Sally began teaching 20 years ago in an inner-city school in Manchester. During her career, she has had the privilege of teaching across Key Stage 1 and 2, from Year 1 – Year 6. She is currently Vice Principal and Head of Key Stage 2 leading on Emotionally Healthy Schools, Personal Development and SMSC at a school in Cheshire. The school is situated in an area of great social challenge, and social skills, language, communication and early literacy skills are always at the heart of the school’s development plan. The Helicopter Stories approach has been a key component of this, and its positive impact has been felt across all year groups.
Sally’s journey with Helicopter Stories started 5 years ago when she was a Year 1 teacher and took part in training delivered by Trisha Lee. The very next day, she grabbed the masking tape and never looked back! Nearly three years ago, she became a Helicopter Stories Champion and her school became the first Centre of Excellence in the North of England. All staff at her school are now trained in Helicopter Stories, including Teaching Assistants and 1-1 support staff, and the approach is implemented in all classes from Nursery to Year 4. Some of the key principles of Helicopter Stories – trusting the child, accepting all versions, taking turns not choosing, and the core themes of equality and inclusion – reflect Sally’s own view of teaching and the importance she places on the need for children to feel safe, cared for and valued in their learning environment.
Since becoming a Helicopter Stories Champion, Sally has delivered numerous training days at settings across the North of England, sharing her experiences, passion and enthusiasm for the approach with practitioners across all Key Stages. Her aim is to inspire, encourage, guide and support others to take up the mantle (and the masking tape) and bring the wonder of Helicopter Stories into the lives of their children.