SLE Specialist Leaders of Education
Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)
Sue Caine – Head of School & Director of Pastoral Care
SLE, BEd (Hons), OTP/ITP Facilitation
Sue is the Head of School at Kingfisher Special School and has extensive leadership experience. She oversees the operational management of the school and has a particular interest in supporting colleagues who teach children with autism and challenging behaviour.
Sue leads on the day to day running of the school ensuring that all children are able to access their learning. She is the lead on Safeguarding across the school and also works closely with the Pastoral Support Team to ensure that parents/carers are kept well informed of their child’s progress and welfare, as well as giving support to parents with any issues that may arise.
The wellbeing of pupils, staff and families has been at the forefront of the work that Sue has undertaken recently. By working alongside a dedicated team of staff, signposting is now in place to promote staff wellbeing, supporting families in difficult times and a graduated response developed to assist staff in recognising and supporting pupils with complex needs who may be experiencing difficulties with their emotional wellbeing.
Sue has worked with a local primary school to help to develop their curriculum offer for children with severe learning needs. She worked with a staff team there to look at the current curriculum and how this could be adapted to better meet the needs of these pupils.
Sue is interested in developing staff skills and the different ways that this can be done. A real coaching culture has been developed across school and staff are encouraged to work together to learn and continue to improve practice to enhance pupil outcomes. Staff training is planned over the year as a result of whole school and individual need. Partnerships with staff in other schools is encouraged and Sue is eager to promote ‘lifelong learning’ across school whilst working with other practitioners within school to share good practice.
Nicola Found – Director of Creative Learning
SLE, B Ed (Hons) Fine Art & Performing Arts, PGCE Art and Design – Secondary Foundation Cert in Art Therapy, Intensive Interaction Practitioner, Certified Developmental Movement Practitioner
Nic has a wide range of experiences working with children in special and mainstream settings. She is the Lead Practitioner for Creative Learning at Kingfisher. Within this role Nic has led the development of the creative curriculum which enables the children to access their learning through an innovative and exciting approach. Nic works alongside class teachers to further develop their skills to ensure optimum learning for all children. She is passionate about teaching creative arts and using the arts as a medium to develop key skills.
Beyond Kingfisher, Nic has devised a sustainable art curriculum for a local primary school setting, using modelling, teaching, resourcing and devising. The objective was to further develop children’s artist qualities by empowering both the child and non-specialist art teacher to explore 2D and 3D art mediums. Nic works closely with Gallery Oldham in constancy work around engagement for children within the arts.
This includes researching, resourcing and delivering art sessions using artists as a source of inspiration. Much of Nic’s research and development lies around working with children with complex Autism. Nic also has an interest in supporting children to be ‘ready for learning’ based on up to date research – be it through providing an optimum learning environment inside and out or helping them access a Sensory Diet where sensory processing is an issue. She is a certified Developmental Movement Practitioner.
Suzanne Pass – Director of Educational Excellence
SLE, MA in Special Education, BEd (Hons), NPQH, OTP/ITP Facilitation
Suzanne is Assistant Head at Kingfisher Special School with responsibility for Educational Excellence. She leads developments in the creative curriculum, thematic approaches and personalised learning, ensuring the curriculum is engaging motivating and fit for purpose in meeting the wide range of learning needs and styles. She also leads on data analysis and target setting to ensure that small but significant progress for children with complex and severe SEN is recognised, built on and celebrated. Given the lack national standards for SEND she had led the whole school development and implementation of a school specific electronic assessment system. She has extensive experience teaching and leading in a Special School setting and has a particular interest in Language, Total Communication and AAC.
Suzanne has experience in working with a number of other schools to support the areas of curriculum development, assessment processes and practices and moderation. She has worked with other schools and SENCos to develop personalised learning practice and recording systems to support the effective implementation of EHCPs and provision for children with SEND. She is an experienced facilitator and a trained assessor for the SEND Review process.
Michael Unsworth – Director of Business
BA in School Business Management
Michael has been a School Business Director in for a number of years with a role encompassing all the main facets of school business management. He has played a role in designing elements of the CSBM, been the National College’s North West SBM and worked with the College on a number of initiatives. He is the Director of Business for Kingfisher Learning Trust.
Jenni Cryer – Teaching School Lead & Director of Pedagogy
SLE, BA (Hons) Modern Languages and Literature, Certificate in Science, PGCE in Primary Education (Languages Specialism), PGCE in the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (with Merit), NPQSL
Jenni is Assistant Head at Kingfisher Special School with responsibility for pedagogy and staff development. She has a wide range of experience, teaching and leading in both mainstream and special schools. She is an accredited facilitator for SLE training and the OTP/ITP. Jenni is passionate about providing excellence in education for all learners and believes in collaborative working to achieve the highest standards in teaching and learning. She can offer support with CPD, SEND, behaviour management, teaching & learning, and has a particular interest in coaching, supporting trainee and early career teachers, action research and developing staff.
