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Anita

"Anita has an excellent rapport with both children and parents and keeps us informed as to the progress being made. We would recommend Anita to any family or school."

Parents of students in Years 2 & 6 studying Mathematics and English

  • Early Years

  • English

  • Maths

  • Primary

Academic History

BA (Hons) with Qualified Teacher Status, 2:1; in Educational and Professional (Primary) Studies with Mathematics (& Geography); age range 3-11 (3-8 emphasis); Lancaster University (Charlotte Mason College)

About Me

For me, the benefits of tutoring are in being able to take a truly personalised approach – both in the curriculum content and how it is delivered. Sometimes, in mainstream classes, pupils may have to just try and ‘fit in’ – some may flourish, plod, or struggle. However, as a tutor I am in the position to ensure that I always fit with the child, doing whatever it takes for each and every one to feel good and perform well.

An informal on-going assessment-planning cycle is therefore key to my approach, started by gaining a good sense of the child and priorities from parents even before beginning. I then take a broad, open approach in my first session to allow the child’s strengths, preferences and areas of need to evidence themselves. From then on, each and every subsequent lesson is planned and organised to build carefully on what is revealed each time, with my experienced grasp of expected progression driving priorities and pace.

Typically, working with younger pupils, my sessions will involve a variety of different activities to build up a single topic, including practical, visual, written, or physical, to enhance concentration, understanding and meet developmental needs. Depending on the subject focus, my lesson structure will typically begin with a quick refresher practise of what was learnt previously, consolidation of aspects that may not have been secure, introduction of a new concept or higher level, and a fast finisher to end on a high. When and where appropriate, I will relate all this to a child’s own interests, and ask children for regular reviews of how their own learning is going (what worked well, where they want more help etc). In short, you are unlikely to witness me just working through a single text book with a child.

Recent tuition

EYFS

SL had recently switched to a new Nursery at a much-respected local infant school (Cockermouth, Cumbria). His mum was concerned a typically bubbly, chatty boy had become withdrawn at his new school, and some frustration was showing in social/play situations. English was not his home language, but in both languages some speech sounds were unclear. Over 19 weekly lessons, I worked with SL on a range of games and activities to support Language, Literacy, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, building up his confidence and readiness to ‘have a go’. From careful phonological assessments, I identified and targeted sounds he found particularly difficult with fun exercises. After easing any issues at school and ending our sessions, some months later, a new teacher found he had a particular strength in phonics over his peers, which his mum promptly attributed to our sessions.

Y4-6 Mathematics

Mathematics was not a subject that came easily to DH, and her primary school (near Cockermouth, Cumbria) had concerns about her increasing difficultly keeping up with the pace and content the teacher was setting. My initial assessments showed errors and misunderstanding in basic number facts and crucial concepts, such as place value, which would have put her at a disadvantage in grasping anything new or more complex. I supported her for the rest of her primary school years, improving her understanding of such concepts and crucial number facts, with regular practice and then application within more challenging exercises. She began her new secondary school confident and free of anxiety, and the gap with her peers reduced.

Y3 English

CG was found to be below expectations in both reading and writing in the KS1 SATs at his Chelsea primary school, although otherwise bright and articulate. He’d put tremendous time and effort into avoiding writing the simplest things and although his reading aloud seemed confident it did not accurately reflect what was printed on the page. After discussion with his parents, I took his reading books back to a far simpler level – so that we could improve accuracy, comprehension and genuine confidence – but I allowed him to start choosing his own books for the first time. Similarly, in writing, I asked him to write for enjoyment on topics that interested him and already knew something about. From there, once he was motivated, I could target each area of need, one at a a time: spelling, composition, sentence structure, handwriting… until he was happily writing lengthy texts without support, which he was keen to show to others, and able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his own writing. He was also then independently completing reading comprehension papers with near perfect scores, that previously would have taken four attempts with lots of guidance.

FS1, Y1 & Y3 Home Schooling

Over one academic year, for three weeks in each half term, I taught a sibling group of three children in a homeschool room on their family farm. Balancing the curriculum demands of three different education phases in one class, I liaised with telephone teachers in my absence and associate teachers in the mainstream school to ensure provision, opportunity and progress was at least as good as their peers. Despite the informality and personal familiarity of the setting, I happily settled a lively three year old into the structure of a teaching and learning environment for the first ever time, whilst encouraging independence and self-discipline in his older siblings when expectations of their work at the same time was greater or different .

FS2 & Y3 Travelling Home Schooling

I was wholly responsible for the education of two brothers over a period of 16 months as their family travelled from home to home around the world. I designed and assessed a curriculum reflecting the UK equivalent for their ages and making use of each new location as a context or resource for our learning. Realising being literate, numerate, having enquiring minds and a positive attitude to learning, was going to be crucial for any future success on their return to any mainstream schooling, I took an enquiry based project approach alongside individually tailored programmes for literacy and numeracy. In this way, I saw the youngest, by the time he started Year 1 back in mainstream school, already confidently reading beyond a KS1 level.

