Category Archives: SEND

Preparation is over. Now the real journey starts.

Hey everyone,

I now only have one weekend, one solitary weekend, between me and my PGCE. I’ve been a bit all over the place this past week because it’s been looming and I know a change in the routine I’ve built here since moving in is coming. In some ways I can’t wait and in others I am, quite frankly, shit scared.

I feel a lot better this afternoon as I have completely enrolled this morning. I have my student card (complete with obligatory awful picture) and have been given lots of information.On the back of that I’ve also sorted out my work bag and folder, printed out a map etc and I think I’m all ready. Obviously that bag will be checked and double checked and re-packed numerous times before Monday.

I think I’ve also sorted the parking fiasco which is one of the biggest sources of my anxiety around starting uni. It may seem stupid but there you go. I now have … four or else five parking contingency plans ready to go. I have also signed up to the university’s Car Share Programme in the hopes that I might get some help there too but we shall see.

Today I also went to an SpLD meeting in the university library and signed a lot of paperwork so that’s one less thing to worry about once I start.

Since last I wrote I have also had my four hours of Assistive Technology Training. The software I have been given is Audio Notetaker,Inspiration, Read & write gold. The latter two I had during my undergraduate degree but the Audio Notetaker is completely new. I took lots of notes and felt like I got to grips with things really well. I just hope I don’t forget everything.

I have also recently received my timetable for the next week. In summary:

Monday – Welcome Talk & Subject Sessions

Tuesday – Subject Seminars, Learning Services, Students Union, Student Services

Wednesday – Teachers & the Law, Safeguarding & Child Protection

Thursday – Subject Seminars

Friday – Subject Seminars

To be honest in reading I have done very little. Greg and I went away for a long bank holiday weekend to Derbyshire and so I am still only halfway through ‘The Bell Jar’ which has taken it’s darker twist now and I would say is ‘gripping’ rather than ‘enjoyable’. That being said I finished ‘How to be a brilliant Trainee Teacher’ by Trevor Wright in a week and so was planning on starting ‘Getting the Buggers to Behave’ by Sue Cowley but haven’t managed it yet and to be honest, I don’t think I will manage to get it started before I begin on Monday. Once I get into the swing of things next week and I have a bit more of a handle on my workload and what I can expect then I’ll give it a go.

I guess that all that remains for me to do then is ask for you to wish me luck! Thanks so much for sticking with me thus far for my preparation and the move. I guess now the real reason I started writing starts. Hope you enjoy it.



My Good Luck Flowers ❤




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Filed under application, career, Get into Teaching, life changes, PGCE, SEND, teacher training

A Great Start to the Week!

Hey everyone!

This week, let me just say, I am feeling really good. I hope the feeling lasts.

Since I last wrote I have mainly been painting the hallway: ceilings, walls and gloss is now officially all done and so is the house!

Somehow I’ve also managed to also read quite a lot. I finished Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I talked about in my last blog post. I have also attempted to read Virginia Woolfe’s ‘A Room of Ones Own’ and ‘To the Lighthouse’. While I got quite far with ‘A room on One’s own’ I found myself skim reading quite a lot of it to try and get to the point. As a friend of mine said “I have read Virginia Woolfe but as she does have such a strong opinion i often feel railroaded by it. I appreciate her literary prowess, but honestly I find it all very exhausting.” And I think that sums up how I feel about her aswell. I attempted ‘To the Lighthouse’ to see if I had any better luck with that but found it the same and so, I’ve started Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ instead and that I’m really enjoying. In fact I only started if yesterday and I’m already a quarter of the way through it.  I also intend to carry on reading ‘Why are you shouting at us?’ by Beadle & Murphy which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t made much progress on despite being thoroughly impressed with it so far. One of the quotes I came across which really resonated with me and what I hope my teaching ethos will be is:

“It may very well be true, that of all the human virtues kindness is the one of true lasting value. When our descendants are dead and the memories of our existence are merely the microscopic grains of sand around the long-broken statue of Ozymandias or Thatcher, our kindness may leave some atomic reverberation in the universe. It is by the existence (or not) of those acts that we should judge ourselves.”

