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Alumni

Rhiannon Gage

Career Path: ASN Teacher For Applied Care and Development
Location: Lesmahagow

I teach children between the ages of 8 and 18 in residential care. All pupils have challenging behaviour as well as additional support needs (ranging from ASD to ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia). I teach all subjects at levels appropriate to age and ability and encourage all pupils to do their best and believe in themselves. So far I have managed to get certain pupils through National 4 unit assessment in History (in accordance with the curriculum for excellence in Scotland). I always knew I wanted to teach kids with additional support needs and SENCo qualification at Northumbria University was ideal for that! I had never considered children within resident care (To my error!) and have since been able to make a huge difference with children and young people who need a little encouragement and support than most. Doing this in an independent school has allowed me to create a nurturing environment where all pupils feel safe, comfortable and confident to learn and succeed at their own pace. 

What are you doing now?Rhiannon Gage

I am currently teaching a varied range of pupils and I love it! It is challenging but it allows me to make the difference I want to see in the world. As a child who believed I couldn’t or wouldn’t achieve, it means a lot to me to instil that belief in other kids who have low aspirations.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

You provided a specialist course that allowed me to do the job I love - I can’t thank Northumbria enough!

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria was exciting. I was in a course with people who were older than me (Fellow students and lecturers alike), but it provided me with a lot of knowledge and expertise on how to encourage and support pupils with additional support needs and challenging behaviour. Lectures were insightful and provided me with the knowledge I needed to succeed in my chosen field. Feedback was constructive and fair.

What was the best thing about your course?

The expertise and knowledge provided by everyone, and their willingness to support someone who was a little younger and inexperienced.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying this course allowed me to see the good and bad of my chosen career - there are really challenging times but this course (and the people in it) made me realise the challenging times usually always lead to success and process for all involved.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Patience! It encouraged me to read further into behaviour - instead of analysing the behaviour I now think of what is causing the behaviour and try to find some resolution that way. My knowledge of additional support needs was already pretty good but I learned new ways to support pupils within an academic setting.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Meeting such experienced people and learning from them.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Make friends and learn from every aspect of your time here - whether it be from friends or lecturers or guest speakers. They will all know something useful that you can take into your career.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Absolutely, utterly insightful!

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