronwen has 60 credits on our MEd SEND programme and is working toward another 30.

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

It gave me the option of studying and working at the same time, through distance learning. I found the opportunity of selecting course credits for an M.Ed programme was exactly what I was looking for.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

I initially found the academic reading and writing tasks overwhelming but after setting up a study timetable and getting into a routine, I found the layout of the course extremely helpful for building your work towards the larger written assignments. While the course work is a lot to get through, with discipline and a good support team, I was able to get through it all. 

My tutor, Colette,  was extremely helpful and encouraging. I found that being in regular contact with my tutor helped to keep me on track and accountable. Colette has been extremely supportive throughout my learning journey as well as giving me guidance on various questions I have had during the programme. Her feedback on assignments has not only improved my confidence in writing the longer assignments but she also included very practical guidelines for each assignment.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

The course has given me the confidence to successfully implement interventions for students with SEND that are research-based and in doing so, I am able to support school-wide improvement targets. Leading the Teaching Assistants is a new role for me that was offered to me after completing the iSENCO course. By running regular training programmes on the various aspects of learning for students with SEND has allowed for further improvement of school-wide provision. 

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

The course has helped me understand Inclusion and SEND provision in-depth and on practical levels, which has in turn given me the confidence to recommend and adjust school practices based on research as required. It has inspired me to implement new changes for the benefit of the students in need and supporting various staff members to better understand their role in supporting students with SEND. The course has given me the confidence to look at my leadership skills in a different light and challenge myself to continue my M.Ed studies. 

I found the practical assignments were extremely helpful in developing professional and reflective skills while the longer research assignments developed knowledge and a deeper understanding of the topics. Tasks with conversations with colleagues were helpful for guiding and improving practice.

An Interview with Priya Shah – MEd SEND

What does graduating from this course mean to you on a personal and a professional level?

On both a personal level and a professional level, acquiring an M.Ed in SEND after 22 years as a teacher has really raised my confidence in general, whether it be listening for the sake of listening to gain all perspectives of an idea or argument, or responding after critically analysing the information (in oral or written form, or writing professional reports, or carrying out action research, etc.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

I was looking to gain membership on Register for Qualified Test Users (RQTU) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). I found the CPT3A course online. As I work overseas, Real Training offered a user-friendly online platform and the turn-around time for replies to emails or queries was very quick. Also, I found that all the tutors I had were educational psychologists which have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, experience and wisdom. The school that I work in then approached me and encouraged me to continue courses to achieve a Masters. And so I did!

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The online platform was easy to use and the readings and videos were relevant to my work, thus the experience of learning was pleasant and interesting yet very rigorous. The amount of work to be done was vast but manageable once one gets organized.

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

I have used the skills of administering standardized tests and writing reports for external exam boards from the CPT3A course and the students have thus benefitted from exam access accommodations.

I have utilized the knowledge and skills from the NASENCO course for my role as the Learning Support Case Manager of grade 11 and 12 and as the untitled team leader of our Learning Support department in the high school and work very closely with the Student Support Services Coordinator of the school as well as the grade level leaders who manage the Response to Intervention framework.

The Social, Emotional Learning course was a great learning experience and the knowledge gained has enhanced my skills as a teacher and advisor. It has been particularly useful in these unusual times of COVID-19 when we went virtual.

The Enquiry-based research module was excellent as I got exposure to action research and got to investigate the efficacy of an online math intervention in terms of raising mathematical resilience of students with needs in an international setting using the RADIO framework. This has helped me as a co-teacher in math classes.

How have the courses helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

My personal goal next academic year is to develop Social Emotional Learning in all my work in school, especially as we return to the school building on September 1st after the virtual learning environment since March 23rd. I have already started a virtual Meditation course for students for our optional summer school. As a lifelong learner, I am learning more and more about meditation and how it helps both professionally as a teacher and in my personal life as well.

How has the experience changed your view on continued professional development for your own career?

