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A Day in the Life of Caroline Russell – PD LSA

posted 10 Feb 2017, 01:50 by James Dorey   [ updated 10 Feb 2017, 01:50 ]

I am in my sixth year at Columbus and I am employed as a Learning Support Assistant/Teaching Instructor (I cover lessons) in the Physical Development team. Within the department I also teach two lessons a week and write Learning Progress Reports for these. This enables me to keep up to date with my teaching and keep up with family life too!

In my ‘past life,’ before children, I taught PE in two mainstream secondary schools (Cambridgeshire and Essex) and progressed to Head of PE at the latter. I was drawn back to SEN following my first work experience, aged seventeen, at a similar school to Columbus in St Albans, Herts. Furthermore I had a great time working as an FE tutor with past Columbus students at Mencap, prior to working here.

You will be able to find me at the swimming pools every afternoon for lunch time clubs, followed by afternoon PMLD swimming sessions. My day usually involves keeping very busy: hoisting, physically supporting in PMLD swims, using visuals, signing, encouraging and reinforcing teaching points, motivating to reach targets, taking photographs, playing and counting heads, setting up and tidying away equipment, recording, reporting, making resources and assisting with four after school PD and swimming clubs!

In addition to lessons and clubs, I support in other ways too: I have assisted at Residential trips to Tenerife and Bradwell, lead and assist at competitions /events e.g. Panathlon and Lord Taverner’s Boccia, assist courses run by the PD team e.g. Autism in PE for primary teacher, accompany horse riding groups to Barrow farm and I happily cover as a general class LSA - if time permits!

I thoroughly enjoy working across both campuses with children of all ages (3-19) and needs (Autism, PMLD and SLD). Having been here almost six years, it is fantastic to see so much progress and development in the long term – mobility, speech and behaviour - in so many of our young people.

The key is to be flexible in more ways than one! I love being part of the PD team and working at Columbus has been my happiest job to date!

Caroline Russell
Learning Support Assistant and Teacher Instructor for the Physical Development Team