Welcome to Launchpad
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Mrs B Fitzpatrick, our Learning Support Teacher/SENCO, talks to us about developing the self-esteem of our girls, her Reading Mentor group, and making a burger bun in a minute!
Can you tell us about your role at Blackheath High?
I am the Learning Support Teacher/SENCO and this is my fifth year at Blackheath High. My role is to deliver learning support to SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) students and to co-ordinate special needs provision within the school. I identify learning needs through teacher feedback and observation, and help students with writing essays, learning vocabulary and revision techniques.
What did you do before you joined us?
I have worked as a training consultant, a primary school teacher and as a project leader. I have always worked in teaching or training roles, but I wanted to extend that to students with specific learning difficulties.
How does your previous experience benefit the school?
Working as a trainer gave me experience in developing resources (I produce many of my own resource materials) and working as a project leader gave me useful insight into working as part of a team and managing educational projects. As a former primary school teacher, I have experience in helping children with specific educational needs.
What do you like most about your job?
The students. I like the opportunity of being able to work with them in small groups, trying to develop their self-esteem, and getting a real insight into how they learn and the difficulties they are facing.
What makes working here at Blackheath High so rewarding and enjoyable?
The staff and the students. It is nice to work as part of a team, which you need to do in my job. The school is also small enough for me to know most of the girls by name. I also have the space to put my own stamp on the job.
What has been your biggest achievement at Blackheath High?
Setting up the Reading Mentor group with the current Year 8 students. It is so nice to see how the older students can help the girls in a relaxed and nurturing learning environment.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
At the moment, I am completing my Professional Diploma in Literacy and Dyslexia so I do not get much spare time! When I do get time though, I love reading and am part of a book club. My favourite book is ‘The Return’ by Hisham Matar. It is a memoir about Hisham’s search for his father during the Gaddafi regime and it is beautifully written.
What are you most proud of?
Working three jobs when I first came to London. This included working in a label factory during the day, a Boots job on a Saturday and working in Burger King in the evening. I learnt how to make a burger bun in a minute!
Tell us something surprising about yourself
I did an advert for TV in Gaelic for Mastercard!