This experience has made me see that I can step out of my comfort zone in terms of professionally developing my own career. As all my tutors have been educational psychologists, I feel like I am ready to take the next step and pursue a doctorate in educational psychology. I completed my BSc (Hons) Psychology in the UK in 1993 and wanted to become an educational psychologist after that. In those days one also had to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a minimum of 2 years of teaching before applying for a Masters in Educational Psychology. I became a teacher and loved it so much that I stuck to it for 22 years. Now things have changed. One does not need to be a qualified teacher to pursue a career as an educational psychologist in the UK but one does need some experience with working with children or young people and then one pursues a 3-year Doctorate in Educational Psychology. As I do not live in the UK anymore and have responsibilities of taking care of a family overseas, I cannot go to the UK to train as an educational psychologist at the moment. I have yet to find a rigorous blended online course to fit my needs to pursue a course that will qualify me as an educational psychologist. My only wish now is that Real Training develops an online program that one can pursue to qualify as a working educational psychologist. If they do, I would have no hesitation in taking it up!

Emma Gray – NASENCO

 

An Interview with Emma Gray – NASENCO

Emma is currently the Learning Support Teacher in an international private school in Singapore, working mainly across Key Stage One. She has special interests in social, emotional communication and profiles consistent with ASD traits. Emma completed the NASENCO qualification with us at Real Training in 2020. Here is what she had to say about her time studying with us.

What made you choose the Real Training  NASENCO course over other options?

Real Training had a great reputation amongst colleagues for delivering high-quality and easily accessible online learning programmes. Being able to dip in and out of the course depending on my own schedule was a real selling point for me. Working in an international school in Asia, the course appealed to me as a way of keeping a handle on relevant policy, procedure and current best practice in the UK around SEND. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

My tutor was incredibly supportive when I requested extensions partway through the course. Feedback has been positive and constructive and this has motivated me to do better and develop further. My questions were always responded to in a timely manner, no matter how obtuse they seemed! I especially enjoyed being a part of the forums, collaborating and discussing issues linked to SEND globally, with a diverse group of delegates was a very worthwhile and enlightening experience.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

Completing the NASENCO course has enabled me to feel confident about the provision that I am organising in my setting. I have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to liaise between class teachers, parents and external specialists in order to better support pupils with SEND. The course involved Applied Practice tasks which gave me the opportunities to apply new learning to my setting and served as a platform on which to engage in professional dialogue around SEND. As our school’s curriculum is based on the British curriculum the course has enabled me to stay abreast with best practice in the UK. 

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

The course has given me a qualification required to carry out the SENCO role in the UK. As well as becoming well versed in the legal and practical components of SEND practice I have also become aware of the degree of emotional intelligence needed to carry out the role effectively and have a greater appreciation of the diversity that SEND encompasses. Studying at Masters level has been a challenge that has reignited my own love of learning and I now intend to continue to study further.

Elizabeth Chadwick – MEd SEND

 

An Interview with Elizabeth Chadwick – MEd SEND

Elizabeth is currently Head of the Educational Achievement Department/SENCO at the British school in Bogota, Colombia, working with both primary and secondary aged children. Her special interests within SEN include; Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. Elizabeth is also interested in developing her skills further, stating – “I would like to do some professional training in autism spectrum disorder. I find working with students on the autism spectrum interesting, but feel I need better tools to teach them”. After studying with our sister company Dyslexia Action Elizabeth then decided to join our MEd SEND programme at Real Training. Here is how she found her time studying with us.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options? 

I had already completed my postgraduate diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy with Dyslexia Action and decided to complete the MEd Send with Real Training as the easy to access online learning element made it the best choice for my situation. I like that the Real Training courses are self-paced, but very well structured to support this way of learning. Real Training courses are diverse and the Enquiry Based SEND module allowed me to further develop my interests within my work setting. I like that I was able to choose my topic and be supported in my decision. My tutor was always available to guide me and help me talk through my ideas.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

Jane was always very supportive and answered my questions quickly. Our tutorials were to the point and useful – Jane often let me talk through ideas which really helped me to organise my thoughts. I felt that the way the tasks built up was particularly helpful, resulting in the final written task coming together in a logical manner. I never felt overwhelmed by the amount of work. I liked comparing two pieces of literature before plunging into the complete literature review. I also liked that all the tasks could be used for the assessments. I loved being able to read the whole course before starting. It was useful to have an online journal to note my thoughts down in along the way and discussion forums to share ideas and see what other course members were doing. The progress bar really helped motivate me! I have already recommended Real Training to colleagues and at least one is going to apply for the MEd SEND course. Thank you! It’s been a long journey and I’ve finally reached the end…I hope to take the International SENCO course next, but for now…rest!

