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An Interview with Sadie Wilkinson

Sadie Wilkinson – CCET Intensive

Sadie currently works as a Science Teacher and is on secondment in the SENCo role. Earlier this year, she completed our CCET qualification and is now completing AAC. Working in a selective secondary school in Lincolnshire, Sadie has always had an interest in SEND. Her sister attended a special needs school and Sadie has worked in one since completing her Human Biology Degree.

Looking to the future, Sadie hopes to undertake the SENCo course, expanding her knowledge of SEN. Below, Sadie tells us a little bit about her time studying with Real Training, so far.

What made you choose Real Training over other options?

I had been looking at completing the CCET and AAC courses for a while and did my research into the costs and how to go about completing these courses. Real Training was a provider that came up a number of times during my research and I was intrigued as to what they had to offer. After reading up on how Real Training delivers the courses, what was included and the costs, I knew it would be the right choice for me.

Furthermore, recommendations from people on a forum I am part of also helped me decided to choose Real Training. It was important for me to know I could complete the work whilst in full-time employment – another factor in my decision.

In terms of course content, the ability to identify different tests and know which ones to use and when was vital. Everything I needed was available through Real Training.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The course exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed the 3-day intensive online option where I had a chance to meet other people who were just as new to this as me. We were split into smaller groups at times and asked to complete smaller tasks together and then re-joined the whole group to give feedback. It wasn’t 3 days of just listening to the presenters. We could ask questions at any point and the presenters were really helpful in providing us with the information.

Campus Online is so easy to use. The tasks are all laid out clearly and you can see what you need to do and how you need to do it. All work is uploaded onto here and you can contact your tutor at any time to ask for help. Feedback from your work is clearly given and you can see what you need to do to improve if needed.

My tutor was extremely supportive. My work was marked promptly, giving me time to make any amendments where necessary. I really enjoyed the course and feel I learned a lot from it. I will be looking to complete further courses with Real Training in the future and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone else.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

This course, and my completion of AAC, will make a huge impact on our school. Being the only member of staff holding this qualification at present I will be able to promptly assess any students who require it without having to wait for the specialist assessor.

We currently pay for an external specialist assessor to come in and assess our students, having me in school able to do this will greatly reduce the wait time and cost, and give the SENCo relevant information on these students as quickly as needed.

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 great deal of knowledge in educational testing. I feel confident in knowing which assessments to carry out and how to interpret the findings from these tests.

With my new knowledge and skills, I hope to be able to work alongside our SENCo department and support the school. Identifying students for assessment, assessing them, and then establishing how best to support these students through their years at our school is something I feel strongly about.

An Interview with Patricia Henderson

Patricia Henderson – AAC

Patricia has completed a multitude of courses with Real Training, most recently our AAC qualification. Prior to this, she has also completed; General Learning Difficulties (Skills & Knowledge and Application & Reflection), Dyslexia: Leadership & Intervention and CCET Online. Based in Malaysia, Patricia works at a secondary international school as a Learning Support Teacher. Talking about her specific interests in SEND, Patricia said “I have an interest in all SEND and ways for students with learning differences to be supported and included in the whole school curriculum.” We wanted to catch up with Patricia and talk about her time studying with us.

What made you choose Real Training’s courses over other options?

I was looking to work towards my Masters in SEND and I found Real Training in a google search. I liked the range of different topics it covered and that it was your choice to choose which topics suited you, your professional development or what you were interested in.

I also liked the fact that it was done at your own pace at times that suited you and didn’t have set deadlines etc. Once I had done one course I was hooked and knew I would see my way through to the completion of my Masters in Education (MEd) with SEND with Real Training.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

Each course definitely met, if not exceeded, my expectations. I enjoyed and learned something from every single one. I found Campus Online was really easy to use and made it easy to contact people. It was equally easy to get help when I did encounter any issues. I would also praise all of the tutors I have had for being both accessible and helpful.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

I have gained a lot more confidence in dealing with data and how it can support students with SEND. This has also allowed me to direct more useful interventions and supports for these students.  I have improved my knowledge to such a degree that my work was used as a case study in the Global Assessment Conference 2020 with Matthew Savage, which then led to me writing a blog for GL Assessment. You can find this here – https://www.gl-education.com/news-hub/blogs/the-data-triangulation-challenge-tricia-henderson/

This was followed by GL Assessment asking me to be part of a panel about wellbeing for FOBISIA.

All of these things have increased my confidence and have allowed me to share what I have learned with others. Clearly displaying the benefits to the school and how my skills are used to support our students and parents.

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?

Using what I have learned, I am able to look deeper into data, testing and what tests to use for specific learning differences. I am now qualified to complete testing within our school, as well as looking at necessary access arrangements and interventions as a result of those tests.

Both additions to my skill set will help students and parents going forward from both an in-class educational aspect and for exams and access arrangements in their later exam years.  I hope to continue to look at different types of learning differences and how I can best support our students to achieve their best potential.

