Heather Rick – Curriculum Vitae


Vision statement

I am passionate about improving life chances for young children through good quality education, which means good quality teaching and learning. 
My vision for the future is to continue to offer young children the best start in life we can offer them.  I will continue to be responsive, creative and support early years practitioners through good quality training. 

Career History

Head of Early Years Team:  2012 – ongoing.

London Borough of Waltham Forest

 I am Head of the Early Years team in Waltham Forest.  I organise and support a team of six EY Consultants, who in turn support EY settings and Foundation Stage in maintained schools.  We have recently undergone many changes and
re-organisation, and whilst challenging, I have managed this difficult transition.  I am responsible for the EY budget, and liaise with our finance team on a regular basis.  I plan strategically with other Heads of service to bring a collaborative pedagogy to work as a ‘team around the family’ ethos.
I am responsible for organising and delivering CPD across the Borough.  Changes in the Revised EYFS Framework, has resulted in the writing and delivery of three conferences and several briefings to Early Years settings and schools, as well as delivery of courses on;
Tracking progress against Development Matters in Reception.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
2 year olds in an early years setting.

Child development; physical and emotional development of young children.

We have a conference planned for March 2013, on changes in the EYFSP.

Foundation Stage Moderation Manager (2012 – ongoing)

I am Moderation Manager for Waltham Forest (Accredited FS moderator 2010).  This role involves organising the FS moderation process with a team of experienced moderating teachers.  This year I have decided to recruit experienced teachers from schools in WF who have excellent FS results in their own schools to support the team in the moderation process.  They will undergo induction and support with their first school visits from me.  We follow guidance from the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) about which schools to moderate, but we also have autonomy to choose criteria for moderation based on local issues.  I decided this year we would moderate all schools that have an extra class for 2012, as data and anecdotal evidence has shown these schools to be vulnerable to lower FS scores.
This role has enabled me to offer teachers constructive support through inset and CPD, depending on the needs of the individual school.  An important part of the moderation process is exploring and implementing a successful transition (Reception to Year 1) policy with schools.  I promote and have run a successful ‘Transition course; Getting it right from the start’.  This project involved working with schools from Easter until Christmas, tracking progress of Reception children into Year 1, and resulted in the publication of an in-house transition guide for schools.

Lead Early Years Consultant: 2011-2012 -
London Borough of Waltham Forest
In June 2011, I worked as a Lead Early Years Consultant.  My work consisted of working in maintained Nursery, Reception and Yr 1 classes, supporting schools across the curriculum, who were in ‘special measures’ as judged by Ofsted. This involved formal class teacher observations with Head Teachers or Phase Leaders, to identify inset needs for individual or groups of teachers.  I delivered inset and courses across the Early Years range, including;
Letters and Sounds – Phase 1- 6 (including parent information sessions)
Guided reading
Shared, sustained thinking
Early Language development
Developing mathematical thinking and concepts
Developing a quality learning environment
Boys Learning
Six weeks SENCO course, including modules on; SEN and the law, Speech and Language difficulties, working with children with ASD and managing behaviour in the classroom. 

Reading Recovery Teacher Leader -  2010 -2011 -  Institute Of Education 

I was seconded for one year to the IOE to train as a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader.  This involved working with Wave 3, Year 1 children, who were in danger of failing with Literacy.  All Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders have to teach children themselves as well as teaching teachers about the Reading Recovery techniques to use in school.  This philosophy means that Teacher Leaders are experiencing first hand, the difficulties and successes, gaining insight into what teachers in schools are experiencing.
The first part of the course focused on learning about Reading Recovery – the assessments, procedures and how children learn to read within a theoretical framework.  The second part of the course focused on teaching other teachers to become RR teachers, through a series of collaborative reflective teaching and learning sessions. This way of teaching can be new and challenging for many teachers to adopt and use effectively. I have embarked on exploring how children learn to read using case studies of both younger early readers and older ‘failing’ readers, in order to support and scaffold the learning process.

Communication Language Literacy Development Consultant: 2007-2010
Croydon Primary Strategy Team.

In my role as CLLD Consultant, I supported class teachers in twelve schools, to implement ‘Letters and Sounds’ national phonic programme.  This involved training teachers, observation and monitoring children’s progress. This information was fed into Pupil Progress meetings, (PPM), involving the class teacher, the DHT/HT and for children identified with additional needs, the school SENCO. I was involved in supporting ‘quality first’ teaching which includes the Foundation Stage and KS 1 encompassing speaking and listening, reading and writing. Teachers were expected to be aware of the crucial role of phonological awareness for pre-readers, systematic phonics teaching (Letters and Sounds) and vocabulary development to support language and reading comprehension.  This information, along with tracked Phase information, informed teachers about children’s strengths and ‘next steps’ for literacy.
My involvement in delivering literacy CPD for teachers and TAs promoted four core values of speaking and listening, reading and writing.  Practitioners were supported to recognise language enrichment and, particularly, vocabulary development, as essential for later language and reading comprehension.  CPD courses included;
Phase 1- 6 training
Guided reading
Children’s writing development
How children learn to read