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

The course has resulted in the development of an on-going project to teach metacognitive skills to Year 7 students across core subjects. The current students will also benefit from the teaching of explicit maths specific metacognitive strategies. I am now a better-prepared teacher which will benefit my students and the school. Alongside this, I have also improved my relationships within the maths department and have gained the ability to speak with more knowledge-based information during meetings.

How have the courses helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

The courses have improved teaching standards and resulted in updated best practice. They have provided me with the ability to have discussions on best practice during discussions with colleagues in the maths department. I also now feel more confident giving advice to my colleagues on teaching methods that work well for students with Dyscalculia. Furthermore, I would now like to continue to study Dyscalculia and become a specialist teacher in this area in the future. Overall, the courses have provided me with a renewed interest in teaching children who are struggling and improved my abilities as a maths teacher in general.

 

 

 

Jennifer Root – NASENCO

An Interview with Jennifer Root – NASENCO

Jennifer is currently working in a school in East Sussex for children and young people aged 7-19. She completed the National Award for SEN Coordination with us here at Real Training this year!  With a particular interest in Autism, she is currently engaged in a project to get the school re-accredited with Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. We asked Jennifer about her experience studying with Real Training, read what she had to say below.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

I discovered Real Training through word of mouth. One of the other teachers working at my school was just about to start studying through Real Training and recommended them as a training provider. When looking over the course content I felt that it would strongly enhance my knowledge and understanding of the SENCo role, which I had been appointed to post with not much of a robust handover. I found the enrolment process easy and the support from both my appointed tutor and the Real Training team helpful and readily available at each stage of my learning journey. The benefit of distance learning with Real Training was that I was able to be in post whilst simultaneously putting my learning into practice. I was able to liaise with other course members to share experiences, successes and possible strategies to implement in the future. In this way, I still had access to a real learning community, even though our experiences were diverse and roles were across a range of geographic locations. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

The course was engaging and vital to my development as a SENCo within my school. At times I felt lost in the course content, not knowing where to start, but the online forums through Campus Online and discussion pages were a wonderful source of support and helped me to refocus my thinking and rationalize my ideas. My tutor was a real help, clear and concise in his feedback and supportive in his guidance. This meant that despite my initial fears of writing at Masters Level again (it has been quite a few years!) I was able to reframe my ideas and redraft to ensure that I met the course criteria. I really enjoyed the opportunity to complete the Action Research project. I completed a two-day visit to an outstanding school in Surrey and have maintained links that I made. I have been able to not only return to my setting to implement change, but it has highlighted the real positives already within my school which should be celebrated. I found that the EBSCO library had a wealth of information to delve through and again, whilst initially overwhelming, provided me with a huge amount of academic journals and research papers on which to either support or challenge my own perspectives. 

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

My headteacher Fran Pass commented: ‘The course has enabled Jenny to fine-tune her understanding of SEN and the complexities of ensuring that no child or young person is disadvantaged due to a diagnosis. The course enabled Jenny to route what she already does to a high standard within a theoretical framework.’ I feel that the course has enabled me to create an action plan in order to develop the role and has ensured greater and more knowledgeable support of the children and young people in our school. I look forward to further developing in the role of SENCo and aspire to make links with other SENCos and aspiring SENCos in the local area to share experiences and strategies.

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

I feel that now, being a qualified SENCo, I have a greater knowledge and understanding of the role and the ways in which I can lead the staff team to implement change for the benefit of our children and young people. I am now conversant in the theoretical framework and am able to use my learning to underpin my experiences. I found the course hugely valuable and am now more able to perform the role of SENCo within my SEN setting. I encourage any aspiring SENCos to go ahead and enrol on this program, its engaging, varied and informative. Real Training and the tutors invest time and effort into people so that they can really make the most of this learning opportunity.

