About us & this blog

“What is the task of education?  Is it not to provide students with the means to meet the future?” Caleb Gattegno (1987)

Is this blog for you? Due to its focus on development, we aim for this blog to be read by:

  • All learners of any subject
  • All teachers of any subject
  • English Language Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Mentors
  • School managers
  • Teacher trainers

Why have we written this blog?  We have created this blog because we believe in:

  • Development (not just teaching)
  • Life skills (not just learning skills)
  • Learning from each other (not just from the teacher)
  • Teacher self-realisation
  • Learner autonomy
  • Peer support


Who are we?

Fiona Deane

DSC_0268I  have seven years´ experience teaching English as a Foreign Language with expertise in Cambridge ESOL and IELTS exam classes.  I have worked as Senior Tutor, Director of Studies and as a Cambridge ESOL examiner.  I obtained distinction in the Trinity TESOL Diploma and have a degree in Modern Languages.  Prior to teaching EFL, I worked in tourism in management,  sales and operations.

Having taught in Spain for several years,  the rolling registration and multilingual aspects of teaching back in the UK put me through my paces on arrival.  Differentiation, student motivation, safeguarding and personalisation began to take on whole new meanings.  Most significantly,  I was re-introduced to the importance of developing students, who are at key stages in their lives, and not just teaching them.

Brain training, NLP, critical thinking, cultural flexibility and self-awareness are central to what I do.

Writing this blog with Jenny and Emma is a real pleasure and testament to the journey that we have shared together.

Jenny Harris

jennyI have six years’ experience in teaching, lecturing and mentoring students. I have taught exam courses in campus based settings, community classrooms and tailored private classes. My students have ranged from postgraduates preparing for university to asylum seekers who have never taken an exam before.

I also train in a professional capacity and am particularly interested in developing  transferable skills between teaching and business training.

I have extensive experience in IELTS and Edexcel exams  (including marking), and have also taught Cambridge, Trinity and English for Specific Purposes. My teacher training year was spent teaching parents in a primary school outreach programme where differentiation and a complete mix of levels was a given: we were all on a learning curve that year. Returning to teach on campus in level specific classes seemed like a luxury after that. Along the way, I’ve met many students that have inspired me with their personal stories and achievements.

I have also developed a real interest in developing teacher training courses and INSETS that go beyond methodology and access the best from business leadership training. Assisting new and existing teachers to develop resilience skills is a particular interest of mine. In 2010 I gained the Diploma for Teaching in the lifelong learning sector (with a specialism in ESOL) and two years later achieved the Qualified Teacher Status professional accreditation. I was recently trained in cognitive assessment for multilingual learners.

In my non-teaching role, I scope and project manage community and social enterprise projects.  In 2000 I won the national charity award for best training scheme and have been a member of a Ministerial Advisory Group as well as an inaugural member of a Government Taskforce on rural affordable housing.

Emma Claydon

EmmaI’ve been teaching exam classes for over six years and during that time I’ve also worked in academic management.  It is in this capacity that I’ve enjoyed providing academic support, guidance and training for teachers.

Having qualified abroad, I started teaching on pre-sessional language courses in the Netherlands and I taught Business English to small groups of professionals.  On returning to the UK I have worked for private language schools teaching exam courses such as IELTS, Trinity GESE, CAE and BEC in addition to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and general English.

In 2012 I obtained distinction in the Grad. Dip. TESOL at Brighton University and the following year I attended a course to Teach English for Academic Purposes at the London School of Economics.

I am interested in a learner-centred approach and work with my students to understand their needs and examine their perceptions of learning.  I also use Edmodo, a virtual learning environment (VLE), to create an online community for my class and encourage learner autonomy.


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