Y2 Whole Class

For over three years, I taught one of the Year 2 classes in a Cockermouth infant school, sustaining high standards routinely expected here in the Key Stage 1 SATs and seeing the school gain an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection. Whilst stretching the large group of more able pupils in my class, under the watchful eye of their ambitious professional parents, I at the same time supported individuals with specific needs. For example, IG was a selective mute – not a single adult had heard her say a word at school since she started in Nursery three years earlier. Introducing my collaborative rather than competitive classroom ethos, where everybody was expected to ‘have a go’ but in a safe, supportive environment, by the end of my first term, I had IG first pointing or signing to answer when it was her turn, moving on to choosing and repeating from two words I told her, until eventually she was giving direct verbal answers. By the end of the academic year, she was standing up in front of the whole school and parents at our leavers assembly.

Y1/2 ADHD

I taught a mixed-age KS1 class in a school where many children found school and/or learning difficult, and had been let down by previous inadequate provision.  I established my classroom as a ‘haven for learning’ and with rigorous planning-assessment accelerated progress using every available moment and targeted individual needs.  MP was one such Y2 individual, with ADHD and particular difficulties with impulse control.  Despite being sweet-hearted, he’d struggle not to thump other children when lining up, and had often been excluded from class or taken home.  The routines and expectations I established helped buffer this and he was no longer sent home.  For example, greeting each child at the door, I could see when MP needed a physical outlet before entering – such as a run around the field or some exercise in the hall.  Focusing on each area of need (speech, social skills, auditory memory etc) I designed a series of short regular practise sessions so MP benefitted from lots of ‘over-learning’ and didn’t have to focus on one thing for too long.

FS2/Y1 Autism

OB started his school life as a four-year old in this mixed-age mainstream class, where I was one of the teachers.  He had already been recognised as having autism, had no sense of danger (loved to climb!), had very little language, needed toileting support, and so had designated 1:1 support along with his EHCP.  I joined regular team around the child meetings with his mother, where we could work together to address his developmental needs both at school and home.  As I have found beneficial with other SEN, we established his own designated learning area within the classroom.  So, while OB was never excluded from anything else the class were doing and actively encouraged, he also had his own space where he could freely take himself and choose from activities personally assigned to him, rather than struggling and benefitting little from what others were doing.

Y3 Travelling Home Schooling ADHD and Autism

I was wholly responsible for the education of TG and his younger brother as his family travelled from country to country around the world for 16 months.  Described as socially shy by his parents and observed by me as a little mischievous at his former mainstream school, I noticed more pieces of a picture fall into place as I began to work with him, using different strategies and approaches in varied scenarios (school room, shops, playgrounds etc).  I was able to find ways to bring out the best in TG (such as with consistent routines that provided rewards/breaks after completed tasks, visual timetables, or focused emotional literacy lessons) that saw him confidently speaking to strangers in a way that he never would have done before.  However, I was aware of the long-term implications of what I was seeing and after sharing with his parents at an appropriate time, he was then formally assessed as having ADHD and autism.

Hobbies

For my general health and well-being, I enjoy swimming, pilates and hiking (doing this in all weathers reminds me that I am alive!) Because I am always in awe of people who are good at what they do, or to simply enjoy moments of beauty, I like to visit galleries, theatres and eat out. I don’t ever want to grow tired of learning new things or seeing things differently, so I enjoy visiting museums, exploring new places and trying out new recipes.

Testimonials

“Our daughters were instantly at ease with Anita and have always been happy with the structure and methods of the lessons finding them fun and interesting whilst learning. Weekly lessons are always well prepared and full of energy helping our daughters gain confidence within their school work. Anita has an excellent rapport with both children and parents and keeps us informed as to the progress being made. We would recommend Anita to any family or school, and have recently done so with a neighbour.”

(Years 2-6, Mathematics & English)

“Before Anita came our older daughter who was four at the time found accepting strangers and changes to daily routines very hard. It was Anita’s hard work, resilience and dedication to her work that changed my daughters life. She is now an outgoing and socially active child who loves going to school and meeting new people and environments. Anita is firm but very fair, she is active which certainly helps with younger children and generally fun for them to be around. My two youngest still talk about her fondly, she has left an impression on us that others just cannot quite match up too.”

(FS1, home schooling)

“Anita brought an increased level of interest to anything the children were doing, and helped them explore the new places we travelled to; not just physically but through history/culture/education. She was focussed and dogged in finding solutions to challenges she encountered, including guiding our eldest son who has since been diagnosed with additional needs. Anita showed incredible patience with the poor behaviour that was exhibited and methodically tried alternate methods to encourage him, control his behaviour, improve his work etc. until she found a set of approaches that worked for him. I often found myself learning from her.”

(FS2 & Y3, travelling home schooling)

  • Fully Vetted

  • Qualified Teacher

  • Residential tutor

  • SEN Experience