Fill the Gap Learning will support you or your child to reach their current potential and continually improve. The end goal is for you not to need any support from anyone else.
Michael is an experienced educator with specialisations in maths recovery and literacy support. He has a 5 year degree in education from the University of Victoria, Canada, and a post graduate certificate in collaborative working from St Margaret’s University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
He is able to spot the misconceptions and gaps in learning that are leading to current struggles with learning. Through one to one communication, he can identify the best ways of developing areas of need into strengths that can then be used for future learning.
Michael went through the system as a disabled student and experienced the bias and prejudice that are part and parcel with a system as big as education. Along with 20 years of leading learners in the classroom, the experience he has had with his son, who has faced challenges with his learning, has shown him how best to tailor approaches that are suitable for learners who do not respond positively to conventional classroom methods; both his children are educated at home.
Michael has experience with, and training in:
- SEAL (Strategic Early Arithmetic Learning), a programme that helps to pinpoint the areas of difficulty in maths.
- Maths misconceptions, he is well versed in the variety of ways something can be improperly learned or remembered.
- Strategy spotting, he has never been one to mark correct or incorrect and leave it there. The important part is, and always be, to discover why it is right or wrong and build on this or improve on it.
- Dyslexia strategies, he is aware of a range of approaches that encourage learners to look at forms and figures from different perspectives rather than the typed form alone.
- Writing prompts, beginnings can often be the hardest part of writing. With a head start on writing, learners can really start thinking about where a character might go in a setting rather than being stuck on the starting line.
- Brainstorming, a painful sounding strategy but nonetheless beneficial for planning a range of learning related activities.
Upon first meeting you, Michael would need to carry out an assessment to determine any strengths and areas for improvement. The goal of this is to see if you are able to apply strategies to solve or complete tasks and talk about the process or understanding you have of the learning that goes into this.
If you are following a strategy and ‘just do it that way’, it offers Michael an inroad into difficulties you are facing with current learning or practices. If your explanations are clear, this becomes one of many strengths that we can build on to address any of the challenges you currently face.
After the initial meeting, you will get a report outlining the areas where there is good understanding, areas where completing tasks relies on a learned strategy or memorised process and other areas that are in need of development due to a lack of clarity about the thinking involved.
Once you have received the report, you are free to decide to return as often as you would like to address the perceived gaps in understanding.