About Sarah

Find out more about our work helping kids with dyslexia.

Sarah’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Education, Primary – Queensland University of Technology, 2007
  • Oxford Cambridge Reward (OCR) Level 5 Certificate – Teaching learners with specific learning difficulties, 2011
  • Oxford Cambridge Reward (OCR) Level 7 Diploma – Teaching and assessing learners with dyslexia/specific learning difficulties, 2015
  • Assessment Practicing Certificate – Patoss, 2015 (Certificate number: 500002259-IF7105) Listed on the Patoss directory of qualified specialist assessors
  • Masters of Special Education (Advanced Research Pathway) – University of Southern Queensland, 2018

Learning to live with dyslexia is an emotional journey for any child and their family. Getting the appropriate help can be a real challenge, as there are so many programs and services on offer, and not all of them are effective.

Inspired Education Services aims to help families navigate their way through this journey, by providing supportive advice, using evidence based teaching methods, and offering comprehensive cognitive profiling. Sarah has a wealth of experience, a track record of achieving good progress, and the appropriate qualifications to work with students with dyslexia. At Inspired Education Services, we evaluate the strengths as well as the needs for each learner, then utilise areas of strength to address needs.

Building self esteem and promoting independence is an essential part of supporting students with dyslexia. Every assessment and learning program is carefully individualised to suit the needs of each learner. Explicit instruction addresses specific ‘gaps’ in knowledge, while teaching the use of strategies allows students to take control of their own learning, and generalise what they have learnt in tutorial sessions into their classroom lessons.

Carefully graduated targets help students understand the purpose of each activity, visualise their progression, and enjoy a sense of achievement. Progress is carefully monitored using reliable, standardised tests.

Many children miss out on early intervention, or receive ineffective intervention, and find themselves in the upper primary years and high school without adequate reading, writing and maths skills. Sarah specialises in creating age appropriate, multisensory learning experiences for these students.

Many behavioural problems exhibited in classrooms, such as ‘acting the clown’, being disruptive, or remaining very quiet are often due to underlying learning difficulties. Once a child is given the right support, these problems can often be reduced or even eliminated. Inspired Education Services aims to raise dyslexia awareness and train teachers so that students with dyslexia can access classroom learning more effectively, and enjoy academic success.

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“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach them the way they learn.”

Ignacio Strada

Sarah’s experience:

Sarah worked as the reading and spelling co-ordinator at Fairley House School, which is an independent day school for students with dyslexia and dyspraxia. Many students had co-occurring specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyscalculia, ADHD, Asperger’s, autism, and specific language impairment. Fairley House boasts an incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated staff, including specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and educational psychologists.

Sarah successfully innovated ‘Spelling’ to create ‘Word Study’. Influenced by the research of Maryanne Wolf, Word Study is a structured language approach that closely follows the International Dyslexia Association’s advice for best practice, called structured literacy.

Sarah lead a staff of 23 specialist teachers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, and was responsible for training the staff and helping them through the transition to ensure the word study method was incorporated into their teaching practice. Sarah carried out assessments for exam access arrangements for students at GCSE level, and worked with the special education needs co-ordinator to improve skills sharing between therapists and teachers.

Sarah has tutored and lectured on the OCR level 5 course, worked privately as an assessor and tutor, and lectured at various events for specific learning difficulties.

Presenting at The Learning Differences Convention, Sydney

Testimonials heading_arrow

“Nick enjoyed the assessment process and thought Sarah was “really nice and fun”. I found it hugely helpful to establish what his particular issues are and to get so many invaluable tips from her on how to work with Nick to overcome them. Most importantly perhaps, it made sense to him and he appreciated being understood. He has found it encouraging and positive that there is specific action we can take to make things easier for him.”

Jo, mother of 16 year old son with specific learning difficulties in language

“Sarah’s lectures combined theory and practice. Her lectures were very well received and I have seen teachers truly inspired by what she delivered. Word spread and she was asked to lecture beyond the school. Sarah gave teachers feedback that helped them to become skilled and reflective practitioners, sharing her expertise and ideas generously. I highly recommend Sarah Mitchell as a teacher, assessor and teacher trainer.”

Jackie Murray, Principal Educational Psychologist, Fairley House School

“From the moment I spoke with Sarah about her process, I felt she had a personal touch which exceeded anybody else. For me, the post assessment meeting with full explanations and methods for the future were very impressive and made all the difference to our son. Sarah definitely helped us find the issues to address and pushed us forward happily. I would definitely recommend her!”

Megan, mother of 14 year old son with specific learning difficulties with language

“Sarah taught our daughter Molly English and Maths – she was a godsend. Molly really excelled. With Sarah’s help, she went from someone who really questioned her own abilities and who struggled at school to being one of the top in her year. Sarah recognised her potential and gave her the confidence to be the best that she could be. Molly’s happiness and success is in no small part due to the attention and care that Sarah gave her.”

Claudine, mother of 11 year old dyslexic daughter

“Sarah was amazing. She methodically picked through my daughter’s assessment report and pin pointed the best areas to work on.  After each hourly session, my daughter bounded out of the room, bursting with enthusiasm to show me how she was able to decipher ‘long complicated’ spellings, tell me little strategies to deal with various reading issues, and stories she had composed with Sarah’s help.  Sarah seems to have pressed the right buttons in my daughter to enable her to forget her worries and anxiousness and become a more confident individual, happy to admit to having difficulties now she feels she has what it takes to deal with them.  Thank you Sarah.”

Rebecca, mother of 10 year old dyslexic daughter

“Sarah taught Freddie to love learning again and not to be afraid of it.  Mistakes do not mean you can’t do it – Sarah helped him realise that mistakes help you learn. She encouraged him to be ambitious and want to achieve.”

Elspeth, mother of 10 year old dyslexic son

“Not only did Sarah provide specialist tutoring for my son, but also took an interest in concerns I raised about my daughter’s progress at school. Several informative conversations later, she completed a thorough assessment, which is now being used by a children’s centre to finalise a diagnosis of multiple specific learning difficulties.

Sarah is professional, knowledgeable, and engaged well with my two children who enjoyed their tutoring with her. My son in particular gained a lot of confidence as a result, which was noticed at school. I would definitely recommend Sarah if you have any concerns about your child’s performance at school. She has a broad, detailed and up-to-date understanding of learning difficulties, and what can be done to help.”

Tracy, mother of 10 year old dyslexic Son and 7 Year old dyscalculic and dyspraxic daughter