My specialist subjects are Art and English, however I have helped many of the children I have worked with in a variety of other subjects including French, Science, Hand-writing and Geography.
I am passionate about the welfare of children and strongly believe that by offering them a good education, we truly give them the best possible start in life. My creativity and drive, I believe, help to me to make learning fun and enjoyable by thinking outside of the box, using exciting and innovative ways of teaching. I aim to help children discover answers for themselves, supporting them on their journey and giving them the tools to do so. I strongly feel that learning in this way both gives the child a greater sense of achievement and also encourages them to push themselves further. I have worked with children of various ages, ranging from 4 - 11. They have come from different cultures and communities and all have a vast difference in academic and learning ability. It is important to understand the child and how they work and think in order to provide the most effective way of tutoring them. I enjoy getting to know the children I work with, finding out about their hobbies and friends so that these can be incorporated into the learning as I find that personalising work for the children seems to engage them more.
Sept 2011 - June 2013 Roehampton University, MA in Art Psychotherapy (awaiting final mark)
2004 - 2008 University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, BA in Fine Art (2:1)
1997-2003 St. Marys Calne, A Levels: Art (A), English Literature (B), Classical Civilisation (B)
1997 - 2003 St Marys Calne, AS Levels: Art (A), English Literature (A), Classical Civilisation (B), French (C)
1997 - 2003 St Marys Calne, GCSEs: Art (A*), English Literature (A*), English Language (A), Double Science (A, A), French (A), Spanish (B), Latin (B), Maths (C)
After graduating from Newcastle University, I spent six weeks in India teaching English and Art to some of the most underprivileged children in the Andhra Pradesh region. I taught English to classes of 40 children ranging from ages 5 - 11. The children spoke little to no English and I was unable to speak their mother language. I was however able to communicate with them using picture books and drawing different images onto the black board at the front of the classroom. I was amazed to see how effective using imagery was as a way of communicating, and how quickly the children were able to remember not only the names of things but also the spellings.I held small art tutorials with 4-6 children in them. The children initially struggled to think creatively, constantly asking me what they should do. With a lot of support and consistent help, they soon engaged in the creative process, some concentrating on still lives, others creating vivid and exciting images from their imagination.
When working as a support worker, many of the children I looked after had suffered extreme neglect and struggled with reading and writing. I would spend evenings with them individually, away from other children and help them with their basic timetables, their spellings, handwriting and their reading. I was struck by one boy called Dave, he was 8 when he came into care and had never owned a book. After just six months he was able to read childrens books out loud (with support). I noticed how dramatically his confidence had grown as a consequence.
I currently work with an eight year old girl, Sarah and 10 year old boy, Ben. Both children are incredibly bright and excel academically in school. As many children do, both need encouragement and support with their homework after school. The nature of the work varies on a day to day basis, sometimes I help them with their science homework and other times with their history. Sarah recently had to think of a story to write, she found it incredibly difficult to think of a starting point and then to stick to any one idea, instead going off on never ending tangents. She became increasingly frustrated. I helped Sarah to break all of these thoughts down into individual ones by writing them down in single sentences. I then suggested that she used coloured pencils to link up any that could belong to the same story. This seemed to dislodge a block for Sarah and she was able to concentrate and focus on her story. I test Sarah and Ben weekly with their spellings and times tables, offering different ways of remembering some of the more words they find more challenging. Both Ben and Sarah enjoy Art and this is something that we often do together.
Throughout my training as an Art Therapist I have worked with children both in a 1-1 capacity and within groups . The art materials play a vital role in the sessions. They act as a means of non-verbal communication between myself and the child and enable the child to explore and express their feelings through the medium of art.
Hobbies and Interests
I have recently completed an MA degree in Art Psychotherapy. The last two years of studying have been challenging and exciting, both on an emotional and academic level. I have worked as a trainee offering art therapy to clients initially in a main stream primary school and latterly in a CAMHS (Children and adolescent mental health service) day centre. I am passionate about the healing quality of art and the way it enables children suffering from various problems, a means of non-verbal expression. I have also concentrated on my own practice as an artist alongside studying. I have found it fascinating to see how dramatically my artwork has been influenced by my clients. Cooking offers me an escape from work and whenever possible I try out new ideas - admittedly these are not always to be repeated!