I can’t tell you how much we value your contribution, and the students always get so much out of it. Many of them are keen to train as educational psychologists. They really benefit from your perspective and find it really inspiring!
Dr Jessie Ricketts, Royal Holloway, University of London
GET TO KNOW DR JOANNE
I am Dr Joanne Riordan, an Independent Educational Psychologist based in the village of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. I support the learning, emotional, social, and sensory development of young people up until the age of 18 years old. I typically work with individual families and schools. I offer both face to face and remote services. I was previously a teacher and I am also a mum in a neurodiverse family.
I believe that Education can change lives, and that Psychology is a powerful tool for change. Therefore, I am very proud of my role as an Educational Psychologist. I love my job, and it is a privilege to work with children, families, and education staff every day. I specialise in Neurodiversity, and focus on promoting enabling environments at school and home that cater to the young person's unique strengths and difficulties. I have specialist knowledge of Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia/DCD, dyslexia, sensory processing differences, and PDA.
I have always had a keen interest in watching children develop, and volunteered as a Teaching Assistant in primary schools, alongside completing my First-Class Honours Degree in Psychology. Once I graduated, it seemed a natural step to train to be a teacher.
I qualified from the University of Cambridge as a Secondary school Science teacher. Whilst teaching, it was noticed that I was particularly skilled in helping pupils with special educational needs (SEN) to make progress. This was because I built strong relationships and adapted my teaching methods to utilise the young person’s strengths, whilst maintaining an understanding of their difficulties.
Over time, I decided to combine my interests in both Psychology and Education, by training to be an Educational Psychologist. I was accepted onto the competitive three-year Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology course at University College London (UCL).
Since qualifying, I have experience of working with the Educational Psychology Services of three Local Authorities, as well as working in private practice.
I do lots of varied work within my role. In addition to my typical services outlined on the website, I am a guest lecturer in the Psychology Department at Royal Holloway (University of London) and a mentor at the University of Cambridge. Working with universities means I keep informed of latest research. I have also been commissioned by Local Authorities and large academy chains to train their staff in inclusive teaching practices. Plus, I have written in textbooks and blogs as a guest expert (e.g. for Five Minute Mum).
In addition to all my professional experience, I am also a mother to three lively sons. During my first maternity leave, I acquired a keen interest in the development of babies and preschoolers. Never one to take a break from learning, I did further training in the Early Years curriculum and became registered as an Early Years Practitioner with Ofsted.
My experiences as an Early Years Practitioner, Primary Teaching Assistant, Secondary and Sixth form Teacher, and Guest Lecturer mean that I am in the unique position of having taught every age from 0 years to adulthood!
In my work I take a solution-focused approach. I develop a deep understanding of the situation, and then propose solutions and strategies to bring about positive change. During my assessments, I use a consultation model and value working in collaboration with others. I see myself as the expert in Psychology and child development, the parent and child as the experts on the child and knowing them best, and the school staff as the experts on how the child is doing academically. By the end of the process, we all have a clear understanding of the situation and what to do next.
I am registered with the British Psychological Society, HCPC, and Association of Educational Psychologists, which only register those with accredited qualifications. I am an Associate Fellow with the British Psychological Society, in recognition of my experience. I am fully insured for my work and hold a valid DBS (to show I am safe to work with young people).