Orkney New Adventures
Not local? Prefer video calls?
I also offer tuition on either Zoom or Skype as well as face to face.
I have tried multiple times to write a recommendation that is on par with the work that Mandy has done with our son. But each time it just falls short; that’s how much her work has meant to not only our 6-year-old but to me as a mom navigating this journey of neurodiversity. When Mandy met our son, I was concerned because if he didn’t connect with people in the first go, he wouldn’t connect again. But in their first interaction- he acknowledged Mandy- I recall them playing pirates in the garden, and what he didn’t get was all the “work” Mandy had him doing. Now, a year and a half later- he knows what Mandy expects of him, and he’s built a relationship with Mandy that is his own. To demonstrate that- when we had come back from an extended (6-week) holiday – when he saw Mandy walking towards the house, he ran out to meet her and held her hand to have her come in. I don’t think I could ask any more than that- but then Mandy gives more- she got him reading and writing, topic discussions, and taking turns; all of these activities that were a pipe dream are now his normal. She continues to cheer him on- she continues to expect more because she sees all he is capable of. In a world that isn’t always kind to children like our son- having people in his world who see his greatness is important- and in Mandy, we found that! She also supports me as a Mother- reminding me that I am doing the right things – even when I feel like I am just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks- She is there for our eldest son, who also has to navigate being the sibling of someone with special needs. Mandy is firmly a fixture in our family; she is as important to my son’s development as anyone can be, and her continued enthusiasm for all that our son will grow to be is something I treasure.
This is from one of my students I used to tutor when I was working in a school:
Hi Miss Smith! I graduated from uni yesterday! I just wanted to say thank you, as I would have never got here without you! When anyone asks if I had a teacher at school, I will always remember, I tell them about my crazy PE teacher :). I am working up north at the moment as an Acute Registered dietitian for the NHS and loving every day!
Mandy is a kind, caring and patient professional whose sole purpose is to bring out the best in everyone she works with. Children of all ages gravitate towards her infectious and caring personality, and I have seen first-hand how children have grown and blossomed under her wings.
Mandy: I have known Mandy for 15 years and I would best describe Mandy as a little heater. She radiates warmth, is very easy-going, has a great sense of humour and is always willing to help.
My son MM is severely Autistic with joint mobility. in the 2019 academic year I was looking for a fitness coach for exercise and sports. On the recommendation of my son’s speech therapist, I contacted Mandy.
I cannot believe, Due to Mandy’s passion and dedication, my son made a remarkable improvement. He has lots of physical complexes, coordination difficulties, and hypermobility in his wrists. He could not ride the exercise bike properly due to coordination difficulties, but because of Mandy’s hard work, we have managed to achieve it.
Thought out our journey with Mandy, she has always been helpful, dedicated and accepted challenges. She always greets us with a smile and pleasure and is always there to help us.
I would like to Thank Mandy from the bottom of my heart.
My son’s progress was not possible without her support.
I highly recommend her because she understands what a disability is like.
During the time that Mandy and I were colleagues, she worked with individual children and small groups as well as leading PE. Her warm and approachable manner was very effective with the children, and they absolutely loved her teaching. She was able to adapt learning to meet the needs of individual children, making classes fun and highly interactive.
She has a way of engaging even the most reluctant class members. When one child was struggling with eating, she spent her lunchtimes sitting with the group, diffusing the social pressure and making it easier for that child. When another was struggling in a race at sports day, she ran with that child and celebrated their effort.
Her perception of the needs of children and how to build confidence and let them know that they are cared for is excellent. The children in her care grew in confidence and flourished.
Mandy has been working with my teenage son for the last 2 years providing weekly one to one fitness and wellbeing sessions. She has always brought out the best in my son and she is fantastic at encouraging in a gentle and supportive way. My son has thrived and enjoys her sessions. Mandy’s sessions have helped him to stay active particularly during lockdown when sessions were online. Her sessions are fun and energetic and always individual to him and what he likes to do as well as encouraging him to try new things. Mandy is also able to use her knowledge of learning differences such as dyspraxia and adapt her sessions to bring out the best in the children she works with.
We have worked with Mandy for over a year now. She has been a tutor for two children with special educational needs, each with their own very special challenges. Both had autism, but while one of the children was non-verbal and very active, the other child was high functioning but extremely anxious. Mandy’s delightfully chatty, friendly, and warm approach ensured fantastic relationships with both the children and their families. She always makes learning fun, making sure that the children are fully engaged so that they can learn. I hope we will be working with her for many years yet.
Mandy has been working with us for 9 months and has been incredible. Her knowledge and patience is amazing and her persistence has been the encouragement our entire family has needed. Mandy has not only built a really strong relationship with my son she has become a support and friend to us all. I cannot recommend Mandy highly enough to anyone who is looking for support and tutoring, she is one in a million and I am so pleased and relieved she came into our lives.
How our son, my wife and me wish you had come into our son’s life much earlier. Your personality, skills, warmth, perspicacity, teaching style and understanding of special needs have made our son’s home-schooling a first and a total success. As you know, our son has never taken to home-schooling before and many attempts have failed. His past years of school and schooling have been full of rejection, exclusion, misunderstandings, bullying and multiple negative approaches which led him to lose confidence in himself and a deep feeling that he was a bad person.
Your arrival Mandy, not only has made his life so much more fun, his view of schooling and his self-confidence improved immensely, and your counselling has deeply helped him to engage with education in a manner we never saw before. He is now much more able to listen to teachers and parents with regard to school and education. Your guidance helped him approach his 6 days introduction to his new school as a successful one and now he is looking forward to starting a new school year in September after almost a full year without education.
Letter of Recommendation to Mrs. Amanda Orkney-Smith
Our son Mitya (10 years old.) has been working with Mrs. Smith for over 2 years, privately, Mitya is on the autism spectrum.
We moved to the UK from Ukraine 3 years ago. He did not speak any English. Along with ASD it definitely harmed his academic progress. But he is doing great now, and we are super proud of him!
Mrs. Smith supports Mitya’s emotional intelligence and language skill development. She practices a bespoke approach suitable for the child at an appropriate pace. We are fascinated by how Mrs. Smith manages relationships and boosts his motivation, his self-esteem is growing massively! Mrs. Smith is extremely creative in keeping high morale, he is always looking forward to their lessons.
Since School introduced a special plan for Mitya, Mrs. Smith works in full collaboration with that. During the lockdown, Mrs. Smith helped us with some school subjects as we could not manage them ourselves. We really appreciate her flexibility and commitment to help our son.
As a parent, I have full transparency on what they do at lessons and what Mitya’s progress is. We are super thankful for Mrs. Smith support and kindness. Thank you, Mrs. Smith!