In addition to reading and contributing greatly to the relaxing aspect of my PGCE prep; I’ve also started going to a Yoga class in the village every Monday which I am really enjoying and I’m surprised how committed I’ve become to it so quickly. I also hope that lasts.

I’ve also continued my meditation. I stopped for a while but really noticed that stopping had a negative impact on my mood so started again. I am going to try and meditate everyday but also I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t manage it when I start the PGCE properly.

Now, the news you’ve all been waiting for! DSA. First – glasses. My lenses arrived on Monday and on Tuesday I went into Specsavers to hand them over for fitting into the frames I’d put aside. To cut a long story short it turns out that the manager of my local Specsavers is Autistic. He was very interested in my lenses as he’d heard about them but never seen any. He held them up and exclaimed about how calm and still they made his world. I sympathised with him and explained that while my lenses might benefit him there were loads of different colours and he would have to seek his own consultation. I agreed to bring him in extra information the following day when I came to pick up my new glasses. In return he asked the sales assistant to ‘do all he could for me’ and I ended up with some very similar frames to those I’d picked out but made by Karren Millen – these for not a penny extra! Needless to say I’m very happy and they look like this:


My new glasses ❤

I also have news on my equipment. My laptop has been ordered and should arrive at the suppliers on Tuesday. Once I have arranged a delivery day for that, hopefully late this week or early next, I can then go on to arrange a delivery day for the rest of my equipment and then arrange for the software training. Hopefully I can get it all done by the end of the month.


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Filed under Get into Teaching, House, life changes, PGCE, SEND, teacher training

Getting around to some Grammar.

I can’t believe it’s been nearly three weeks since I last wrote!

What have I been up to? Well, the study/spare-room is finally finished and the sofa-bed is in. I’m so relieved and pleased with the result, right down to my  Attkinson Grimshaw on the wall. My brother came to stay for the weekend and he said it was really comfy and homely which makes me happy and it’s such a lovely room to work in too.


Finally Finished!

Greg and I never got around to painting the hallway ceiling when I said we would but the banister is going in as I type! Greg is going to take some days off sometime over the next few weeks to get the hallway done and then the decoration of the house is finished too!

Since I last wrote, I also went back to Yorkshire to see my family and the animals for a bit and went to The Great Yorkshire Show which was fantastic!

I’ve also been keeping up with the gardening and we have produce! My tomato plant is fruiting, my herbs are herbing and are in need of thinning out now which I will hopefully do once the banister men are gone today. I have also been talked into having a vegetable patch and potentially chickens! I’m not confident that we’ll have anything this year but the metaphorical and literal seeds have been sewn and we’ll be working on making it a reality over the winter ready for spring next year.

This week however, since the banister men have been here I’ve taken the opportunity to finally get round to some grammar. Yesterday I finished two books and I’m hoping that today I’ll finish a third.

Controversial as it may sound I really didn’t find Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ very helpful. I found The Usborne Guide to Better English far more useful. Considering I was synthesising three books into my notes I found that The Usborne Guide was very comprehensive and far more clear than the other two. I know I’ll be keeping it around and potentially having it on my desk at school.

I plan to finish off my notes today and then next time I’ll highlight important parts and write them up onto flashcards to learn and be tested on.

I have also found some time to spend on myself reading, cooking and chilling with Greg. I’ve also really got back into meditating again recently and would really recommend you check out Headspace if you’re interested. I find it really helps me to let go of stresses and find some perspective for myself.


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Catching up again.

Hey everyone,

After my ‘assessment of needs’ last week, was it really only last Friday? I completely forgot to update you. After going over with the assessor all my old anxieties and worries etc I was a bit too worn out to blog straight away and then Greg and I ended up having quite a busy weekend and then the week came and went and you know how it is. These things slip your mind.

