Meet The Team

The Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) Swale District

The Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) were devolved to Meadowfield School in September 2012. Following a TUPE process, the STLS staff are all now Meadowfield employees.

Clare Bridgewater, Inclusion and Outreach Manager, was appointed to Meadowfield School in September 2015. The Inclusion Manager leads the team of specialist teachers and manages the Midas Training and Development Centre. Outreach support and training delivery are co-ordinated to provide a continuous level of provision.

The Specialist Teaching and Learning Team for the Swale District aim to advise and support Early Years’ settings and schools to build capacity and confidence to deliver high quality provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to improve pupil progress and outcomes.

A collaborative problem solving approach, using the skills and experience of specialist teachers together with the expertise of schools and other professionals, lies at the heart of the service delivery.

STLS are part of a wider network of services from Education, Health and Social Care bringing children’s services together to ensure seamless provision for children and young people with SEND.

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The STLS team are based at The Midas Centre in Meadowfield School
Swanstree Avenue
Sittingbourne
Kent
ME10 4NL
01795 477788 (option 6)

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Clare Bridgewater

Clare Bridgewater

Clare has taught in schools across all key stages throughout her 41 years within the teaching profession. Clare is qualified as a Regional Tutor for Makaton and a Sleep Scotland Sleep Counsellor. She has been an Inclusion Manager since 2003 when she developed the Foreland Inclusion Support Service in Thanet before moving to Gravesham in 2010. She gained a Master’s Degree in Education (Autism) during her time as Assistant Head and Director of Inclusion at Ifield School. At this time Clare also became a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE SEND). Clare began working in Swale in 2015 when the roles of District Lead for STLS and Midas Centre Manager were amalgamated.

 

Clare Barwood

Clare Barwood

Clare works as part of the Swale STLS team as an Early Years Specialist Teacher. Clare has experience as a mainstream class teacher, home tutor for children with SEN, SENCO in two Swale primary schools and Portage home visitor. Her qualifications include a Master’s Degree in Inclusion and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers. Clare is a Sleep Scotland Sleep Counsellor.



Christine Cardosi

Christine Cardosi

Christine began her career as a mainstream primary school teacher and SENCO before moving into special education. In her roles as Head of Secondary and Primary Departments at Meadowfield school she has taught children with a range of additional educational needs across all key stages. Christine achieved Advanced Skills Teacher status and has completed a wide range of training to support her role as an Early Years Specialist Teacher.

 

Sophie Cartwright

Sophie Cartwright

Before working for STLS, Sophie taught in both mainstream and special schools covering the full range of key stages and SEND. She worked as both teacher and senior leader. Since joining STLS in 2009 she has qualified as a Teacher of the Deaf and become a Regional Tutor for Makaton. Sophie’s time is divided between Cognition & Learning and Hearing Impairment. As part of her C&L role, she leads on Down Syndrome support within the Swale district.


Jamie Elliott

Jamie Elliott

Jamie started her teaching career at Bradstow School, a residential school for children with challenging behaviour as a result of communication difficulties. From here Jamie moved on to be the Lead Teacher for Autism based at Ashford Oaks, supporting children with Autism both within the school and other primary schools in the Ashford district. Jamie then spent 3 years teaching in a mainstream Key Stage 1 specialising in Phonics. In 2014 Jamie moved to the primary department at Meadowfield, teaching a mixture of ages and abilities. Jamie joined the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service in 2017 and has since gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Autism (Children).

 

Rebecca Kenny

Rebecca Kenny

Becky began her teaching career in a mainstream primary school where she taught across all year groups. She has subsequently taught in several different schools within Kent. In 2010 Becky gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Education. Following this she accepted a position teaching across Key Stages 2 – 4 at The Caldecott Foundation, a special school catering for children who have significant social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, due to suffering severe neglect and trauma in the early stages of life. Becky joined the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service in January 2014 as a Communication and Interaction Specialist Teacher. Becky has successfully completed her training as a Regional Tutor for Makaton and is currently undertaking the NPQ in Senior Leadership.



