Heather Edwards, Director
Trained Teachers Certificate (Distinction), Higher and Advanced Diplomas of Teaching, Bachelor of Education, Master of Educational Administration, Accredited STEPS Tutor (specialising in Dyslexia - Learning Staircase Certificated Stage 2).
Heather has taught in a variety of roles for 36 years. She has been a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), and led and taught for five years in a Specialised Learning Centre catering for students with dyslexia and other issues.
Her management roles include Senior Teacher, ESOL Teacher and ESOL Area Co-ordinator, Associate Principal and Middle Management Advisor for TEAM Solutions (Total Education Advice and Management) with Auckland College of Education.
Heather’s credentials are far outweighed by her intense desire for all children to receive the best-ever opportunities to achieve academic success; it is this renowned dedication that Heather constantly upholds.
Colette Bazen, Director
Accredited STEPS Tutor (specialising in Dyslexia - Learning Staircase Certificated Stage 2). Trained Teacher Assistant, Language and Learning Intervention Tutor (LLi) Modules 1 – 4.
Colette is an accredited Steps Tutor who has worked with dyslexic children for six years. She played a major role in the establishment of a dyslexic classroom that successfully catered for up to 56 students at any one time. Colette was responsible for the dyslexic testing programme, her role including the induction of new teachers and teacher aides to the intricacies of dyslexic teaching.
Colette also worked in conventional classrooms for two years and in doing so, developed a passion for helping those with learning needs. In this time she noticed many students were clever ‘hands-on specialists’ and experts in making, doing and telling rather than learning in the conventional manner.
Through this understanding Colette teaches to particular needs with a passion.
‘The Big Five’ – Personalised, Multi-Sensory Programmes
Dyslexic students, and others with learning difficulties, often struggle in some, or all, of the five areas referred to as ‘The Big Five’.
Academy of Learning’s approach is relevant to EVERY learner. This includes dyslexic students, students with Processing and Memory weaknesses, and your everyday reluctant learner.
Our specialisation in dyslexia includes personalised programmes catering for individual needs, offering a multi-sensory approach that includes ‘The Big Five’:
1) Phonological Awareness: identifying ‘chunks’ within words, syllabification, rhyme;
2) Visual Perception: eye tracking, reading accuracy, sight vocabulary;
3) Sequencing: both visual and auditory;
4) Memory: spelling, following instructions, work planning;
5) Motor Development: hand writing / letter formation, written language fluency.
Building self-esteem, self-confidence and self-belief
At Academy of Learning, independence and ‘learning how to learn’ is part of the pedagogy. Our teaching practice begins from where your child is at.
- Self-esteem is enhanced by our one-on-one, small steps approach that ultimately leads to your child reaching his / her full potential.
- Self-confidence grows when information is gathered from parents, and school if appropriate, and new, goals are listed in small achievable steps.
- Self-belief is realised when the set goals are reached and benchmarks raised; children soon feel good about themselves.
We do not aim to overload your child, but to help him / her gain skills and strategies that can be transferred to classroom practice.
Success is a great motivator
There is so much for children to learn in today’s classrooms that this can lead to daily frustration. With praise and encouragement in a one-on-one situation, very soon good communication and trust develops. Believing in oneself encourages each student to try harder, to experience success, and to be further motivated to achieve even more. Success is indeed a great motivator.
Come and visit us
Academy of Learning offers a warm, friendly and safe environment. The main foyer of the Academy is bright with comfortable seating and an area with picture books and toys for students and siblings. It is modern and spacious throughout. The two separate teaching rooms are warm and well resourced.
On arrival, parents are welcome to tea, coffee, fruit juice and biscuits, while fruit juice and biscuits are available to children. Parents are encouraged to talk through their child’s strengths and areas of particular need. Both tutors explain Workbook and Computer Programmes and teacher / pupil interaction procedures. Children are involved in the conversation and encouraged to ask questions and to talk about themselves.