My amazing SENI year at Northampton

After five years teaching in schools, Bonnita Pawlusek was inspired to specialise in the field of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion

The University of Northampton was one of only two universities which offered BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SENI) — exactly the area I wanted to specialise in. The modules offered by Northampton allowed me to explore areas such as Autism, Communication and Interaction, Transitions, Change and Developments in SEND.

I had been reading around the topic of SENI while I was teaching. I was drawn to the research of some of the University of Northampton lecturers — that’s the main reason I chose Northampton. I had read their work in journals and books and was genuinely in awe that these individuals would be leading my lectures.

This course offered me many opportunities to visit SEN schools in Northamptonshire, which assisted me in changing my career direction.

Before joining the university, I used to find presenting to large groups of professionals rather daunting, even though I was often confident in the content. As part of the course I had to work in small groups and independently to present presentations, projects and findings. As a result of this, I now feel confident to deliver whole school training and workshops. Without having gained this confidence, I believe I would be less employable as I did not feel I communicated as well as I could have.

Once I completed my undergraduate degree I decided to advance my knowledge further and enrolled on to the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCo) at the University of Northampton.

The SENCo Award has been very comprehensive in informing me of changes within SENI at a local level. The course had many guest speakers from the Fairfields Teaching Alliances and professionals from the local authority — fantastic for my academic knowledge in a local context of Northamptonshire.

Both qualifications have provided me with a real thirst for engagement in learning.

I believe the knowledge, qualifications and experience gained have helped me to get where I am now, an Assistant Head Teacher and a qualified SENCo!

Find out more about our SENI courses here, or follow us @Uninorthants #UON