To cut a long story short, I was re-assessed and was recommended all the support I expected. Seeing as this report didn’t arrived last week it should arrive this week at the latest. Once it arrives I have 5 working days to review it and send back my approval. That may prove tricky seeing as I’m splitting my time between the two houses however, I’m hoping that Greg can scan the document in for me to read over quite quickly and we can get it turned around in time.

Since I last wrote I’ve been reading quite a lot. I am currently about 20% of the way through the last book on my reading list. Some of it has proved quite tricky to get through but I’ll get there.

Other than that I’ve been packing. I’ve now done two trips with the back of my car full and this coming weekend it’s Greg’s turn. I’ve already packed up the boxes he sent me home with and I’ve made a note to remind him to bring some more for next week. I just hope everything comes together. I am definitely on the count down now.

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‘Review of Needs’, Reading List, To Do List & Other News.

After sorting everything out for my ‘Review of Needs’ at my Undergraduate University I have now received this email.

Hi Katherine

I just wanted to mention that after you booked in for your DSA assessment, we contacted SFE about changing your assessment from a review assessment to a full assessment.  This is partly due to the length of time since your previous assessment, but also due to the fact that whilst your original assessment was undertaken in 2008 and we took over the centre in 2011 so have no details about your previous assessment, and indeed you were not actually assessed by us. SFE have agreed that this can now be seen as a full assessment.

This will have no bearing whatsoever on your appointment with us, in terms of date/time etc or even how the assessment occurs but I just wanted to let you know.

While this is really frustrating, I’m not going to re-organise to have my assessment at my new University. I’ll just go to the previous one and have done with it.

As regards my ‘to do’ list. There have been some changes.

  • Professional Skills Tests – DONE!!!😀
  • Visit a local Secondary School – I work there.
  • Conduct an audit and draw up an action plan to address an area of weakness – Completed.
  • Begin to address subject specific work suggestions – Tied in nicely with the Audit and action plan.
  • General course reading – I have now completed 2/3 of the set texts and am now moving on to ‘Learning to Teach English in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience’.
  • Familiarise myself with the Teaching Standards and the National Curriculum – I learnt these for interview.
  • Sign up for ‘useful websites’ – I have been doing this as and when an opportunity presents itself.

I am happy that I’ve made a really good start with all of these things and while it seemed like a mountain to climb a month ago, at present I only have the last book on my reading list to get through. Of cause when that is finished I’ll revisit my pre-course information and see what else I can brush up on. I won’t sit idle. I’m pretty sure there’ll be something to occupy my at least up until Summer, which is only just over 100 days to go … not that I’m counting.

In other news the spare room/office at Greg’s is drying as week speak and should be finished by the end of the week – ready for us to order the furniture (pictures to follow) and also I have received confirmation …


In a way this feels like a bit of an anticlimax as I’ve known that I’ve been going for a while and been doing all this work towards it, I guess having it confirmed should be somewhat of a relief but with everything else that’s going on I haven’t really thought about it.



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Filed under application, Get into Teaching, life changes, PGCE, SEND, teacher training

‘Review of Needs’

After much tooing and froing I have now booked my ‘Review of Needs’ at my Undergraduate University on the same day as I had previously arranged, just 15 minutes earlier. This means that I’ll be travelling through rush hour but I reckon if I set off when Greg does at 8 I should have plenty of time for the 45 minute journey and I can always get a coffee and take my Kindle while I wait. In fact, it’ll be a good opportunity for us to try out our morning routine. All’s well that ends well, I hope. Watch this space.

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What it’s like to have Dyslexia.

For those of you that didn’t see this on facebook, I thought you might find this interesting.

‘This is what reading is like if you have dyslexia.’

While I can’t say that this is exactly what I see, it is the best representation that I’ve come across. The words ‘shimmer’ and move around on the page and I used to dyscribe it as like a holograph. Sometimes the words ‘dribble’ down the page, as well as across, like a waterfall. So, for those of you teaching Dyslexic or SEND students – here’s an insight!

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