Meet the Team
Annie Schulte – Inclusion Manager
My role is to ensure that the learning of all pupils is given equal priority, and that available resources are used efficiently in support of this purpose. I monitor the individual support that children with special educational needs or disabilities receive and track their progress accordingly. I liaise with parents about the support their child receives and the impact that it is having. I work closely with Josie Anderson (Special Educational Needs leader), Janet Wilde (Play Therapist), Anna Straker (Star Learners leader), and all teachers, teaching assistants and individual needs assistants. I regularly report to Jo O’Donoghue (headteacher), Daniel Horan (Governor responsible for Special Needs) and the full governing body.
Annie Schulte – Thrive Licenced Practitioner
As well as co-ordinating the work of the Special Needs Team, I am also the leader of The Thrive Approach. The Thrive Approach is a specific way of working with children to develop their emotional and social well-being, enabling them to engage with life and learning. Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive, I use these relationships as well as play and the creative activities to help children develop their emotional and social well-being. I have introduced this approach to all staff at South Malling and aim to develop this work in the year ahead.
Josie Anderson – Special Educational Needs Leader
Mrs Anderson has many years’ experience of a range of special educational needs. She is qualified to carry out dyslexia screening tests and has been responsible for applying for extra support from the local authority. Alongside liaising with the local authority and external agencies, such as educational psychologists, Mrs Anderson does a lot of one to one work with children improving their basic reading, writing or maths skills with great success. Josie works at school from Monday to Wednesday.
Janet Wilde – psychotherapeutic counsellor
In my work with children the main tools I use are play and the arts. These give children a voice through which they can express their worries and concerns and also explore who they are. It is sometimes too hard to talk about difficult feelings and if not worked out they can become a real barrier to achieving full potential in learning and living. We also think about our brains and bodies and how they give us signals when things aren’t quite right for us. Through these explorations children have an opportunity to tackle some of the tricky challenges they face and find ways of managing their feelings with greater understanding and confidence.
I was lucky enough to join the South Malling governing body in January of 2014. I am now a co-opted governor. Since joining the team, I have been continually impressed by the attention to detail, dedication and engagement of my fellow governors. At meetings I have consistently witnessed a leadership team excelling in articulating, analysing and assessing the important work they are overseeing every day. In observations and meetings with other school staff and with pupils, I have been able to see first hand the care, respect and individualised approach being taken. It is clear that ‘reaching for the stars’ is a daily practice for all at South Malling. This striving for attainment and excellence is not only directed towards academic achievements, it extends to the social and emotional dimensions of school life- for both children and staff. I currently have three young children who attend the school- which gives me another insight into the activities, attitudes and values that the school promote. They provide me with further evidence of the compassion and commitment of the South Malling staff to each pupil, regardless of age or ability. My own professional career has, for over 20 years, been in special educational needs. This has been primarily working with children and young people with a diagnosis of autism. My work as a behaviour analyst involves consulting to families and schools across the UK- promoting evidence-based practices and procedures for implementation by staff and parents. My own personal experience and belief is that "the learner is always right"- that every student communicates the effectiveness of their teacher (or parent). If the learner is always right- then it remains the responsibility of the teachers and parents to create, design, plan, assess and adapt their educational interventions to suit each individual learner. My own commitment to individualised and evidence-based practice informs my questions and challenges to those at South Malling- specifically to the SENCo and Inclusion Manager. They persistently impress me with their answers, actions and outcomes-based analysis of their work. They are producing ‘SMART’ targets and getting ever-better at tracking the progress of pupils. Outside of governor or professional work, I’m involved at coaching cricket at a local club, periodically running marathons, trying and failing at gardening, and playing guitar.