Katie Skinner

Katie Skinner

Following completion of a Master’s Degree, Katie trained as a primary school teacher and taught across KS1 and KS2 before moving to Broomhill Bank Secondary School for pupils with communication and interaction difficulties, where she was Head of Humanities and Acting Assistant Head. She has experience supporting pupils with communication, interaction, social and emotional difficulties to develop appropriate emotional regulation skills in both specialist and mainstream settings at primary and secondary level. She joined the management team at Meadowfield in 2017 as Wellbeing Manger and Specialist Teacher for SEMH before taking on the role of CPD manager for the Collaborative Learning Alliance of Special Schools. Katie is a Sleep Scotland Sleep Counsellor and holds an NPQ in Senior Leadership. Katie is currently working collaboratively with the national charity Tourette’s Action, recently speaking at conferences in Bristol, London and Leeds as well as creating virtual resources to support children and families.

 

Jonathan Smeeton

Jonathan Smeeton

Before going into teaching Jonathan worked for Sure Start with vulnerable families in Canterbury. He worked at Cornwallis secondary school in Maidstone for a year as an unqualified teacher to gain classroom experience before beginning his GTP at Invicta Grammar School. Jonathan remained at Invicta for four years leading on PSHE and served as second in department in English. He then moved to Bradfield’s School in Chatham to help establish a new ASD provision before moving to Meadowfield School in 2013 working within the secondary department. In 2017 Jonathan joined the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service. 

 

Ruth Smith

Ruth Smith

Ruth joined the Swale STLS team in January 2018. Ruth is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist who has previously worked for the NHS SALT. Ruth works for STLS three days per week as well as providing a service to another special school working with primary and secondary ages. Ruth has experience of working with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties and will be delivering advice and support to Early Years settings and schools with a focus on enhancing opportunities for communication within the pre-school and school environments. Ruth is a Regional Makaton Tutor providing training for STLS which covers Early Years and school ages.



Inclusion Support Assistants


Susan Cassingham

Susan Cassingham

Susan has 33 years’ experience supporting pupils with communication, interaction, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in both specialist and mainstream settings at primary and secondary level and young adults in a post 19 provision. She began her career in a Gravesham mainstream primary school delivering speech and language programmes and writing statement plans to support pupils on the SEN register. Susan has co-ordinated EAL in a primary school delivering a bespoke curriculum to support new arrivals and supported local primary school SENCO’s with new arrivals through outreach. Susan moved to a special school where she helped develop an engagement curriculum to support pupils who had significant SEMH and behavioural needs. Susan is a qualified Forest School Leader. Susan completed a Specialist Teaching Assistant, Child in Education degree course, with a focus on SEN at the University of Greenwich. She qualified as a Sleep Scotland Sleep Counsellor in 2019. Susan supports primary and secondary schools in her role as STLS Inclusion Support Assistant.

 

Becky Selfe

Becky Selfe

Becky joined the STLS team in April 2019 having previously worked as a Deputy Manager and SENCO of an Early Years Setting. Becky is an Inclusion Support Assistant for the Early Years Team and works closely with the Specialist Teachers to provide additional support to children in Early Years settings and Reception Classes across Swale.


Jodie Williams

Jodie Williams

STLS & Midas Administrative Officer

 

Becky McCarthy

Becky McCarthy

STLS & Midas Administrative Assistant

 

Jenna Morley

Jenna Morley

Midas Administrator 

 

Percy

Percy

Percy is the STLS Wellbeing Support Dog. In his role he visits Early Years settings and mainstream primary and secondary schools. Percy visits schools as part of pupils’ personalised curriculums, as a reward for pupils and quite simply to add a feel good element to the children and staff’s day. In 2019 Percy qualified as a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog. Percy is now two years old and has been a valued part of the team since he was 12 weeks old.