"Daniela’s encouraging teaching manner has increased motivation, instilled confidence and strengthened subject comprehension in my son."
Parent of English GCSE student
BA Hons Fashion Journalism, University for the Creative Arts, 1st Class Honours
A-Levels: English Literature (B), Media Studies (A), Drama and Theatre (AS Level only) (B), Italian (B)
GCSEs: English Literature (A), English Language (A*), Mathematics (A), Science (single) (A), Business Studies (A*), Religious Education (A*), Italian (A*), Media Studies (A*), Drama (A)
First and foremost I believe it is critical to have an understanding of my student’s needs, both in an academic capacity but also on a pastoral level. Building a relationship with the student and ensuring that the learning environment I facilitate is one where open questioning is encouraged, links to wider and ‘real life’ context are explored and mistakes are unpicked and reviewed, leading to growth, are all features of my tutoring practice.
English GCSE exam technique
As Assistant Head of Year 11 in 2021 (St John the Baptist Catholic Secondary School), I led 1-1 mentoring sessions to support the academic achievements and wellbeing of a group of low attaining female students. I met with each student twice a half-term and worked with them on specific exam techniques required for the Language and Literature GCSEs. I acquired feedback from individual classroom teachers and used this to plan bespoke mentoring packages – this also included time to check in on the physical and mental wellbeing of the students and impart knowledge of revision techniques to ease the pressure that the group were feeling from the looming exam period. All eleven students achieved the predicted grades set by their classroom teachers, with five going on to achieve two grades above their target.
During my time as Deputy Head of English, I led a lower set English class with students that had complex academic needs, including EHCPs. I mentored one specific student who had a target of ‘below a pass rate’ (a grade 3 in the new GCSE scale). Through 1-1 work on exam technique and consistent cycles of assessments and feedback, the student was able to obtain a Grade 6.
During my time as Deputy Head of English (Hoe Valley School), I led a reciprocal reading intervention with students whose reading ages were at least one year (or more) below their chronological age. Through the weekly intervention, students were given the skills to access challenging vocabulary and improve their comprehension of texts. After just three months, students’ reading ages were re-tested and all the sample group were either at their chronological age or above, with the largest improvement being 2+ years.
Metacognition Strategy for teaching
Whilst obtaining my National Qualification in Middle Leadership, I rolled out a school-wide initiative which saw the metacognitive strategy of modelling rolled out across the curriculum. I monitored the academic progress made by 12 students across my KS3 English classes to show the effectiveness of specific modelling strategies used in class at various points of the learning process, including: at the start of a new unit, when teaching students new subject-specific skills, knowledge or vocabulary and before assessments. After six months, academic results achieved in half-termly assessments increased by a whole grade and a student voice panel that was held in the three core subjects of English, Maths and Science, saw a thread of similarity as students communicated increased confidence in approaching challenging content material.
In 2016, I achieved my qualification as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (Hoe Valley School) and supported students with various pastoral needs. I was trained to support students with anxiety, and through an intervention that I created, worked with a small group of students to develop methods to deal with their anxiety in situations that might arise both inside the classroom and outside, whether this was with friendships in the playground or issues at home. Although it is hard to track ‘data’ on such interventions, 60% of the students were able to fully integrate back into school life, having previously been on a reduced timetable due to their emotional and mental health needs.
Hobbies and Interests
I have a strong interest in football (in particular a love for Liverpool F.C.) and never miss a game that is televised! In the past I have enjoyed learning modern dance and have gained certificates for my drama and theatre studies, but now I dedicate time to weight-lifting in the gym and trying to continuously better myself and my physical health.
“Daniela is an extremely knowledgeable, committed and patient teacher. She structures lessons very well in addition to using a highly adaptable teaching approach which has always proven to be effective. My son finds the lessons to be very clear and concise and Daniela explains with the intent to help you understand the material. Daniela’s encouraging teaching manner has increased motivation, instilled confidence and strengthened subject comprehension in my son. The lessons are enjoyable and engaging through a variety of activities that improve conversation, writing and reading skills. I have found Daniela to be a teacher of the highest standards and could not have wished more from a teacher.”
Parent of English GCSE student