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Qualifications and Role:

 

Sarah qualified as a teacher in 1998 achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Education followed by a post graduate certificate of Education (PGCE) in Primary teaching with an early years specialism. Sarah taught Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 for 18 years. In that time her roles have included Assessment coordinator and acting deputy head.

 

Within these roles she had first hand experience of supporting a child with Down syndrome in the classroom. She knows the importance of the profile associated with the specific populations and applying this profile when planning and differentiating the class curriculum.

 

Sarah is a mum to two children, one of whom has Down syndrome and attended services at Down Syndrome Education International. She has attended a wide range of training specifically relating to Down syndrome in her role as a parent. She was involved in the piloting and review of the See and Learn resources as well as reviewing the Reading and Language Intervention programme for children with Down syndrome.

 

Sarah is a member of the Down Syndrome Research Forum where she has presented on education and services for children with Down syndrome and research ideas. Sarah is involved in our current research project looking at education experiences of children with Down syndrome.

 

Sarah has been with LETS Go! since 2013 and delivers training for parents and professionals on a range of Early Years and Primary school age topics related to Down syndrome. She also delivers education sessions to pupils in school through class assemblies and practical workshops.  

 

Sarah manages the Specialist Outreach Support for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children as well as delivering the Early Development Groups for pre-school age children focussing on early literacy, numeracy and fine motor skills.

 

 

Practical experience:

 

Sarah has 18 years of primary teaching experience, specialising in Early Years and Key Stage 1. She has worked with many children with a variety of additional needs within a mainstream setting, and is passionate about successful inclusion.  

 

Sarah’s experience as a class teacher has enabled her to fully understand the importance of whole school inclusion including the importance of developing social and independence skills in and out of the classroom. She is experienced in target setting and measuring achievement across all these areas of the curriculum.

 

As a parent attending Early Development Groups at DSEI, Sarah has understanding and experience, both of the important role of early intervention and the needs and challenges faced by parents. This has enabled her to be an effective source of parent support with the LETS GO! team.  

 

Since 2013 Sarah has delivered Early Development Groups for Pre-school children with Down syndrome. This involves integrating knowledge of research and evidence based strategies for developing early reading, number and fine motor activities to promote the development of these skills in young children with Down syndrome.  As well as sharing this information, modelling activities and enabling parents to practice at home.

 

Sarah manages and delivers the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 specialist outreach support services liasing with a range of professionals and parents, attending EHCP meetings, transition planning and providing annual reports.

 

Education:

 

  • 2001 PGCE Primary Teaching (Early Years Specialism)

  • 1998 Bachelor Degree (Hons) in Arts and Education

 

 

Additional training:

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  • 2016 - 2019 Down syndrome annual research forum

  • 2019  Clicker Training

  • 2019 Building Self Esteem, Social Inclusion and Peer Confidence (Vic Ralphs & Allison Powell)  

  • 2019 Effective Education for children with Down syndrome in school (DSEI)

  • 2019 Behaviour Management for Pupils with Down syndrome (Vic Ralphs & Allison Powell)

  • 2018 Getting the most from your iPad & special iApps: Early Years & KS1

  • 2017 Building Social Inclusion for Children with Down syndrome

  • 2016 Communication and Adolescence (Symbol)

  • 2013 Promoting social strengths and positive behaviour for children with Down syndrome

  • 2010 An introduction to Down syndrome – a general overview (LETS Go!)

  • 2007 Makaton training

  • 2007 Supporting early development for children with Down syndrome (birth – 5) (DSA)

 

 

Membership:

 

  • Down Syndrome Research Forum

 

About Sarah Holton

BA (hons) PGCE