An Interview with Vicky Hewlett – CCET

Vicky Hewlett – CCET

Vicky currently works in a mainstream secondary school in Coventry. When asked about her special interests in SEND, Vicky highlights SPLD with a keen interest in Autism and ADHD too! Having completed our CCET qualification earlier this year, we asked Vicky to tell us about her learning journey;

What made you choose Real Training over other options?

A colleague suggested Real training to me. When I realised I could learn completely online (especially due to the pandemic as I had been shielding) and in my own time, it sold itself to me!

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

To be honest I’m not really sure what I expected. I completed my degree at the Open University, so have experience of distance learning. I guess I thought it would be like that. However, it far surpassed my expectations. Campus online is a great tool. I am a lurker, so I really enjoyed looking at everyone’s comments and experiences without feeling forced to interact unless I wanted to. My tutor support was fantastic. I can not fault Nareesa at all.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

I am now the second qualified assessor for psychometric testing. Additionally, when I have finished, I will be another member of staff qualified to give access arrangements. This will benefit the school in many ways, including assessing students for literacy needs and implementing relevant strategies to support them. Furthermore, the ability to provide access arrangements for the relevant students will have a great impact.

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 hope to be able to use my knowledge and skills learned, to help the students that I work with. Through assessing them and providing strategies to overcome difficulties we may uncover throughout the process. I also hope to inform the teaching body, as a whole, what they can do to better support our students through quality wave 1 teaching. In the future, I hope to complete a Masters with Real training. I would like to be able to qualify to assess for and diagnose, dyslexia.

Stephen Oswald – CPT3A

An Interview with Stephen Oswald – CPT3A

When Stephen moved to the UK he sought ways of expanding his experience in primary and secondary teaching. He found working with young people post 16 was a refreshing challenge. He is currently a Specialist Assessor and SENCo at a large multicultural sixth form college in south-east London and Kent. 

What made you choose Real Training over other options? 

When the college where I worked was taken over by a large collegiate early in 2013, more specialist assessors were needed as soon as possible. My senior colleague recommended Real Training for their efficiency, adding that I could qualify within a year. 

 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

My colleague’s advice was sound. As soon as funds were available, I applied for CPT3A and finished this course ahead of schedule. Not long after qualifying, JCQ stipulated that the assessor’s qualification must be at level 7 and should reflect 100 hours of practical input.  It was really helpful when Real Training re-issued my certificate in 2015 – with a supporting letter-  to confirm that these requirements indeed have been met.

Throughout all courses with Real Training, I really benefited from the prompt formative feedback on submitted work. The online programmes are easy to navigate, and progress can be self-monitored instantly. It is impossible to miss a component, which actually did happen when I followed another course with a different provider – luckily, they gave me some extension…

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

My CPT3A course has helped me to appreciate that a substantial number of young people in every cohort need an extra depth of understanding and guidance. For that reason, I continued studying ASD and Dyslexia at Post-Graduate Diploma level. This extension has helped greatly in finding ways of making ILP’s and EHCP’s work as secondary school pupils transfer through to sixth-form. Annually, I take care of around 45 EHCP reviews across sites.

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?

Real Training has better equipped me for my role as a Specialist Assessor and SENCo. Per year I have meetings and administer assessments with over 300 students across sites. It is very rewarding playing a small part in the students’ progress and assisting them in overcoming obstacles – always realising that ultimately it is their endeavour that sees them through in triumph. 

Real Training has also prepared me to lead insets and training – to new teaching staff in particular. About meeting the needs of students with disabilities, learning difficulties and EAL. I have also been able to specialise in writing and illustrating training material for in-house use, aiming for the greatest clarity possible, through brevity, logic and humour. 

At present, most work in Additional Learning Support is done via video-link. This has for me only been possible thanks to a solid basis of practice-based training and application of skills in real-life pre-Covid, and I look forward to a safe opening up of society and really see our students back again.  

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.

CPT3A Course shortlisted for Teach Secondary CPD Award

We are delighted to announce that our Certificate in Psychometric Testing & Access Arrangements (CPT3A) course has been shortlisted for the 2020 Teach Secondary Awards in its CPD category! Last year, our MEd SEND Programme won the top 5-star award in the Teach Primary Awards in the same category, so we’re hoping to repeat the trick again this year.

It has been a challenging time for obvious reasons, but we at Real Training have managed to stay ahead of the curve, adapting the way we deliver the CPT3A course intensively through Campus Live, and also how we assess the delegates given they haven’t been able to be in the classroom. This shortlisting recognises these efforts, in addition to how we support a large number of educators, both in the UK and overseas in assessing for specific learning difficulties and making necessary access arrangements for examinations in their educational setting.

Our CPT3A course has allowed schools to take ‘in-house’ the services of assessment and access arrangements, freeing up the time of their educational psychologist, saving money, and expanding the professional capacity of the educational setting to allow the development of effective support for their most vulnerable students.

Fully conforming to the British Psychological Society and Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) standards and regulations for psychometric testing and access arrangements, our CPT3A course allows delegates to cover a wide variety of tasks within their setting, including choosing, administering and interpretation of psychometric tests, writing suitable and appropriate assessment reports for submission to examination boards where required and communicating their understanding of these reports to fellow professionals and across the school.

