Nicola Higgins

I have been a Consultant teacher in SEND for Fusion since September 2019 and have enjoyed having the opportunity to work with a number of schools across Sheffield and Rotherham.  I am passionate about improving outcomes for children who need additional support. I also recognise how important my role is in supporting teachers and support staff to develop their confidence and knowledge in how best to offer Quality First Teaching in order to support the pupils they work with. 

Since 2002 I have worked in Sheffield Primary schools, teaching children across the age ranges.  I have always had an interest in working with pupils with special educational needs and was SENDCO for many years alongside my class teacher role.  I understand first-hand the challenges the role can bring the wider implications SEND must have on the ethos and practices across school.     

My practice as a teacher has always been research led, something that fuelled my MA in Education.  I enjoy reading journals, articles and research around initiatives, support strategies and studies linked to a wide variety of SEND issues.  Currently I am particularly interested in researching DLD and the impact the disorder can have on communication.  As an experienced Early Years Leader, I have studied at a post-graduate level how best to support children in the earliest stages of their school journey; particularly the importance of play-based opportunities for learning and support, and the importance Outdoor Learning can have on mental health and well-being. 

I have a post-graduate qualification in Mentoring and have enjoyed supporting trainee, newly and recently qualified teachers as they begin their careers, and more recently, SENCOs new to the role .  As part of my work with Fusion, I have also enjoyed supporting teacher and practitioners to develop their knowledge through training in a number of SEND issues, from Dyslexia to De-escalation.  I particularly enjoyed working with schools across Rotherham and Barnsley as part of a Maths Hub project to deliver workshops on how to better support children with SEND difficulties in Maths.