 

Wirdani Yusoff – Leadership of Inclusive Practice

An Interview with Wirdani Yusoff – Leadership of Inclusive Practice

Wirdani is one of our international students, currently working in Istanbul Turkey as a lecturer at a university. She specialises in Moderate Learning Difficulty, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment. Wirdani studied the Leadership of Inclusive Practice course, the first mandatory module in the Masters in Leading Inclusive Education which we deliver in partnership with Middlesex University. Read on to see what Wirdani had to say about her experiences studying with us at Real Training and what the course has done for her career.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

I received a recommendation via Middlesex University, London.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

I have always been interested in pursuing my study in the area of inclusive education especially in the UK, but since I am working in Turkey it is rather difficult to do so. Real Training has bridged that gap by offering an outstanding online learning platform partnered with Middlesex University so that I could take up courses/modules in the area of my interests and learn from anywhere in the world. The portal displays excellent tools and features showing progress, engaging delegates through forums, and a virtual notebook which is useful to support note-taking and share options with the course leader. Tutors/Course Leaders are easy to get hold of and I often receive swift responses from them when help and support are needed.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

The course has totally changed my view in dealing with students who are often marginalized by society. I have also successfully changed the perspective of my colleagues through a change project I undertook as a part of a requirement for the Practice Analysis Assignment. As a result of the project I led, students’ performance has increased significantly by 40%.

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

Fostering an inclusive environment in an educational institution starts with the upper management particularly leaders. This course has helped me become an effective, better leader. Its learning activities, reading materials, and assignments have opened my mind wider to understand more critically, develop my skills, and have practical experience leading and managing a project even better than I had done before. It goes without saying that in the process there are also difficulties I have encountered but in the end, it has been a worthwhile ride. Continuing along these avenues of leading inclusive education, I would definitely continue to use what I have learnt for a future reference to success.

Ian Woollard – CCET Intensive

An Interview with Ian Woollard – CCET Intensive

Ian is the Vice Principal of an International school in Japan, working with children from ages 3-18. Speaking about his particular interest in SEND Ian said “I have always had a strong interest in the social, emotional and behavioural aspect of SEND. I’m always wondering what a child’s behaviour is trying to tell us about the difficulties they are experiencing”. Ian attended one of our 3-day CCET Intensive events held in Singapore in 2019.

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

I was looking for an online course that I could complete whilst still at my current school in Japan. Even though I wanted an online course I also wanted the course to have a face-to-face component as I feel that paradigm works best for me. The fact that I could attend the face-to-face part of the training in Singapore was a huge bonus as I wouldn’t have been able to travel to the UK. I had heard about Real Training from word-of-mouth but it was only when I searched for courses online that I saw the name and recognised it. The information about the course that was provided was very clear including what qualifications it would lead to.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I found the CCET intensive course to be an enjoyable and informative course with high-quality resources and support. I would recommend Real Training. The Campus Online learning environment, the support from tutors, and the course content were all excellent. In particular, I would commend the tutors who were friendly, approachable and prompt in their feedback. I never felt worried about bothering my tutor with any questions I had. I would also like to commend Real Training for how they supported students through the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating flexibility and understanding. Despite completing the course at this challenging time, the experience was very smooth.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

I am already starting to build the course into my practice. As a small international school, we do not have the same access to support services as a school might have in the UK. This means we have to handle a lot more in-house. The CCET qualification allows me to expand the in-school testing and assessment that we can provide for SEND students enabling us to have more informed conversations with parents and teachers and to better target support.

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

For me personally, I came away from the course with an increased understanding of assessment and testing which helped me to see more clearly how those things fit into the complex puzzle of SEND support and provision. I am not sure about where I would like to go in the future with my professional career as I am in a complex role at school and balancing a lot of different priorities. However, if the opportunity arises I would perhaps like to develop my understanding of specific areas of SEND. I would definitely consider using Real Training again in the future for this.

