Thursday, 07 July 2016
A former University of Worcester student has published a book with advice for teachers on special needs education.
Victoria Honeybourne, already a published author on Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching, has released her latest work Educating and Supporting Girls with Asperger's and Autism.
She says studying at the University first sparked her interest and career in special needs education.
Victoria, 33, of Cleobury Mortimer, said her interest in this aspect of education began while studying for her PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Worcester, which she completed in 2008.
Victoria, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s herself as a young adult, said she was interested in special needs teaching early on but it was not taught as a standalone subject at any institution.
Her decision to study at the University of Worcester she said was partly driven by the opportunity to enhance her PGCE with the additional extra study in Special Educational Needs that was offered.
This optional part of the course involved extra lectures, spending time with the special needs coordinator on school placements and a visit to a special needs school.
Some of the essays and assignments also focused on that subject.
Victoria particularly enjoyed this aspect of the year long course and after a year in employment moved into teaching students with special educational needs (SEN) at a school in Kidderminster, which she did until last year.
Victoria said: “I found it fascinating to discover different ways of learning and various ways of removing barriers to accessing the mainstream curriculum.
“I also enjoyed the variety that teaching learners with SEN brings.”
Victoria writes books and other resources about SEN for education professionals.
She works part-time as a Senior Advisory Teacher for Speech, Language and Communication Needs visiting schools around Shropshire and Telford to advise teachers and assess pupils with special needs.
She said: “I really enjoyed my PGCE year at Worcester; it gave me a very supportive start to my teaching career and I am lucky that I had the opportunity to follow a specific SEN Pathway - without that I wouldn't be doing what I am now."