Area SENCO - 2002-2007 - Croydon Early Years and Childcare Section

I worked in the private and voluntary sector, as well as the maintained sector, and worked with very young children and their families.  It gave me a unique opportunity to gain an overview of the how ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children, supports children and young people right from the start, through to adulthood.
 I studied to become a trained Makaton practitioner and later became a trained Makaton Local Tutor.  Supporting teachers to use Makaton for all children formed a major part of my work as an SEN support teacher.
I have delivered Makaton training courses to groups such as Child-minders and Children’s librarians.
All Early Years providers and schools must have an effective policy for ensuring equality of opportunities and for supporting children with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Practitioners were supported to focus on each child’s individual learning, development and care needs to ensure that the children with whom they work are fully included.

 Literacy Consultant - 1993-2002 - Parish Church Infant and Nursery

My work in a mainstream school, allowed me a unique chance to work across the Foundation Stage, seeing children through to Key Stage 1, and KS 2.
I liaised with Nursery staff about children who have speech and language difficulties and about children’s needs when they enter reception class.  Many of these children had ongoing speech and language difficulties, specifically poorly developed phonological skills, so specific ‘Letters and Sounds’ Phase 1 training formed an ongoing part of my work.
During this time, I wrote an early literacy intervention programme and ‘ELIP’ was devised as part of a post graduate course in Speech and Language difficulties, with Birmingham University.  It has been running successfully in mainstream schools for many years. 
I carried out further research through the Metropolitan University, to look at whether specific teaching of letter sounds in a Nursery setting was appropriate and might aid early literacy development for children who might be at risk of literacy failure.

I have been involved in supporting teachers to identify children for Wave 2 intervention in Year 1, through tracking children’s phonic phase progress, aligned with National Curriculum and book band levels. My work with teachers in schools was to support delivery of the curriculum guidance which advocates a broad ranging approach to literacy development across speaking and listening, reading and writing. The pedagogical view in Foundation Stage (FS) is based on children interacting with supportive adults and being part of a rich learning environment to develop skills in six areas of learning. 

Specialist Teacher  - 1993-2002 - The Literacy Centre (SENSS)

I worked with small groups of children at Wave 3, in KS 1 and KS 2, who were assessed having Dyslexia.  I have an SpLD qualification to teach Dyslexic children and assess their needs.  All work with children was planned, assessed and reviewed for each individual child.  This cycle was shared collaboratively with other people involved in working with those children. The use of a range of standardised assessment tools also provided a baseline of information, along with informal testing, observation of children and liaison with teachers, giving a well informed view of children and any difficulties they may be experiencing. Work was done to support teachers when children transfer from FS to KS 1. 
This work resulted in the production of a booklet ‘Supporting Transition’ and has gone out to schools in the Borough of Croydon.
I delivered courses on;
Raising Awareness of the Dyslexic Child.

(for parents)  Supporting your Child with Literacy activities
Language and Dyslexia – the link
(for further courses delivered, please see below)

SEN support teacher - 1990-1993  Parish Church Junior School
The link between language skills and later literacy success has been very well researched. So, practitioners have a responsibility to identify children’s needs and intervene with appropriate support as early as possible, to help children achieve the goals of ‘Every Child Matters’ and make progress. In order to progress to become competent readers and writers, children need to have developed good speech, language and communication skills. Most children will do this using oral language, but some children may need to use augmentative methods of communication, such as signing.

Reading Project – Teacher, 1991- 1993 - working across Key Stage 2 and 3

Working with older children with literacy difficulties present different day to day issues.  In many cases, older children did not want extra support or at least did not want their friends to realise they were being helped.  Finding suitable materials for older children was challenging.  This work gave me insight into difficulties that arise if literacy issues are not tackled at an earlier age, which is where the focus should be. I supported teachers to make sure that older children had access to a wide range of good quality books and stories appropriate for their age group, but with easier text and free from negative stereotypes but promoting positive role models.

Classroom teacher 1988-1990 - Crosfield Nursery School

I worked in a mainstream nursery school as a class teacher and was responsible for a small ‘key’ group of children.  It was essential at this time to ensure that all children had access to a balanced curriculum, both inside and outside.  Educationalists were just becoming aware, and then implementing the ‘outside classroom’ realizing that children learn in different ways and their learning was more purposeful when engaged in self-initiated activities with adults who could scaffold learning in a multisensory ‘hands-on’ approach.

Support teacher  1988-1990 - Byron Infants School

see point above

Classroom teacher -  1974-1979 - Mainstream Primary

I started my career as a classroom teacher, teaching KS 1 and KS 2 children.  This was before the introduction of the National Curriculum, so opportunities for using ones initiative and creativity were in some ways greater than after this time.