Kerry Jordain – CPT3A & Free AAU

An Interview with Kerry Jordain – CPT3A & Free AAU

Kerry is the specialist assessor for SEND & EAA at Brixham College, she specialises in Autism and Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD). Kerry completed the CPT3A qualification with us at Real Training in 2015. Since then she has kept her knowledge up to date by enrolling on our free Access Arrangements Update course, she has highlighted some of her experiences with us and why she was happy she enrolled onto our free AAU Course in 2020!

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

Real Training was a recommendation via a colleague from a further education college.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I was initially concerned about going back to learning after some 25+ years; however, the way Real Training lays out the course, the materials supplied and the portal are all excellent and easy to follow once you get the hang of it. Additionally, tutors/course leaders are easy to get hold of via email if you do get stuck. In the past, after I completed my CPT3A with Real Training, I did other refresher courses. However, when I received an email stating ‘free’ refresher course I decided to try it and am so glad I did. It was concise and easy to follow, it only tells you what ‘you need’ to know and the ability to access discussion forums as well as revisit the refresher course whenever needed is exceptional.

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

I now run the EAA aspect for exams and line manage TAs and invigilators during the course of mock and formal exams. I also carry out assessments on pupils who have been alerted to the SEND department as struggling – I can then write reports to the teaching staff on my findings and some strategies to use. I also carry out assessments prior to pupils seeing an Educational Psychologist. This is cost-effective to the school and also saves a lot of time, meaning we get Educational Psychologist recommendations very quickly and are able to implement strategies to assist the pupil.

How have the courses helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

The course has given me not only the knowledge to carry out my ‘ever-growing’ role of specialist assessor and EAA office; it has also given me the confidence to attend and run meetings with senior members of staff to implement various ways of tracking a child which will produce the evidence required by JCQ. I have also run a number of TA and invigilator training sessions to ensure JCQ regulations are adhered to. The confidence I have gained by completing this course and achieving CPT3A has helped no end in my work life but has also had an impact on my private life, whereby I feel confident to tackle new or unfamiliar situations.

Taneisha Pascoe Matthews – Full MEd

An Interview with Taneisha Pascoe Matthews – Full MEd

Taneisha has a special interest in Autism, she is a mother of two boys who are both autistic and she uses her knowledge and social platforms to advocate for children with Autism whilst also working in a London Secondary school. Taneisha began her studies with us in May 2015. She completed her full Master of Education in SEND here at Real Training. Taneisha completed the National Award, Autism Spectrum Conditions module, CPT3A and Enquiry to achieve her full Masters. After 4 years of study over a variety of modules, here is her journey through our MEd SEND programme and her thoughts on studying with Real Training.

What made you choose the Real Training courses over other options?

Real Training was the obvious choice for me based on recommendations from two teachers at my school who were completing the National Award for SEN Coordination. They spoke well of the course by highlighting both the practical aspects as well as theoretical areas. Within a year they had moved on to lead SEND Departments which created the opportunity for me to get on the course. The flexibility it afforded with 100% online was exactly what I needed. Once I completed the first course with Real Training and experienced first-hand the amazing culture of support and the readiness to confidently undertake the SENCO role, I decided that I was going to complete a full master’s degree.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The learning experience at Real Training exceeded my expectations. The courses I completed were well written and I was surprised by the skills gained with the courses being 100% online. I was supported throughout by my tutors and it was easy to navigate the Campus Online platform.

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

I completed the NASENCO course in 2016 and by 2017 I was hired in my current school as Head of Learning Support. I have received some lovely comments from staff about the impact on their teaching based on CPDs I have led. While completing the Enquiry-based project I did an investigation into the ability of staff to make reasonable adjustments for autistic pupils. This has become part of my advocacy on social media platforms. I host a Facebook page called One of Many Autism Voices, providing strategies and UpToDate information for families and educators. As a school, we are known to be a school making reasonable adjustments to SEND learners.

How have the courses helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

The courses I have completed have developed my SEND knowledge to expert level and provided the skills to complete my job with the level of competence that is needed to make a difference for young people. I have been promoted to Assistant Headteacher in the past year and have spoken at several educational conferences both locally and internationally (via Zoom). I am now the specialist assessor for exam dispensations at my school.

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