Meet the Literacy Team
The Core Tutors
Julie started working for Reading Quest as a Core Tutor in 2008, after working as a volunteer. She trained as a secondary school teacher but it was while working in primary schools that she first became aware of the difficulties some children face with the early stages of reading and writing. I realised that the Reading Quest approach could help these children in ways that other interventions could not – by working one-to-one with each child, developing their strengths and interests and building a relationship with their family.
Julie says it is a privilege to work with children who are so enthusiastic and eager to learn and a delight to see the progress they make over the course of their lessons. She has been inspired to want to find out more about how early literacy skills are acquired and has completed further studies at Oxford Brookes University. She believes there is still more to learn though, and mostly from the children themselves!
Liane worked as an early years classroom teacher until leaving to become a full-time parent. Since then she has worked as a one-to-one teacher in Maths and English in Oxfordshire primary schools. Liane has always been fascinated by how children learn to read and write and by how barriers to developing such skills can be overcome. For this reason, she undertook some postgraduate study at Oxford Brookes University into teaching children with literacy difficulties. Liane particularly enjoys helping children to develop a passion for reading and seeing them grow in confidence and enthusiasm. Becoming involved with Reading Quest seemed an excellent way to work with children (and their families) at a crucial point in their development.
Saskia has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years and has gained wide experience in a number of countries. As an early childhood teacher, she has greatly enjoyed introducing children to the wonders of the world around them through the written word. While some children can start to confidently grasp the concepts and meanings of words others find this more difficult, often leading to insecurities which can affect their wider academic and social achievements. Saskia has particular interests and skills in working with such children and she is glad to be part of the Reading Quest programme.
Anna trained in TEFL after university and taught English in UK, India and Africa. Then she worked for the Triangle Arts Trust Charity for 12 years co-ordinating international artist’s workshops in southern, east and west Africa as well as setting up an international residency programme at the Gasworks Studios in London. Having been working voluntarily at St Ebbe’s School, Oxford where she has been reading and writing with 5 – 7 year olds for 2 years, Reading Quest felt a natural development not least because she felt passionately about the importance of literacy for both children and adults in today’s world. Since training in January 2011, she has found the work rewarding, challenging and enjoyable.
Jenny has been working as a children’s speech and language therapist for more than two years. This has involved working with children in pre-school clinics, nurseries, primary schools, specialist speech and language units, and secondary schools. The client group was extremely diverse from children who have difficulties pronouncing particular sounds, to children who have severely disordered language skills, to children with a stammer, to children who are on the autistic spectrum and have difficulties with social interaction. Having experienced communication difficulties from the spoken language perspective, Jenny is interested in looking behind the theory in terms of the correlation between spoken and written language difficulties.
Jayne was born and brought up in Cowley and originally trained as a graphic designer before going into teaching. In 1993 she took a four-year Bachelor of Education at Westminster College, Oxford. She has always been interested in how children acquire the skills to read, write and communicate and why some children can pick up these skills with relative ease and others need more support. Reading Quest has offered Jayne the opportunity of using her teaching skills in a more focused way and to be able to encourage children to discover the pleasures and delights of reading.
Kate first became aware of Reading Quest in summer 2010 when she offered to become a Family Library helper at St Christopher’s School in Cowley, where she is also a Parent Governor. She is a member of the Governing Body’s ‘Performance and Standards’ committee as she values the importance of every pupil meeting their full potential at school and the need for educational attainment targets to be met.
Since training in 2011, Kate has taught in both Church Cowley St James and Orchard Meadow Primary School. She has a keen interest in all aspects of primary education – particularly the processes of early literacy learning – as she has two young children of her own.
Emily practised as a barrister at the Criminal Bar before moving to the City to work for a firm of solicitors as a litigator. In 1997 she married a church minister and worked in Christian ministry mostly in east London, raising two children. After moving to Oxford, she took a number of courses at the Continuing Education Department of Oxford University culminating in a Diploma in English Local History, and now runs her own after-school history club at her children’s school, where she has also served on the PTA. Emily is keen to see children reach their potential and enjoy learning.
Jane has taught TEFL, among other subjects, while living abroad for a year. She became involved in Reading Quest as a Family Library helper at SS Mary and John and really enjoyed working with children and families directly. As a result, Jane has joined the tutor team as a casual tutor. She enjoys working in schools and with children, and finds the one-to-one work involved in the Reading Quest model to be very challenging and rewarding. Her interests include reading and literacy, and she also works as a librarian.