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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.


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.

MEd SEND Graduate 2020 – Meet Peter Willis


Peter Willis, Assistant Head and SENCO at The Bewdley School & Sixth Form was kind enough to share his experiences of completing his MEd SEND through Real Training.

Thank you Peter for taking the time to do so! Check out the video below.

Achieving the Master of Education and SEND Programme (MEd SEND) 

To achieve the Masters’ qualification, our MEd SEND Graduate 2020 Peter Willis chose to study the following courses:

Real Training SEND Programme – Teach Primary Awards 2019 Winner

MEd SEND Graduate 2020Our masters-level SEND Programme has won the top 5 star award in the CPD category of the Teach Primary Awards 2019. We are delighted that the programme has been recognised as a valuable learning structure for education professionals in a primary setting, allowing them to gain effective and relevant practical skills and knowledge to support their students with additional needs. The professionals can also combine modules on the programme to achieve a range of postgraduate qualifications, which are validated by Middlesex University.

Are you looking to achieve an MEd in SEND in the future? 

If joining our MEd in SEND is of interest, there is still to apply for our 15 September cohort, a list of our modules and qualifications can be found here. Each module is delivered online and can be completed anywhere in the world. Each course comes with dedicated online tutor support through our bespoke online learning platform Campus Online. Whenever you are ready to enrol for your a MEd SEND module, you can complete an online booking form here. Alternatively, do not hesitate to contact one of our courses advisers if you have any questions regarding the SEND Programme by calling us on +44(0)1273 358080 or email us on info@realgroup.co.uk

Sarah Johnson-Motyl – NASENCO, CCET, NPQSL, Enquiry-Based SEN Practice, Dyslexia – Leadership & Intervention

Why did you decide to study with us?

I discovered the Real Training courses when I was searching for an online course that could be flexible around my work and home commitments. When I started on my journey with Real Training I aspired to achieve the courses which could be combined to achieve a Masters qualification. At that time I was a single parent with 3 year old twins and a 5 year old, a full time job as a SENCO and so could not be away from home for childcare reasons. This ruled out most courses as weekend commitments were a pre-requisite which I was unable to do. Real Training allowed me to study at the times that suited me (evenings and early mornings) and having an online tutor meant I had flexibility to plan the tutorials and assessment work. I really liked the way the course was structured and it was easy to follow the pathway the from beginning through to final submission. The admin team and help desk always responded swiftly to any queries and so although the course used a remote model of studying, I never felt at a loss or unsupported. I liked the virtual community and the fact that we could all join groups and discussion threads from wherever we were in the world. This breadth of experience added the experience of being part of a group and we supported each other through this means.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I have studied several courses and I have had a consistent experience with all my Real Training tutors – all have been utterly fabulous. I can honestly say they have been available at short notice for my questions (no matter how small!) and when I have needed additional flexibility to complete coursework they have been 100% supportive.

I like the fact that we are respected as professionals and there is an understanding that juggling family, study, work and of course ‘life’ means that sometimes more flexibility is needed. The encouragement of tutors spurs on any lagging motivation and the online system gives more support than any other course I have done, including face to face courses.

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

I completed the NASENCO course and was able to apply this to both KS1 and KS2 cohorts. By achieving the assessor qualification, I complemented my practice as a SENCO to deepen understanding of complex needs as well as train staff to further enhance their own CPD within SEN. As an experienced SENCO, I mentored international students on their SEND doctorate and MA courses from Exeter University, as well as participated in their research into Lesson Study.

Sarah’s headteacher

‘Sarah created a whole school assessment plan which meant we identified and addressed SEN at the earliest opportunity. She has driven effective interventions for pupils with both specific learning difficulties as well improving outcomes for these pupils. Her ability to scrutinise assessment data assimilate test scores into necessary individualised programmes of study means nobody slips through the net’

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?

I am looking forward to achieving my Masters qualification and also my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. I love studying and am keen to further progress my practise next year.

Not sure which course I will enrol onto next… possibly NPQH! The world is your oyster with the REAL training programmes!

Karen Cameron – MEd SEND

What do you do?

‘I work with seven to eight-year-olds. I do a lot of assessing in-house in the workplace and a lot of one to one support for universities.’

Why did you decide to study the MEd SEND with us?

‘I received a mailshot about converting Masters-level (M-level) credits. In fact, I had 120 credits with Dyslexia Action with my PGDip. I wanted to bite the bullet, so I looked at all of the courses that you have on offer, called up and spoke to Siobhan and Jane – who would eventually become my tutor. And everyone was so nice, helpful and supportive that I couldn’t resist transferring my existing credits to Real Training so that I could start to build credits towards my MEd.’

What was your favourite part of the course?

‘It got me back into rigorous academic habits – critical analysis, research methods and theory. It also enabled me to be much more circumspect about silver bullet approaches – if you do this, this child will be able to read immediately, etc. Moreover, it encouraged real critical research, which is crucially important, because a lot of money is wasted implementing changes in schools that haven’t been tested in research. Also, my tutor Jane, she was amazing, so good and supportive. When I did my PGCert and PGDip we didn’t have any face-to-face tutorials at all and the experience was really isolating. In stark contrast, Jane was always there when I needed her and she was so helpful – even with essay writing and so on. You know, when I felt that it was a bit overwhelming she was always there – so please make a special mention of Jane.’

What impact has it had on your professional life?

‘It has improved my confidence. I felt that I could demonstrate my competence and I could say, look here are the results, have a go at this and it works, sort of thing. So I have been able to examine different aspects of my professional practice and reassure myself with reliable research and theory that is backed up. I also like the fact that there is a clear focus on ethical implications.’

What can someone who has taken these modules offer?

‘They can offer real competence and the ability to examine things critically and carefully, certainly before they launch into something that might waste money in a particular setting. Also, they will be able to work out how to effect organisational change best. Ultimately, it has had a really positive impact on my practice.’

Why would you advise someone to do this course?

‘It gives you the ability to learn a lot about your subject area and back it up with theory. Jane is amazing, the course is very well structured, and the website is really easy to follow, flows really nicely, and you can take it at your own pace. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own practice and others’ practice too. There were points where I thought, why am I doing this? But I was always encouraged to carry on and I received lots of really useful feedback. So, ultimately, it’s really rewarding.’