Staff

Head of Pastoral Care

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Fiona D'Arcy

I have a BSc in Psychology, an MA in Social Work, a PGdip in CBT and am a trained and experienced EMDR practitioner. I have worked in the NHS, Social Care and Independent Practice over the last 27 years and have a wealth of experience in working with children and their families often treating anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma and eating disorders. In addition I have delivered workshops to professionals and families which have included anxiety management, self harm and working with OCD. I have been involved with voluntary work in education for 13 years and became interested in the educational needs of children in 2008. I have been an IPSEA trained tribunal case worker for a number of years and have significant knowledge and understanding of all aspects of Special Educational Needs. Over the last 8 years I have increasingly worked with a range of families with autistic children and have recently completed training to undertake autism assessments. In addition to professional qualifications and expertise I have lived experience of the challenges that Autism brings to any family and have a passion for ensuring that any child who wishes to go to school should have this opportunity.

Head of Learning

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Rebecca Sands

My experience ranging from Early Years Practitioner to classroom teacher and 1:1 SEN teacher to Manager of a team providing education to children unable to access an education setting has provided a sound and valuable foundation to the development of my skills and abilities. I am able to develop a rapport with a wide variety of children, engage each child as an individual, research, resource and provide each one with activities suited to their abilities and interests alongside the flexibility to adapt learning tasks in the moment. I have excellent knowledge of the curriculum, different teaching styles, and understanding of children’s development. This combined with my personal experience of parenting a child with autism, enables me to develop safe and secure relationships with children, provide child-centred educational provision and experiences alongside supporting each child holistically.

Advisory Board

Hope Tree School is overseen by an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board includes professionals whose expertise makes them an invaluable source of advice to the school management team. Currently the Advisory Board consists of a Speech and Language Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, a teacher specialising in play-based learning, and a Human Resources specialist. Opportunities for parents and community members to be part of the Advisory Board will become available during the first year of the school opening.

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Mags kirk

I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist from the University of Manchester in 2003.
After a long time working in the paediatric team of an NHS Speech and Language Therapy
team I set up my own independent practice ‘Two Can Talk’ in 2012. Two Can Talk now
employs many Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and
Physiotherapists. We work throughout Suffolk and Cambridgeshire providing high quality
services to babies, children and young adults.
I get enormous satisfaction in seeing the positive changes in the people I work with and the
improvements in their communication skills. I am delighted to be a part of the Hope Tree
School advisory board because this will mean I can help even more children to aim high and
achieve so much more than was ever thought possible.

Sarah van de weyer

In 1995, I qualified in Occupational Therapy and have worked as a
paediatric occupational therapist since 1996, full time for 10 years in schools for the NHS, then in parallel
for the NHS and independently, and since 2012 as an independent practitioner.
 
My specialisms are in the fields of sensory processing, auditory processing and DCD/dyspraxia: Sensory
Integration Therapy and Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests certified, trained in auditory processing
assessments and to an advanced level in five different auditory stimulation techniques including bone
conduction.
 
In 2006 I gained an MSc in Health Studies at the University of East Anglia, which gave me the opportunity
to conduct research into the effectiveness, including the cost effectiveness, of the different therapies
available for children with DCD /Dyspraxia, Auditory Processing Disorders, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum
Disorders. The outcome was that if there were no therapy, the children did not change, but if there were
therapy, the children’s behaviour and health improved significantly.
 
I regularly lead Dyspraxia UK training courses for occupational therapists and teaching staff on the
assessment of motor skills, sensory processing profiles and auditory processing abilities.

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Becky trollope

I qualified primary school teacher, having trained and taught in a school which used continuous provision. I continued my interest in play-based provision whilst delivering individualised programmes of education to SEN pupils, and completed research into the use of continuous provision in schools across England. I am currently working towards completing her PhD which focuses on the academic and holistic impacts of increased pupil agency in the primary classroom.

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Alison Grant

I have worked in HR for over 20 years in various industries. I currently work in Life
Sciences working for a company that has recently launched a successful product in the US and
continues to advance what is possible in cancer therapy.
I live in Papworth Everard and have 2 children. My youngest child has struggled throughout his
academic years and the extra support he received made a huge difference, but it was clear that
sometimes this was not enough. I am very proud and feel privileged to be part of the Advisory
Board at Hope Tree School as I know that this be life changing for many.