These are the professionals. They are those people who have chosen to work with students who face learning challenges. And this makes them very special.
They have, of course, all the requisite degrees and certificates and qualifications.
But they have much more: the insight, the empathy, the dedication, the patience—and even the personality that enables them to see the world through the eyes of a student who has struggled before arriving at Centre Academy. In essence, they know how to connect with students.
Special needs teaching demands certain gifts and abilities beyond what may be required in the mainstream classroom. Our teachers have advanced and very special qualifications and a wealth of experience. They are fully in command of small group, subject-specific instructional techniques.
Their methods are multi-sensory, with attention given to visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic learning.
They know that small classes are not a luxury. They are essential if learning is to flourish.
Our teachers know their students. They understand that what works for one may not work for another. Thus, they see each student as an individual with unique needs, abilities, gifts and talents. They are always highly supportive, nurturing and patient.
All Centre Academy students have a ‘key teacher.’ At Centre Academy London this is the Mentor. At Centre Academy East Anglia this is the Tutor. Mentor or Tutor, this special person meets at least once a day, usually more frequently, with a small group of students (usually four or five). The Mentor/Tutor is responsible for overseeing all aspects of each student’s progress.
And more than this, the Mentor/Tutor is aware of whatever problems or difficulties each individual student may on occasion be experiencing. Thus, the Mentor/Tutor also becomes a trusted advisor.
They also know that to make SEN education work, there must be a partnership between student, teacher and parent. Thus, they are always available to talk with parents and, of course, they ensure that each parent is fully informed of a student’s progress.
The efforts of our teachers are complemented by our coterie of therapists. These professionals are an integral part of our faculty with the same status as their teaching colleagues.
All our therapists are highly experienced and fully qualified. Their specialties include speech and language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and counselling.
They work individually with each student and also in concert with specific teachers (for example, speech and language with English and literacy).
Our therapists help in defining and applying levels of differentiation throughout the curriculum, and they also play a vital role in helping our children identify and understand the challenges they face.
The Centre Academy therapists do not work with learning support or other non-qualified persons. They work exclusively with our students—and on a one-to-one basis.