With the introduction of Campus Live, we have been able to continue the delivery of our intensive-style courses throughout the pandemic, enabling our delegates to complete the course quickly, in a face-to-face environment that would have been impossible otherwise.

For full details of these courses, as well as upcoming dates for the intensive events, visit our CPT3A course page.

We believe in supporting educators to improve the outcomes for ALL children, regardless of background, circumstance or challenge. If you believe in the same goal, get in touch with one of our course advisers on +44 (0)1273 35 80 80, email info@realgroup.co.uk or visit our website and we’ll be happy to help you and your educational institution achieve these goals.

Vicky Bradley – CPT3A

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

Real training was recommended to be by a SENDCO forum that I am part of (on facebook). I enquired into how other SENDCOs had qualified to submit access arrangements and a few members of the group had said that they trained with Real Training and that it was a really useful course. It was really easy to enrol on the course and it provided me with not only the qualification that I needed but a much more detailed understanding of psychometric testing, which I did not learn about on my NASENDCO award the previous year.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

CCET – The course was really well thought out and made some quite complex concepts understandable to me. The face to face session were brilliant with a small group of us going through the three days together, we were able to discuss with others and ask questions that you rarely get to ask when you are in school.

The online tasks were clear and well supported with good resources. It was easy to follow instructions and the tasks made sense in terms of the work that we had done in the face to face sessions previously. The examples of best practice/work submitted was particularly helpful.

My tutor has been amazing, she responds so quickly to any questions that I have and any work that I submit. Comments are always clear and helpful; I have learnt a lot of doing this course and from my tutor.

I would recommend real training to anyone looking for similar courses, the online platform is easy to use, clear and provides all of the support materials needed. The tutors are excellent and very quick to respond to questions and mark work submitted. I feel that I have learnt a lot and have a great understanding of psychometric testing now.

AAC – I would recommend real training to anyone 100%. Information is so clear and guidance is easy to follow. Tasks are set out clearly and success criteria is understandable. All resources that I needed were there for me. Everything is easy to find and easy to use.

Tutors are excellent, always available to answer questions or provide guidance and very quick to mark any work submitted. Sophia was so helpful, always available to answer questions and so quick with replies and marking submissions. She was very knowledgeable and gave me useful and constructive feedback.

Excellent resources, I particularly found the examples of good work helpful.

Thank you to everyone at the Real Training team, I have had an excellent experience and enjoyed the course.

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

CCET – I now have a greater understanding of how to deliver tests, interpret the results of tests, and feed back to parents in written and verbal form. I know how these can be used for exam arrangements as well as to inform good practice within school. This course has really changed my understanding of reports that I receive from Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and other external agencies.

AAC – This course has enabled me to give students specific feedback about areas of strength and further development.

When I trained to be a SENDCO, I had very little understanding of access arrangements, the rules surrounding them and how to apply for them. The AAC course enabled me to ensure that students have the correct access arrangements in place, that I can clearly explain these to students and their parents so that I am making sure that my students have a fair chance at success.

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?

CCET – The course has enabled me to better understand the strengths and areas for development of my students and in turn what we can best do to support them in their learning. I am able to understand and interpret results in Educational Psychology reports much more easily, which in turn lead to the students in my school receiving the right support provision. I hope to continue to develop my knowledge and understanding in order to continually provide the best support possible for my students.

AAC – I know have a really clear understanding of access arrangements, how to apply for them and the rules surrounding them. I am looking forward to seeing what impact this will have on the students that I work with and their exam grades.

Philip Helme – CPT3A

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

Having researched available courses I chose the Real Training online course.  Firstly, it allowed me to work at the pace I wanted and secondly, the information on the website was concise and easy to follow.  Also I contacted Real Training and spoke to Dana who provided me with lots of information and alleviated any concerns.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

CCET – The assessments and tasks whilst challenging focused my thinking and structured my learning. I enjoyed all tasks, especially the essays, which I had not done for a number of years. Yes, do it. The whole process was smooth and informative. This is probably the best course model I have ever used. Whenever I contact any of the different departments, they dealt with issues swiftly and in a professional manner.

AAC – Louise, was and is the ultimate professional providing clear and critical advice. She is a real asset to the assessment team with her knowledge and understanding. I was pleased she was my tutor. The tasks were relevant and appropriate with the requirement to know of the latest developments of access arrangements, Equalities Act and JCQ regulation. I found the library and other resources invaluable and would have struggled without them. I have thoroughly enjoyed coming back to studying and will look to continue in the future. Go ahead and do it, I have found it quite invigorating especially through the academic challenge it sets. Admin and finance were exceptional, technical was not need so by default were very efficient

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

CCET – A more focused approach to supporting students, with clear and measurable interventions specific to their needs. We have developed a reading fluency group that will work on improving reading for students who have been identified as need support.

AAC – The ability to put in place interventions and support at an earlier stage so that normal ways of working or adjustments can be made at the earliest possible time. We have moved to test identify students as early a possible (start of year 10) and provide vital information to teachers, parents, SENCO etc.

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?

CCET – Awareness of testing and how the results can be utilised.

AAC – Ability to undertake tests and identify the needs of students.