Emma Hamnett – Lead Practitioner
SLE,BA Hons Primary Education, NPQML, OTP/ITP Facilitation
Emma has experience of working as an Early Years Teacher within a mainstream School and also at Kingfisher Special School, where she has taught children with a range of complex needs and ASD. Emma demonstrates consistently outstanding practice and shares her knowledge and skills with a wide range of colleagues, building professional relationships through her ability to communicate effectively and demonstrate creative teaching approaches.
Emma is a Lead Practitioner of the Early Years team at Kingfisher, supporting the team in working towards the objectives of the EYFS strategy. Emma works within a team of Lead Practitioners, and members of the Senior Leadership Team and is committed to supporting and developing the skills of all of her colleagues. She has done this through the planning and delivery of facilitated sessions, coaching, modelling and mentoring NQTS. In her role as Lead Practitioner of Early Years, Emma has used her coaching skills to support members of the team on appraisal and action research developments, providing opportunities for reflection and creative thinking.
Nic Smith – Lead Practitioner
SLE, BA/QTS Social Studies (Hons Primary), OTP/ITP Facilitation
Nicola is passionate about teaching children with SEN and raising standards in education. Nicola has a wide range of experience across all ages (primary and secondary) and across all areas (PMLD and complex needs, ASD, SLD and MLD). She has an excellent understanding of what teaching and learning styles work best for groups and/or individual children and is able to effectively implement these strategies herself and and/or support others to do so.
As a Lead Practitioner Nicola demonstrates continually outstanding classroom practice in teaching and learning, striving to continually provide the most creative and engaging teaching and learning opportunities for children and fully supporting other teachers to do the same through training sessions, coaching and/or modelled sessions.
Nicola has formally and informally coached, mentored and supported NQTs, RQTs as well as student teachers throughout her career, finding these to be very rewarding, although challenging, and professional experiences.
Nicola is able to devise, develop and deliver staff development sessions which are practical, engaging and of a high standard. Nicola is confident facilitating staff training and development sessions and believes strongly in sharing best practice.
Terri Unsworth – Lead Practitioner
SLE, BA (Hons) History, PGCE Primary QTS, NPQML, OTP/ITP Facilitation, Signalong Tutor
Terri is a Lead Practitioner, and also leads on Total Communication across the school. Terri has driven many successful whole school initiatives and developments, including developing condensed, consistent and accessible visual timetable symbols; introducing a switch progression planning and assessment tool and working alongside some of the SLT in developing a Total Communication Rationale to ensure a shared understanding and consistency of practice across school.
Terri has extensive experience of working with children with PMLD and has led on the research and development of communication systems appropriate for this cohort of pupils, with the resulting ‘sensory cueing’ approach being embedded within Kingfisher, as well as shared with other schools and advocated by health service partners as ‘best practice’. Terri has also led on bridging of the expertise of SaLT, with the teaching and learning opportunities being provided in classes. Communication guidelines are now user friendly, with clear expectations resulting in Total Communication being embedded within the school’s pedagogy.
Terri’s has facilitated staff development sessions, supporting the upskilling of the whole staff, including developing and leading NQT and RQT development days, as well as providing Communication and Wellbeing whole school training, such as in Intensive Interaction. Furthermore, Terri is also a Signalong Tutor and provides training both in Kingfisher, as well as externally.
Now in her tenth year of teaching within a special school, with the majority of this time working with children with a PMLD and SLD, Terri has developed a deep passion for ensuring individualised access requirements are met to enable each child to access their learning with as much independence as possible.
Charlotte Williams – Lead Practitioner
SLE, BA (Hons) Primary Education QTS, NPQML, OTP/ITP Facilitation
Charlotte is proven to be a consistent outstanding teacher in the classroom and has worked with a wide range of children with varying and complex special educational needs over a number of years, including PMLD, ASD, SLD and MLD. In addition to this, Charlotte has a number of years’ experience in mainstream primary settings, working across Early Years and Key stage 1. Charlotte has supported both NQTs through the induction process and has facilitated the development of RQTs to support their understanding of how children with complex needs learn and the research and reasoning behind the pedagogy. Charlotte has a real passion for supporting others through facilitated and engaging staff development sessions and leads formal and informal coaching sessions to help staff to embed their learning into their everyday practice, ensuring the best outcomes for all pupils.
Charlotte has helped to develop and monitor assessment systems in school over a number of years and has a keen interest in how data systems can be used to analyse progress over time. Charlotte scrutinizes and reports on the impact of pupil premium expenditure on a yearly basis and is passionate about raising standards for all pupils.