Queen Abieyuwa Onalaja
Telephone: 002348031941006 (Nigeria), 07534914286 (UK)
College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Department: Graduate School of Education
Research Centre/Unit: Ed.D. SNIE
I am one of the Founding Directors at the Innovative Teaching and Learning Centre (ITL) in Lagos, Nigeria. The Centre provides support and intervention programmes for children and young people of all abilities.
My first degree was gained from the University of Buckingham (UK) and I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. I hold a MA in Special and Inclusive Education from Roehampton University (UK). Additionally, I am a certified forest school leader.
I have had experiences in different educational roles and these include: Learning Support Assistant at Willow Dene (UK), a school for children with wide ranging special needs from mild, severe and profound learning difficulties to those with sensory loss, physical difficulties, challenging behaviour and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I worked through all the phases of the school from foundation through to Year 6 supporting children functioning at very early levels of development.
Reception and Key Stage 1 Class Teacher; Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) Co-ordinator; and Forest School Leader at St Margaret's CE Primary School, Plumstead, London. In my role as forest school leader, I established a forest school within my school's wooded area; developed an operational handbook for forest school sessions; conducted an inventory of the natural resources within the school grounds; created a site conservation and long term environmental management plan; implemented and taught an alternative curriculum outdoors.
I engaged in some voluntary work at a special needs school (Patrick Speech and Language Centre, Lagos , Nigeria) in 2010. As a result, I received the volunteer award of the year in 2011. During my time at PSL, I was introduced to the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). My fascination with some of the behaviour management techniques and methods in teaching new skills to pupils on the autistic spectrum motivated me take a course in ABA. I obtained a Professional Development Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis from the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (Europe) in 2011.
Although I do not currently hold a teaching position in a school, I have been involved with some small-scale education projects. In October 2010, I delivered a presentation titled 'Teaching and Learning Strategies' to over 200 teachers and education professionals at the annual Association of Private Educators' in Nigeria (APEN) Conference in Lagos, Nigeria. I have delivered several INSET sessions on a range of topics that included: 'Guided Reading' , 'Introduction to Early Reading' and 'Barriers to teaching and Learning'. I started a read aloud project for play group, nursery and grade one pupils at Future Kids Nursery and Primary School, Lagos, Nigeria in September 2011 to encourage pupils to begin to read and develop a real love of reading. The teachers after observing and participating in my reading sessions for one full academic year took over; they began reading sessions in their own classrooms in September 2012. I also run a creative writers' club at Greenwood House School, Lagos, Nigeria and deliver weekly early reading and writing sessions at Twinkle Toes Pre-School, Lagos, Nigeria.
In November 2014, I participated in an interactive discussion forum on life beyond school for teens and young adults with living with disabilities.
I have completed trainer courses in delivering Literacy support programmes in order to further develop my own knowledge and understanding, as well a s enable me to offer and implement a range of intervention programmes in my own establishment for pupils at risk of literacy difficulties.
My research interest lies in working collaboratively with and supporting individual teachers and local schools in Nigeria to develop inclusive practises.